The Swedish Academy has named all content contributors to the Facebook Page “UW-Madison Memes for Milk-Chugging Teens” the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Facebook page is an avenue for members of the UW-Madison community to post memes about current events and other matters related to campus, and the decision to award all its content contributors the prize marks the first time in academy history that so many people have been awarded the prize in the same year.
Not only does the UW-Madison meme page still regularly generate high-quality content, but the page is a highly influential platform for campus-related social commentary and certainly ranks among the top college meme pages of all time. The Academy stated “the social insight and comedic apparatus provided on the Badger meme page is invaluable to society, both currently and throughout time, and for that reason is our honor to award all of the Milk-Chugging Teens a Nobel Prize.”
The meme page has been a powerful mediator on such subjects as the Wisconsin vs. Minnesota rivalry, the vibrant but often clashing subcultures of the STEM and Humanities majors, matters relating to freshman and their peculiar freshmany ways, and, most recently, memes about Wisconsin’s claim to the Upper Peninsula as well as ‘I do not suffer fools’ memes.
Interestingly, the Academy’s decision to indiscriminately award all content contributors the prize does mean that Cory Puisack will be included among the winners. Puisack posted a strange and contextless rant in the meme page in Nov. 2018 in which he articulated his grievances around having only made $190k in the past year.
Beyond the initial reaction to the post, memes about Puisack resurfaced on the page in the spring of 2019 after one of his Tinder interactions was made public via the “UW-Madison Memes for Milk-Chugging Teens” Facebook group. The Puisack memes quickly became a prominent subcategory on the page.
Some have criticized the decision to award Puisack the prize, stating that his 2018 rant is not Nobel material. However, it is hard to deny the fact that Puisack played a key role in influencing one of the greatest literary movements of the twenty-first century.