Fren/ Apu Meme Analysis


Fren Meme Analysis

Who is this Fren? Just by taking a look you can see he is a form of Pepe. Where does that leave us symbolically? A young and foolish, often suffering Pepe?

If you’ve seen my other videos, you know Pepe is Dionysus, the God of Wine and Madness. What then of the Child Dionysus? And how does he relate to the Fren?

The Child Dionysus was born of Zeus and a human woman, Semele, but so soon as the young god was born, his family cast him out, believing him to be a Bastard child. Thus began the misadventures of this young God. He was raised by nymphs, and fellow gods, invented wine, but soon was tormented by Zeus’ wife Hera, causing the nymphs who raised him to attack him, a motif almost perfectly captured in the spilled tendies meme.

After this, Hera drove him mad as well, and caused him to wander. Though he was eventually cured, his mistreatment, especially that from his cousins who made up the royal family of Thebes, were not forgiven.

The adolescent God soon gathered a massive cult of revelers, who worshipped him with wine and drug. As a God known to cause madness, the Greeks were very wary of him.

When he arrived at his home, he drove the women mad, and murdered his cousins, exacting revenge for his mother and himself.

So in the young life of Dionysus we see the transformation from the suffering Fren, to the violent and mad Pepe.


There is a similar narrative in between this ancient Greek myth and modern meme, that of the Infancy of Christ. 

In St.Thomas’ Infancy Gospel, we learn of the childhood misadventures of Jesus, some very similar to that of Dionysus.

“While he was going from there with his father Joseph, a child running tore into his shoulder. And Jesus said to him, “You shall no longer go our way.” And instantly he died. At once the people, seeing that he was dead, cried out and said, “Where was this boy born that his word becomes a deed?”

 When they saw what had happened the parents of the dead boy blamed his father Joseph, saying, “Because you have this boy you cannot live with us in this village. If you wish to be here, teach him to bless and not to curse.”

It is apparent both Christ and Dionysus had gifts that were seen as curses by many of the people around them. The major difference is in the development of both young men. 

Consider their origin: a child born of a divine father and human mother, who is destined for much, despised by their community, wanders, suffers, and eventually returns with a great revelation.

But then what? Do you forgive those who tormented you? Even sacrificing your own life for theirs? 

Or, do you do a bit of trolling? 


It is in Dionysus that we see a more whole, more human God. What Christians divide in two, Christ and Anti-Christ, the Greeks worshipped as a single being. 

In short, Apu is a meme that symbolizes the tragic childhood that creates people who identify with Pepe, long suffering children who at last lash out.

Pepe is the product of a repressed Pagan unconscious, who emerges not as a joyous god of wine, not similar to his brother Christ, who even Jupiter adores, telling his lover: “Happy woman! you have conceived a son who will make mortals forget their troubles, you shall bring forth joy for gods and men."

No. This is the wicked part of the God, the part man must repress in civilized company, the part that is set free Online! 

Archetypally, Pepe is very similar to the Troll, both essentially Satyrs, the greek creatures who were half man and half goat, the drunken fools who loved to terrify and play jokes on those humans wandering in nature. 

The Internet itself is like this fantastic forest, filled with strange monsters, led by chaotic Gods.

When we make memes, we will always find ourselves unconsciously reproducing ancient, archetypal narratives.

Remember, Memes matter.