Articles on this Page
- 07/24/13--13:00: _Grandma Drummer / M...
- 07/24/13--13:29: _Doge
- 07/24/13--15:36: _Scooby1961
- 07/25/13--11:42: _Reunion Videos
- 07/25/13--12:07: _Tommy Edison / Blin...
- 07/25/13--15:53: _Tay Allyn's "Mass T...
- 07/26/13--10:07: _DeviantART drawing ...
- 07/26/13--10:14: _iPad Gym Bully
- 07/27/13--14:26: _Metroid
- 07/28/13--06:15: _#AskDixie
- 07/29/13--01:24: _One-Man Hide and Seek
- 07/29/13--06:15: _Bait / This is Bait
- 07/29/13--10:39: _We Can't Stop
- 07/29/13--11:19: _Pronunciation Book
- 07/29/13--12:00: _Unicorning
- 07/29/13--16:18: _Smack Cam
- 07/29/13--20:26: _Printing out the In...
- 07/31/13--11:34: _Fez II Cancellation
- 07/31/13--14:32: _BuzzFeed
- 08/01/13--16:15: _Asian Girlz
- 07/24/13--13:00: Grandma Drummer / Mary Hvizda
- 07/24/13--13:29: Doge
- 07/24/13--15:36: Scooby1961
- 07/25/13--11:42: Reunion Videos
- 07/25/13--12:07: Tommy Edison / Blind Film Critic
- 07/25/13--15:53: Tay Allyn's "Mass Text"
- 07/26/13--10:07: DeviantART drawing memes
- 07/26/13--10:14: iPad Gym Bully
- 07/27/13--14:26: Metroid
- 07/28/13--06:15: #AskDixie
- 07/29/13--01:24: One-Man Hide and Seek
- 07/29/13--06:15: Bait / This is Bait
- 07/29/13--10:39: We Can't Stop
- 07/29/13--11:19: Pronunciation Book
- 07/29/13--12:00: Unicorning
- 07/29/13--16:18: Smack Cam
- 07/29/13--20:26: Printing out the Internet
- 07/31/13--11:34: Fez II Cancellation
- 07/31/13--14:32: BuzzFeed
- 08/01/13--16:15: Asian Girlz
Grandma Drummer is a nickname given to Mary Hvizda, a 63-year-old percussionist who rose to internet fame after a video clip of her performing “Wipe Out” on the drums was uploaded to YouTube in July 2013.
On July 18th, 2013, the Coalition Drum Shop uploaded a video titled “Grandma Drummer” of a then-unknown woman playing the 1963 instrumental single “Wipe Out” in their shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The video received 100,000 views within the first 24 hours of upload and more than 3.4 million views in its first week.
Throughout the day, the clip quickly spread across the viral media news circuit, including World Wide Interweb, Uproxx, eBaum’s World, the Huffington Post and Reddit. On July 19th, the video continued to make the rounds on Mashable, Uproxx, Hypervocal and Gawker. On July 20th, staff members from Coalition Drum Shop were interviewed by La Crosse Tribune, during which they revealed the drummer’s name as Mary and that she had been coming in once every few months for a short drum session since the store opened in 2012.
On July 21st, the La Crosse Tribune identified the woman in the video as 63-year-old Mary Hvizda from Onalaska, Wisconsin. She had been unaware of the video prior to seeing herself on the front page while delivering newspapers. Though she is not actually a grandmother, she told the Tribune that she had wanted to become a famous musician since she began playing the drums at age of 16. She played in several local bands, most notably as drummer for The Chantells, until she sold her drum kit in 1990, when she quit playing in favor of a different job.
Shortly after La Crosse Tribune published the profile article, the Coalition Drum Store announced that they would be gifting her an electronic drum set of her own so she could practice at home without disturbing her neighbors. Throughout the week, additional interviews with Hvizda were featured on national news outlets like CNN, ABC News and NPR. By July 24th, it was reported that she had been invited to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Steve Harvey Show and Ellen, but had not decided on whether or not she would accept. As she told a TwinCities.com reporter, she is ready for a break from talking to people and wants to take a nap.
World Wide Interweb – Drumming Grandma Might Be The Coolest Thing Ever (VIDEO)
TwinCities.com – ‘Grandma Drummer’ says Letterman can wait -- she needs a nap
[Warning! This entry is still being researched and may be missing a lot at the moment. I’m still working on finding more information, but you can help speed up the process by submitting a suggestion with a link or more content that could help contribute to this entry]
Doge is a series of images of a Shiba Inu dog with poorly written statements in the Comic Sans font. The “sentences” are commonly parodies of Weeaboos and Japanese culture.
Although it isn’t clear yet, most Doge images originate on the website Tumblr. Doge images are also created/reposted on 4chan.
Scooby1961 was one of the original fitness gurus on YouTube, and frequented 4chan’s /fit/ board. Also known as “the Natty King,” “the King of /fit/,” “gooby,” and the “puzzlemaster” for the puzzles he created for the community.
Reunion Videos (sometimes known as Homecoming Videos) are amateur footage of people meeting their loved ones after being separated for an extended period time, such as estranged family members, pets and soldiers returning home from deployment.
The earliest known reunion video to spread online is a video clip a man hugging a lion named Christian from the 1971 Australian documentary Christian, The Lion at World’s End (shown below), which was first posted on a fan web site in 2002.
