Things That Matter

These Top 12 Memes Of The Decade Told Our Stories Of Joy, Anger, And Sadness

A meme is basically a trend that is passed on person to person within a culture. It’s one of those infectious “word of mouth” kinds of things. That’s why memes go “viral,” they spread. With the internet’s ubiquity looking back at memes is like looking back at cultural moments. It’s a way of taking stock of what has happened in the past through an absurd, ironic, and humorous lens. Here’s your decade in memes. 

“Come to Brazil”

The phrase celebrities heard ’round the world on Twitter. “Come to Brazil” became the battle cry of Brazilians thirsty for pop artists to acknowledge the country’s existence and just visit. Its origins cannot be fully traced, but the first documented instance of the phrase being tweeted at a celebrity was in 2009 — at Justin Bieber who had joined Twitter. For the rest of the decade, the phrase would be used both ironically and in complete earnest. 

“Friday” by Rebecca Black

One of the earliest viral videos, 13-year-old Rebbeca Black’s amateur ode to the best day of the week became a beacon of the internet’s ironic humor. Discovered by The Daily What in 2011, the video garnered millions of views in just a few days. The video turned Black and the “awkward dancing girl” featured in the video into memes. However, the meme also spawned a larger conversation about what happens to random people when they get memed. Black described her experience as largely being cyberbullied.

Ermahgerd

While the “Ermahgerd” meme is probably too dated for Gen Z, the photo of the pigtailed girl holding a plethora of Goosebumps books was everywhere in 2012. The strange spelling and imagery meant the meme would be remixed and reappropriated for years. 

The Harlem Shake

“Harlem Shake” by Baauer dropped in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2013 when the blogger Filthy Frank posted a video fo four people dressed in latex outfits to the song that the meme caught on. Seemingly thousands of people created Harlem Shake videos, making it one of the first and most ubiquitous video memes that required a lot more effort than reposting the same image with text. Creators had to execute a concept where something unexpected happens (usually a crazy dance or wild costumes)  when the beat dropped. 

Confused Brazilian Math Lady

Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah portrayed Nazare Tedesco in the popular telenovela Senhora do Destino. The image of her confused face as math algorithms emerge from it was a photoshopped reaction GIF traced back to 2013

But That’s None Of My Business Kermit The Frog

The Muppet drinking a cup of tea became the totem of a generation seemingly obsessed with getting, sipping, and consuming the proverbial tea so to speak. The “none of my business” Kermit meme grew in popularity in 2014, spawning other Kermit memes like “evil Kermit” and “Kermit falling down the stairs.” 

Soraya Montenegro

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#CriesInSpanish

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The fictional character and antagonist of the Mexican telenovela Maria la del Barrio, garnered an ironic following for her campy performance. Soraya’s image has been remixed millions of times, but it was the “Cries in Spanish” meme of 2014 that brought her to a mainstream audience. 

On Fleek

We wouldn’t be saying “On Fleek” if it wasn’t for Viner Peaches Monroee who uploaded her viral selfie video on June 21st, 2014. Peaches described her eyebrows as “on fleek” and the rest is history.

Why The F**K You Lyin’ 

On August 29, 2015, Nicholas Fraser uploaded the “Why The F**k You Lyin'” meme to Vine. The video of him dancing and singing the lyrics to the tune of the 1997 R&B single “Too Close” by Next. The video circulated on Vine, then YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Hotline Bling

Drake is perhaps one of the most meme-able celebrities of the decade. The 2015 “Hotline Bling” video was jampacked with dance moves and facial reactions that seemed tailored to be repurposed. The video was parodied on SNL, and turned into multiple memes including #DanceLikeDrake and #DrakeAlwaysOnBeat. It even spawned an entire movement of memes called “Drakeposting.” 

Obama/Biden Memes

The “Prankster Joe Biden” memes emerged in the 2015 campaign season and carried through 2016 — the election that solidified President Barack Obama would be ending his presidency. To lament the loss of Obama users began circulating memes that lionized the Vice President and President’s friendship. Obama is portrayed as the straight man, to Biden’s hapless but seemingly authentic antics. 

