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George Bush Learning About 9/11, also known as Andrew Card Whispering in George Bush's Ear, refers to a photograph of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card informing U.S. President George W. Bush about the September 11th attacks. Starting in 2020, the photograph has been used in image macro and caption memes in which Bush is notified about various unpleasant developments, typically with the captions beginning "Sir, A Second X Has Hit" or "Mr. President, X."
On September 11th, 2001, during the morning hours when the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center happened, United States president George W. Bush was meeting students and staff at an Elementary School in Florida. Upon the arrival of the report that the second plane hit the World Trade Center, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card entered the classroom and informed Bush about the attack. The photograph was taken by AFP photographer Paul J. Richards.
A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack.
On September 18th, 2019, Redditor littlehellflames posted the earliest known meme based on the image in which Bush is getting notified about an unpleasant development. The post gained 68 upvotes in the /r/MemeEconomy subreddit but did not spawn a format (shown below, left).
On January 20th, 2020, Facebook page New And Fresh Memes For Impressionable Young Teens posted an image macro in which the photograph was captioned, "Sir, the e-girl has leaked the DM's you sent her" (authorship unconfirmed; shown below, right). The post received over 350 reactions and 1,800 shares in two years.
On February 5th, Redditor Tannerkw posted the earliest derivative meme based on the format, with the post gaining 24 upvotes in two years (shown below, left). On March 10th, 2020, Twitter user @jaubreyYT posted a Pickle Rick, Funniest Shit Ever meme based on the image, which gained over 80 retweets and 1,200 likes in two years (shown below, right).
While the format did not see active spread until late August 2021, it maintained a minor presence in 2020 and early and mid-2021. For example, on March 29th, 2021, Twitter user @s4m31p4n posted a We Will Boil Him Soon Alhamdulillah meme that gained 170 likes in one year (shown below, left). On August 29th, 2021, Twitter user @jesusdersupajew posted a meme that gained 590 retweets and over 8,000 likes in seven months, which prompted the popularization of the format on Twitter (shown below, right).
On September 2nd, Twitter user @MKUltraMoney posted a meme that received over 840 retweets and 12,500 likes in seven months (shown below, left). On December 31st, 2021, Twitter user @KidDIabeetus posted an All My Apes Gone meme which gained over 370 retweets and 5,700 likes in three months (shown below, right).
The format maintained its prevalence on social media in early 2022.
He Will Never Ballin Versions
A number of memes using the George Bush Learning About 9/11 image within the frame of He Will Never Be Ballin memes emerged around 2022. He Will Never Ballin, a four-panel meme format from 2019 (which is itself derived from He Will Never Have A Girlfriend) describes an entity (A) in the first and third panels which undergoes a transformation from a state of not ballin' to a state of ballin'. In the second panel, another entity (B) declares 'He Will Never Ballin' and then in the fourth panel, after observing entity A ballin', entity B has a strong emotional reaction. Traditionally, the second and fourth panels used the Rage Comics character Cereal Guy like in the example seen below, which was originally posted in January of 2019 (seen below).
Following the initial wave of popularity of the George Bush Learning About 9/11 image, a crop of memes replacing Cereal Guy with President Bush emerged. These swapped in Cereal Guy's spit-take reaction for Bush's anguished expression. An April 25th, 2022 tweet by @sock_dem received over 34,000 likes in the course of six months (shown below, left). Another meme, reposted by Instagram page grapejuiceboys on September 30th, 2022, imagined a new sort of character and activity beyond ballin' and received over 95,000 likes (shown below, right).
They Hit the Pentagon
They Hit The Pentagon or They Hit The F--king Pentagon is a catchphrase that references American Airlines Flight 77 hitting The Pentagon during the September 11th, 2001 Attacks. In a May 2020 Oneyplays upload on YouTube, Zach Hadel said the phrase, popularizing it and inspiring fan animations and image macros over the following years where various characters yell the phrase.
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