Master of Memes

Master of Memes

The Absurd Rabbit Hole Called The Department of Economics Facebook Page: A Critic Investigation

If you want to waste away hours of your life on prime time entertainment, look no further than the Otago University’s Department of Economics (DE) Facebook meme page. There are memes. There are awkward, blurry and sideways photos of people at functions. There are Minions. It goes where other University Departments fail to – almost as if somebody handed the reins of the page over to Linda from reception and said, “this is your baby, Linda. Engage with the people.” And engage she did.


1. 28 March, 2014

Linda has a real thing for crystals, faeries, and ornaments of dragons wrapped around glass spheres (she’s also partial to tarot readings and numerology). Linda still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of juggling two Facebook accounts, and a personal meme intended for her friends accidentally meandered onto the DE page. Luckily, she was able to fix the snafu with a quick “It must be Friday ... or is it a fantasy?” There’s a reason you were hired, Linda – the ability to think quickly on your feet.


2. 27 June, 2014

Everyone Linda knows (over the age of 45) has had a crack at answering this one. 43, 56, 50, 21, 98. It was the true conspiracy theory of the week. She figured she would pose it to the DE page, to see if the bright young students could shed some light on the subject.


3. 23 January AND 16 February, 2015

Linda REALLY liked the look of this cat, and knew that everyone else would appreciate it too. That’s why she posted it twice in one month (firstly to congratulate Summer School students on the halfway mark, then to empathise with students confused about their paper enrolments). Pretty weak, Linda - but it is a good cat nonetheless. Department of Economics chalks up another deserved win.


4. 17 March, 2017

Linda had been off on fixed leave for a year to help her daughter with Grandchild #2, but she was back with brand new ideas for engaging with the wider community. Hearing some rumbles around the campfire about the validity of “Tourism”, Linda took matters into her own hands with another cat. Behold.


5. 2 October, 2017

Linda thought the best way to encourage the kids to “hang in there” for exams was most definitely a confused cat that doesn’t understand Economics in the slightest (me too, Linda). Linda could relate with the sentiment, as she had also been “hanging in there” with her diet, having recently started Isagenix shakes to shift the pesky 7 kilograms she received courtesy of cask medium white wines during her sabbatical. Just between you and me, this meme was really more for herself.


6. 24 November, 2017

Just a casual dinner, no biggie. You’ve earned it, Linda (she’s not on the shakes anymore).


7. 18 May, 2018.

A new dawn approacheth. Linda decided that the Department awards night would be a great chance to try out her new digital point’n’click. She eagerly uploaded the photos in bulk to the DE page the very next day, with all of them carefully the right way up (after the unrotated photos scandal of the “BBQ 2011” album, you just couldn’t be too cautious). For some reason, Facebook’s auto-tag feature wasn’t working on a lot of Linda’s photos, though?


8. 7 September, 2018

A departmental memo made the rounds this week, with one clear message. Enrolment numbers for Masters were on the decline. Linda nervously chewed her nails, knowing that if this continued, she could find herself on the budget chopping block. Worse still, students might start feeling disenchanted with the Economics Department. There was only one thing to do. Linda would use every tool in her arsenal to fight the impending Masters drought.


9. 12 September, 2018

Linda was emailed encouraging ‘thank yous’ by some colleagues after her bid to save the department, but then the HoD stopped by her desk to let her know that things weren’t too bad after all. Linda felt a bit silly, and decided to play down the whole debacle by reverse meme-ing herself. Satisfying.


10. 10 October, 2018

Linda you could have just left the original quote as is (“No, it’s the children who are wrong”). For the first time, I began to feel disappointed in Linda because you never fuck with The Simpsons if you can’t handle the power.


11. 17 January, 2019

Linda has gone with a popular several-year-old meme here and I’m not entirely sure if she realises that this is in reference to masturbation. “How many papers have you selected so far for 2019? One or two?” is the accompanying accusation. Does Linda realise that three papers actually maketh a fulltime semester? Never mind. It’s a great scene that should always be honoured. It’s a fugazi.


12. 20 January, 2019

Crisis has once again hit the Department, and this time it’s not just a drill. Enrolment numbers are staggeringly diminished, and this time Linda KNEW that she had to fight fire with fire. It was time for a quick succession of aggressive Masters recruitment memes. Here’s a goodie that I get theoretically, but just don’t find all that funny. Do better please, Linda.


13.  24 January, 2019

Upon realising that the Masters memes of the past two weeks have been borderline cyberbullying, Linda just wanted to remind everyone that she truly loves them, and also that she conducts most of her transactions in US currency.


14. 16 February, 2019

Now that Grandchild #2 is 2 years old, Linda has been getting real up close and personal with the Minions, and just can’t get over how adorable they are. Obviously, the Economics kids will think the same too, and so there was no question about how to welcome them all back into the fray. Good shit Linda, you’ve done it again.


15. 28 February, 2019

“Look sharp, Linda!” the HoD eagerly strode through reception. “There’s a big event on the horizon, can you please alert the community?”

Does a bear shit in the woods?

Linda immediately fired into action with a nondescript Minion meme that truly slaps. “The 2019 Business & Law Expo takes place next Tuesday @ The Link.” Satisfied, she sat back and cracked her knuckles before taking a leisurely sip of her mimosa.


16. 4 June, 2019

Accompanied only by a cryptic “What would Keynes say?” this is just confusing, disappointing and not erotic enough.


17. 7 June, 2019

There is still a draft for the war that is the dwindling Masters numbers. What better way for Linda to engage the kids than with their favourite all-girl band from before they were born?


18. 7 August, 2019

The most recent meme at time of print indicates Linda’s sense of disenchantment with the system. She has realised that she actually doesn’t have the power to make any real changes through Facebook, and has resorted to tired memes stolen from the dark recesses of 2009 academic meme pages. Come on, Linda. Consult the tarots and find your inner activist once more.


When asked for comment, the Head of the Department of Economics, Paul Hansen, said, “there has been no conscious decision or intent to promote the Masters in Economics over other programmes, regardless of the type of post, rather an effort to raise awareness of all happenings in the Department of Economics.”

At the end of the day, it's all about supply and demand, Paul.

This article first appeared in Issue 21, 2019.
Posted 11:36pm Thursday 29th August 2019 by Chelle Fitzgerald.