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Is Occupy really a meme?
December 12, 2011 12:10 PM   Subscribe


 
one of the weird ways the internet meme churn cycle distorts time is that almost all of these feel like they're from a thousand years ago.
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on December 12, 2011 [15 favorites]


I scrolled down the list briefly and honestly the first thing I thought was: do not want.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:13 PM on December 12, 2011


Is Occupy really a meme?

It seems to engender the same level of serious commitment, so why not?
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:15 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Leave it to Time to post one meme per page for extra clicks. *facepalm*
posted by kuanes at 12:17 PM on December 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I was astonished to remember that Rebecca Black and Charlie Sheen were both from 2011. This year's been packed.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:18 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoever edited that Time Magazine list missed out on a golden opportunity to troll the internet and only post memes that lived and died in 2010.
posted by griphus at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fuck TIME for even reminding me that "winning" was a thing.
posted by naju at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


The year-end wrap-ups are coming*
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Could someone please tell Time.com that it is possible to post a list on the internet without forcing their readers to click through a thousand fucking pages.
posted by Fizz at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Time Magazine's best memes of 2011:

- Rick Astley Rolling
- Leave Britney Alone
- Animated Gifts
- Nigerian Scammers
- Guy Fox
- Steve Jobs
posted by shakespeherian at 12:21 PM on December 12, 2011 [39 favorites]


Fizz: I looked for, but failed to find, a single-page link. Even the "Print" link seems to load just the current page of the article.
posted by JHarris at 12:21 PM on December 12, 2011


I'm surprised Trololol didn't make either list - didn't that achieve meme-status this year?
posted by ZsigE at 12:22 PM on December 12, 2011


You forgot Four Chang, shakes.
posted by griphus at 12:22 PM on December 12, 2011


I looked for, but failed to find, a single-page link. Even the "Print" link seems to load just the current page of the article.

Every time someone sends me over to their website, I groan because I know it's just a fuckload of advertisements and clicks. God forbid you make content easy to find and consume.
posted by Fizz at 12:23 PM on December 12, 2011


Yeah, lists with one item per page MUST DIE
posted by Tom-B at 12:25 PM on December 12, 2011


Oh whew, I forgot about Tiger Blood. Whew. I remember now.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2011


PLANKING?!?!?!? wtf....planking....Jesus Christ Time MOTHER FUCKING PLANKING!!!!

die in a fiery pit of lava while rabid weasels eat your face
posted by GavinR at 12:27 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude 60s Spiderman is older than that, isn't he? HOW DO I SHOT WEB
posted by Tom-B at 12:28 PM on December 12, 2011


I used to make top ten lists of memes like KYM and Time, but then I took an arrow to the knee.
posted by cortex at 12:29 PM on December 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


Oh guys remember when snakes were on a plane
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a public service (and big FU to Time.com), I give you their list with links to the pages 'explaining' each one.
1. We Are the 99 Percent
2. Planking
3. Princess Beatrice's Fascinator (I didn't even know the name for that thing - and did not need to know)
4. #Winning by Charlie Sheen
5. Tebowing
6. Hipster Ariel (I'm still waiting for the new font 'Hipster Arial')
7. Ted Williams' Golden Voice
8. Paula Deen Riding Things
9. Bronies
10. Chuck Testa (appropriate for Time's skillful handling of the lifelike but dead)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Aren't there supposed to be quotes around the word best?
posted by crunchland at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2011


PLANKING?!?!?!? wtf....planking....Jesus Christ Time MOTHER FUCKING PLANKING!!!!

die in a fiery pit of lava while rabid weasels eat your face


Seriously. Planking distractions attention from all that important owling that I'm doing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good Guy Greg is okay with not being listed.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2011 [33 favorites]


"Hipster Ariel"?? That Time list reads like 10 things the writer remembered at random, jotted down super fast on his way to a bathroom emergency.
posted by biddeford at 12:34 PM on December 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


