Posts tagged ‘Meme’

August 15, 2020

Karen

Central Park birdwatching incident

Karen is a pejorative term used in the United States and other English-speaking countries for a person perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is appropriate or necessary. A common stereotype is that of a white woman who uses her privilege to demand her own way at the expense of others.

Depictions also include demanding to ‘speak to the manager,’ anti-vaccination beliefs, being racist, or sporting a particular bob cut hairstyle. As of 2020, the term was increasingly being used as a general-purpose term of disapproval for middle-aged white women.

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February 27, 2020

Milkshake Duck

Milkshake Duck by Ben Ward

Milkshake Duck is an Internet meme that describes phenomena that are initially perceived as positive but later revealed to be flawed. Oxford Dictionaries defined the term as ‘a person or character on social media that appears to be endearing at first, but is found to have an unappealing back story,’ but did not consider usage of the neologism to be sufficiently long-lived or widespread to warrant inclusion in their dictionaries.

The term has been connected to ‘cancel culture,’ a growing trend of call-out culture on social media resulting in celebrities being ostracized and careers abruptly derailed by publicized misconduct.

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December 16, 2019

OK Boomer

OK Boomer

OK Boomer is a catchphrase and internet meme that gained popularity among younger cohorts throughout 2019, used to dismiss or mock attitudes stereotypically attributed to the baby boomer generation. The phrase first drew widespread attention in a 2019 TikTok video in response to an older man, though the phrase was coined years before that. It is considered by some to be ageist.

The phrase is a pejorative retort used to dismiss or mock perceived narrow-minded, outdated, negatively-judgemental, or condescending attitudes of older people, particularly baby boomers. The term has been used as a retort for perceived resistance to technological change, climate change denial, marginalization of minorities or opposition to younger generations’ ideals.

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October 3, 2018

Florida Man

Florida Man is an Internet meme that typically consists of links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes or events occurring in Florida, particularly those where the headline refers to the subject as ‘Florida Man,’ calling attention to Florida’s apparent notoriety for strange and unusual activity. It also implies that the consumer is to consider this ‘Florida Man’ to be an individual wreaking havoc rather than multiple people being referred to by the same title.

‘Miami New Times’ noted that freedom of information laws in Florida make it easier for journalists to obtain information about arrests from the police than in other states and that this is responsible for the large number of news articles.

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September 9, 2018

Wojak

NPC meme

Wojak (Polish: ‘warrior, soldier’), also known as ‘feels guy,’ is a popular internet meme. Depicting a nondescript white man, it is used to generically express emotions such as melancholy, regret, or loneliness. It is often paired with Pepe the Frog.

A variation of Wojak with a gray face, pointy nose and blank expression became a popular visual representation of the ‘NPC meme,’ which gained online notoriety in late 2018. The meme began as a mockery of individuals who appear to lack an internal monologue, comparing them to non-playable characters in video games. The meme gained media attention due to its later usage parodying the alleged herd mentality of liberal activists. This controversial usage of the meme has been attributed to Donald Trump supporters.

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February 21, 2017

Vatnik

vatnik

Vatnik (Russian: ‘cotton-padded jacket’), a derivative of and often shortened to ‘vata’ (Russian: ‘batting’), is a derogatory social slang neologisms in Russian and Ukrainian languages, and an internet meme used in reference to individuals with pro-Russian jingoist and chauvinist views. In the original meaning, ‘vatnik’ (also ‘telogreika’) is a cheap cotton-padded jacket.

The meme was created by Anton Chadskiy under the pseudonym ‘Jedem das Seine.’ His associated picture of an anthropomorphic square-shaped quilted jacket similar to the cartoon character ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ was first posted on Russian social network ‘VK’ September 9, 2011. The meme went viral in 2012, but became much more widespread in society after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine started in 2014. Chadskiy, claiming he feared political persecution, left Russia in late 2014.

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February 18, 2013

Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake‘ is a song recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer. It was released as a free digital download by Mad Decent imprint label Jeffree’s in 2012. The song incorporates samples of growling-lion sounds and Plastic Little’s 2001 song ‘Miller Time,’ specifically its line ‘then do the Harlem shake.’

In 2013, a user-submitted video set to ‘Harlem Shake’ became a viral hit on YouTube. The song features an undulating synth, harsh snares, and a mechanical bassline. It is categorized by Resident Advisor’s Andrew Ryce as a hip hop and bass song, while David Wagner of ‘The Atlantic’ describes its music as trap, a sub-genre with stylistic origins in EDM and Southern hip hop. 

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March 27, 2012

Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures

grass mud horse

The Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures was initially a humorous hoax from the interactive encyclopedia ‘Baidu Baike’ which became a popular and widespread Internet meme in China in early 2009. These hoaxes, ten in number, originated in response to increasingly pervasive and draconian online censorship in China, and have become an icon of citizens’ resistance to censorship. The meme initially began as a series of vandalized contributions to ‘Baidu Baike,’ through the creation of humorous articles describing a series of fictional creatures, each with names vaguely referring to Chinese profanities (utilizing homophones and characters using different tones). Eventually, images, videos (such as faux-documentaries) and even a song regarding aspects of the meme were released.

