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The submarine mishap has turned up everyone’s level of dankness to absurd heights, but we can explain

By the second half of the month, the news of the Titan submarine had the entirety of the Internet in a chokehold. On June 18, 2023, the Titan submersible from OceanGate had disappeared 740km off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The submersible was carrying 5 people and was in an expedition to survey the wreck of the Titanic, the British passenger liner that sank on April 15, 1912.

The five people in the Titan were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire and adventurer Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood, and French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

On Thursday, June 22, 2023, a ROV discovered a debris field with parts of the Titan sub, and the US Coast Guard had confirmed that all 5 people in the submarine were dead.

As soon as news of the submersible’s disappearance hit the Internet, the online community went into a shitposting overdrive. Of course, the feelings of uncertainty and anxiety were top reactions, despite the Internet only being spectators to the news. However, there is one obvious reaction that could be observed in many parts of the Internet, and that was, in true internet fashion, the dank memeification of the whole distressing event.

To give you a perspective, here are just some dank memes of the Titan submarine news that showcases how much this generation has become numb to tragedy.


Good God, even brands went there.

Really, PCWORX? Right in front of our salad? (Image has been removed from PCWORX’s Facebook page.)

A decade ago, tweets or posts like this would have landed any offender in Internet Jail and would have melted in abject shame, to live in digital exile for years to come. We knew when something was off, or when something was below the belt, and we knew when to stop.

But of course, things have changed. A decade or so of incessant barrage of tragic news and stories, we now have a generation so desensitized to the stories representing of our slow societal collapse, it’s basically turned on its defense mechanism in a snap–by way of black humor.

As people who have also somehow participated in the dankness of the situation, yes, we admit, it is terrible. It is terrible for the friends and families of those now-deceased, it is terrible for everyone who saw it unravel in the days that passed. BUT–there is actually a discourse to be had here.

First–you’re seeing first-hand how social media is hard-wiring all of us to become apathetic creatures, with ‘anonymity’ as a factor contributing to this change, and also because it is undeniable that on this platform, we feel as though our opinions always matter (no, not really). Without anything or anyone arbitrating what social media should and should not be allowed to do or operate, we may see worse outcomes than this in the not so distant future.

Second, this is the only way we know how to cope with the hardships of the world—through memes and self-deprecating humor. If you haven’t noticed yet, Gen Zs and Millennials have a peculiar way of handling ‘hard to deal with’ emotions such as grief and anxiety, while also being oddly self-aware of how effed up our coping mechanism could get. It’s weird, yes. Almost unexplainable. We really have weird humor.

Third, and perhaps the most bitter pill to swallow in this whole situation, and to quote a Reddit entry that sums up our thoughts on this: “We’re at a point in our society where the friction between regular people and the ultra wealthy is fostering genuine hate.”

Let’s be real, no one deserves to die in a freak accident, but these people also had the mental faculty to ask themselves, “will I be able to get out of this submersible alive?” These men were also able to fork over the USD$250,000-per-person fee, without batting an eyelash. Guess what–not all of us can do that. So yes, it begs the question–why should the average person mourn these deaths? Perhaps more people were thinking, it would be better if we could get a laugh out of it instead. And that’s what happened

At the end of the day, everyone needs to understand that we’re all just as sensitive to these kinds of things. It does irk us whenever unnecessary pain and deaths happen. But with the three factors we just mentioned, we’re really starting to become built like this. We’re not saying any of those spicy memes are okay. It’s just that, well, we should expect more and more dank memes as we navigate the future.


Other POP! stories that you might like:

Twitter debunks tweet claiming that ‘My Heart Will Go On’ climbed up the charts in light of the Titan sub mishap

Did ‘The Simpsons’ predict the Titanic submarine disappearance 17 years ago?

The wife of the pilot of the missing tour submersible turns out to be a descendant of a couple who died in the Titanic

19-year-old Titan sub passenger was ‘terrified’ to join the expedition, but wanted to please his Titanic enthusiast dad on Father’s Day

Pride QC removes Silent Sanctuary from roster of performing artists after former frontman recounts alleged homophobic actions from the group


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