Monthly Review: November 2011
In this month’s issue: A spending bill introduced by House Republicans that would allow tomato paste on pizza to remain classified as a vegetable gave birth to the catchphrase “pizza is a vegetable"; Photoshopped sweatshirts known as Sexy Sweaters took Tumblr by storm; As the congressional hearings on the controversial Protect IP Act began this month, thousands of websites including Reddit, Tumblr and BoingBoing participated in a day protest known as American Censorship Day; A viral photoshop meme known as Pepper Spray Guy sprung up after a video of UC David police officer casually pepper spraying a group of Occupy protesters was posted online; A stillshot of American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson became a trending rage comic reaction face to make fun of boastful status updates.
In terms of Google search queries, “pizza is a vegetable” yielded the highest peak in comparison to the rest items of this month’s review. Closely trailing in the second place is renowned American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who rose to viral stardom in mid-November with the rage comic reaction face and the Symphony of Science video “Onwards to the Edge,” an auto-tuned medley featuring his quotes from one of his lectures.
Pizza is a Vegetable
“Pizza is a Vegetable” is a catchphrase satirizing a bill put forth by United States House Republicans that would categorize tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable. The article revealed that part of the bill would protect the status of tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable.
- This Salad is Awesome! / Pizza Hut Sign / I Could Be Anything I Wanted / Pepper Spray is a Vegetable
Sexy Sweaters is a photoshop meme of placing unconventional or unprintable images on to sweatshirt templates. The original photoshopped sweaters were created by New York designer and Cooper Union College student Alex Gibson, whose Tumblr post gave inspiration for the single-topic blog Sexy Sweaters. The fad became widespread on Tumblr fter model Coco Rocha posted a photoshopped image of herself wearing a Chewbacca sweater on October 27th, MTV Style featured Sexy Sweaters on their blog.
American Censorship Day
In a joint effort to raise the awareness of the congressional hearings scheduled to begin on November 16th, a day of online protest dubbed American Censorship Day was launched on the same day at 12:00 a.m. (ET). Organized by EFF and a network of supporter groups including Free Software Foundation, Fight For the Future and Creative Commons, the campaign asked its participants to place a censorship badge over the site’s logo in display of solidarity against the legislation of Protect IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act, which have been dubbed the “Internet Blacklist Bill” for their potentially devastating impact on free speech and creativity.
Pepper Spray Guy
Pepper Spray Cop (also known as “Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop”) is a photoshop meme based on a photograph of a police officer offhandedly pepper spraying a group of Occupy protesters at the University of California Davis. Meanwhile, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly came under ridicule after describing pepper spray as “a food product, essentially" during her appearance on The O’Reilly Factor.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Reaction
Neil deGrasse Tyson Reaction is a rage comic character and reaction face of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson making a defensive gesture, often captioned “Watch out guys, we’re dealing with a badass over here” that is used to mock arrogant and boastful statements that people proclaim on the Internet.
Other Notable Mentions
- Notable Events: Herman Cain’s Smoking Ad, Rick Perry’s GOP Debate Gaffe, Bank Transfer Day, Facebook Investigates Porn Spam, Occupy Wall Street Evicted and Occupy Oakland Clashes with Cops.
- Notable Advice Animals: Conspiracy Keanu, Irrational Black Woman, Lazy College Senior, Ordinary Muslim Man.
Back on the Radar
- Supercut Database launches: On November 1st, Andy Baio announced the relaunch of his website Supercut.org that has been turned into a database for the themed video montages.
- Wikipedia’s Donation Pleas Return: With the success of Wikipedia’s banner ads for donations in 2010, personal appeals of Jimmy Wales and several other Wikipedia employees once again returned this month.
- Rebecca Black Releases a New Single: On November 15th, Rebecca Black’s new single “Person of Interest” hit YouTube. It seems that she is no longer concerned about what day of the week it is.
- Tay Zonday’s “Mama Economy”: Tay Zonday, the YouTube sensation behind Chocolate Rain, breaks down the troubles of an economic downturn in his latest single “Mama Economy.”
- Google enables Do a Barrel Roll: On November 3rd, Google enabled an easter egg feature type “do a barrel roll” into Google search, the entire window would rotate 360 degrees as a tribute to the Nintendo game Star Fox.