On April Fool’s Day 2020, lawyer and artist Joetta Keene posted to her private Facebook page, asking friends to share their favorite memes in the comments. Ten months later, Keene made the thread public, amassing almost 2000 memes.
“Certainly on April Fool’s Day, that time period we were very worried about, you know, what was going to happen. We didn’t understand anything,” Keene said.
Keene, who the Gabber featured as a pet portraitist last year, has a fondness for humor and storytelling. She set out to provide a distraction from the uncertainty of COVID, and, while the courts remain closed, her meme thread is still alive and thriving.
“We will continue until everyone is vaccinated and out of harms away,” Keene wrote of the meme thread. “It’s been a healthy laugh for me each day and I love it.”
The memes range from political commentary and jokes about current events, to funny takes on the challenges of the pandemic. “It’s just something to make us all come together, just a tiny bit,” Keene said.
Unlike many Facebook groups or threads, Keene says there has never been an argument, despite the differing viewpoints.
“My friends are a diverse crowd, from a lot of lawyers to a lot of artists, because I’m a lawyer and an artist. And I think you get liberal and conservative and all sorts of just funny stuff in there,” Keene said.
While reaction to the memes has, so far, been without controversy, Keene believes even that would be welcomed with humor.
“So many different aspects and so many different types of people, and we’ve all kind of just kept it funny,” Keene said. “I haven’t had to delete anyone’s memes, which is kind of cool. There were a couple that were a little borderline.”For Keene, that humor has been the best medicine, even in such a divided political climate.
“I’ve had my conservative friends as well as my liberal friends tell me that this has been a big lifesaver and they’ll take it to work and they’ll start reading off the memes and just laughing their butts off,” Keene said. “We’re funny people when we’re not being all mad at each other.”