What Memes Mean: #Shamrocking McDonald's Attempt at Forcing Meme

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Did you hear about #Shamrocking? No?Fast food conglomerate McDonald’s recently tried to fabricate a meme in support of their seasonal green-colored, mint-flavored Shamrock Shake, posting a sponsored article on the site Buzzfeed.com. Taking hints from “Planking” and “Tebowing,” the attempted meme was a typical post-a-pic venture involving a person hold … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: #KONY2012 Pt. 2 or What Happened to Jason Russell?

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.The recent news of Jason Russell’s detainment by San Diego police caused some to respond with sorrow and others with delight. The cofounder of Invisible Children and creator of the massively viral #KONY2012 video was found causing public disturbance and detained for questioning, then taken to a medical center for treatment and care. The diagnosis of Rus … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: #KONY2012, an Exercise in Awareness

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.A few years ago, a ragtag documentary titled Invisible Children made the rounds among college ministries and churches, and I attended a viewing at the time. This was right on the cusp of Africa-awareness, just before the general public began to learn about the serious social issues occurring on the continent. The film struck a chord, spawning an im … [Read more...]

The Digital Revolution: Text on a Screen

I recall a conversation with a friend of mine a few years ago wherein we discussed the concept of "digital print media," i.e., reading books, magazines, and newspapers on a screen instead of paper. This sort of thing wasn’t on the cultural radar at the time; we still had flip phones and Lost-watching parties back then. And I was all for reading on a screen: The opportunities this seemed to present seemed wonderful. My friend -- a computer programmer who was much more tech-savvy than I -- felt tha … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Talking TED on Video Virality

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpxVIwCbBK0 “We all want to be famous… any one of you could be famous by next Saturday.” TED Talks have become our culture’s perpetual seminar series, a place where intellectual and cultural elites and up-and-comers take stage for 18-minute sets to bequeath upon humanity their “ideas worth spreading.” The talks are usually … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: What We All Think We Do…

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.We are all victims, generators, and products of perspective. We bring a host of preconceived notions and assumed truths to all of life, including into our relationships with others -- ideas about ourselves, people, and the world that affect the way we view and treat each other. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just an unavoidable thing. We ca … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Facebook Parenting And The Backlash Against Wuss Culture

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.If you haven’t seen this video yet, you can view it here.  Please (sincerely) be warned, the language is very, very crass.I’m not a parent, so I’m a little unsure how to approach this – parenting is the most notorious of all subjects in which the uninitiated give unsolicited advice.  And I’ve also (obviously) never had a daughter who consistently libe … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Muppet Political Discourse

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8YhED4IgQAThe Muppets have always presented themselves to the world as actual persons both on and off set. Most film and TV characters stay well within the boundaries of their imaginary worlds, their respective actors walking out of the studio at night in khakis and sneakers, ready to resume a normal human existence. … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Attempting to Navigate #thatawkwardmomentwhen

The hashtag #thatawkwardmomentwhen has become a Twitter institution. The Tweet organizer in question is dedicated to the hallowed modern concept of the "awkward moment," a tag for venting and celebrating the uncomfortable tensions between human beings attempting to interact. If you do a quick search on the hashtag, there’s evidently a lot of awkwardness to celebrate.A few of my personal favorites: #thatawkwardmomentwhen you say "Goodbye!" to someone but you both walk off in the same dir … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: An In-House Perspective of 'Jesus > Religion'

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Jeff Bethke’s spoken word viral diatribe “Jesus > Religion” is a YouTube sensation, up to almost 14 million views as of today. In the past week, I have read a number of response articles, the one referenced here, one here, a decent one here, and my personal favorite by an Orthodox priest here.All of these articles (and there are quite a few others … [Read more...]


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