Veronica Belmont on being overtaken by a meme

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It seems a little creepy and effectively helps perpetrate the meme that it was used as the tag image for this article.


It isn’t in the article now. I had to dig around a bit to locate it; in case anyone wants to save 3 minutes scanning the video and/or googling to find the gif, here it is:

To be clear, I am providing the link not for the prurient value, but simply for context.

It’s a flattering thing to have made into a meme, but I can see how she doesn’t want to be defined by it forever.


I had never heard of the meme until today.


That’s understandable, and I’m happy that you heard of it this way, because for me it’s just an example of the larger issue I’m discussing in the talk!


I’m not sure if you would see it as flattering if it were used against you, constantly. I discuss that in the talk.


Well, to the defence of the memetic structure of the internet, she did actually do that on camera.

I told my step-daughter not to play topless beer pong with her friends, because the pictures ended up on facebook, where here potential employer saw the images and removed her from candidacy for the job.

Great talk Veronica. I don’t know you from the gif either. I know you from this talk.

Thanks for it, it covers a lot of things I think and worry about these days.(I’m a father of young girls and an educator of young adults among other things) plus I’m thinking a lot about empathy in other contexts. So thanks again.


"A creepy Internet person "

Why am I laughing?


Good question. Clearly you are a slave of the patriarchy.


You have found me out!

I will go look for my former dignity now.


You can’t help it, it’s just the way your avatar is drawn…

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“dizzying dynamism”

Yes, I said it.

Can you name and shame the scumbag potential employer so we don’t accidentally support them with our money?

The panopticon-like aspect of the internet is a fact of life that our culture has to adapt to. Bodies are a fact of life. We shouldn’t allow these things to become this Damocles’s Sword constantly hanging over everyone’s lives if anyone lets their guard down for an instant and it happens to be the wrong instant. Viewing images not intended for us and then making our transgression the other person’s problem is how we make the world a shitty place, where everyone lives carefully-manicured fake lives-for-show instead of having a genuinely nice and comfy world to live in.
On the bright side, maybe it’s lucky for the step-daughter that the asshole employer revealed their nature early.


As a show of solidarity, I, a shark with a perfect smile, will don a T-shirt of my hated nemesis, Herr Cthulu (yes, it turns out Cthulu is German. Didn’t really surprise me).

I don’t do this for myself. I do this for all Internet kind.

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Bad parenting?


Yes, but herr? Not meine dame Cthulhu?


Upon reflection, we mutants sure have a bunch of micromemes that could be an intimidating barrier to entry. Perhaps we should start a thread documenting all the threads that contain micromemes and offer handy colloquial alternatives?

I’ll fax the committee and see if we can get this on the agenda.


OK, it was a really great talk. Watched it all the way through. What are your thoughts on navigating that odd gray zone between dark humor and the empathy we need more of?

That guy who tweeted back at you then chided you for reaping what you sow was definitely over the line… way over. What a jackass.

But what if someone quipped after your talk, Wow, she really was exceedingly lifelike! Is THAT heckling and over the line? Or just mildly funny? Is any mention of the meme too soon, too harsh, verboten? How do we get both empathy and friendly fooling around? When is fooling around just too fucked up?

A friend of mine says, “Fucked up! But funny. Still funny.” Granted, she’s pretty impervious to BS, herself and says some really fucked up things. But I tend to agree with her that sometimes humor is a branding iron. Anyways… your thoughts?

Sorry, Seth. We need you now.

I’m only speaking for myself.

If someone says, “not cool”, I take them at their word. I may push boundaries (in fact I likely did), but it really comes back to the old saw in jokes: know your audience.

Plus I talk too much, I should quiet down and listen with my weird sharky ears.