On April 11th, 2008, YouTuber itschmidt02 uploaded a video featuring an American soldier seeing his dog Gracie after returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan (shown below, left), which received more than 17.4 million views and 34,200 comments in the next six years. On March 25th, 2009, YouTuber RascalsPlace uploaded a news report titled “Soldier reunited with dog,” which shows U.S. Army Specialist Gwen Beberg’s reunion with her border collie after returning from Iraq (shown below, right). Within five years, the video accumulated upwards of 790,000 views and 100 comments.
On April 21st, 2010, the AquaVitaFilms YouTube channel uploaded a video featuring conservationist Damian Aspinall’s reunion with a African lowland gorilla he hadn’t seen in five years (shown below, left), garnering over 3.04 million views and 1,200 comments in the first four years. On May 17th, YouTuber Gard Ole Waerum submitted footage of a woman seeing a pack of wolves she had been separated from for two months after socializing them at the Polar Zoo in Salalangsdalen, Norway (shown below, right). In the next three years, the video gained more than 3.3 million views and 7,500 comments.
On November 14th, 2011, YouTuber grabagething uploaded a video of a soldier reuniting with her crying dog after returning home from Afghanistan (shown below, left), which received upwards of 5.74 million views and 9,900 comments in the following two years. On July 17th, 2012, The Huffington Post published an article highlighting 13 reunion videos between animals and people. On May 17th, 2013, the Fox Sports YouTube channel uploaded footage of a military father surprising his 9-year-old daughter at a baseball game (shown below, right).
The Huffington Post – 13 Heartwarming Reunions Between Animals and People
Tommy Edison is a YouTuber who vlogs about his unique experiences and perspectives as a blind person. Though Edison is most-well known for his personal vlogs, he began his YouTube career by reviewing movies on the channel Blind Film Critic.
On April 15th, 2011, Edison launched his first YouTube channel Blind Film Critic with the help of producer Ben Churchill. The pilot episode featured a review of the newly released horror film Scream 4 (shown below), in which Edison mentions that there are multiple segments with 4-5 minutes of silence, making it hard for him to follow. In the episode, he plays a clip of the film’s audio track without its visual counterpart to demonstrate the difficulty in following a plot without the sense of sight. As of July 2013, Blind Film Critic’s YouTube channel has more than 75 video uploads, 15,700 subscribers and 2.1 million views. In addition, all of the episodes in the web series are also available as a podcast on iTunes.
In September 2011, after publishing 25 episodes and movie trailer mashups, Edison began experimenting with more personal videos on his YouTube channel, including one documenting a trip to the ATM (shown below, right). Throughout the month, the video was featured on Viral Viral Videos, Buzzfeed, the Consumerist, Boing Boing and eBaum’s World. Encouraged by the success of the ATM video, Edison and Churchill launched The Tommy Edison Experience channel to document other aspects of his everyday life, such as playing sports, operating a DVD player and cooking among many others. As of July 2013, this YouTube channel has nearly 85 uploads, amassing more than 106,000 subscribers and 9.3 million views.
News Media Coverage
On April 18th, 2011, Urlesque wrote about Edison’s pilot review of Scream 4, pointing out how much one can learn about a movie without visual cues. In May 2011, less than a month after the launch of Blind Film Critic, Edison was interviewed by ABC News (shown below) about his web series, followed by many other news outlets including TIME Newsfeed, USA Today, PopCandy and The Huffington Post. In 2012, Edison’s videos continued to garner attention from mainstream media, leading to profile articles by The Atlantic, USAToday and Laughing Squid, among others.
In January 2013, Edison gained more attention for his Instagram account, which he launched in June 2012. The account was lauded by tech and photography blogs for its unique process, impressive quality and use of hashtags, including Gizmodo, PetaPixel, Engadget, New York Daily News and the Huffington Post. As of July 2013, he has more than 32,000 followers on the photo sharing app.
Tommy Edison was born blind and began working as radio disk jockey in 1987. Two years later, he became the nation’s first blind traffic reporter. In 1994, he was offered a traffic reporting position with Connecticut’s STAR 99.9 FM, where he relies on a police scanner and commuter tips. In 2009, Connecticut governor Jodi Rell declared May 21st Tommy Edison Day for his dedication and service to the community. Edison maintains active accounts on a number of social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.
The Consumerist – What It’s Like For A Blind Man To Use An ATM For The First Time
Huffington Post – Blind Film Critic Tommy Edison Reviews ‘Thor’ (VIDEO)
[work in progress]
Tay Allyn’s “Mass Text” is a music video by aspiring pop star Tay Allyn.
On July 16th, 2013, Tay Allyn published a music video for her debut single “Mass Text” on YouTube (shown below). Within the first two weeks, the video received over 770,000 views, 10,400 comments and 23,000 down votes.
Drawing memes are a popular type of art on DeviantART. There are many kinds of drawing memes. Some people really hate them, though, so they really aren’t the best way to start out as an artist. Some finished ones are below.
A Pokemon Special Manga meme, asking for favorite story arc, shipping, a rule 63 of a character, etc.
A Hunger Games meme, asking for fav character, least fav character, an ally gaining strategy, etc.
An OC meme, asking for your style, disney style, as a pokemon, etc.
A Death Note meme, asking for first victim, reaction to getting the Death Note, if you’re on L or Yagami Light’s side, etc.
Nobody really knows the origin of drawing memes, but it’s possible the first ones were made in the mid to late 2000’s
Drawing memes vary from “Draw This Again” to “Naruto OC Meme”,And PLEASE! Stop flaming this article! I was giving my best try!