But seriously the best is how The Office keeps trying to capitalize on internet memes but the production lead time on an episode of The Office is a thing so we get episodes with planking like eight months after that was a thing or the time when everyone broke character and danced down the aisle at Jim and Pam's wedding which they wouldn't do but it was on YouTube the year before so let's do that.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:34 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


SNARK ALL THE LISTS!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:34 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cat shit will be a meme in 2012.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:36 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Scumbag Steve always seemed wrong to me, because something about it had me convinced that the actual dude in the picture was probably a decent guy. That interview confirms my suspicions.
posted by invitapriore at 12:37 PM on December 12, 2011


My real name is Blake Boston, I’m 21. I go to school full time at night and work full time during days at a job where I make shit for money.

"Blake Boston"? I had no idea that being a Silver Age comic book character/porn star paid so poorly.
posted by griphus at 12:39 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Blake Boston"? I had no idea that being a Silver Age comic book character/porn star paid so poorly.

No, no...you see you take the street name of the house you lived in when you were a kid and your middle....
Ah fuck it.
posted by Fizz at 12:41 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


But seriously the best is how The Office keeps trying to capitalize on internet memes but the production lead time on an episode of The Office is a thing so we get episodes with planking like eight months after that was a thing or the time when everyone broke character and danced down the aisle at Jim and Pam's wedding which they wouldn't do but it was on YouTube the year before so let's do that.

It was part of the joke that the meme was coming to Scranton so delayed. There was a deleted scene with Ryan explaining how trends spread around the world and finally make their way to Scranton significantly later.
posted by litnerd at 12:42 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's probably because I live in a box, but I had never seen/heard this "Friday" song before. My first thought was, "Wow, what a terrible and terribly badly sung song. Perhaps she can sing, but she autotuned the tune out of her voice." And my second thought was, "She's 13? Then why is she hanging out with people who are old enough to drive? And why are she and her female friends dressed like 32-year-olds on their way to a club, while her male friends look like the little kids that they are?"
posted by jb at 12:47 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


(I'm still waiting for the new font 'Hipster Arial')

It looks lust like the regular Arial, with quotation marks at the beginning and end of the set to indicate irony.
posted by me3dia at 12:47 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


oneswellfoop, thanks. I would have included such a list of links myself but Situations Arose.
posted by JHarris at 12:48 PM on December 12, 2011


This list reminds me a bit of that big meme from 2008: Criticizing a Time Magazine Pop Culture List as if it means something. Remember how silly that one was? So glad we know better now.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:49 PM on December 12, 2011


SOON.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:49 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yer welcome, JHarris. Glad I could be idle enough to do it.

One of the problems with year-end lists coming out before the year actually ends is the exclusion of late-breaking memes. Like Rick Perry's "Strong" Ad.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:50 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought Hipster Arial was Helvetica.
posted by echo target at 12:50 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought Hipster Arial was Helvetica.

You ah correct, sah!

Don't call me Ariel
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:53 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


JB: you need to double-meme that video with some bad lip syncing: Gang Fight by Rebecca Black.
posted by msalt at 12:55 PM on December 12, 2011


Dang, I think that crappy typography in "Don't Call Me Arial" is MY WORK. Because the original version of that had text in Impact (like most similar meme images), I thought it needed to be IN HELVETICA, so I did a very-quick-and-very-dirty version (using a very NOT PHOTOSHOP program I call Photoslop) and passed it on to a couple bloggers I know. I'd know those bad borders anywhere... Should I feel proud?
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:03 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by jquinby at 1:05 PM on December 12, 2011




I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

That's a meme too? Dammit.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:16 PM on December 12, 2011


I somehow completely missed Scumbag Steve and the Spiderman stuff this year. The "Hey can I borrow everything" one is the best of the bunch and the rest of the examples kinda sucked.
posted by Hoopo at 1:18 PM on December 12, 2011


Time, I am disappoint.
posted by orme at 1:21 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


But that's not what meme means...

I give up.

I sure hope that Dawkins regrets coining that term already.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:24 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess next year will be the year horse_ebook brings joy to the world and
posted by timshel at 1:26 PM on December 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


horse_ebooks transcends our petty notions of memes to become an all-encompassing universe unto itself.
posted by naju at 1:29 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


> But that's not what meme means...

"Thought herpes" is a bit too graphic.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:29 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pah on this horse ebook, it's all ACTUALPERSON now.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2011


Dude, those Venn diagrams...groan
posted by Xoebe at 1:38 PM on December 12, 2011


Curse you guys for causing me to google horse_ebooks.
posted by JHarris at 1:39 PM on December 12, 2011


2011 took an arrow in the meme.
posted by SPrintF at 1:39 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pah on this horse ebook, it's all ACTUALPERSON now.

So you say. "The most outraged and negative theory was that a human being subverted the creative process by disabling a spam bot and deciding to use his or her own imagination. The only proof is the essentially meaningless tag indicating where the tweets originate."
posted by naju at 1:43 PM on December 12, 2011


I am in awe of horse_ebooks literary genius.
surrendering to her siren maneuverings and be rendered powerless
Believe me or not, if half of the secrets should not have gone to graves, we human beings would have acquired all the qualities of supper
There is nothing more embarrassing than having your husband go at you with the lint brush

Want to unlock the hidden doors of your inner being? Abraham Lincoln has the key.

Spicy Hot Chicken Bits

99 OF WEBSITES ON THE INTERNET ARE MISUNDERSTOOD... IS YOURS ONE OF THEM
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:43 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm just surprised that Time didn't put the "list" behind a firewall.
posted by blucevalo at 1:52 PM on December 12, 2011


My only other personal cdontribution to Intarweb Memery was the first "NEIL BEFORE ZOD" image (ones that followed featured Neils Gaiman or Patrick Harris, but mine was historically accurate!) I still cringe at the bad typographic effect.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:53 PM on December 12, 2011


I find Scumbag Meat Loaf way funnier than I know I should.
posted by Gary at 1:55 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


CAN'T TELL IF HORSE E BOOKS IS FUNNY

OR I'M JUST DUMB.
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


2011 took an arrow in the meme.
Time is actually well on top of this, with a full-color infographic and ten questions to ask your doctor about arrow-knee injuries appearing in the health section.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:59 PM on December 12, 2011


It's sad that KYM wins, on accout of having mostly memes I've actually heard about. Seriously, Hipster Ariel who?
posted by ymgve at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2011


By the way, does "Arab Spring" count as a meme? If Occupy does, I think the spring should too.
posted by ymgve at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess this makes Hipster Ariel pretty underground water
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Occupy isn't a meme, Casual Pepper Spray Cop is a meme

The Arab Spring isn't a meme, bread hats are a meme.
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2011 [6 favorites]



I guess this makes Hipster Ariel pretty underground water


You are hopeless, child. You know that. Completely hopeless.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:09 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


somebody better nail her fixie to the floor
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM on December 12, 2011


I dunno, you look kinda hairy and slobbery to me.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:23 PM on December 12, 2011


This is the first time I'd heard of "Nope! Chuck Testa." Color me amused.
posted by Apropos of Something at 2:30 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still have a soft spot for Stupid Ned Stark.
posted by misha at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess "Took an arrow to the knee" was too late to make the cutoff?

GGG

Loses spot to Scumbag Steve.
Congratulates him and really means it.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:54 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


first world problems more like fart world pooplems.

seriously
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:57 PM on December 12, 2011


also scumbag steve wearing burberry so as to suggest "chav" is classist
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:58 PM on December 12, 2011


Scumbag Steve is a real guy who is apparently named Blake Boston and is apparently from Boston.

