Monthly Review: October 2011
Here are the highlights of Internets from this month: Occupy Wall Street inspired a global wave of copycat protests across the world, culminating in a day of worldwide Occupy protests on October 15th; Meanwhile, the protesters’ slogan “We are the 99%” spawned parodies and jokes involving the 1% and others; The anti-racist ad campaign “We’re a culture, not a costume” for Halloween got ridiculed with hilarious parodies; The face graffiti fad “Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses” brought a resurgence to the 1980s classic cartoon series and Apple’s latest voice-enabled app Siri generated a lot of buzz on Tumblr.
We are the 99 Percent
We are the 99% (also known as “I am the 99%”) is a catchphrase that became widespread with the globalization of Occupy protests in October. The slogan was first introduced as a single topic Tumblr blog featuring images of people holding up signs of pro-Occupy messages, but has since became a staple message for the picket lines and even spawned parodies that are definitely worth a glance.
We’re a Culture, Not a Costume
We’re a Culture, Not a Costume is an ad campaign launched by students at the University of Ohio in an effort raise awareness of Halloween costumes that could be seen as culturally insensitive or offensive to minorities. With many posters have become a target of photoshop parodies depicting advice animals and fictional characters with photos of people wearing their respective Halloween costumes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses is a graffiti meme that features posters and photos of people (typically celebrities) that have been edited with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles masks over the tip of the subject’s nose. The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses” Tumblr page was created on October 2nd, 2011.
Shit That Siri Says
Shit That Siri Says is a single topic blog showcasing various chat logs of human voice interaction with Siri, the personal assistant application for iPhone operating system iOS5. Advertised by Apple as a voice interactive program with an attitude and a sense of humor, iPhone users began sharing their memorable dialogues with Siri upon its releasee in October 2011.
The Wadsworth Constant
The Wadsworth Constant is an axiom which states that the first 30% of any video can be skipped because it contains no worthwhile or interesting information. It all began when Redditor Wadsworth posted a comment in a thread:
For EVERY youtube video, I always open the video and then immediately punch the slider bar to about 30 percent. For example, in this video, it should have just started at :40. Everything before :40 was a waste. This holds true for nearly every video in the universe.
Other Redditors quickly chimed in on the thread to support Wadsworth’s notion, which in turn became known as “The Wadsworth Constant.”
Toddler Hit-and-Run Tragedy
The tragic death of the two-year-old toddler Wang Yue in Foshan, China sparked a heated debate on the Chinese web this month, when the CCTV footage of the fatal double hit-and-run accident was posted online through the video-sharing site Youku and the microblogging service Weibo. Meanwhile, the bystander who helped Yue get to the hospital was hailed as a hero by the Chinese netizens, though it was later reported that she received harassing mails accusing her of helping her to become famous.
The violent clash between the police and Occupy Oakland protester sparked a late night Twitter frenzy on October 25th, as the chaotic scenes from downtown were streamed in real-time on LiveStream while demonstrators uploaded videos of the riot police firing rubber bullets and teargas canisters onto YouTube. In the early hours of the day, #OccupyOakland became a top trending topic on Twitter and one of the top searches on Google. One particularly moving video showed a U.S. Marines veteran wounded after being shot at point-blank range with a plastic bullet.
On October 14th, Anonymous launched a vigilante mission against over 40 child porn sites and brought them down with massive ASCII files of Guy Fawkes masks and episodes of Chris Hansen’s To Catch a Predator. Dubbed Operation Darknet, the hacktivist campaign targeted infamous sites like Lolita City that are accessible via Tor, a software that allows users to host and browse websites anonymously.
Steve Jobs’ Death
The death of technology industry titan Steve Jobs caused an unprecedented outpouring of emotion on the Internet after the news broke on October 5th. Twitter hashtags like #ThankYouSteve, #iSad and #SteveJobs soared to the top 10 trending topics and high-profile websites like Wired, Google and BoingBoing changed their website backgrounds to honor Apple’s former CEO. In the following weeks, a slew of tribute artworks were uploaded in remembrance of Steve Jobs.
Sesame Street Hacked
On October 16th, 2011, the YouTube channel for the American children’s TV series Sesame Street was compromised by hackers that deleted the entire channel’s uploaded videos and replaced them with pornographic content. The channel was closed down in less than 30 minutes by YouTube due to “repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines,” but the news and screenshots of infiltration quickly spread on the web.
Back on the Radar
Honey Badger’s Commercial Venture
Honey Badger Randall, the flamboyant narrator of the hilarious Wild Wild Animals series recently finished a voiceover gig for a pistachio commercial starring a honey badger. The Wonderful Pistachio snack company has previously referenced several other Internet trends in various commercials including Keyboard Cat videos, the Angry Birds videogame and the Annoying Orange YouTube show.
Scarlett Johansson Hacker Arrested
On October 12th, the FBI arrested 35-year-old Florida resident Christopher Chaney in connection with the recent leak of Scarlett Johansson’s nude photos and the hacking of dozens of celebrities’ personal information. The FBI revealed that Chaney may have compromised the phones and computers of an additional list of celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis, Simone Harouche and Renee Olstead.
Identity Unlocked: College Freshman Guy
The star the viral image macro series College Freshman Guy has been identified as Griffin Kiritsy, a senior in college who seems to have embraced his new-found Internet fame. He seemed pleased to find out that his Twitter account was discovered by fans of the meme tweeting, “so many new random followers because of my internet fame. Can’t decide if i like it or love it. #hollywoodhereIcome.”
On Reddit: Rage Comics for ESL?
ESL instructor Scott Stillar at the University of Tsukuba in Japan has been using Rage Comics as a refreshing tool for his students to practice English. Since his launch of “EFL comics” subReddit on October 3rd, many ESL site users including Stillar’s students have been sharing webcomic dialogues that are often written in absurd English, which is just the kind of things that Reddit loves. The EFL rage comics received much attention after getting featured in “the best of Subreddits” section on October 18th.
Meanwhile in Greece: Riot Dog Returns
Loukanikos is a stray dog that has a habit of showing up to various demonstrations squaring off against local law enforcement in Athens, Greece. The mascot showed up again this month during a violent clash with the police, and ended up getting kicked by one of the officers. According to the Greek news publication Leep Talking Greece, Loukanikos was not seriously injured and is in good health.