What Memes Mean: What I Learned about Memes in 2011

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Memes are strange, sporadic, and unpredictable. Some Internet uploads go viral while others don’t, often without much good explanation as to why. But if you stare down the dark well of Internet memes long enough, your eyes eventually adjust to the light. In looking at the weird world of meme in 2011, certain patterns became apparent as to what makes me … [Read more...]

Our Top Five Memes of 2011

When I first tried to rank the Internet virals of 2011, the diagrams just weren’t working. I kept trying to draw a graph in my brain, something I could mentally chart out and calculate to get some well-reasoned results. But I kept having this image of Robin Williams pop into my head to draw each diagram on a chalkboard, make fun of it, and tell me to rip the first few pages out of my textbook.And so I just asked myself, “What were my top 5 favorite memes of 2011?” and I was able to come up with … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Philosophy Shifts in Facebook's Timeline

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.More changes to our beloved Facebook are being forced upon us by the trampling hordes of social media developers, the programmers who seek to uncaringly pillage our consistencies and set fire to our comforts. This time they call it "Timeline."If you haven’t checked out Timeline, you should. This update is big -- perhaps the biggest one to date -- mai … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Star Wars vs. Star Trek vs. Twilight

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.George Takei (best known as Sulu of the original Star Trek series) has issued a statement to the warring tribes of Trekkies and Star Wars nerds. (The clip should undoubtedly have a PG rating, so FYI if you want to watch.) In this newly viral video, he calls for a cease-fire, saying “each [series] is wonderful in its own special way.” Takei hopes to brok … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: How to Reimagine a Nativity Scene

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Reimagining the nativity with… Spam?This viral-ready online gallery of nativity scenes ranges from kitschy to cute-but-weird, with a number of abysmal stomach-churners scattered throughout. All of these are real, and most are in pretty bad taste.One thing these tell us: The idea of the nativity has become so archetypical and grand that it's som … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Facebook Stocking Stuffers and Liking Things

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.If Black Friday didn’t hit you in the back of the head hard enough (I hear some people actually did come home with concussions this year, unfortunately), it’s time to wake up and start your Christmas shopping. NOW.If you’re desperately looking for Facebook-related stocking stuffers, you need look no further than the Like/Dislike rubber stamp set. It’s … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: WW2 Tweets from 1939

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.The Twitter-verse is the constant stream of consciousness of the post-modern, the place where the common man can voice his concern about anything that pops into his head. Sure, comedians can work on crafting the perfect one-liner and celebrities can grace the world directly with their brilliant insights, but the vast majority on Twitter is just us … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: The Kitten Covers and Creative Praise

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Not everyone likes cats, but most people like kittens. Some of these people who like kittens listen to a lot of rock and roll. At least one of those people has Photoshop. Hence, The Kitten Covers.Maybe you've stumbled across this tumblr feed of late; it's been making the rounds. The designer behind The Kitten Covers works solely in the iconic — Bow … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Nickelback and the Psychology of Punching Bags

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Nickelback has become one of the most vilified rock acts in recent history. To many serious music listeners, they exemplify the remnants of the corporate rock machine (at least in presentation, I’m not sure where they actually stand corporation-wise). Their music is considered obvious and "radio-friendly," and their continued existence seems ironic in … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: 'Tebowing' and the Complexity of Religious Humor

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.According to Tebowing.com, to participate in the phenomenon of "Tebowing," simply "get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different." If you take a picture of yourself Tebowing and send it to the site, it might even get posted, garnering you the glorious modern crown of 15 minutes of digital … [Read more...]


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