The iPad Gym Bully is an Australian man who took a photograph of a skinnier man lifting weights at the gym and uploaded it to Facebook in an attempt to publicly shame him for his slender physique. After a screenshot of his Facebook post began circulating on Reddit and
As the screenshot continued to gain momentum on Reddit, the post was eventually shut down by the moderators after some commenters began seeking the photographer’s personal information to trace his identity. The screenshot was then cross-posted to /r/Fitness, where it gained more than 8,900 upvotes, 3,100 points overall and 1,700 comments in 48 hours. When the story reached 4chan’s /fit/ (Health & Fitness) board as well as other message boards on IGN, Kanye To The, Bodybuilding.com, many members of the forums similarly demanded his personal information to be doxxed.
Photographer Banned From Gym
By the morning of July 25th, a poster on /r/Rage shared screenshots of status updates from the photographer’s Facebook page wherein he revealed that he had been banned from every location of the chain gym. In the post, he acknowledged that posting the photo was “a dick move,” but argued that had someone taken his photo and made fun of him for being “fat,” the photographer would not have received the same amount of backlash.
This screenshot, along with a handful of other Facebook posts from the photographer, subsequently were shared on /r/JusticePorn with the title “#JusticeForCurlBro,” where they gained more than 6,100 upvotes and 1,700 points overall. That day, the story was featured on a number of news sites and internet culture blogs including the Daily Dot, BetaBeat, Bro Bible, HappyPlace and Gawker.
[Not Currently Available]
Reddit – /r/JusticePorn: Eagerly awaited: Douche takes photos of people at the gym and belittles them on Facebook. The hammer of justice comes swiftly and mercilessly. Mum is pissed. Banned from gym. DOX’d by /fit/
Metroid refers to a series of Sci-Fi Action-Adventure video games created by Nintendo, starting with the game Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since the series’ creation, it has received a large online following, with a large gathering on a number of websites.
The original Metroid game was originally released on the N.E.S. on August 15, 1987, (shown below, left), and garnered critical acclaim, due to unique gameplay, as well as being one of the first video games to feature a female protagonist. A sequel, Metroid II: Return of Samus (shown below, right), was released on August 26, 1991 for the Nintendo Game Boy, and was the first game in the series to be released on handheld.
A third game in the series, titled Super Metroid (shown below, left), was released on the Super N.E.S. on March 19, 1994 in America, and was later followed by Metroid Fusion (shown below, right) on Game Boy Advance on November 17, 2002. A remake of the original N.E.S. game, titled Metroid: Zero Mission, was also released for the Game Boy Advance on February 9, 2004.
A spin-off series, known as the Prime series, was developed by Retro Studios, beginning with Metroid Prime (shown below, left), which was released on the Gamecube on November 17, 2002, coinciding with Metroid Fusion. Unlike previous games, the game featured a 3D universe, shown from First-Person perspective. A sequel, titled Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (shown below, right), was released on the Gamecube on November 15, 2004, and was followed by spin-off titled Metroid Prime Pinball, which was released for the Nintendo DS on October 24, 2005.
Another game in the Prime series, Metroid Prime Hunters, was released on Nintendo DS on March 20, 2006, and was followed by the third game in the core Prime series, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (shown below, left), which was released for Wii on August 27, 2007. A trilogy pack for the core Prime series, simply titled Metroid Prime: Trilogy, was released for Wii on August 24, 2009. The next game in the series, titled Metroid: Other M (shown below, right), was also released for Wii on August 31, 2010, and was developed by Team Ninja.
The Metroid series has garnered a large online following since it’s original creation. The series has a large presence on many sites, for example Tumblr, Reddit, 4chan’s /v/ videogame board, Fanpop, FanFiction.net and DeviantART. Sites such as the Metroid wiki and TV Tropes holds information on the series. There is also numerous fansites, such as Metroid Recon, Metroid HQ, Metroid Database and ShineSparkers. The Metroid Facebook page also has over 21,000 likes.
Y Can’t Metroid Crawl? / PaulyU
“Y Can’t Metroid Crawl?” is a question uttered by Miiverse user PaulyU, while asking for help to get through the Wii U Virtual Console release of Super Metroid. Due to the many mistakes made by Pauly within his questions, he received popularity online with many fans striving to help him to complete the game through Miiverse.
Horny Samus refers to a series of Advice Animal style Image Macros featuring series heroine Samus Aran. The series focuses on a series of Double-entendre style jokes and pick-up lines, featured over an image of a perverted Samus.
Remember Me? / MBD
MBD (Mysterious Black Dude) is a meme arising from an E3 2009 trailer for Metroid: Other M in which a mysterious man greets Samus, asking her if she remembers him. The scene became notable online, due to the fact that the character had never been featured in a Metroid game before Other M
#AskDixie was a hashtag event that happened on Twitter, starting on July 22nd, 2013, when Total Nonstop Action Wrestling President Dixie Carter asked the fans of TNA Wrestling that she will be taking fan’s questions on Twitter. It was a bad move on her part as TNA has been cutting low level wrestlers for financial reasons, and going far as to cut a wrestler by the name of Jesse Sorensen who was guaranteed a lifelong job at TNA wrestling after a neck injury, and not cutting high paid wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Sting, and several other veterans of the pro wrestling community. Fans who have been frustrated with Dixie, Hogan, executive producer Eric Bischoff went on Twitter to voice their frustration on Twitter by giving legitimate questions as well as sexual questions, questions that compared TNA Wrestling to World Championship Wrestling, (which Hogan and Bischoff were a part of and fans have blamed it’s downfall on both men) and statements on how bad their show Impact Wrestling is. On July 25th, Dixie Carter prepared a statement to tackle serious questions as well as apologizing to fans on the turmoil that TNA Wrestling has been going through lately.
