Updates from August, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • lisacramp 22:19 on August 12, 2014 Permalink |  

    Zombie Meme- Bert is EVIL!!! 


    Long dead meme, “Bert Is Evil!” found its way on to an actual poster carried by Bin Laden supporters in Bangladesh according to snopes.com.



    Now Bert is back in a new meme as the face of legalizing gay marriage.


    No signs of his new lifestyle in Bangladesh yet…


  • clairedonato 21:03 on August 12, 2014 Permalink |  

    The Undead Meme Zombie Crew: It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!! 

    “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!” debuted on the Internet in 2002. The video, which features an animated banana dancing to The Buckwheat Boyz’ wonderful/horrible “Peanut Butter Jelly Time,” first made the rounds on early 21st century meme sites, e.g. Something Awful, and infiltrated popular television when it was featured on Family Guy (Brian the dog dresses up as a banana and sings the song) [SOURCE: Know Your Meme, which also features a google ngram of the meme’s decline in popuarity].

    The object of various mash-ups, “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!” was combined with video of dancing soldiers in Iraq:

    And remixed by the Ying Yang Twinz ft. Lil Jon:

    It’s thought-provoking to consider “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!” as a relic of early post-9/11 America. Watching the video, my mind keeps returning to the phrase “kooky ballistics,” as if this wild banana offers some lens into understanding war. (Or maybe I’m just under the influence of the Iraq mash-up video, young soldiers thrusting their cocks into thin air.) Speaking of cocks, I’m also curious about the sex-based implications of this meme, as Urban Dictionary offers some particularly gnarly definitions of the term, which I’ll spare you in this space. Indeed, the meme has an innocent surface with lots of wicked undertow/double entendre.

    However, as Jeff notes, maybe this meme is like any meme that falls away, like a pop song falls away until or unless it experiences a revival. Along these lines, we might look to Hamster Dance, an early meme that also fell out of popular consciousness.


  • aklobucar 18:18 on August 11, 2014 Permalink |  

    Dead Slow 

    This last assignment on “old memes” has inspired quite a bit of reflection and a much more labyrinthine journey into search histories than I had anticipated. This might be an old meme in itself: below we have the one and only Slowpoke meme that was used a few years ago to designate for 4chan and reddit audiences exactly which links and conversations were to be officially dissed for being long past the due date.


    So in some ways, he might be considered the antithesis of the zombie meme in that once he was deployed, no future appearance, no re-distribution (however much irony powder could be sprinkled), was considered possible. If you mashed or re-mixed an earlier posted meme or chat sequence with this little guy, you were basically blowing a kiss of true death.

    For example:


    Often he functioned as a kind of universal sign for how easy and yet unforgiveable it is in any online discourse to be late or out of sync…



  • ajabine 08:03 on August 11, 2014 Permalink |
    Tags: August 10: Undead Meme Zombie Crew   

    August 10 Zombie Breck Girl 

    I’m going to take a dubious position here and say that I went looking for a boomer-era advertising campaign to use as my “zombie meme.” Even though these were pre-internet, these ads were lampooned and appropriated all over the culture, from Mad Magazine and National Lampoon to political cartoons and TV sketch comedy, or as the basis for amusing newspaper headlines. They replicated and morphed just as internet memes do. So I thought I’d revive one.

    The funny thing is, every once-famous image I searched for, relying on my own nostalgic memories of early childhood TV-watching and browsing through my mother’s homemaker magazines, proved to have been not just amply revivified online but also repurposed in some amusing fashion. C’est la vie online. For example:

    Breck girl John Edwards Breck girl edwards two

    To fully appreciate the joke–expensively coiffed presidential candidate John Edwards as a lovely Breck Girl–I would think a viewer would have to be Boomer-aged. The image directly above came from the Rush Limbaugh machine, and this depiction, with its exaggerated swooshy hair, pegs Edwards as an urban “metrosexual,” straight but effeminately vain– the polar opposite of a good ol’ boy.


  • aklobucar 05:28 on August 11, 2014 Permalink |  

    An Additional Addendum: Contributing to an Archaeology of Old Memes 

    Surely a reference or two to the famous Rickroll Tapestry must be included here.


  • Talan Memmott 19:08 on August 10, 2014 Permalink |  

    Undead Addendum 

    The following graph is from my presentation on meme culture at the Electronic Literature Organization Conference this past June. Since it deals with old memes, and their search interest over time, I  thought it would apply here.


    Three memes of different types all emerging in 2006: Disaster Girl, Put Shoe on Head, and I like Turtles. The graphs shows peak search interest in each year 2006 to April 2014.

    What we see for each of these memes is that they go through an initial phase of virality, die down, and then arise again (undead): Disaster Girl peaking in 2008 and again in 2011; Put Shoe on Head peaking in 2006, 2009, and now again in 2014; I Like Turtles in 2007 and 2011, with another rise in 2014.


    • aklobucar 05:13 on August 11, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s nice to see both shoe and dis girl on the upswing as we move through 2014. I was thinking of investing in Turtle, though, since the value is more affordable. But… am I just throwing my academic capital away? Ah, the eternal question…

      Liked by 4 people

  • Talan Memmott 13:24 on August 10, 2014 Permalink |  

    The Undead 

    Was thinking about the zombie assignment, so I did a google image search for old memes. What interested me in the returns were the old memes that comment on old memes.

    here are some examples.

    a b c d e f g h

  • jeremyjameshight 20:22 on August 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    August 10:The Undead Meme Zombie Crew 



    Remember Cujo?  The darn dog came back from the dead and at first things seem simply hunky dory.  Then it all went to heck.  If memes have been shown to have life spans what happens to the undead memes?  Can they come back?  Will they come spiffy in bow ties with a new hires vim and vigor?  Will they return instead rabid, toothless chain smoking and full of angst?


    Maybe they sit at the edge of your internet and social media in shadows with the numb rage of the jilted, the forgotten once lovingly shared and liked.


    There is that odd pop culture warm fuzzy that appears in 20 year increments.  The Monkees were spiffy in the 80’s and then beasts emerged in neon and synth loops from those 80’s in the 2000’s.  There also has been found the double 20 warm fuzzy.  Now in 2014  disco and spandex and big beards and earnest folk are the cat’s meow for the young set.  This is the 40 ish year jump.  Studies have found that it is a foggy median that gets chronologically and culturally reached;  just far enough in the rear view but close enough from the ashbin of history to be warmed over with nostalgia and a fanciful imagine of the old “what it must have been like and could have been”.   The 80’s in you tube comments at times emerges as a positively utopic garden of wham hits , neon and frivolity.   A swell place indeed this social imaginary.   So how can we equate this to memes?


    What shifting morphing signifiers can be brought back from those surly memes stooped over hot boxing 010101  Marlboro reds in that parking lot off of your view?    What zombies in the meme universe can be brought back,  utilized in the context now of a past moment and tide in popular culture and time?  What is the Frankie Says of memery? What may be the Keep on Truckin of the My Space era?

    Who will be your digital Cujo?

    Your assignment:  choose a meme that has fallen off the general landscape (google for older ones if need be).  Take that meme and in a paragraph or two explain how it now can be used as a symbol of that time period it was in,  how things have shifted and change from that point in time and popular culture.

    Bonus gold  star extra credit :    change the meme to show its new meaning…you can play with the image, text or both.   (remember:  the Mullet in the 80’s was just a hair cut)


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