From Subversive Frivolity to Normativity: A lineage of Trump memes

The internet has been saturated with Trump memes. Some times they are hilarious, some times they are hurtful. Some times they bring relief, some times they are agonizing. This post is a product of my observations and archive of Trump memes and their evolving power from “subversive frivolity” to “normativity”. I demonstrate how Trump memes have transited along a continuum as: attention fodder, subversive frivolity, the new normal, and popular culture.

Screengrabs with the black header were archived from the mobile app version of 9gag on 8 November 2016, around 0001hrs, GMT+8 time. They include all the posts tagged “Trump”, with the earliest backdating to 14 weeks. There were 141 original memes in total but a handful have been omitted from this post. Screengrabs without the black header were archived from various news sites and social media throughout the Election season.

Continue reading From Subversive Frivolity to Normativity: A lineage of Trump memes

The #LoveWins weekend on 9GAG

Following the decision from the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide, this weekend, all the memes came out to play.

I tracked 9GAG‘s Hot, Trending, and Fresh tabs between 27 June, Friday 1200hrs and 29 June, Monday 1200hrs (GMT+8) and thematically coded the most recurring memes. Some brilliant memes were newly birthed or remixed this weekend, while others were old but gold. Several memes were wrongly used or misappropriated, although a handful offered cheeky, playful, and critical humour. Here we go! [Note: Image heavy]


Behold, the screen glaring rainbow meme…

…which of course is a successor of the puking rainbow meme

Rainbows and unicorns. Rainbows in nature. All the rainbow flags.

The White House was a rainbow.

The Confederate Flag got remixed. A lot.

And 50 States of Gay is a bestseller waiting to happen.

But remember, some rainbows were rainbows before rainbows were cool.


X, X Everywhere.

Imagination SpongeBob.

Everyone Loses Their Minds.

Homophobic Seal.

Confession Bear.

Unpopular Opinion Puffin.

Am I The Only One Around Here.

Kevin Durant MVP Speech.

Almost Politically Correct Redneck.



Some public entities marked their support (and practised witty PR in managing haters).

A few celebrities showed their support.

President Obama became the Internet’s hero for a while.

Internet users in countries where gay marriage is not legal spread awareness.

9GAG reminded us that the USA isn’t the entire universe…


The first gay marriages were documented.

Celebrations were shared.

Art was made.

The wedding/marriage economy celebrated the prospect of business.

Singles couldn’t decide if gay marriage stiffened or loosened the dating market.

Some signposted the extension of pressure to be married.

Others welcomed gays into a life of marriage and meh.

Straight pride surfaced.

Some misguidedly sought Canada for refuge…

The bible was reasserted, reinterpreted, remixed, and refuted.

9GAG reminded a certain pastor to keep his… (non-?)threat.

Others were more ambivalent.

But a segment of 9GAG wanted to legalize all the things.


Reactions to homophobes were equal parts eloquent, witty, and *JUSTDEALWITHIT*.

Attention was redirected. Significance was reevaluated. Some problems were more problematic than others. Let the battle of the woes begin.

Informative posts creeped into the mass of memes.

And words became very important.


Gay jokes. Gay jokes every where.

Pop culture references. Pop culture crossovers. Pop culture fandom and canons. Pop culture every where.

All. The. Facebook. Rainbow. Filters.

And some creative critique on said filters.


The number of posts about gay marriage posts being too damn high is too damn high.

It’s been a rather memeingful weekend. I’m surprised 9GAG didn’t break. Which were your favourite posts? Beep me!

See a curation of other social movement memes here.