Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Stocking is the new, new, new planking—for serious this time

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Planking was more or less the photo-meme equivalent of a summer jam: Accessible, ubiquitous, and, like the record-tying discography of Katy Perry, ultimately disposable. But as summer turns to fall, the faceless Dr. Lukes of meme-making are scrambling to find the next Tumblr-ready trend that can score maximum lulz and shoot straight to the top of the Reddit charts—maybe something with a bit more substance. First, there was owling, a digital rash of thousand-yard stares and hamstring-cramping crouches that sought to channel the wisdom of Athena’s favored fowl. Next came horsemaning, a meme with deep roots in amateur photography which ceased being fun as soon as it was brought to the hazy attentions of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. But just as it seemed like nothing gold on the Internet could stay, a new heatseeker emerged: Stocking, the practice of reenacting the illogical and frequently unusable images sold by online stock photo services. Stocking has all the markings of a lasting hit: An easily explained premise, a seemingly endless well of inspiration, and, most importantly, an excuse to derail office productivity for 20 minutes. Of course, the success of the joke at stocking’s core depends on your familiarity with websites like iStockphoto and Shutterstock, which means this might be a meme destined for cult success at best. Adjust your expectations accordingly, and maybe expect to see Stocking Is The New Planking on a handful of Internet critics’ year-end lists come December.