It’s been less than 24 hours since Joe Biden’s inauguration and the apparently instantaneous development of a new meme based on a photo of Bernie Sanders sitting cross-legged and mitten’d in the cold. In the brief period of time since we first covered everyone’s rush to edit Sanders’ picture into whatever other image came to mind, the trend has continued to spread with unprecedented speed.
The senator has been placed in famous paintings and TV shows, movies and album covers, his impassive, masked face and crossed arms fitting into just about anything.
As with every meme, though, the corporate buzzards have been quick to spot an opportunity to join in and kill the fun that everyone’s having. While we’ve (so far) been spared entries from fast food companies and clothing brands, Twitter accounts for everything from municipal transit authorities and airports to concert venues and universities have found ways to use the meme.
And yet, despite the fears we hold that it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. Army or CIA gets in on the action, a website made by Nick Sawhney has arrived to counterbalance big business. Thanks to his invention, the meme has been democratized. Anyone interested can simply input an address and then, thanks to Google Maps data, see a little Sanders pop up anywhere in the world they’d like to see him visit.
We like to think that Sanders would appreciate that the ordinary person, without access to Photoshop, can now join in on his meme without unnecessary barriers to entry.
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