The hat is actually a 59fifty Red Sox hat.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:06 PM on December 12, 2011


I am happy to meet Horse_ebooks.
posted by everichon at 3:27 PM on December 12, 2011


Horse_ebooks is a little like if Racter signed up for a Twitter account.
posted by everichon at 3:27 PM on December 12, 2011


I first learned the word "meme" in the mid 90s, before it mutated into a term for ephemeral internet fads. I think it was an Adbusters article, and applied it to Christianity and communism.

Of course, from a memetic point of view, I would have to ask what advantage did "meme= internet fad" have that allowed it to out-compete the broader definition?
posted by RobotHero at 3:40 PM on December 12, 2011


RobotHero: "Of course, from a memetic point of view, I would have to ask what advantage did "meme= internet fad" have that allowed it to out-compete the broader definition?"

Cats.
posted by brundlefly at 3:43 PM on December 12, 2011


Of course, from a memetic point of view, I would have to ask what advantage did "meme= internet fad" have that allowed it to out-compete the broader definition?

Accessibility and applicability. The idea you can convey in five seconds has a greater chance of reproducing than one that takes a minute or two. Everybody immediately gets "oh, a running internet joke"; the dry analogical concept of Dawkins' meme is a lot less immediately obvious, because it's a thought experiment instead of a label for a thing that people look at on their web browser.
posted by cortex at 3:49 PM on December 12, 2011


Unless vocal fry is on that list it is shit.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:51 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I just don't keep up anymore, but that was fun reading.

I'd never actually heard the nyan cat "song".

And I am absolutely delighted that "X all the Y!" has become a thing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:00 PM on December 12, 2011


Though funny, I was just discussing the legal fiction of "ignorance of the law is no excuse" -- I think I have to make KNOW ALL THE LAWS! a thing around my office.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:05 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am grateful for this thread because it led me to anti-joke chicken.
posted by jbickers at 4:14 PM on December 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAA...

ah... I haven't slept since Saturday. My neighbours do not thank you for that link, jbickers.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:15 PM on December 12, 2011


Had to add the old classic.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:19 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't normally miss the image tag, but this made me miss it.
posted by deborah at 5:02 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


> I would have to ask what advantage did "meme= internet fad" have that allowed it to
> out-compete the broader definition?

Better suited to the culture medium.
posted by jfuller at 6:09 PM on December 12, 2011


Never did get the magnets to work.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:24 PM on December 12, 2011


Reaction.


what can i say, i love the little guy
posted by codacorolla at 6:41 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This kills the meme.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:30 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


How did they make this list and not put the honey badger on there?!
posted by pxe2000 at 4:40 AM on December 13, 2011


Why would honey badger give a shit about being excluded from a fluff piece?
posted by Burhanistan at 5:03 AM on December 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


the dry analogical concept of Dawkins' meme is a lot less immediately obvious...

The concept of an IDEA VIRUS is dry to you?
posted by euphorb at 7:31 AM on December 13, 2011


The presentation is dry. The idea is great. Great ideas presented drily are adapted to uptake by people willing to listen to dry presentation. That's great as far as it goes but as a question of adaptability of competing subspecies of "meme" it should be pretty clear why a dry, abstract, nuanced analogical thought experiment would maybe not itself have the same epidemiological potential as something framed in terms of familiar and accessible ideas like "a running joke".
posted by cortex at 7:50 AM on December 13, 2011


My 3-y.o. is in a Princess Phase, and so the Hipster Ariel made me laugh. Thanks, MetaFilter!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:17 AM on December 13, 2011


Honey badger is featured in the Top 10 Viral Videos countdown. Because there are 54 countdowns. Why!?!?
posted by good day merlock at 10:00 AM on December 13, 2011


I think maybe Cortex has it.

INTERNET FAD gets to define by example. IDEA VIRUS has the tougher job of making you see old things in a new light.
posted by RobotHero at 9:19 AM on December 14, 2011


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