Monthly Review: December 2011
Kicking off the new year with month of December in review: Texas governor Rick Perry found his toughest audience on YouTube after launching a pro-Christian and anti-homosexual campaign ad, which surpassed both Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and Justin Bieber‘s “Baby” as the most disliked video of all time on YouTube; Shit Girls Say, two Toronto-based comics’ Twitter microblog about things that girls say became a YouTube sensation with the launch of web series featuring Juliette Lewis; Wikipedia’s donation banner ads got turned into a visual mad lib game with awkward image-word associations; An atheist joke known as Advantages of Science inspires a sarcastic image macro series on Reddit’s /r/atheist subreddit; The epic RPG Skyrim spawned viral catchphrases Fus Ro Dah and I took an arrow in the knee and more!
In terms of search interest, American teenager Jonah Mowry’s anti-bullying monologue came out on top as the most searched keyword for viral media, with Skyrim-related catchphrases “Arrow in the Knee” and “Fus Ro Dah” coming in second and third.
Rick Perry’s “Strong” Ad
Rick Perry’s “Strong” Campaign Ad is a YouTube advertisement for the Texas governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee candidate Rick Perry. The video begins with Perry openly proclaiming his Christian background, then goes onto denounce Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and vows to end Barack Obama’s “War on Religion.” The YouTube video immediately stirred a controversy in the comments section and drew criticism from the LGBT and atheist communities alike.
Rick Perry’s video was met by strong, negative reaction from users on various social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, drawing over 200,000 downvotes to the YouTube clip in less than 72 hours of the upload. As it continued to spread across the blogosphere, some readers launched a separate campaign calling on people to flag the YouTube video as inappropriate for promoting “hatred or violence” about “sexual orientation.”
I Took an Arrow in the Knee is a catchphrase from the role-playing video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which inspired the snowclone phrasal template “I used to X, then I took an arrow to the knee.” The joke is derived from the fact that every single town guard in the game seems to have had their dreams of adventuring crushed after a swarm of knee-destroying arrows swept through the land. Another related quote "*Fus Ro Dah*”:/memes/fus-ro-dah, the dragon shout used by the player to summon a powerful force, also became a trending catchphrase
Wikipedia Donation Banner Ads
Wikipedia Donation Banner Captions are a series of self-exploitable donation advertisements that Wikipedia placed at the top of articles in December 2011. The ads contained various pictures of Wikipedia executives or users along with the caption of the respective article underneath.
Exploiting the omnipresent ads on the world’s largest online encyclopedia, readers crafted quite a clever prank by combining the portrait images with various article titles ranging from sexual / inappropriate comments to disturbing alikeness to another person or thing.
Shit Girls Say
Shit Girls Say is a single topic blog and a YouTube video series showcasing various cliches and verbal mannerisms commonly associated with teenage girls and young women. The Twitter account @ShitGirlsSay was originally launched by Toronto-based comics Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey on April 7th, 2011.
In similar vein to its unaffiliated predecessors @ShitMyDadSays and ShitThatSiriSays, the microblog quickly became notable for its caricaturization of an average, airheaded girl vaguely familiar to many others. According to the analytics data provided by Twitaholics, @ShitGirlsSay gained over 6,879 followers with its prolific output of 339 tweets in the first three months of launch.
Unimpressed Astronaut is an advice animal image macro series depicting an astronaut walking on the moon. The captions juxtapose typical stories or grievances about long-distance traveling with the modern scientific milestone of the Moon landing.
- Chicago businessman Herman Cain announced the end of his presidential election campaign after battling a series of harassment scandals including the detrimental accusation of a years-long extramarital affair in December.
- North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died of heart attack on December 18th, triggering a flood of tweets and forum posts about his death and multimedia punchlines poking fun at the rising heir Kim Jung Un for his obesity and resemblance to his predecessors.
- A teary-eyed Californian teenager’s anti-bullying plea video “What’s Goin’ On” drew millions of views on YouTube and words of encouragement from various celebrities in early December 2011, after it was tweeted by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
- A viral video of a woman making racist remarks towards another passenger on a London tram disturbed the web, becoming a trending topic on Twitter. Following the arrest of the woman by the police, the incident also led to a lengthy debate about the fairness of prosecuting hate speech.
- The CEO of PR firm Ocean Marketing Paul Christoforo became the target of online ridicule after his rude, unprofessional and poorly written emails were leaked by Penny Arcade bloggers in late December.
Back on the Radar
- YouTube webcam celebrity Zach Anner’s new travel show Rollin’ With Zach premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
- In protesting GoDaddy’s initial support of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), over 70,000 web domain owners withdrew their accounts from the world’s largest domain registrar.
- A Wisconsin teenager was fined $303 after the local police discovered images and video of his “planking spree” on Facebook.
- Occupy Wall Street protesters mobilized once again for a flash mob protest at Foley Square after words got out on Twitter that it had been turned into a Law and Order set.
- A trailer for the upcoming film Bad Ass received much attention and criticism for its heavy resemblance to the 2009 viral video Epic Beard Man, which revealed a scene where actor Danny Trejo beats a man unconscious in a bus fight.