Arts

It’s a Thing

White House burgers, irritated men, challenges galore, and more

US President Donald Trump speaks alongside fast food he purchased for a ceremony honoring the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 14, 2019. - Trump says the White House chefs are furloughed due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump served fast food to the college football national champion Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House on Jan. 14, 2019.

BILLIONS UNDERSERVED

Jokes about Donald Trump’s service of fast food to the Clemson football team (ostensibly because of the government shutdown) are almost as stale as the fries were, but here we are, and there they were. But this wouldn’t be New England’s foremost log of essential memes if I didn’t at least mention the equally impressive spread of Photoshop wonders lovingly prepared from the (already unbelievable) photos of what I call the Lost Supper. In other news, Mayor McCheese was just named White House Chief of Staff. 

RAZOR BURNS

Gillette managed to irritate the most sensitive areas of its target demographic when it launched a new ad campaign implicitly aligned with the #MeToo movement, and explicitly targeting toxic masculinity, by calling on men to “say the right thing,” “act the right way,” and, you know, allow women to walk past you without suffering your sterling compliments. Not surprisingly, #NotAllMen took the constructive criticism so smoothly, with furious, totally secure, and increasingly stubbly dudes posting all sorts of theatrical hissy fits, threatening boycotts and posing with guns (for some reason). In response, executives at Crest quickly nixed their forthcoming “Maybe try smiling more” campaign. 

10 YEAR ITCH

Elsewhere on the Internet, behold the spectacular mutations of the #10yearchallenge, which originated on Facebook and Instagram as an excuse to post two pictures of yourself and mine for compliments regarding your ostensibly increased hotness. The phenomenon quickly turned into a conspiracy theory about nefarious machine learning techniques, before fracturing off into several sub-memes applying the 10-year gap to everything from unfolding environmental disasters, to Jessica Simpson’s swollen feet, to Mariah Carey’s apparent immunity to time itself. This was all quite a relief to me as I’d assumed the #10yearchallenge was just to last 10 more years.

DO NOT TRY AT HOME

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Speaking of challenges, YouTube is banning them — at least the Darwinian sort that are getting people hurt, like the Bird Box Challenge, or the In My Feelings Challenge, or the Tide Pod Challenge, or (presumably, and sadly) the Cinnamon Challenge. Instead, the platform will work to support what it views as less harmful phenomena, like the See How Many Times You Can Click Before YouTube Casually Recommends You Watch Some Pseudo-Intellectual Racist Bizarro TED Talk Challenge — or, what I call “YouTube.” 

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MICHAEL ANDOR BRODEUR

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at mbrodeur@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.