One-Man Hide and Seek, is a creepypasta made in 2012 by a user named Sachem31. it involves instructions to a ritual that summons Spirits into your house.
NOTE Doing this ritual is HIGHLY unreccomended since you can die.
There are certain things you need, and need to do
Things you need:
One stuffed doll. It must have limbs.
Rice, enough to stuff the doll full.
One needle, and one crimson thread.
One sharp-edged tool, such as a knife, glass shard, or scissors.
One cup of salt water. Natural salt would be best.
A bathroom, with a bathtub and some form of counter.
A hiding place, preferably a room purified by incense and ofuda. There must be a TV in there.
Take out whatever the doll is stuffed with. Once all of its stuffing is removed, re-stuff it with rice.
Clip off a few pieces of your nails, and put them inside the doll. Sew up the opening with the crimson thread. When you finish sewing, tie up the doll with the rest of the thread.
Go to the bathroom and fill your bathtub with water.
Return to your hiding place, and put the cup of salt water on the ground.
How to do it:
Give a name to your doll. The name could be anything but your own.
When the time is 3 AM, say “(your name) is the first it,” to the doll three times.
Go to the bathroom, and put the doll into the water-filled bathtub.
Turn off all of the lights in your house, go back to the hiding place, and switch on the TV.
After counting to ten with your eyes closed, return to the bathroom with the edged tool in your hand.
Go to the bathtub, and, say to the doll, “I have found you, (the doll’s name)”. Stab the doll with the edged tool.
Say, “You are the next it, (the doll’s name),” as you take the doll out of the bathtub and leave it on the counter in the bathroom.
As soon as you have put the doll down, run back to the hiding place, and hide.
How to finish it:
Pour half of the cup of salt water into your mouth. Do not drink it, just keep it there.
Get out of your hiding place, and start looking for the doll. The doll is not necessarily in the bathroom. Whatever happens, do not spit out the salt water.
When you find the doll, pour the rest of the salt water in the cup over it. Then, spit out the salt water in your mouth onto it as well.
Say, “I win,” three times.
This is supposed to end the ritual.
After this, make sure you dry the doll, burn, and discard it later.
Other things to keep in mind:
Do not leave your house until you have done the finishing ritual.
You must turn off every single light in your house when told to do so.
You must keep quiet while hiding.
You do not need to put the salt water in your mouth during the beginning. You only need to do it during the finishing ritual.
Remember, if you are living with someone, you might put them in danger too.
Do not continue this ritual for more than one or two hours.
For safety reasons, it might be best to keep all the doors in the house unlocked, including your front door. As well, have friends close by, so that they can come and help you at a moment’s notice, if you ever need them. Keeping a mobile close at hand would be a good idea too
The rice represents innards, and also has the role of attracting spirits.
The crimson thread represents a blood vessel. It seals the spirit(s) up inside the doll.
By cutting the thread off, you break the seal and release the spirit(s) you have trapped.
If you go out of the hiding place without salt water, you may encounter “something wandering around” in your house, which may harm you in some way. The way to feel the presence of “something wandering around” is to watch “what happens to the TV.”
Again this is HIGHLY unreccomended, so unless you want to get killed, stay away from the ritual.
(work in progress)
Bait is a an internet slang term used to describe comments or opinions which are considered to be made purposefully to troll other posters or to start a flame war. The term is commonly found on message boards and in comment sections, especially 4chan imageboards.
In the 1990s, the term “flamebait” was used on Usenet to describe posts made specifically to incite an argument. One of the earliest examples of this was posted to the rec.autos.tech newsgroup on August 20th, 1995 in response to a post complaining that American-made cars, stating that soft suspensions and automatic transmissions made Americans look weak and incompetent. After the poster went on to complain that the United States was spending money that they thought should have been allotted for healthcare and education on the military, another user called the post “flamebait” for these comments.
“Flame bait” was added to the Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing on May 27th, 1998 as a Usenet posting intended to cause hostility. It was similarly defined on Urban Dictionary on March 24th, 2004. By September of that year, discussions self-identifying as “flame bait” had begun to appear on message boards as well. In 2005, both tech site Search SOA and English education blog Antimoon (shown below) looked at the differences between flame baiting and trolling, noting that the actions were often quite similar but fueled by different motives.
On February 2006, flame bait was added to Wiki Wiki Web, noting that some posters may realize that their discussions are flame bait and will apologize in advance to limit the damage.
In 2013, an image macro featuring the “this is bait” term was created, using royalty free clip art picture  with a caption “This is bait”.
This image macro is currently assumed to have been used originally as a reaction image on 4chan. An archived thread is being searched for at the moment!
The term is most commonly used on 4chan, in response to posts considered to be trolling, though related image macros have also been used on other websites, such as Reddit and Funnyjunk.
Alternate Spelling: “m8”
In similar fashion to U WOT M8, the shorthand “b8” is used on 4chan (e.g. the oft-used sentence “gr8 b8 m8”).
Common macros featuring the “bait” term and fish that have been created and posted to website such as 4chan, reddit and FunnyJunk include
Democratic Underground – Tonight’s flame bait: I CAN’T FUCKINGSTAND KRAFTWERK’S “AUTOBAHN!”
