Monthly Review: June 2011
The exploits of hacker collective LulzSec dominated the Internets this month, with an impressive track record of over a dozen hacks and DDoS protests against various government and corporate sites; YouTuber hartmanncara rakes in 10 million views with an eHarmony video bio of her rambling about how much she loves cats. At E3 2011, Ubisoft’s on-stage personality Aaron Priceman--a.k.a Mr. Caffeine--stole the presentation with his outdated, obnoxious trope of time-traveling sound effect “doodly doodly doop”; Meanwhile in Vancouver, the defeat of their home team in the Stanley Cups final match sparked a day of raging violence in downtown streets. In the epic stream of images and videos captured by the eyewitnesses during the riot, two internet memes surfaced above the horizon: an unlikely photo of a couple sharing an intimate moment in the midst of chaos (“Vancouver Riot Kiss”) and an angry teenage rioter who posed for a victory shot in front of smashed glass windows (“Angry Vancouver Rioter”).
As you can see in the graph below, queries for “LulzSec” came out on top for this month’s search trends while Vancouver Riot-related memes and Nigel remixes also experienced visible spikes. The viral faux-children’s book Go the Fuck to Sleep also yielded a visible spike after the highly anticipated early release on June 14th.
eHarmony Video Bio
Everyone knows YouTube is overloaded with cat videos gone viral. But this time, it’s the crazy cat lady who’s been on the spotlight. Entitled “eHarmony Video Bio”, this seemingly unremarkable monologue begins with a young, timid woman introducing herself as “Debbie” and explaining that it is her first attempt at creating an online dating profile video. …Perfectly normal, right?
Not even a full minute into the video, “Debbie” suddenly hits a wall of emotions and becomes teary-eyed as she rambles about how much she loves cats (especially the ones that are homeless). Since its YouTube debut on June 3rd, the clip has racked up over 8 million views, spawned dozens of parody videos and a debate over the authenticity of her video. The Internet consensus: she’s faking it! For examples of parodies and response videos, be sure to visit the video gallery.
E3 2011: Mr. Caffeine Goes Doodly Doodly Doop
At this year’s E3, Ubisoft’s stage host Aaron Priceman (a.k.a Mr. Caffeine) triggered a lot of rage online after giving a highly energetic, over-the-top presentation at the world’s largest video games industry event. Among the slew of stale and obnoxious punchlines, Mr. Caffeine reached the prime with a “doodly doodly doop” handmotion which he used as a segue into Ubisoft’s slideshow presentation. Within hours, video game fans who watched the Ubisoft presentation responded with remixes and mash-ups featuring Mr. Caffeine’s “Doodly Doop” dance. For more remixes, check out the "video gallery"::http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/mr-caffeine-doodly-doodly-doop#videos.
Vancouver Riot Round-up: Kiss Couple & Angry Vancouver Rioter
Out of the ashes from last week’s Vancouver riots came some interesting conversation-makers, starting with the iconic photo of a couple seemingly sharing an intimate kiss amidst the chaos. The picture quickly became known as the “Vancouver Riot Kiss” and spawned a slew of photoshopped images placing the couple in all kinds of inappropriate contexts. Later in a morning show interview, the couple revealed that they were only on the ground after getting beaten down by riot police and the woman was only kissed for a moment in order to comfort her after the fall.
In another related story, a high school student was expelled from school after he was photographed on the riot scene wielding a hockey stick in front of broken windows. At first it wasn’t clear if he was responsible for breaking the windows, but a video uploaded to YouTube showed footage of him hitting the windows with the stick. Dubbed “Angry Vancouver Rioter”, the boy was one of many diehard Vancouver fans who were later identified by vigilant citizens through an estimate of over one million photos and 1,000 hours of video footage captured during the riot. For more images and videos related to the riots, be sure to check out the KYM entries.
LulzSec Launches a 50-day Crusade & Retires
The month-long exploits of LulzSecurity (a.k.a Lulzsec) has been truly daunting and mysterious. Since its debut in early May with the release of X-Factor contestants’ personal information, the group has claimed over a dozen hacks and DDoS attacks against high-profile government and corporate websites, including Sony, PBS, CIA, British SOCA (Serious Organized Crime Agency), Arizon Department of Public Safety and Brazilian government websites. Following the arrest of 19-year-old Lulzsec suspect Ryan Schmeary and the news of Anonymous-Lulzsec coalition on June 21st, the group formally announced that they will retire, but the hacking efforts will continue under the new banner “Operation Anti-sec.” Must-see: KYM admin Olivia’s Infographics on the brief history of Lulzsec and a timeline of Anonymous Hacktivists.
Nigel Thornberry Remixes
The Nickelodeon cartoon character Nigel Thornberry became a trending topic on Twitter and Tumblr, thanks to the lulzy remix fad that involves combining pop music with incoherent ramblings of Nigel Thornberry. The original “Nigel remix” featuring Katy Perry’s single “Firework” was uploaded by Tumblr blogger BitCrunch on June 25th, 2011.
BitCrunch’s original Nigel remix quickly spread through Tumblr, receiving several thousand likes and re-blogs within the first few hours of its debut. On the same day, the single topic Tumblr “Feat. Nigel” was launched to keep track of the latest remixes. Soon enough, other viewers began uploading their own pop remixes featuring Nigel’s noise via Tumblr audio posts, including Lady Gaga, Adele, N’sync among others. While there are some YouTube instances available, many of them are directly hosted by Tumblr.
Back on the Map
- Since announcing her comeback through a surprise YouTube video in January, Boxxy has been playing with different characters in her videos, including a blonde-haired European character known as “Svetlana.” In her most recent video uploaded on June 17th, she once again returned as the original Boxxy, receiving almost half a million views in less than a week. Some have also noticed the strange copyright notice in the description of her YouTube videos, leading viewers to speculate whether she is attempting to start a career on the popular video sharing site.
- Katy Perry’s music video for her latest single, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” was uploaded to YouTube on June 12th, featuring a special guest appearance by Rebecca Black. Meanwhile, her name also reached the front page of Reddit when someone posted a screenshot showing her “Friday” music video behind a $3.00 rental paywall on YouTube.
- For nearly two weeks in June, YouTube decorated the original Nyan Cat video with a custom-designed progress bar featuring a mini Pop Tart Cat flying across the bar that leaves behind a rainbow trail.
- My Little Ponyfication of the Internet continued with more remixes / mashups based on popular music, movies and videogames. The meme also reached a symbolic milestone when Former US President answered several questions about MLP characters during NPR’s pop quiz segment “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” on June 25th.
- "Rage Comics":knowyourmeme.com/memes/rage-comics are user-generated web comics with simply-drawn characters representing a wide range of emotions that are sometimes referred to as “rage faces.” In the past two years, the series became immensely popular and grew into a universe of stick-figure reaction images that can be seen as Emoticons 2.0. Join our new West Coast Internet scientist Forest in the new episode about Rage Comics.
- KYM Monthly Review – Complete Listing of Past Issues