Meme Tracker: Three Brand New Online Trends
We’re returning to the Internet category tonight on Professionally Incoherent, with a roundup of some notable Internet memes that I’ve been tracking. Read on for my thoughts on these trends, including why they’ve taken off recently!
The first one I’m looking at is the recent “Flower Girl Photobomb” meme. This is a very fresh meme, because the base exploitable image, taken from the balcony scene at Buckingham Palace following the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, is only several days old. The meme features a displeased-looking Grace Van Cutsem, a 3-year old bridesmaid at the wedding. She is seen covering both ears in response to the noise caused by the Lancaster bomber flying above and the 1 million-strong crowd below.
The real story here was how fast this meme started: I was amazed to hear that within hours of the Buckingham Palace balcony scene that a meme had sprung up around the flower girl. The meme is very simple: the base image is pasted into other images to achieve a funny result. It’s a variation of two other, well-established memes: “Bubbles Girl” and “Disaster Girl”. “Flower Girl Photobomb” took off following the wedding broadcast because she was one of the only unhappy faces at the wedding festivities. Also, the inherent cuteness factor (on the Internet, that’s a scientific measurement, by the way) likely inspired a number of the iterations of this meme.
The next meme I’m watching ties back to yesterday’s post: my review of the Doctor Who episode “Day of the Moon”. As I was preparing that review, I noticed that a new meme based off the Silence, the enemies from the first two episodes of the show, had appeared. This meme is actually a bit fluid, because there doesn’t seem to be a governing format for the associated images. Some are based on the multicoloured-background template seen in “Advice Dog” and “Philosoraptor”, and others are a Doctor Who variation on the “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme.
The Silence really seem to have captured the imagination of Who fans in the wake of the two latest episodes of series six (Check out my posts on those episodes to find out why!). Because of that, I’m not surprised that they’ve become an image-based meme. While there doesn’t seem to be one format for the meme, they all feature the head of a Silent and a two-line phrase based on the attributes of the aliens: memory erasing, mind control, and leather suits (an awesome combo if there ever was one).
Another meme that is very fresh at the moment (appearing literally in the past 24 hours) is the “Death of Osama bin Laden” meme. Like the Silence meme, it’s taking a number of forms. We’re seeing images with overlaid text that reference the “birther” debate in America, as well as .gifs of Obama performing a celebratory kick after making the historic announcement of bin Laden’s assassination. Others are part of the “Hitler Downfall” meme, taking footage from a dramatic scene in the German movie Downfall and re-writing the subtitles to make it look like Adolf Hitler is angry about the killing of bin Laden.
This meme is still hard to evaluate, because it’s so new. Nevertheless, the intense discussion of the bin Laden story will likely fuel this meme for many weeks. Personally, I think it’s a testament to the collaborative nature of meme generation that these trends have taken off so quickly. Memes are a fascinating dimension of Internet culture, and act as a barometer of the zeitgeist to a large extent. Hope to see more in these categories in the coming days!
What do you think about these three memes? Do you have any images/meme content you’d like to share? If so, post it in the comments below! Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing you another film-related post, but the precise topic is still to be decided. If you like what you’re reading here on Professionally Incoherent, be sure to click the little “like” button below, subscribe for email updates, and tell your friends. Support helps the blog grow!
For more on the Flower Girl and Bid Laden's Death memes, check out these pages on KnowYourMeme.com: