One of my favourite blogs as of late is Unrelated Captions. Like the name implies, it consists of pictures affixed with unrelated captions. For some reason this is hilarious.
I think part of the appeal is that our brains can't help but try to search for meaning in everything. Is the above picture a comment on the declining popularity of the Furby? Should we have done more to save the Furby before it became a deteriorating plastic skeleton? Will our children grow up in a world without Furbies?
Put people in the picture and it seems obvious that they are saying the caption.
There's something to be said about art here. Maybe the splotches of colour on a canvas alongside a thought-provoking title actually mean something in the artist's mind. They'll certainly mean something in the viewer's mind. When a surrealist poet writes unknowing cowflower, throw hither this monstrous fish world (or something), maybe the poet had something in mind, but even if she didn't, anyone reading it is going to react in some way.
That's not a bad thing. I think all great art strikes a balance between the expected and the non-sequitur. Even if the latter is generated by a random number machine, if put in the right context by a skilled creator, it's still going to tickle those pattern-searching centers of our minds.
It can go too far. In everyday life, it can be detrimental to find meaning where there is none. Maybe that twitch of her lower lip when you said you loved her means it's over. Or maybe her lip just twitched. It's possible that your stupid dance caused it to rain, but you're probably better off planting more crops than cutting a rug all day long.
Huh, well, that went to a weird place from starting with glorified LOLcats. Oh well, PUBLISH POST.