Monthly Review: April 2012
The month of April was saturated with the charming smile of Zeddie Little, a twenty-something New Yorker who was given the nickname “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” after a picture of him running at the annual Cooper River Bridge Run was posted online; One of the longest-lasting legends of hip hop surrounding the death of Tupac Shakur came to a meme resurrection earlier this month, when a 3D mirage of the rapper was unveiled at the 2012 Coachella music festival; A news photograph of State of Secretary Hillary Clinton went viral after getting paired with frivolous SMS teen-speak; Lawyer Dog is the latest iteration of “serious business” advice animals, which combines a photo of a formally dressed dog and various puns involving legalese; The teenage vanity anthem “Hot Problems” has been stirring up a debate for its uber-narcissistic lyrics since its release earlier this month, accruing nearly 10 million views in the first two weeks and an epic like-to-dislike ratio (29,846 likes vs. 452,309 dislike).
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy (RPG) is a photoshop meme featuring an image of a smiling man called Zeddie Little running in the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run. The photo gained notoriety online after being posted to the Flickr and Reddit where users found the man to be exceptionally handsome.
Tupac’s Hologram is an 3D projected optical illusion of the deceased rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur that premiered at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Although the event was widely reported as a hologram projection, it was actually created using similar technology to that of the Japanese virtual pop star Hatsune Miku.
Texts From Hillary
Texts From Hillary is a single topic blog featuring a series of vertical, multi-pane image macros based on a photograph of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sitting aboard a military aircraft while wearing sunglasses and checking her phone. The picture of Hilary Clinton was taken by Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque while she was awaiting departure aboard a military C-17 Globemaster III flight from Malta to Tripoli, Libya on October 18th, 2011. The photograph was subsequently featured on the news site on October 20th, 2011.
Lawyer Dog is an advice animal style image macro series featuring a corgi dressed up in office attire, sitting at a desk with his paw on a book. The captions typically juxtapose legalese with canine-related puns.
Hot Problems is a music video in which the teenage girl duo Double Take sings about the first world problems that come along with being physically attractive. The video inspired several parodies when it was poorly received after being uploaded to YouTube in April of 2012.
The Rest of the Best
- Hungry Kim Jung Un is an advice animal image macro series featuring photos of the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un. The captions typically show Jong-Un longing for various food items, or confusing inedible objects with food. The series began as a reaction to the death of Jong-Un’s father and former North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Il in December of 2011.
- The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA) is a U.S. Senate bill designed to allow more sharing of “cyber threat intelligence” between the U.S. government and private sectors. If passed, the bill would allow the government with additional powers and resources to monitor the online activities of U.S. citizens to prevent cybercrimes, namely trafficking in intellectual property and counterfeit goods.
- Sweet Brown is an Oklahoma City woman who was interviewed by local news station KFOR News Channel 4 after evacuating from her apartment building that was set on fire.
- Project Glass is a research and development program by the multinational Internet and software corporation Google, which aims to build an augmented reality head-mounted display unit.
- Chandler Dances on Things is a GIF animation series of Chandler Bing (played by Matthew Perry), one of the main cast members from the popular TV sitcom series Friends, dancing awkwardly atop a variety of objects or in humorous contexts.
Back on the Radar
- Google’s StarCraft Easter Egg: On April 27th, 2012, Google unveiled an easter egg surprise in homage to the infamous fast-attack strategy known as “Zerg Rush” from the popular real-time strategy game StarCraft.
- The “I Can Count to Potato” Girl Speaks Out: This controversial ableist meme caught the attention of the UK news media after the mother of the girl featured in the image macro series came out in public to denounce the acts of trolling against people with learning disabilities.
- Kony 2012 Campaign Flops After Public Meltdown: The public speculations about Kony 2012 taking a down-spiral turn pretty much became true with the disappointing turnout of the “Cover the Night” event on April 20th.
- Google Plus #Whitespace Redesign: The major redesign of Google Plus in April triggered a flood of hashtag jokes and lulzy screenshots poking fun at the large white space on the right side of user profile pages.
- Ryan Gosling Easter Egg: The Hollywood hunk Ryan Gosling’s meme-dom crossed into the realm of real life during the Easter weekend, when a fan launched a day-long scavenger hunt in Manhattan with 200 plastic easter eggs filled with notes and photos supposedly written by Gosling himself (but they weren’t).