The Bill and Melinda Gates Divorce Memes Are Freaking Me Out

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First, let’s get one factor out of the best way: Memes aren’t purported to be comfy or good. Hopefully they induce laughter, however they’re not above doing it at others’ expense. I get all that. And but, I gotta say, all of those memes about Invoice and Melinda Gates’ divorce are kinda freaking me out.

For many who haven’t seen them, the memes tackle a pair totally different flavors: Some solid the Microsoft cofounder as a rich, newly single man on the lookout for love. Some riff on the concept that single, much less rich ladies may be on the lookout for him. Nonetheless others make some kind of comparability to the divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos. They’re all positive, I assume. Most of them elicit a chuckle, even when puerile puns on “Microsoft” are so 1995. This isn’t about damning attractive Twitter. Fairly, that is about simply leaving it alone.

Invoice and Melinda Gates are two very rich folks with a whole lot of vital issues to do. The probabilities of them seeing these memes not to mention getting butt-hurt about them are slim to none. However that’s what makes it so bothersome. Regardless of being deeply entrenched in tech, this isn’t a pair that’s very on-line. If a Kardashian goes by a breakup, certain, it’s regular for the web to react to the connection woes of certainly one of its personal. The Gateses, although, principally simply use all that tech cash for philanthropy—the Invoice and Melinda Gates Basis devotes thousands and thousands to eradicating illness and tackling financial inequality. They’re not splashy celebs, and treating them as such simply feels off.

It additionally feels vaguely harmful. One of many extra widespread memes to come up for the reason that couple introduced their break up on Monday reveals Invoice Gates at a pc and photos of a number of ladies touching vaccine injection websites on their shoulders. The caption reveals Gates looking for “vaccinated single ladies in my space.” It will be humorous if it wasn’t a riff on the conspiracy idea that Gates’ Covid-19 vaccine efforts have been some scheme to implant folks with microchips. Sure, some ludicrous conspiracies must be referred to as out, however the Gates’ divorce already has QAnon adherents spinning up new concepts, and vaccine hesitancy fueled by misinformation is a big downside. Learn the room.

Maybe I’m taking this too critically—they’re simply memes!—but when the final half-decade has taught us something, it’s that memes could be very highly effective. They will make folks snigger, however they will additionally sway public opinion, sweetening poisonous concepts and permitting them to unfold. I too giggled on the meme about Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Bezos operating off collectively. However truthfully, folks, we will do higher.

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