“We Can’t Stop” is a 2013 R&B dance song performed by singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus. Upon its release in June 2013, the song and music video inspired a series of remixes, covers and parodies, some of which bear similarities to dubbed versions of the “I Knew You Were Trouble” music video by Taylor Swift.
The song “We Can’t Stop” was released as the lead single for Miley Cyrus’ fourth studio album on June 3rd, 2013. On the following day, the official Miley Cyrus Facebook page announced that the singer’s upcoming music video for the song will feature a series of fan-made twerking videos. The status update also contained a link to a Facebook application through which the fans could submit their videos with the hashtag #FanMade.
On June 19th, the music video premiered on the MileyCyrusVEVO YouTube channel (shown below), which gained over 105.8 million views and 746,000 comments in the first six weeks.
On July 6th, YouTuber Brittani Louise Taylor uploaded a parody mocking several elements contained within the “We Can’t Stop” video (shown below, left). On July 7th, The Fine Bros released an episode of “Teens React” in which several teenagers share their first impressions of the music video (shown below, right). In the next month, the videos garnered upwards of 1.5 million and five million views respectively.
On July 8th, 2013, Vine user Aaron Sanders tweeted a video featuring a muted clip from the “We Can’t Stop” video with a loud screeching voice replacing Cyrus’ vocal track.
Not too sure how I feel about Miley Cyrus anymore. https://t.co/RFX1FMz6WW— Aaron Sanders (@NotFamousAaron) July 8, 2013
On July 11th, Vine user Lord Hillz uploaded a similar video featuring the same clip from the music video with a loud voice yelling over the vocal track.
I'm sorry to say but that's what Miley was really screaming https://t.co/4rD16xTwSF— Omar Hill (@RealLordHillz) July 11, 2013
On July 12th, YouTuber Bart Baker uploaded a parody video mocking Cyrus’ rumored drug use (shown below, left). On the same day, YouTuber Shane Dawson released a parody criticizing Cyrus for being a poor role model for teens (shown below, right). In the following two weeks, each video received over 4 million views.
On July 16th, the Barely Political YouTube channel posted a parody mocking Cyrus’ twerking video (shown below, left), which accumulated more than 4.5 million views and 10,000 comments in the first two weeks. On the following day, MSN posted an article highlighting the Barely Political video. On July 22nd, College Humor uploaded a version of the “We Can’t Stop” video with the music track removed (shown below, right). Within the next week, the video garnered upwards of 21,000 Facebook likes.
Pronunciation Book is a YouTube channel that offers instructional videos illustrating the correct pronunciation of American English words. In July 2013, the channel derailed from its regular programming with cryptic videos counting down to September 24th, 2013.
The Pronunciation Book YouTube channel launched on April 14th, 2010 with a video instructing viewers how to properly pronunce “ASUS,” (shown below, right) the name of a Taiwanese computer hardware company. Throughout the next three years, the channel released more than 800 videos featuring the correct pronunciations of many different words including proper nouns, brands and people’s names, as well as the alphabet and idiomatic phrases. (shown below, left). As of July 2013, the channel has accrued more than 36,000 subscribers and 27.6 million views, averaging approximately 23,000 views per day.
News Media Coverage
On September 29th, 2010, Pronunciation Book was featured on the blog for online clothing retailer ModCloth, who listed it as a helpful tool for language learners. On August 5th, 2011, a number of the channel’s videos were shared on Tumblr by bobbyfinger. This post lead to coverage on Laughing Squid and Slacktory several days later. The following week, Pronunciation Book was linked on MetaFilter, where it was marked as a favorite by 52 users. On August 16th, the channel was featured on The New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog.
Alternate Reality Game: 77 Days
On July 9th, 2013, Pronunciation Book departed from its regular programming with a video titled “How To Pronounce 77” (shown below). Instead of illustrating the correct pronunciation, the voiceover narrates that “something is going to happen in 77 days,” followed by 15 seconds of silence with soft clicks that could be interpreted as Morse code.
Soon after the countdown videos were released, members of 4chan’s /x/ (Paranormal) board began discussing this change in the channel’s programming through a Google document, sharing transcriptions of every countdown video as well as connecting these statements with those made in previous uploads. As other related threads began appearing on /b/ (Random), /tg/ (Traditional Games), and /v/ (Video Games), contributors also began to add in theories about the speaker and video blogger behind the channel, resulting in the creation of a second invitation-only document (shown below) and a wiki to gather these ideas. On July 12th, a thread about the series was posted on the Unfiction forums, citing sources from other videos found on 4chan threads.
On July 13th, a 4chan user posted the findings of the investigation to /r/Conspiracy, where it received 672 upvotes, 289 points overall and 332 comments within three weeks. The same day, people began transcribing every Pronunciation Book video on Pastebin and Google Drive to revisit any potential clues that viewers may have missed on prior occasions. Two days later, another discussion thread about the videos was started on the Facepunch forums, yielding 19 pages of responses. On July 19th, the Daily Dot reported on the videos, noting that viewers had been creating images from the clicks and silences at the end of the videos using audio spectrograph analysis (shown below). On July 24th, a single topic Tumblr counting down along with the videos was launched.
On July 23rd, The Daily Dot posted a theory that the countdown would reveal information about a reboot of the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica, citing a number of early Pronunciation Book videos as potential references to the show. This theory that the channel may be a long-term viral marketing campaign for Battlestar Galactica was featured on the Mary Sue and Big Shiny Robot the same day. The following day, Cnet Australia reported that editors of the Google document had traced the parked domain PronunciationBook.com to Thomas Bender of Synydyne, the company behind late 2000s alternate reality game This is My Milwaukee(shown below), citing a possible connection. On July 26th, Geekosystem offered their own explanation, suggesting that video game developer Bungie could be behind it, in support of their new game Destiny.
On April 13th, 2011, the YouTube channel Pronunciation Manual launched, offering similar instructional videos. However, these videos intentionally mispronounce the words for comedic purposes. As of July 2013, the channel has inspired other copycat channels including PronunciationPartner and PronunciationPooper while amassing more than 213,000 subscribers and 68.4 million views, averaging 81,600 views per day.
Laughing Squid – Pronunciation Book, A YouTube Channel of Word Pronunciations
The Daily Dot – Is this YouTube series counting down to a new “Battlestar Galactica”? / 7/23/2013
Unicorning is a photo fad that entails getting one’s picture taken while wearing a rubber unicorn mask in a public place, similar to the use of horse head masks.
The phenomenon was started by Laura DeMerchant, a Los Angeles-based film producer who began collecting unicorn masks and offering to take pictures of her friends as early as last fall. As her “unicorning” photo collection grew, DeMerchant eventually began sharing her photographs via Twitter and Instagram on March 26th, 2013, followed by the launch of the single topic blog UnicornArmy.com on June 2nd.
The absurdist humor behind “Unicorning” was most likely inspired by a precedent fad involving a horse head mask, which gained much of its popularity through Japanese video bloggers on YouTube and Nico Nico Douga in the late 2000s.
The photo fad steadily grew in popularity through the first half of 2013, with more than 500 “Unicorning” photos shared via @UnicornArmy between March and June 2013, but the phenomenon didn’t draw major attention from mainstream internet news sites until mid-July, when DeMerchant’s friend and adult film star Andy San Dimas was kicked out of a Pittsburgh Pirates game for dancing provocatively while wearing a unicorn mask. A photograph of San Dimas’ stunt was then uploaded to Instagram by her friend Steviee Hughes, as well as a picture of the actress posing in a police station with an unidentified officer wearing the unicorn mask.
In the following week, the story was picked up by several sports blogs and internet news sites, including Deadspin, The Huffington Post, Daily Mail and New York Daily News among many others.
New York Daily News – Pittsburgh cop who wore porn star’s ‘unicorn’ mask in photo now in hot water
Smack Cam is a Vine video fad featuring short clips of people hitting unsuspecting victims in the head with an open palm or various objects.
On June 27th, 2013, Vine user Max Jerry tweeted a video clip titled “Smack Cam,” in which he slaps a man laying on a couch in the face. Within the first month, the Vine received over 175 retweets.
MAX JR (@Max_DGAF) June 27, 2013
A running gag in the 2010 comedy film Jackass 3D featured cast and crew members being surprised with a hit in the face with a boxing glove by actor Bam Margera (shown below).
On July 10th, Max Jerry uploaded a compilation of his Smack Cam Vine videos to YouTube, gaining more than 291,000 views and 580 comments in the next three weeks.
On July 26th, the women’s interest blog Jezebel published an article criticizing the fad, which linked to several Smack Cam Vines featuring women being violently hit in the face, many of which have since been deleted. The same day, the pop culture blog Complex published an article about the videos, which quoted Smack Cam creator Max Jerry’s opinion on how the fad had become increasingly violent.
“I’m really scared how far people are going with Smack Cams now. When boys are smacking girls, hitting animals or even kids, it’s a bit out of hand, especially with hard objects. I started Smack Cam for fun, not to see people come out with serious injuries.”
Also on July 26th, The Atlantic Wire and the Daily Mail reported on the controversy surrounding the videos. On July 28th, The Huffington Post published an article about the video, which highlighted several Vine video examples.
The Daily Mail – "Disturbing new #SmackCam Vine video ":http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2379831/SmackCam-Ever-heard-If-youll-soon-wish-hadnt.html
The Atlantic Wire – "":http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/07/let-us-count-all-ways-smackcam-horrifying/67677/
On May 22, 2013, Kenneth Goldsmith, a conceptualist writer, University of Pennsylvania professor, the Poet Laureate of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the curator of the literary resource site Ubu Web, put out a call for people to print out pages from the web and mail them to the MoMA with the ostensible goal of printing out the entire internet, and with the much more manageable goal of memorializing the programmer and activist Aaron Swartz, whose suicide had only happened a few months prior. The project eventually gained mainstream coverage, being the topic of an article on the Washington Post and a note in Harper’s Magazine. The project has so far collected over 10 tons of paper.
The Call for Submissions
On May 22, 2013, Kenneth Goldsmith launched a call to print the entire internet. The result is Printing Out The Internet, a collaborative art piece that became a platform for discussion with passionate reactions, both in favor and against the homage to Aaron Swartz that with this action the poet sought to make.
The apparent impossibility of the project is just an excuse for Goldsmith, who proposes in this exhibition ‘an imaginary solution to an imaginary problem’, as well as a commentary about the free flow of information, an issue he has developed in his writing and an urgent topic for discussion in contemporary culture that is reiterated by Swartz’s suicide.
Printing Out The Internet is a detonator, an open stage that welcomes dispute, contradiction and poetry, a space that will house discussions, workshops, screenings and the marathon reading of the internet for a month.
Goldsmith is a long-time proponent of what he calls “uncreative writing,” or writing which has been produced under constrictions which eliminate the author’s own creative control over the result. These methods can include the use of “readymade” artifacts as art objects (a method pioneered by the Dadists), the use of a writing algorithm, or the use of transcription.
Some of Goldsmith’s other projects include Soliloquy, a book he produced by recording everything he said for two weeks and transcribing the result, Day, a re-print of the New York Times issue for the morning of September 11 (i.e. just before the attacks), and Fidget, a book which records every movement that his body made for the day of June 16 1997.
His work has been widely studied and talked about, and has earned him a great deal of mainstream attention, including a White House lecture devoted to his work and an appearance on The Colbert Report.
The project has lead to a great deal of outcry and several derivative works. In July, a piano composer sent an email to goldsmith asking for permission to use text from his tumblr as part of a piano piece (the permission was granted); one person attempted to print out all of YouPorn; and the project has staged several public readings of the collected material, one of which came with the following declaration:
IF YOUPRINTEDTHEINTERNET, READING IT WOULDTAKE 57,000 YEARS, 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEKNON-STOPAND IF YOUREAD IT FOR 10 MINUTES A NIGHTBEFOREBED, IT WOULDTAKE 8,219,088 YEARS.
WE BEGIN ON JULY 26TH.
Much of the criticism directed towards the project has focused on the paper waste and carbon emissions that it would cause. Such was the thrust of a short article published in Harpers Magazine:
Calls for the project to end have resulted in a Change.org petition, which currently has 400 signatures. In response to the criticism, Goldsmith has promised to recycle all of the paper he receives once the show has run its course.
Washington Post – Printing Out the Internet exhibit is crowdsourced work of art
Fez II Cancellation refers to the abandonment of the game Fez II by game developer Phil Fish following a public argument on the microblogging and social networking site Twitter in July of 2013.
On July 26th, 2013, Marcus Beer appeared in an episode of the web show Invisible Walls in which he criticized game developers Phil Fish and Jon Blow for refusing to respond to the gaming magazine Game Informer about rumors that the Xbox One will allow indie developers to self-publish (shown below).
On the following day, Fish retaliated against Beer on Twitter for the remarks he made on Invisible Walls and even urged him to commit suicide.
@AnnoyedGamer and you're right. we're VERY successful. and we're not going anywhere. get used to it you middle-aged parasite.
— PHILFISH (@PHIL_FISH) July 27, 2013
@AnnoyedGamer compare your life to mine and then kill yourself.
— PHILFISH (@PHIL_FISH) July 27, 2013
Fish also claimed that he had refused to answer questions about indie publishing on the Xbox One because he was waiting for “actual news to come out” before commenting on the rumors.
That day, “Phil Fish” became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, with over 9,100 mentions at its peak according to the Twitter analytics site Topsy.
After posting the barrage of tweets directed at Beer, Fish tweeted that he was cancelling the game Fez II and subsequently posted the announcement on the Polytron Corporation website.
im done. FEZ II is canceled. goodbye.— PHILFISH (@PHIL_FISH) July 27, 2013
The same day, Fish posted a follow-up tweet revealing that he was cancelling Fez II in order to retire from the video game industry.
to be clear, im not cancelling FEZ II because some boorish fuck said something stupid, im doing it to get out of games.— PHILFISH (@PHIL_FISH) July 27, 2013
In the coming days, several gaming blogs and news sites reported on the Twitter feud and game cancellation, including Kotaku, Yahoo,CNET, Forbes, Game Skinny, Games Radar and Destructoid.
BuzzFeed is a viral content site founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti. As of July 2013, the site has nearly 20 verticals dedicated to content from a range of topics including politics, business, sports, music, food, animals and celebrities. They also offer original video content.
BuzzFeed launched on November 1st, 2006 with seven articles containing 10-20 links to other articles on a specific topic, including homosexual Republicans, Borat and eating endangered animal species. BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti (shown below) had previously been involved with viral web content while studying at the MIT Media Lab. In January 2001, he attempted to order custom Nike sneakers with the word “sweatshop” embroidered on them. After his request was denied, his shared the email correspondence online, which quickly went viral. In May 2005, he co-founded The Huffington Post with Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Andrew Breitbart.
On April 5th, 2013, BuzzFeed’s tech vertical FWD posted an oral history of Weird Twitter, containing a number of interviews with Twitter users about their participation in the loosely aligned group of comedic accounts. Two days later, Nate Lamagna, who goes by the handle @vrunt, launched the parody blog FeedBuzz. That day, he made the first two posts parodying BuzzFeed’s stereotypical listicle content: 7 Unexpected Breakfast Fails and Top Five Bad Search Engines Throughout History.
Lamagna invited his Twitter followers to contribute, resulting in more than 400 satirical articles within two months, including pieces by Something Awful writer Jon Hendren, Toothpaste for DInner cartoonist Drew and #ExilePitbull co-creator David Thorpe. In April 2013, FeedBuzz was featured in a satirical review on Fishbowl NY. In early June, FeedBuzz was featured on the Daily Dot.
Much of BuzzFeed’s content is list-based articles known as “listicles” consisting of a specific number of curated photos or GIFs centered on a certain topic, for example 15 Curious Things Found in Library Books, 21 Reasons You’re A True Hillbilly and 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With. As early as July 2012, this format has been parodied by other blogs and magazines including McSweeney’s, Eater and Vanity Fair. Other news sites have criticized BuzzFeed for using this format to explain serious news, including explaining the political climate in Egypt with GIFs from Jurassic Park (shown below).
