Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

The final trailer for Justice League: The Snyder Cut released, and it includes the iconic Joker ‘we live in a society meme’. Some viewers however, have been left confused by its inclusion and meaning.

Releasing yesterday, the trailer for Justice League: The Snyder Cut shows one scene, which has taken the internet by storm. If you haven’t already seen it, the scene features The Joker and is his only scene in the whole film.

Depicting one of Batman’s dream, the Joker, played by Jared Leto speaks the line: “We live in a society…where honour is a distant memory.” The internet blew up over it, and even Jared Leto himself tweeted about it.

The line ‘we live in a society’ refers to a very specific, and complicated, meme.

The origins of the ‘We live in a society’ meme

The meme actually started before memes were even a thing, and when the internet barely was. In an episode of Seinfeld named The Chinese Restaurant, George Costanza loses his place in line to use a payphone. After becoming angry over it, he says the line: “You know, we’re living in a society! We’re supposed to act in a civilized way!”

The line came to capture the idea of being ‘wronged’ by society, albeit not in a serious way in the case of Seinfeld.

So where does the Joker come into this? Well, since the beginning of the internet, and especially Reddit, the whole ‘nice guys finish last’ ‘incel’ complex heavily associated themselves with the character—an intelligent outcast driven to evil after being wronged by society.

Sites like 9gag however made the whole ‘nice guys finish last’ trope a running joke, poking fun at the complex. According to Know Your Meme memes began popping up, making fun of the idea with ironic memes of the joker alongside ‘incel’ captions: “When the nice guy loses his patience, the devil shivers”.

The origins of the ‘we live in a society’ meme mixed with the Joker however are this: a completely serious Joker meme popped up with the text, “we live in a society where…” followed by a long rant. Soon, the meme was edited to create an ironic take on it. The long rant was deleted and left with simply the Joker and “We live in a society”.

Soon, the ‘we live in a society’ line came to be an ironic meme on wokeness and the ‘superiority complex’.

The Joker petition

Although the line has finally popped up in Snyder Cut, it’s been long awaited and demanded by fans online.

One fan created a 2018 petition to “Make Joaquin Phoenix say ‘We live in a society’ in the new Joker film’. As it stands, around 59,000 people signed it.

Three years on and they’ve finally got their wish, albeit with Jared Leto instead.

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