Looking back at what caught the cultural zeitgeist this year...
by Loren A. Roberts (guru of multi-hyphenate media)
Previous years have brought us LOLcats, ERMAHGERD, Psy's Gangnam Style, and the Old Spice guy. What did this year bring us?
Image thanks to mkpiiii9
WHAT? Makanokosappo/Hadoukening is a creative use of photography: one person "pushes" with invisible force and the other jumps up and out, creating the look of a power play from the video game Street Fighter. WHY? It's cool! We're fascinated by super powers and the supernatural, because this world's troubles are so much harder to navigate than ever before.
Uploaded to Know Your Meme by Hooplah
WHAT? Twerking. Where to start? Obviously this existed before Miley Cyrus, but it reached meme status when she a) made it the central topic of her "We Can't Stop" video, and b) made performance art of twerking at the VMAs. WHY? Sex? Attention? Album sales?
WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?
WHAT? What Does the Fox Say? turned into this year's version of Gangnam Style. WHY? Catchy. Drives adults crazy. International.
WHAT? Beyonce made some pretty tough faces during a concert earlier this year. It took less than a day for people to start doctoring the photos, adding Beyonce's crazy faces and pozes to just about any situation. WHY? It's top pop-culture form to make fun of our celebrities in 2013. Also, I have to think that we all want a little bit of the "no-holds-barred" attitude that drive Beyonce's performances.
WHAT? Controversial, because the dance that became the meme is not necessarily the "real" Harlem Shake. WHY? It's not that hard to create one of these videos, and it gave a bunch of people their 15 seconds of fame.
Got any additional performance-related memes that I missed? Have any additional insight into the popularity of these? Comment below...
LOREN A. ROBERTS produces films, videos and music, is an award-winning art director, plays and sings in bands -- sometimes for money, and is a student of what happens when science and technology and the arts and culture collide. www.hearkencreative.com
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