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Memes

  • Ain’t nobody got time for that: what do memes mean for your brand?

    It’s fascinating how a meme can become so integrated into so many aspects of our lives. In order to understand that, one needs to grasp the concept of a meme. The trouble I often have is explaining to people what exactly a meme is. For those of who you are a little unclear, according to Wikipedia, a meme is: an element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means. an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users,...

  • What Barry Roux and Neknominations teach us about the power of memes

    Let me put it to you: “The dominant media at any given time in a society strongly shapes both the individual and collective life” – Marshal McLuhan What has dominated the South African social media space especially in these last few weeks, was not the elections and the long awaited release of the Public Protector’s Nkandla report. Instead it’s been humorous constructs around Advocate Barry Roux in the Oscar Pistorius trial and the trend of NekNominations evolving into RakNominations. Known as memes, these are just two examples of the most recent topics that have taken on a life of their...

  • Deal with it, Joffrey: Grumpy Cat usurps the Iron Throne at SXSW

    No, posing with Ian Somerhalder isn’t enough for this fluff. The grumpiest feline known to mankind has now joined her internet fame with the popularity of the most pirated show on television. Yes, we’re talking Game of Thrones. Grumpy Cat dropped by the Game of Thrones exhibit at the South by Southwest festival, and spent some time resting on the series’ iconic Iron Throne. The moment was subsequently photographed, overlaid with text which combined the TV show’s memes with Grumpy’s own standard ‘awful’ and ‘good’ and sent out for fans of both the series and the cat to appreciate....

  • #Neknomination and 5 other really silly memes that could get you killed

    Internet peer pressure is the worst. Every now and again someone comes up with yet another silly thing in a drunken moment that goes viral and, before you know it, everyone else is doing it. The latest in the world of silly things the internet could do without? #neknomination. Neknomination is an extreme online drinking game. The idea is simple: film yourself drinking alcohol (usually beer) in an extreme fashion, say a toilet bowl perhaps, and then nominate a friend of yours to out-do your best efforts. Things have gotten out of hand with the deaths of two Irish teenagers suspected...

  • From Yelling Goats to Doge: the top memes of 2013

    2013 marked a strong year for memes, mostly thanks to the antics of Miley Cyrus and the internet’s healthy sense of humour. Below we’ve compiled what we consider to be the best of the best of 2013, but feel free to tell us what you would add to the list in the comments. Fake Interpreter Probably the boldest man of the year award goes to “sign language interpreter” Thami Jantjie, the man who stood next to the world’s most powerful people at Nelson Mandela’s funeral for hours on end and signed absolute gibberish. He might have offended deaf communities the world...

  • Love Grumpy Cat? Get your hands on a Grumppuccino soon

    We had a cappuccino once. It was awful. Then again, it had nothing to do with a meme, and we love memes. Which is why we think the Grumppuccino from Grumpy Cat could be pretty awesome. When the bottled caffeine-based beverage comes out in early August, it will be available in three flavours (coffee, mocha and vanilla) and comes with the tagline “It’s awfully good.” It’ll initially only be available online, although the team says it will be rolling out to other stores soon after that. While we love Grumpy Cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce), we can’t...

  • Check out Richard’s Dawkins’ trippy explanation of ‘memes’ [video]

    “I’d rather spread memes than genes,” says Richard Dawkins. Most popularly known for his outspoken atheistic views, watch this British biologist perform a visual slash audio feast at Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase 2013 in Cannes. Dawkins coined the term “meme” in his popular book, The Selfish Gene back in 1976. Since then, he has attacked religions across the globe and, apparently, honed the art of creating psychadelic performances. Although coining the term while debating and fueling intellectual religious debates, memes have since made their way from the once 4Chan corners of our internet to the Facebook news feeds...

