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The “Nyan Cat” video features a crude digital image of a cat with the body of a Pop Tart. It sails through outer space, leaving a rainbow trail in its wake, to the accompaniment of a Japanese pop tune, for three minutes and 37 seconds.
Since it was uploaded to YouTube on April 5, 2011, it has logged more than 78 million views. Mindless, repetitive, and catchy, “Nyan Cat” is a quintessential artifact of viral culture.
While we may associate such phenomena with the digital age, virality has been around long [...]
David: So, had your mind blown in a very understated way by any octogenarian restaurant critics lately?
Maria: Yes, and marveled at their sangfroid, also.
David: If we will all remember this past week as the one in which Marilyn Hagerty, elderly journalist in Grand Forks, North Dakota, became famous for a very factual review of a new Olive Garden—and was then punished for it by having to talk to Piers Morgan on CNN, as she will be tonight—it's still a little unclear how she and we got here. That is, I'm still trying to figure out what The Internet thought about all this. It had some [...]
Have you visited the saddest IMDb page in existence? It belongs to Anne Sellors, a woman just barely featured in the 1984 BBC television play Threads, which imagines the aftermath of nuclear armageddon in England. What role did Ms. Sellors play? "Woman who urinates herself." She did not receive a credit and understandably never acted onscreen again.
Twenty-six years later, that lone performance is being recognized.
Late last month, it very nearly ended: a meme that had, weirdly, endured for years. When the copyright notices finally came to YouTube, and some of the videos were removed–well, they came far too late, and too few. Many of the videos survived, further extending the life of a joke that was never that funny to begin with.
If, as Mark Twain contended, nothing can stand against the assault of laughter, then the "Hitler Reacts" meme was tantamount to poking a dead horse. And yet, for years, everyone felt compelled to pick up their poking sticks and get to work on it. The conceit is one of shallow [...]
The conditional clauses that come packaged with April 5th's trending hashtag #DeleteYourTwitterIf are as varied as the reasons one might choose to delete one's Twitter account even without the advice proffered by someone whose avatar is a close-up of their tramp stamp. With bass notes of generalized-turned-personal rage, it provides a perfect framework for passive-aggressive claims on digital turf, as users stuck with second-choice handles quickly discovered.