MTV'S 'MOST MEME-ABLE MOMENT' HONORS INTERNET CULTURE—BARELY

WIRED | 6/18/2019 | Emma Grey Ellis
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Colton Underwood jumping over a fence. That, according to the MTV Movie & TV Awards, was the past year's Most Meme-Able Moment. Don't remember that one? You're not alone. But, as a refresher, it's a clip from ABC's The Bachelor, in which Underwood, the show's 23rd Dude Looking for Romance, vaults over a barrier after being jilted. At the time, people shared the clip to express a desire to get the heck out of whatever situation they were in. Since then, well, let's just say they've moved on.

The folks at MTV are aware that "meme of the year" is almost a contradiction in terms. Memes, by their nature, don't typically have year-long shelf-lives. "We didn't let ourselves be too precious about being super-super current," says Vanessa Whitewolf, vice president of MTV and VH1 live events. Instead, they decided to honor moments from television programs within the eligibility period that went on to be meme-ified. The other nominees like Lindsay Lohan's LiLo dance or Ray J's mysteriously moving hat are all from six months to a year ago, and feel more like fragments of niche TV fandom than actual memes.

Whitewolf - Event - Example - MTV - Team

Whitewolf understands this. She says repeatedly that the event is "not taking itself too seriously" and is an example of the MTV team "letting our guard down." The subtext: We know this is a flawed enterprise, we're just here to have fun, please don't come for us. Not ideal, maybe, but still preferable to the way most other award shows honor memes, which is not at all.

Five years ago, it would have been silly to suggest that mainstream awards shows acknowledge memes. In 2014, when Kim Kardashian's butt was enough to break the internet and macros like Awkward Moment Seal were still a thing, memes were all niche entertainment. Some crusty old-school...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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