  • From meme to big screen: yes, Grumpy Cat is getting a movie

    Tardar Sauce is going to Hollywood. A talent agent for the grumpy feline, who specialises in representing internet memes, confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the cat’s owners had signed a deal to have a once-off movie made featuring the famous fluff. The film will be produced by Broken Road Productions, the team behind films like ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, ‘Knight and Day’, and ’13 Going on 30′, and some reports suggest it may even be a Garfield-style animation movie. Talent manager Ben Lashes, who was hired by Tadar Sauce’s owners to sustain their cat’s popularity on the fast-moving...

  • The Miss Korea contestant meme: freezing the gif

    A recent Reddit post of Miss Korea contestants titled “Korea’s plastic surgery mayhem is finally converging on the same face” led to a gif that has been meming its way around the net and provoking some heated discussion: (These are actually Miss Daegu contestants, not Miss Korea finalists as netizens claimed – I will spare you my rant on the need for fact-checking in social media.) After the pics went viral, Korean beauty practices yet again fell under the digital spotlight. Many commenters, including the original poster, blamed plastic surgery for the uniformity in their looks. Their opinion is not unwarranted,...

  • Is White Men Wearing Google Glass potentially a killer meme?

    The “White Men wearing Google Glass” is a killer meme, a potential product killer. A friend who is a prominent geek, always a bit of a rebel and very comfortable with self-promotion, is very concerned about posting a picture of himself wearing Google Glass. He just got them and was super excited to finally have them, and he told all his social networks about it days in advance. When they finally arrived he told his friends he couldn’t post a photo of himself wearing them for fear of turning up on rapidly proliferating sites specializing in photos of “White Geeks wearing...

  • Warner Bros taken to court by Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat creators

    The memes are striking back. Warner Bros is being taken to court for using Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat in a game without their respective owners’ permission. The authors of the two feline memes claim that their property was used without their permission in the game Scribblenauts, published in 2009. The game’s developer 5th Cell is also named in the suit. Keyboard Cat is the older of the two memes. Uploaded to YouTube in 2007, it consists of a video from 1984 of a cat called “Fatso” wearing a blue shirt and “playing” an upbeat rhythm on...

  • How China’s first bipedal robot sparked one of Japan’s longest-running memes

    This is one of those long-forgotten gems that occasionally make their way back to your computer screen after some accidental digging up on the web. Some of you might remember China’s race to create its first humanoid robot back in the eighties — a time that, according to PC Mag, “witnessed a rare explosion in American robot mania.” China was one of many countries eager to be part of the boom in this exciting field of science. Its ambitious project took off after seeing Japan and America’s robots at the Expo 85 world fair in Tsukuba, Japan, these being the two...

  • Brace yourselves, here comes the Darth Pistorius meme

    We’re not quite sure what to make of this. A meme has emerged comparing Oscar Pistorius, who stands accused of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, with the plot-line of the Star Wars prequels. On the one hand, we know that memes are becoming an important means of disseminating news. It’s not news as we know it though, as objectivity isn’t even a consideration. In comparing the recent events surrounding Pistorius to those which drove Anakin Skywalker to become Darth Vader, this particular meme is very deliberately aligning itself with a particular version of the story. If you haven’t...

  • 9 of our favourite iPhone 5 launch memes

    So there was a little launch yesterday. You might have heard of it. Apple, iPhone 5, ring any bells? Anyway, the biggest launch in tech was bound to generate the odd meme. Judging by what’s out there at the moment, it looks like large portions of the internet agree with my assessment that Apple missed the boat with this launch. To save you the monumental effort of having to trawl through the cess-pits of the web, we’ve gathered together some of the best memes around the launch. At least one person called Apple out on the fact that the...

  • Chad’s Dad: 8 things we can learn about likeability from Bert Le Clos

    If there were an Olympics of likeability, Bert Le Clos would stand a very good chance of getting gold. Deadspin deemed his BBC interview “the media moment of the games” at the time, and to date it has scored over 353 000 views. #chadsdad trended in the UK and Bert became part of the cultural lexicon: Considering asking Bert Le Clos to form a Government. — Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH) August 3, 2012 In fact, his only serious rival would probably be Oscar Pistorius, who manages to be inspiring, humble and nice (and very pleasant to look at too) which makes his a...