Whoever said LOLCats were mindless might haz the wrong idea, according to Kate Miltner, who wrote her London School of Economics masters dissertation on the Internet memes.
Titled "SRSLY PHENOMENAL: An Investigation Into The Appeal Of LOLCATS," Miltner set out to answer, "'Why in the name of Ceiling Cat are LOLCats so popular?' What is it about LOLCats that not only fueled their initial popularity, but helped maintain it for years?"
Miltner noted that despite LOLCats' enormous popularity, they've received no serious academic attention.
Interesting, though nothing really surprising. Complete article (with link to thesis) _here_.