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White Entrepreneurial Guy, also known as “White Entrepreneurial Detroit Guy,” is an advice animal image macro series featuring a photograph of startup entrepreneur Jason Lorimer standing in front of an abandoned train station in Detroit. The captions typically mock corporate buzzwords and the out-of-touch perspectives associated with wealthy business owners operating in impoverished areas.
On April 9th, 2013, Detroit’s web-based magazine Model D Media published an op-ed article on the city’s potential for economic growth, which featured a photograph of Jason Lorimer (shown below, left), founder of the philanthropic and civic consultancy firm Dandelion. On April 11th, a Quickmeme page titled “White Entrepreneurial Guy” was launched, with the first submission featuring the same picture of Lorimer accompanied by the caption “His new restaurant will create jobs for ‘the community’ / like bussing tables” (shown below, right).
On the same day, a Facebook page titled “White Entrepreneurial Detroit Guy” was created, gaining upwards of 740 likes within 11 days. On April 12th, 2013, the Gawker Media blog Jalopnik published an article about the meme, which mocked Lorimer and the Dandelion firm by noting that “satire is indeed rooted in truth.” …The same day, The Huffington Post published an article citing a quote from the creator of the White Entrepreneurial Guy Facebook page, who stated that the meme is meant to expose opportunists who exploit Detroit while using “progressive sounding language that allows them to feel good about themselves while they do it.” The article also included a statement from Lorimer, who responded to his photo being used in the image macro series:
“I do, in fact, happen to be a white and an entrepreneurial guy and those who know me and the team at Dandelion know we are serious about our work and well intentioned. The impact we are having is indicative of the opportunity that exists for anyone who wants to play a productive role.”
On April 15th, The Huffington Post published an article by Wayne State University English professor John Patrick Leary, who mocked the Model D article for containing so much jargon that it appeared to be “written by someone who has learned English entirely by watching TEDTalks.” On April 17th, the original Quickmeme image macro was posted on the Cheezburger site Memebase, where it received over 400 up votes and 60 comments in the first five days.
Within the first two weeks, the White Entrepreneurial Guy Quickmeme page received upwards of 780 submissions.
Underachieving Detroit Hipster Guy
On April 16th, 2013, a Facebook page titled “Underachieving Detroit Hipster Guy” was created, which dedicated its first post to the White Entrepreneurial Detroit Guy Facebook page.The feed highlights a spin-off image macro series based on a photograph of a mustached young man and captions describing hypocritical beliefs and behaviors associated with the hipster subculture. Over the course of the next week, the page garnered more than 990 likes.
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