red flag blowing in the wind

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This week on the internet: ‘I am weed’ and other red flags

Plus: TikTokers debate stealing glasses from bars.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 15, 2021   Updated on Oct 15, 2021, 3:17 pm CDT

Welcome to the Friday edition of Internet Insider, where we dissect the week online. Today:

  • The red flag meme got out of control
  • Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘I am weed’ comment becomes a meme
  • Bartender urges people to stop stealing glasses from bars in viral TikTok

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There’s too many red flags

By the end of last week, people were begging others on Twitter to stop the “kidney person” discourse. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read about it in last week’s newsletter here.) Well, people finally moved on to other topics and memes. Now we have a timeline full of red flags

Everyone knows what red flags are: Warning signs that you should stay away from a person—usually in reference to dating. The Twitter meme applies red flags to everything from taste in movies and music to not looking at a bird. And the “red flag” is accompanied by more than a dozen red flag emoji in the most popular versions of the meme. 

Even people who are casual Twitter users probably noticed the red flag emoji’s domination on the app this week. Like most memes, it began with one user tweeting out the meme (Know Your Meme identified a tweet by @Jordann773 as one of the earliest versions) before brands came in and pounced on it. Brands essentially used it to lightly criticize anyone who was not into their brand. It was a way for customers to self-congratulate, and it became very cringey. Usually a meme’s lifespan before brands use it is longer than a week. As @dianelyssa put it, “Y’all ran that red flag meme into the ground in less than a day.” Impressive.

—Tiffany Kelly, culture editor



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Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘I am weed’ comment becomes a meme

Machine Gun Kelly meeting Megan Fox for the first time and saying “I am weed” is now a meme.

In a new British GQ profile, the two discuss their spiritual, erotic relationship, first while tattooing each other. Fox describes meeting MGK for the first time, at a party in L.A., thusly: “I just remember this tall, blond, ghostly creature and I looked up and I was like, ‘You smell like weed.’ He looked down at me and he was like, ‘I am weed.’ Then, I swear to God, he disappeared like a ninja in a smoke bomb.” Fox later says meeting MGK was “like meeting your own soul’s reflection.”

Fox’s prompt and MGK’s response were soon inserted into memes of two characters meeting in pop culture, including Star Wars and The X-Files.

Read the full story here.

—Audra Schroeder, senior writer


‘You’re an a**hole’: Bartender urges people to stop stealing glasses from bars in viral TikTok

TikToker @haleydito went viral with her relatable video about wanting to take home a beautiful rose-shaped cocktail glass from a bar. But while the urge at least to “borrow” something so pretty is understandable, people following through on that urge is also a real problem for bartenders, as @the.badass.bartender talked about in a video.

A veteran bartender who’s worked in multiple venues across the industry for years, @the.badass.bartender initially responded with a short stitch, explaining that instead of stealing you can find almost any specialty glass for sale on Amazon. However, responses to her initial video were mixed. While some got the point she was making—that it was about the specialty glassware in particular and how stealing those glasses makes the bar staff’s lives harder—others did not. Even some other bartenders called her a Karen and encouraged people to keep stealing glasses.

Read the full story here.

—Siobhan Ball, contributing writer


OK, this is a good version of the meme:

Now Playing: “I Put a Spell on You” by Screaming Jay Hawkins 

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*First Published: Oct 15, 2021, 2:42 pm CDT