Coping Through WW3 Memes

Amy Hardison, Scribe Reporter


2020! A new year with new resolutions and, of course, new memes. Unfortunately, American youth kicked off the year with World War 3 memes. 

Some people patriotically posted their support of America as many young people indicated their readiness to die in service to their country mixed with cynical comments of “being ready to die.” Naturally, there were legions of other people whose reactions to possible conflict with Iran included memes of draft dodging or escaping to Mexico or Canada to avoid a hypothetical war or draft. 

The trend started when a US missile launch killed Iran’s top military leader, Gen. Soleimani. President Trump has stated that the launch was a response to imminent threats to American citizens.  But this has been widely criticized, and many believe such action could lead to a military escalation.

Although the notion of a draft has spiked anxiety in high school students near their 18th birthday, the reality of the situation is that there will be no draft. Yes, all eighteen year men are required to register for military eligibility, but our military currently includes 1.2 million active duty troops, all of whom volunteered.  It’s necessary to keep this in mind so that people don’t go too far. But we shouldn’t simply denigrate or mock others for making jokes or memes. It may seem immature, but it’s important to express these thoughts.

Honestly, war is terrifying. The effects of a war can be devastating and can ruin what high school students have planned for our future. The recent events may have compromised ours, our family’s, and friend’s lives. The memes, while they may seem inappropriate or that people are downplaying the significance of war, give a place for people to comedically share their fear and our perceived patriotism, without directly having to think about the truth of what would come with a war for Americans. 

Most of us at Schaumburg High School have lived our entire lives in a democratic country where young people are told that their vote, or “voice,” leads America. Yet, no one asked for a war. There was no vote to kill the Iranian commander, making the whole situation out of our hands. Knowing that we could face the pain of war without influence only fuels outrage, confusion, and fear. Joking and making memes is simply an easy, communal way to cope with the anxiety that arises from our jeopardized futures.

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