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Get a Brain! Morans is an exploitable photograph of a man seen at a protest outside a Boeing plant in St Charles, Missouri in 2003. The infamously misspelled sign came to embody the “proud to be ignorant” stereotype sometimes placed on midwestern or southern Americans.
Though the man’s identity is unknown, the photo was taken on March 23rd, 2003 outside of St. Louis, Missouri. On that day, approximately 350 pro-peace activists got together with civilian weapons inspectors at the Boeing missile factory, asking to investigate the weapons of mass destruction being produced there. When they were denied access, the protestors sat in front of the main gate in protest. Approximately 75 pro-war supporters came to the factory with signs discouraging the sit-in. One of these supporters held the “Get a Brain Morans” sign. The photo was initially shared on the St. Louis Indymedia Center in 2003.
Memewatch caught on to the photo quickly, posting the image to their site on March 31st, 2003. The phrase was added to Urban Dictionary on June 29th, 2004. By November of that year, Relentlessly Optimistic posted the image, saying it was “ubiquitous,” linking to the Google image search page, alluding to the fact that it was already widely spread. On September 9th, 2005, the first YTMND was posted, with the Price is Right losing horn playing. That month, the Moran appeared in a photoshop series at Democratic Underground forum.
Over the years, the photo was used widely on blog posts as a reaction image to something a poster considers to be idiotic, like this example from April 10th, 2007 on Stampede Blue. In 2008, he was seen on Cracked and Gizmodo. The photo is also the example on the TV Tropes “Humans are Morons” page.
It was rumored that the message was actually intended to critique Democratic Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia.. On March 3rd, 2003, Moran spoke at an anti-war forum stating that the war was being pushed forward by the Jewish community. He received much criticism for it and was called to resign by Jewish leaders. Other than personal blog posts and comments, there is no solid connection between the sign and the politician.
While “get a brain, morans” has become primarily associated with liberal criticism against pro-war activism, the image of the picket sign has been also used to criticize the long-time Virginia congressman Jim Moran (D) on various political forums and blogs like Democratic Underground, Death by Trolley and Alarming News.
While “get a brain” itself has a common use, search for it has similar peaks to “get a brain morans” through April 2010. “Get a brain” had its first peak in April 2006,
“Get a brain morans” did not see much search traffic until January 2008.
Democratic Underground – Get a Brain, Morans! A Pictoral Essay (Image-heavy)
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