#3. Chk-Chk-Boom (Australia)
When you think of Australia, you're probably thinking about two things: violence and alcohol. These two aspects of the Aussie condition are perfectly represented in this video, wherein a news reporter attempts to interview some drunk people about a very public shooting:
In a scene that is equal parts hilarious and awkward, the girl tells her ridiculous and virtually incomprehensible version of the story, which you may not realize is full of Australian racial slurs referring to non-white races. This builds up to her acting out the shooting with, "...and then he pulled out a gun and went CHK-CHK-BOOM!"
The Internet's response? Remixes. So, so many remixes.
Much like some ethereal, divine force, the Internet does occasionally reach down to the mortal coil and pick out a Chosen One. "Chk-Chk-Boom Girl" became an overnight Australian hero and because the media obeys the Internet's every whim, her elevation to meme status shot this random human being to the realm of a C-list Australian celebrity. That probably isn't enough for a recording contract, but is enough for a spot on a reality show, or to take your clothes off in a magazine.
#2. Sarkozy Was There (France)
Back in November 2009, French president Nicolas Sarkozy tried to pull the wool over the Internet's eyes, and the Internet would have none of it. Sarkozy tagged himself in a photo on Facebook that he purported to have been snapped in Berlin on the day people started to demolish the Wall, thus being one of the first to start hacking away at the great symbol of Communist tyranny. It's the kind of propaganda that you half expect to come out of North Korea, an image of their Fearless President displaying leadership at some great historical event. Also, it was totally a lie.
Making use of the obsessive attention to detail that the Internet is known for, it was a blogger who called Sarkozy's bluff, insisting that the dates he was quoting didn't quite add up. The media quickly dug up some archival footage that proved the not-yet-President didn't just quote the wrong date for the fall of the Berlin Wall, but he wasn't even in Berlin until a full week later. This is what is known as a "fuck-up."
Nevertheless, it wasn't long before more forgotten photographs from Sarkozy's past began to surface on the French Internet:
No matter how hard you work...
No matter how much you achieve...
...a few nerds with pirated copies of Photoshop can turn it all to ashes in your mouth.
Mercilessly mocking their president's faux pas as only the French can, it became an Internet sensation to Photoshop Sarkozy into every important event in history from the storming of Normandy...
...to the execution of Socrates.
And it wasn't just message boards and the denizens of L'QuatreChan, but the French media who actively encouraged the phenomenon. Because, say what you will about the French, they don't mess around if they think you're due some ridicule.
#1. Makmende (Kenya)
From our lofty perch on top of the world, it's easy for us to think that, short of the Moon, there's no less likely source of Internet memes than Kenya. As a matter of fact, Kenya has the largest Internet presence in Africa with a whopping 25,000 citizens wired. In March 2010, they broke their meme virginity when this video went viral:
For context, the word "makmende" has been part of the Kenyan lexicon ever since the Dirty Harry movies found their way to Africa and people started mispronouncing the phrase "make my day." It started out as a genuinely badass moniker, but eventually, any kind of try-hard thug who considered himself a Sub-Saharan Clint Eastwood was mocked as "Makmende," and people started coming out with exaggerated facts about this character. That's how cultural evolution turned Harry Callahan into Chuck Norris.
We're thinking .357 beats round-house.
The trend solidified into a meme when the Kenyan funk trio Just A Band released the music video for their genuinely catchy song "Ha-He," featuring Makmende as a kind of blaxploitation-style superhero. Now that they had a face to put with the name, Makmende fever took hold, and Photoshopping ensued.
Adobe products provide 67.2 percent of the world's laughter.
Makmende has a website, too, and we can tell that the Internet is already giving its newest community a trial by fire by filling their forums entirely with automated bot spam. That's payback for all the 419 scams, Africa. Chew on it.
For more on Internet memes, check out The 9 Most Obnoxious Memes to Ever Escape the Web. Or check out more horror the rest of the world has to offer, in The 25 Most Baffling Toys From Around the World.
And stop by Linkstorm to learn how to make your own meme.
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