Remember back to 2004? Remember what the internet was like back then? You probably watched Homestar Runner. Most of your friends probably had Hotmail accounts. A few of the really pioneering ones were on Friendster, but they probably had no one to talk to. Sure, the internet existed, but it was missing the tools that actually connect people—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr—which means it didn’t really do much. At least it didn’t fill that vaunted role in our society that it does today: Creating a mountain of wise-ass memes.
In honor of last night’s debate, yesterday our buddy Slade Sohmer at Hypervocal dug out this clip of what passed for a viral meme in George W’s 2004 debate against John Kerry.
Back then, before we had our fingers perpetually on the “tweet” button of our Twtitter-integrated iPhones, the viral sensations were more subtle, more nuanced. Watch this clip of George W rebuffing Kerry’s criticism of the coalition forces in Iraq, and your 2012 brain will probably barely pick up the 2004 money shot when Bush says, “he forgot Poland.”
Now we need Romney killing Big Bird. We need it to be GIFfable—we need to photoshop Big Bird into a WWII ghetto. We need Big Bird’s Twitter account to weigh in—and we’d really prefer it be snarky. Killing Big Bird is a meme we can get behind—we can tweet 135,000 times a minute about that.
“You forgot Poland?” That would get crickets now. Waaay too abstract. Back then, even Eminem got in on it.
Check out the clip below, and read the rest of Slade’s commentary here.