When Freud coined the term “Oedipus Complex,” he had a pretty grizzly referent in mind. You know the story. It’s by a guy named Sophocles about a guy named Oedipus who sleeps with his mother, kills his father, then blinds himself upon discovering the truth. “If there is any ill worse than ill,” he laments, “that is the lot of Oedipus.”
Most sons, of course, don’t kill their dads. Still, when sons compete with or criticize their fathers, it has a habit of getting ugly. In fairness, I can’t truly pathologize the creator of the small dad meme. I can’t even be sure its creator is male (though Freud said the complex applied equally to both sexes). But the idea of digitally shrinking the father in a series of unrelated family photos feels pretty textbook. He might as well be shrinking his father’s penis with a magic wand.
It’s also very weird and very funny, in a way that reminds us how awesomely weird and funny the internet can be. Go here for the full sample. Meantime, here are a few to enjoy. Happy snowpocalypse, East Coasters.