Internet Memes

Internet memes are `cultural’ phenomena which quickly gain popularity and, as a result, rapidly spread across the Web. These usually take the form of images or videos. Although not the first, the earliest one I can remember is “All your base are belong to us”, based on a mistranslated Japanese video game. It became popular to put this phrase in all kinds of photos. An other particularly prolific meme is the so-called Rickroll: hidden behind a possibly interesting link is the video of Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. There is even an 8-bit and an Obama version.

Although I can give many more examples, a friend pointed me to the so-called Nyan Cat, which has recently become a very popular meme. It consists of an animation of a flying cat with a Pop Tart as body. This showed up on YouTube which even changed their video slider to mimic the shape of the cat and the rainbow trail! :

There is also a browser based version that keeps track of how long you have been listening.

The looped tune in particular, of Japanese origin, is an addictive ear pleaser, but one is left to wonder: why?