Doge: The Decade’s Dog
The man, the myth, the meme. The dog we all know and love, and the subject of thousands of internet jokes. The meme uses a photo of a Shiba Inu dog with short, two-word phrases starting with modifiers like “so,” “much,” “such,” “many,” and “very,” to emphasize the subject as well as colorful text in Comic Sans font. First introduced to the internet in 2013, Kabuso the Shiba Inu was adopted in 2008 by a kindergarten teacher in Japan. The original image was posted in a blog post in 2010. It quickly took off over the next few years, peaking in 2013 and then resurging again in 2019.
Doge was not only a meme, as the dog’s photo was used to communicate through a very specific medium. Kabuso was used by politicians and advertisers, and became a weather app, a cryptocurrency and an adaption of the popular puzzle game at the time, 2048. Kabuso’s story, like many other dogs and humans, invites questions about the moral consequences of making a meme.
Memes have become an important part of communication and culture. Essentially, a meme is an inside joke that anyone with internet access can be a part of. The flip side of easy and fun communication, is the lack of consent from many meme subjects to have their photos portrayed in certain ways. While most content is lighthearted, in the past decade popular memes have often been used by those full of hatred to spread that hate. Many may remember racist and antisemetic Pepe the Frog memes which surfaced during the 2016 election. Although the original artist’s interpretation had nothing to do with race or ethnicity, the photo was used to suit others’ own cruel intentions.
Does one bad apple ruin the whole bunch, or will cruel people continue to be cruel regardless of the mediums provided? In the end, no one can control the churning beast of information called the internet, so be mindful and meme on.
An icon, a star on the rise and to some a glorified gremlin. The recent streaming service, Disney+, has blessed its audiences with a beloved new character to the Star Wars franchise. Making his first debut on the Disney+ original series, The Mandalorian, stealing the hearts of the internet. Baby Yoda is by far the best thing to come out of Disney+ for a number of reasons. Aside from dramatic fight scenes, the real star of the show has been baby Yoda. Though the character has little to say, he has gained love and admiration from fans through his simple actions including silent sips and portrayal of his taste in music. Disney has been praised for its decision in revamping the character itself and the franchise that has grossed millions of fans worldwide.
The Natural Hair Movement
In this decade, more black women began to wear their hair “natural.” Going natural is a process where an individual will stop using certain chemicals and remedies that straighten their hair. The Los Angeles Times reported 71 percent of black adults in the U.S. wore their hair naturally at least once in 2016. In the natural hair movement, the idea of good hair is all hair types. Although one in five black women feel social pressure to straighten their hair for work, Mintel reported that hair relaxer, a product which chemically straightens textured hair, sales dropped from $206 million in 2008 to $152 million in 2013. They also found an 11 percent increase in the number of black women who wear their hair “natural,” without using hair products that chemically straighten naturally curly hair.
“Old Town Road” and all of it’s remixes
You’ve heard it at some point. It was unavoidable. “Old Town Road,” and it’s four remixed versions, topped the charts for weeks on end. The song itself was a meme to some and a bop to others. Every time you scrolled on Twitter for a moment or two, you’d be met with at least one video of someone dancing to it, or my personal favorite, Lil Nas X performing the song to a room full of elementary school children absolutely losing their minds as they sang along. The tune was genre bending and left the internet and the world a better place.
The Nevada Sagebrush end of the decade lists are made from staff contributions. Any of the writers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush.