Memes from 2009
Jenny Jaskey is Rhizome's Curatorial Fellow
It's no secret that the internet, particularly with the help of social media, has birthed a whole new kind of celebrity. Here are a few of the highlights from the past year that demonstrate the power of viral media and the changing face of fame.
► Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt
In early Summer 2009, a t-shirt featuring three wolves howling at the moon appeared on Amazon.com. The Customer Reviews got a lot of attention (there are 1,598 to date), and by October the shirt made its first celebrity appearance on The Office. Three Wolf Moon is now a souvenir of itself.
► Tavi: The New Girl in Town
Her blog has been around since 2008, but Tavi’s had a big year, the thirteen-year old pixie fashion blogger recently appeared on the cover of Editor Dasha Zhukova’s debut edition of Pop Magazine. She is one of the most sought-after editorial voices in fashion and has not yet finished eighth grade.
► Susan Boyle
In April, Susan Boyle appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent.” The 47-year old, who says she lives with her cat Pebbles and has never been kissed, performed the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. When the clip appeared on YouTube, there were over 100 million views within the first weeks, making it one of the top Internet videos of all time.
► Kanye West
Kanye’s unforgettable appearance at the 2009 VMAs sparked a host of memes and memes within memes. Even Obama weighed in on the issue.
The event that started it all: