Nobody Is Safe From Memes: Just Own It
The incredible and powerful thing about the modern Internet “meme” is that it is unpredictable and infectious. The popularity and relevance of a meme is not determined by it’s creator, but by those who replicate, manipulate, and share it after it’s origin. The original intention or meaning of the meme may not be important or even carried over when a meme does become prevalent.
One of my favourite online memes is the Neil deGrasse Tyson reaction meme, also known as the “we got a badass over here”-meme:
This is an outline drawing based on the likeness of famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The original image was a screenshot from a video in which Tyson was interviewed by the online knowledge forum Big Think. He was listing the many incredible accomplishments of Sir Isaac Newton and made the iconic physical reaction to emphasize the greatness of Newton.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: My Man, Sir Isaac Newton. Big Think, “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=danYFxGnFxQ“
Neil deGrasse Tyson never said the words “we got a badass over here”, but the creator of the meme (Redditor fairlydeadfellow) interpreted the image as an ironic reaction to someone who has claimed to have done something great or amazing. From then on, Internet users have utilized this meme as a literal and sarcastic reactions to big claims, events, or accomplishments.
This is the main reason why this is one of my favourites. Tyson embraces the meme, albeit reluctantly at first, but accepts the transcendence of his likeness and image:
Anyone and anything can become an Internet meme with the right context, editing, and audience. Here is my contribution to the online zeitgeist and a declaration against all those who disrespect snack food in stores:
Written by Philbert Lui
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