If Oscar Wilde were still around today, he would have something perfectly scathing to say about memes. But while the viral images that clog our feeds may be considered the lowest form of culture, they aren’t totally dissimilar from Wilde’s own aphorisms. Both thrive on wit and concision, while revealing truths we’re loathe to admit. Over the past decade, academics have been taking the world of memes more seriously via the study of digital folklore. The practice takes an anthropologist’s This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Eight Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Interiors Issue 19 Prankster’s Paradise Is the nine-to-five grind approaching monotony? Arrive at the office early to even the playing field and invoke mirth for your co-workers. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots.