Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Texts from Hillary

   Paige Osborne
In the spirit of all the memes that were shared over the course of class a few weeks ago, I thought I’d discuss my own favorites in how they relate to some of the ideas we discussed. Behold, the Hillary Clinton meme, Texts from Hillary.             
According to the know your meme website, texts from Hillary, “was taken by Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque while she was awaiting departure aboard a military C-17 Globemaster III flight from Malta to Tripoli, Libya on October 18th, 2011,” (Horan).                                                            “It was then shared Reuters and then it was generated through Tumblr,… within the first 48 hours of the post, the image received 9,094 notes,” (Horan).

Since its inception, people have created multivalent interpretations of the meme. One of my favorites is a The Devil Wears Prada parody with American Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The quote is ripped from a movie while Anna Wintour sits below, the real-life character that was encapsulated by Meryl Streep’s performance in the movie. The similarities between the two characters are striking. Hillary has long held an image of being somewhat cold and robotic. This meme plays on the public’s perceptions of her.
One of the main themes seen throughout the memes of her is the whiplash given between herself and another person in position in power. We see a little of that with the Anna Wintour meme, but there are many examples of her shutting down a person in position of power, many of whom have more power than herself. Here she is taking on P.O.T.U.S. and V.O.T.U.S.

 One reason that these memes are humorous is because of their vernacular expression. When people create new ways for Hillary to interact in the meme, they use a language you wouldn’t typically expect a Secretary of State to use.
One of the other things we discussed in class is that memes are a creation of social and democratic invention. It’s no mistake that a contributing reason for the meme’s popularity is that it represents a well-known figure, but Hillary isn’t just popular, she’s a representative of our democracy. Lately this meme has taken on a new twist with the recent news that Hillary has been using her personal email address for government business. It’s inspired this meme.

Then it escalated.

The popularity of this meme has been largely to the juxtaposition that it creates through humor and the many characters that have been included with it. It relies on multivalent interpretations, social and democratic invention and vernacular expression.

Works Cited

Horan, Molly. "Hillary Clinton." Know Your Meme News. Cheezburger, Inc., 21 Dec. 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2015. <http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/hillary-clinton#fn3>.

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