It was thought that the Baidu hoaxes were written in response to recent strict enforcements of keyword filters in China, introduced in 2009, which attempted to eliminate all forms of profanity. The ‘Baidu Baike’ ‘articles’ initially began with ‘Four Mythical Creatures’ (‘Grass Mud Horse,’ ‘French-Croatian Squid,’ ‘Small Elegant Butterfly,’ and ‘Chrysanthemum Silkworms’), and were later extended to ten. The memes became widely discussed on Chinese Internet forums, and most netizens concluded that the initial aim of the hoaxes were to satirize and ridicule the pointlessness of the new keyword filters. The meme is interpreted by most Chinese online as a form of direct protest rather than motiveless intentional disruption to ‘Baidu’ services. After the hoaxes were posted, news of the articles spread quickly online on joke websites, popular web portals and forums.

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March 27, 2012

Grass Mud Horse

ai weiwei by Tom Tian

The Grass Mud Horse or Caoníma, is a Chinese Internet meme widely used as a form of symbolic defiance of the widespread Internet censorship in China. It is a play on the Mandarin language words which translate literally to, ‘fuck your mother,’ and is one of the so-called ’10 mythical creatures’ created in a hoax article on ‘Baidu Baike’ (a collaborative encyclopedia) in early 2009 whose names form obscene puns. Official ‘cleanup’ of the internet, which threatens the Caonima, has led Chinese internet users to create other ‘Mud Horse’ variants, such as the ‘Rolling Mud Horse’ and ‘Working Mud Horse,’ which are also puns for ‘fuck your mother.’

The ‘China Digital Times’ sees Caonima as the ‘de facto mascot of netizens in China fighting for free expression, inspiring poetry, photos and videos, artwork, lines of clothing, and more.’ It is an illustration of the ‘resistance discourse’ of Chinese internet users with ‘increasingly dynamic and sometimes surprising presence of an alternative political discourse: images, frames, metaphors and narratives that have been generated from Internet memes [that] undermine the values and ideology that reproduce compliance with the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian regime, and, as such, force an opening for free expression and civil society in China.’

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March 27, 2012

Very Erotic Very Violent

Very erotic very violent

Very erotic very violent is a Chinese internet meme that originated from a news report on China Central Television’s flagship ‘Xinwen Lianbo’ program (a daily news show) allegedly quoting a schoolgirl describing a web page. On the Chinese Internet, this incident was widely parodied and weakened the credibility of the state broadcaster’s newscasts. This Chinese phrase follows the form of ‘very good very mighty,’ a snowclone (cliché template) for Internet slang popularized earlier that year.

In late 2007, ‘Xinwen Lianbo’ aired a report about the wide and easy availability of explicit content on the internet. The report appealed to juristic institutions and those seeking legislation in order to purify the internet environment. In the report, a young student described a pop-up advertisement she saw as being ‘very erotic, [and] very violent.’ After the airing of the report, internet users began to ridicule and parody the quote and question the program’s credibility, believing that it would be unlikely for a person of that age to find a web page to be both erotic and violent at the same time.

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January 15, 2012

Preved

medved

Preved is a term used in Russian Internet slang (Padonkaffsky jargon); it is a meme which developed out of a heavily-circulated picture, and consists of choosing alternative spellings for words for comic effect. The picture, a modified version of John Lurie’s watercolor ‘Bear Surprise,’ features a man and a woman having sex in the clearing of a forest, being surprised by a bear calling ‘Surprise!’ with its paws raised. In later Russian adaptations, the bear shouts ‘Preved!’ (a deliberate misspelling of ‘privet,’ ‘hi!’).

The word and the bear image have found their way into the mainstream mass media, such as a poster for the Russian edition of ‘Newsweek.’ In 2006 at an online conference, Vladimir Putin was asked: ‘PREVED, Vladimir Vladimirovich! How do you regard MEDVED?’ No answer was given, but the Associated Press, informing on the questions collection process, reportedly interpreted it as a reference to then-vice-prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev. It was the most popular question asked at the conference (the third most popular question was ‘How does one patch KDE2 under FreeBSD?’).

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November 22, 2011

Motivational Poster

hang in there by joey veltkamp

A motivational poster (or affirmation poster or inspirational poster) is a type of poster commonly designed for use in schools and offices. The intent of motivational posters is to make people achieve more, or to think differently about the things that they may be learning or doing. Motivational posters can have behavioral effects. For example, the University of Glasgow found in one study that their placement of a motivational poster that promotes stair use in front of an escalator and a parallel staircase, in an underground station, doubled the amount of stair use.

This kind of poster has been repeatedly parodied, and parody motivational posters have become an Internet meme. One famous motivational poster features a kitten hanging from a tree branch along with the phrase ‘Hang in There, Baby!’ This has been the target of various reproductions and parodies, such as an appearance on ‘The Simpsons’ episode ‘The Twisted World of Marge Simpson’ where Marge Simpson notices the copyright date (1968) and comments, ‘…determined or not, that cat must be long dead. That’s kind of a downer.’ Despair, Inc. has made a business out of such parody and cynical posters, with ‘demotivational posters’ ranging from a picture of a tree bent over by wind with the caption ‘ADVERSITY: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.’ to a picture of a sinking ship with the caption ‘MISTAKES: It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.’

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