Do It For The Vine (RIP) 

“Do it for the Vine,” became the slogan of Viners and fans who competed to be the funniest and most outlandish on the platform for views. In 2013, Kaye Trill released a hip hop track called “Do It For The Vine.” Kids these days wouldn’t have TikTok without Vine. Founded in 2012, the revolutionary platform that only allowed six-second looping videos, paved the way for largely creators of color to showcase their comedic and storytelling skills. By 2015 it had 200 million users, by 2016 the app was shut down. 

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Peeing On Escalators: The Curiously Gross Case Of Mexico City’s Subway System

Culture

Peeing On Escalators: The Curiously Gross Case Of Mexico City’s Subway System

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Mexico City subway users often complain about malfunctioning escalators that keep breaking down continually. In any given CDMX metro station, you’ll find that escalators are out of order more often than they are functioning. And city officials have offered an explanation that shocked no one—people are peeing on them so much that escalators are corroding. Yup, you read that right.

Of the system’s 467 escalators, 22 are out of service on any given day.

Travelers on the Mexico City subway system often blame authorities for broken-down escalators at subway stops, but Metro officials have another explanation. Somehow, urine is penetrating and corroding the drive wheels and mechanisms of the escalators that carry riders up from underground stations.

One-quarter of escalator breakdowns on the Mexico City Metro are caused by people urinating on them, according to authorities.

The deputy manager of mechanical installations, Fermín Rafael Ramírez Alonso, said that Tacubaya and Chabacano are among the most affected stations.

Maybe—just maybe— stop peeing on escalators?

Ramírez urged users not to urinate on escalators or other Metro installations, because of the damage it causes. “When we open up escalators for maintenance, there is always urine,” Ramírez said.

But another issue is that there are no public bathroom facilities available.

Most stations have no public bathroom facilities, a fact Twitter users were quick to point out, noting there are not even any pay toilets. “More than this being an issue about ethics or manners, I think that this is happening because of a lack of free and accesible bathrooms in the city,” tweeted one user.

Ramirez also said that other causes for breakdowns include excessively heavy loads, running on the stairs, imbalance on the stairs and objects falling between them.

“There are even users who cut the stairs with knives or other sharp objects, of which we have examples in Tacubaya,” he said, surprising absolutely not one of Mexico City’s users. Many metro users know that vendors even sell knives on subway carriages, as was noted by this tweet.

The biggest problem, subway authorities admit, is that many escalators are old, or have been damaged by rough use.

The city plans to replace about 55 escalators over the next two years. With over 1.6bn rides per year, the Mexico City subway is considered the eighth largest in the world by some measures, and one of the cheapest: a 25¢ ticket will get you a single ride to any destination on the 140-mile (226km) system. Just remember to use the bathroom before setting out.

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This Laundry Detergent Cap Hack Will Blow Your Mind

Things That Matter

This Laundry Detergent Cap Hack Will Blow Your Mind

Joe Raedle / Getty

Moms have blessed us with an amazing laundry fact that has apparently been around forever. Turns out that plastic lid cup that comes with your washing detergent is so much than for measuring liquid.

A little known fact was shared in the private Facebook group Mums Who Clean and the tip-off has reeled in millions of comments and views.

While all of us probably use the lids of our detergent bottles for measuring out the soup it turns out you’re meant to put the plastic lid or cup into the wash with your load. That way all of the detergent soap can be rinsed from it. This means that not only do your clothes get the exact amount of detergent it needs but it also means that this method will keep you from getting that messy soap up in your cup.

When the load is finished you scoop out the squeaky clean cup and use it for next time!

Don’t forget to be careful!

This hack doesn’t apply to all caps. Some brands will specify that the cup can’t be added i to your wash. According to news.com.au “There could be a risk of damaging parts and components, within the bowl itself, in relation to the agitator…It could get caught or trapped under the agitator or damage the fins of the agitator. Also it could damage the plastic cup you put in, resulting in bits of plastic going through your clothes.”

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