The boys who cried meme
So yeah, this little gem was flying around Twitter yesterday and the free world was intensely butthurt to discover this morning that the ‘meme’ is a lie. Brothers Leo and John Resig had apperently succeeded in their admirable goal of bullshitting the entire western world with a white board.
The intent of this fabulous jape? According to bro#1:
“We didn’t do this for the media. I’d did it almost to prove to myself that I had it in me, to make something go viral at 4:30 in the morning before the world wakes up. You get a pure thrill of watching your site go from 15,000 uniques to 440,000 uniques in a single hour, watching yourself sucker every site from a-z who didn’t do their backstory.”
So they didn’t do it for the money. This in a way would be almost admirable, the kind of harmless short con which nets some neat advertising revenue and everyone get a LOL from. Fair enough. But no, they did for a giddy little thrill of watching their numbers go up and to “watch themselves sucker every site from a-z who didn’t do their backstory”. To sucker people. To punk them.
So yeah, I guess these dudes are cleverer than 99% of us, because let’s face it, most us believed it. Or at least smirked at the thought, forwarded onto some friends and then immediately forgot about it. And therein lies the rub, and the ultimate failing behind this fantasmagorical sucker punch. Because lets face it, nobody gave enough of a shit about this article to “backstory” it. If someone sends me a funny gag, or a funny photo or whatever, I’m not so anal as to call First Advantage before I permit myself a chuckle. I chuckle and move the fuck on.
My basic, default setting is that most people tell the truth most of the time. If an old man runs up to me in a crowded street and says “My wife is having a heart attack, can you call an ambulance?” I’ll probably call the ambulance without much thought. Sure, if the prince of the Congo emails me and tells me that he has 50 mil in untraceable bearer bonds in a swiss vault, and needs my credit card number to pay for the cab to get there, and then we’ll split fifty/fifty, I might be all like ‘waaaaaaaitaminute, Congo ain’t no monarchy, foooo, I’ve seen When we were kings…”
If someone sends me an email with some chick quitting her job by whiteboard, I say “elohel” and move onto the next email. And if I get punked occasionally, does this make me more wary about the world in general, temper my doe-eyed optimism with the knowledge that not everything I read on the internetz is true, and proceed a little more cautiously from now on? Or do I just decide that the person who punked me is a dickhead, and never read/believe anything he says again?
In other words, who ended up the sucker in the end? The villagers, or the little bitch who had all his sheep eaten?