Once spring has sprung, all bets are off. Office workers and students around the country, distracted by warmer weather, can’t focus. It’s Internet meme season! You know memes, they’re those videos, catch-phrases, ideas and images that spread around the Internet like wildfire. Remember LOL Cats? That was a major meme of 2007. How about Rick Rolling? That one hit it big in 2008. But recognizing a meme requires some historical perspective. We only know a meme is a meme many months later. So, here are our picks for mid-2009 memes. Many of our picks are geek-themed, and others are just plain strange. Did we miss a good one? Let us know in the comments section below.
3 Wolf Moon Shirt
As far as we can tell, this one started on Amazon.com, though like all viral media, its origins are hazy. Maybe this is the first instance of a meme starting directly from consumer product reviews. Here’s the deal: A guy wrote this review for a T-Shirt nearly a year ago about the magical ability of this shirt to turn ordinary shlubs into hot stuff. The joke had a life of its own. Check out those reviews. This summer, we started to see references to the “wolf shirt” everywhere. For about $15 you can be a part of this meme.
Web Site Story
CollegeHumor.com, a comedy site, exists for the rare chance that it will actually create an Internet meme. This time, it did, in the form of video spoofing the musical “West Side Story.” In this version, “Pandora” replaces “Maria,” Facebook replaces a mixer, Evite replaces “Tonight,” “I’m on Twitter” replaces “I Feel Pretty,” etc. This is the type of Internet video your mom might send you, assuming she’s online.
This one may have peaked before the summer started, but it also comes from a meme hit factory: The guys behind I Can Haz Cheezeburger. Fail Blog posts pictures and videos of instances of anything that has failed due to inept spelling, slapstick humor, or simple poor design. The results can be rather comical. But what came first? Fail Blog, or the Internet trend of labeling disappointing and stupid objects and events with the word “Fail?” And what about the ubiquitous “Epic Fail?” The world “fail” is an Internet meme in itself. The Fail Blog has spawned numerous inspired spin-offs including “There I Fixed It,” a blog about clever (if somewhat ham-fisted) solutions to problems that otherwise could have resulted in a total fail.
Cat Chilling On The Bed
Any collection of Internet memes, gathered at any time in Internet history, will surely include a cat doing something. Whether it is playing a piano, or the subject of a LOL Cat image, cats are where it’s at when it comes to Internet memes. Summer 2009 is no exception. Here’s a simple video of a cat sitting on a bed. On its rear end. Just like a human. That’s it—that’s the joke. But this quick clip has been forwarded and posted and embedded and linked to. This is the cat du jour.
Your Dad Asks Computer Questions
Here’s another video designed by Current TV to go viral. Sometimes it works. Not all Internet memes come from total amateurs. This video features “real computer questions from real dads,” according to the intro. It is sure to appeal to geeks: with phrases like “How do I send an Internet?” and “How do I click send?” as well as lots of heavy breathing and mentions of Dire Straits.
The FML meme itself may have originated in a line from the film “Superbad,” where a character says “F**k my life.” But FML is now a popular web site where contributors can post short tales about the bad things that happen to them. All stories begin “Today I…” and readers can vote for stories and decide whether or not they agree—that person’s life is unjustifiably bad—or disagree—that person deserved what happened. Of course, this site spawned numerous copycats including MLIA (My Life Is Average for tales of mundane events) and MLIG (My Life Is G for when good things happen). FML, however, has begun showing up most often in Twitter posts and Facebook status messages.