Somewhere, deep in the recesses of humanity’s darkest thoughts, Minions were borne onto the world. Like a depraved Athena, sprung from the mind of some godforsaken Universal Pictures executive, Minions have come to dominate our popular culture, infiltrating our sanctums and laying waste to civility and decency. You can see it in commercials, on food, in stores, on Facebook, in merchandise, those yellow, potato-shaped cretens staring insidiously with plastered smiles that evoke a sense of cold dread in its viewer. Minions are a plague, and they are everywhere.
When looking at the prominence of minions in popular culture, one feels the urge to ask the overwhelming question “why?” Why do people find these things amusing? Why are they prevalent in our culture? Moreover, why, in God’s name, do Facebook moms post minion memes with the worst, most God-awful quotes imaginable, such as “I don’t fart, I whisper in my underwear.” The answer lies in the character of the minions: the manner in which they are presented and articulated through media, as well as the perceptions that we place on them. It is from this presentation and subsequent perception that minions have placed themselves at the forefront of a weird subculture that has permeated our mainstream culture. In this regard, “bee-do” has become a rallying cry for a depraved cultural leaning.
Consider one of the aforementioned examples of minions prominence in popular culture - their presence in our stores. I’ve seen Minion capri suns, Minion fruit-by-the-foots, Minion water bottles, Minion t-shirts, Minion snuggies, Minion phone cases and on and on. If you walk into any major store, I guarantee you will find something Minion-related. Moreover, this applies internationally. Minions are also huge in England, with Primark selling countless Minion-related items, and in France, there are also countless Minion merchandise (I have the image of a French minion book - Les Minions: Qui est le chef? - burned into my mind as testament). Though differing in items, this worldwide Minion commerciality is similar in its presentation of the minions. In each example, they are presented as playful, lackadaisical. They are here to have a good time and they don’t care what others may think. It is this image, somewhat reflective of their presentations in the films (which I regret to admit I have seen, with the
IMAGE COURTESY OF FUNNYMINIONMEMES.COM
exception of Despicable Me 3 and the Minions stand-alone film), that has resonated with the godless segment of our population that adores these infernal things.
It is here that we can acknowledge the grotesque memes that have emerged as a result of this decadent cultural trend. There has been a somewhat recent, largely Facebook-oriented trend of minion memes of the most deplorable nature. Saying stupid, mundane things such as “I’ve been hiding from exercise, I’m in the fitness protection program” or “a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.” These memes reflect the notion of doing what one wants and not caring what others think. On the surface, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it has become what it is today - a degradent, irritating phenomenon due to its somewhat incessive nature. It is everywhere, and not only has it crept into our everliving consciousnesses, it articulates behaviors and opinions that are mundane, unfunny and in no way unique or even clever.
Are Minions truly a plague on society, or just a manner in which people can express certain universal feelings, the equivalent to the variety of mundane Facebook pages (i.e. “When your pencil flies out of your hand randomly during class)? The answer is, they are neither. They are irritable little shits and the only place that one should hear “bee-do,” is in the fiery pits of hell.
Jake is a senior History major with a double minor in Art History and French