Memes are the online version of street art. Satirical commentaries that are playful or protests becomes random discoveries when they are shared online, not unlike finding a wheat-paste walking down a street. If the concept or set-up is clear, it can be endless.
It doesn’t have to carry a moral or social message. That Super Bowl dancer in a shark costume with hesitant moves became an online folk hero. Then the Left Shark -- so-named for being stage right of Katy Perry -- wastrumped by a trusted journalist whose recollection about taking rocket fire while riding in an Israeli helicopter in 2006 was refuted.
“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams enhancing his story over time may have peaked as Tweet fodder, but not before media outlets covered “the best” of #brianwilliamsmemories. I did one from my original account and it’s been included some of the media coverage. My poke at Williams was satirical by taking on the idea how he became the modern version of “You Are There.” It wasn’t a protest of journalistic integrity being violated, though Williams has answered to it by stepping down from his anchor desk temporarily.
Additional comments that come from those sharing tweets also part of what leads to a downfall. When I looked at those who retweeted #brianwilliamsmemories, you see how both liberal and conservatives, pro-defense and anti-war, lovers and haters of media, make the comments of others support their specific agenda. Also interesting is how the online version of street art becomes democratic. In the street comments always leans left. Online there is a balance. In part because any respectable conservative would think any form of expression that risks being seen as vandalism is breaking a rule.
The online version of trickery is a different platform, and in the case of Williams, very damning.
Above: Krystal Ramirez “I Want to See More Brown Bodies” from 2017 will be reassembled at UNLV’s Barrick Museum of Art in Spring 2018.