My first meme


Internet memes are a new take on an old idea. Start with an instantly recognizable image (an icon, if you want to use that term) and add text that makes it funny or interesting in some way. The old “Kilroy was here” would be an example. If you drew Kilroy’s gaze with his nose hanging over the fence and added “(Your name) was here” to it, that’s a bit like generating a meme. It’s a new twist on something that’s already there.

So I went to and went to work on behalf of the Northwestern football program. They’re playing in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day in Jacksonville, Florida, against Mississippi State. It will be the first in a day-long stream of bowl games with Big Ten teams involved, and Northern Illinois thrown in for some added local interest. I’ll have to put my anti-TV bias aside on that day.

There are many characters that can be used as templates: There’s Morpheus from the Matrix movies, Annoying Facebook Girl, Bad Luck Brian, Success Kid, and more than I can describe here. But the one that interested me the most was Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski. If you haven’t seen the movie before–and I sure hope you have–Walter is a messed-up Vietnam veteran, who seems given to scary outbursts and erratic behavior. He’s the anti-Dude in a lot of ways.

There’s a scene set in a bowling alley, and….well, just watch for yourself. So the meme for Walter is “Am I the only one around here…..” and there are many examples, some of them funnier than others. I tied my Angry Walter into the Wildcats’ lack of success in bowl games in, oh, my entire lifetime.

My result is shown above, and I doubt it will be the last meme I ever make. It’s a silly yet creative exercise, which means it’s exactly the sort of thing I would enjoy doing, at least until it gets old. And I’m sure that won’t take too long, either.

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