Aretha’s Hat is a photoshop meme featuring the bow-style hat worn by singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin during Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration on January 20th, 2009. That day, a photo of the singer wearing the hat was posted to BuzzFeed and commenters began to photoshop the hat onto other photos of humans and animals. Within hours, BuzzFeed made a second post highlighting some of the submitted photoshopped images.
Horsemaning is a photo fad started by BuzzFeed in August 2011. After posting a sepia-toned photo (shown below, left) claiming the forced perspective photography had come from the 1920s, the article called it “the new ”/memes/planking">planking and invited readers to take their own photos. However, the astroturfing led writers from Gawker and Rocketboom to criticize BuzzFeed for attempting to force a meme.
Tobias Fünke’s Blanket
Tobias Fünke’s Blanket is a photoshop meme that spread on 4chan and Tumblr after a behind-the-scenes photo of actor David Cross wearing a blanket on set was leaked on BuzzFeed on August 9th, 2012, who highlighted a series of photoshopped images based on this strange outfit the following day.
As of July 2013, BuzzFeed reaches more than 60 million unique visitors per month. The site has an Alexa score of 85 in the United States and 315 globally. BuzzFeed also has a Quantcast rank of 36 in the U.S.
The Daily Dot – Behind FeedBuzz, Weird Twitter’s blistering BuzzFeed parody
International Business Times – I Can Haz Journalism: The Listicle (And The GIF) As Storytelling Devices
The Daily Dot – McSweeney’s challenges BuzzFeed to listicle-off, loses
“Asian Girlz” is a 2013 alternative rock song by Los Angeles-based band Day Above Ground. Upon its release in July 2013, both the song and its music video became widely criticized for promoting racial stereotypes and objectification of Asian women.
On July 29th, 2013, Day Above Ground uploaded the official music video for the song “Asian Girlz” to YouTube, which featured model Levy Tran parading in front of the band members serenading her inside a small bird cage (shown below). In the first 48 hours, the video gained over 235,000 views, 16,900 down votes and 6,300 comments.
Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, You’re my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
Yes, my Asian girl, You’re my Asian girl
I love your sticky rice
Butt fucking all night
Bitch I love you
I love your creamy yellow thighs
Ooh you’re slanted eyes
It’s the Year of the Dragon
Ninja pussy I’m stabbin’
Asian girl, You’re’s my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
Yes, my Asian girl, You’re my Asian girl
Superstitious feng shui shit (what)
Now lay your hair by the toilet
I’ve got your green tea boba
So put your head on my shoulder
Your momma’s so pretty
Best nails in the city
Pushing your daddy’s Mercedes
Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, You’re my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
Yes, my Asian girl, You’re my asian girl
New Year’s in February (February?)
That’s fine with me (I guess)
Yeah, shark soup (What? Fuck it, we’ll eat it)
Oh, tradition, tradition, tradition, yeah yeah
Baby, you’re my Asian girl
You’re legally (best kind)
So baby marry me
Come on sit on my lap (right here baby)
Or we’ll send you back
And you age so well
I can barely tell
17 or 23?
Baby doesn’t matter to me
Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, You’re my Asian girl
You’re my Asian girl, She’s my Asian girl
Yes, my Asian girl, You’re my asian girl
Don’t forget Chinatown
Happy endings all over
Foot rub rub a down down down
Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra
All over you all over me
On the following day, the blog Angry Asian Man posted a critique of the music video, denouncing the song’s lyrics for being racist and calling the production “pretty much the worst thing ever made.” Immediately after, Redditor Consciouswrdsbt submitted a link to the blog post on the /r/asianamerican subreddit, where it received more than 70 up votes and 80 comments in the next 48 hours. On the following day, YouTuber DavidSoComedy uploaded a video criticizing the song’s racist lyrics (shown below), which garnered upwards of 120,000 views and 2,100 comments in the next 24 hours.
Day Above Ground’s Response
On July 31st, 2013, Tran posted several tweets apologizing for offending those who found the video racist.
I sincerely apologize to all who feels that I set Asian women back 50 yrs. I know I lost respect from a lot of ppl. It wasn't my intention— Levy Tran (@MissLevy) July 31, 2013
It was meant to be light hearted and fun. Satirical. They are sweet boys and not at all racist. That is all I will say. I'm sorry once again
— Levy Tran (@MissLevy) July 31, 2013
Shortly after, the YouTube description for the video was modified with an apology from the band claiming that the song and video were not meant to be racist.
This is Day Above Ground reposting this video with a new description as a response to all the comments we received on this video. We appreciate all the criticism and support. Our song “Asian Girlz” was not written with any malicious, hateful, or hurtful intent. We know it is racy and does push the boundaries further than other songs out there. Understand that we do not promote or support racism or violence. We love everyone no matter what race, religion, or sexual orientation. Please respect our decision to delete any violent, insensitive, or hurtful comment and also one that supports racism. We hope that we can continue with our lives with much love and peace.
News Media Coverage
In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the controversial video, including Complex, Jezebel, Gawker, Thought Catalog, UpRoxx, The Daily Beast, Fox News, The Huffington Post, Shangaiist, Mediaite and BuzzFeed.
Angry Asian Man – Okay So This is Pretty Much the Worst Thing Ever Made
The Huffington Post – Well Here’s Asian Girlz The Most Racist Song In Recent Memory
Shanghaiist – Asian Girlz Song Hits Critical Mass of Stereotypes