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This week on the internet: ‘Cocaine hippos’ and Bernie memes

The Internet Insider.

Jan 22, 2021, 4:05 pm

Internet Culture

 

Tiffany Kelly

Welcome to the Internet Insider, a newsletter where we dissect what happened online. In today's edition:

  • Wholesome internet content makes a comeback
  • Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas' iconic breakup photo
  • What are 'cocaine hippos'?

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a yellow headed green parrot looks at the camera through the bars of a cage
Fred Schultz
BREAK THE INTERNET

Earnest content is back, baby!

We're now officially in the era of the Biden presidency, and with it comes a number of immediate policy changes as well as an apparent reversion to cute internet content. Like this video of a parrot singing along to a Led Zeppelin song. 

The video was originally uploaded in 2020, but that didn't stop it from going viral this week—right before Biden took office. And we're likely to see a lot more earnest, fluffy content on our feeds this year. Now that Trump is banned from Twitter and other social sites, and we don't have to worry about waking up to tweets from the POTUS that are inciting violence, things are a little more peaceful online. Emphasis on little.

It probably won't stay this way for long, so soak up all the wholesome content now while you can. (See also Bernie memes, below.)

—Tiffany Kelly, culture editor


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CELEBS

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas' iconic breakup photo

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, the celebrity couple of 2020, broke up in a "mutual and amicable" manner last week, but not without leaving us a parting gift: an iconic paparazzi photo.

The photo shows a mystery individual wearing a hat and a bandana (who people speculated was Ben's brother, Casey Affleck) throwing a cardboard cutout of de Armas into the trash.

Where did this cutout come from? It actually made its paparazzi debut back in June, when the couple brought it with them to hang out with Affleck's kids. It's this kind of detail that exemplified BenAna's relationship with celebrity gossip media. And now we have this perfect photo of someone throwing out the cutout—a ready-made object-labeling meme. 

—Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, staff writer


cocaine hippo memes
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ANIMALS

What are ‘cocaine hippos’?

You might have heard the phrase “cocaine hippos” recently. Do you need to be worried? Are the hippos OK?

The hippos are fine: In fact, their numbers have exploded in Colombia thanks to aggressive breeding over the last 30 years. But they're now posing a threat to the ecology of their adopted home, and scientists are warning they must be culled before they destroy river basins—thanks to drug lord Pablo Escobar, who illegally imported four hippos from Africa. 

Despite the nickname they've been given by the internet, these hippos are not high on cocaine. They were given the name because that's what Escobar was famous for trafficking.

—Audra Schroeder, senior writer


This week on Behind the Seams, we look into how Disney used a particular style of dress to transform its cartoon princesses into an Avengers-style lineup.

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MEME OF THE WEEK

wandvision bernie meme

Does this mean Bernie Sanders is officially part of the MCU?


WORK SLACK

“Whole lotta cognitive dissonance going on today."

Jason Reed, art director, on inauguration day.


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*First Published: Jan 22, 2021, 4:05 pm