Middling Through Somehow: Queer Temporality and the Disaster Meme
Using memes as its primary (stupid) material for analysis, this chapter outlines the instructive possibilities of a stupid humanism working against the grain of progress-focused activism, historicizing and self-fashioning. The chapter takes on some of the contradictions of copia, a rhetorical theory that promotes stability, correspondence and perfect knowledge, but which in practice often results in transgression and fragmentation. Copia—in both the early modern period and today—is both an impossible project and a queer project: impossible because it positions the writer/creator/subject outside of the teleological history whose all-inclusiveness it purports to celebrate; queer because this instability permits a suspension of chronological distinction in favor of anachronistic encounters between subjects and history. Recognizing the queer time of memes is one way to violate traditional notions of history, oppose too-neat theories of correspondence, and muddle our way toward a middle ground between ignorance and advancement.