Ireland Simpsons Fans Is The Best Way To Understand Whatever Is Going On In UK Politics Right Now
"The Brits Are At It Again."
Three years ago, Jack Leahy and Paul Loughran started the Ireland Simpsons Fans Facebook group after noting the decline of memes on UK-centric Simpsons pages.
The page posts member-submitted Simpsons quotes and screenshots — either in their original form or edited — that are relevant to Irish life or news, or sometimes just very relatable, universal topics, like The Simpsons.
Three years later, the page has over 70,000 fans, 13 admins and moderators from across Ireland, and an Instagram and Twitter page that share highlights from the group, which at a peak is sent 300 memes a day from members.
"Obviously stuff relating to the early Simpsons seasons is most popular and a lot of our content is based on current affairs and usually there is a Simpsons scene out there that someone will draw a parallel with," Brian Quinn, a 31-year-old group admin from Belfast, told BuzzFeed News.
A large number of memes in the Facebook group use the Irish language, which Quinn says he also loves.
Quinn says that the group has also become involved in larger campaigns; in 2018 its most widely covered topic was the Repeal the Eighth movement, which campaigned to change the country's abortion laws.
And over the past couple of years, Brexit has been an enduring topic for the page.
Recently Ireland Simpsons Fans has been praised for the hilarious and clear way it's dealt with news around Brexit.
"The general feeling is that it's funny to sit back and watch the Brits self-destruct. They're our neighbour but historically they're our oppressor, so it's all very bittersweet," said Quinn.
"When we see British politicians and commentators say that Ireland (rather than act in our own best interests) should help the UK out with their Brexit we can only sigh and someone will post a meme reminding everyone that 'the Brits are at it again.'"
And while people find the memes hilarious, Quinn pointed out that many address a feeling of disgust towards the treatment of Northern Ireland throughout the Brexit process.
"The reunification of Ireland is one of our staple meme topics and this has led to many jokes about the possibility of a hard border or if Brexit will effectively lead to the North leaving the UK."
And he credits the universal language of The Simpsons for the page's success and ability to communicate the complexities of Brexit so easily.
"We all grew up watching it every day at 6pm on RTÉ2 (double bill on a Sunday) and for years they only looped through the classics, so the old jokes are this common reference point that we can use to explain the complexities of Brexit better than perhaps the Tories and DUP have been able to the British public."