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The 2016 election is over, and America has moved on to fighting or coping with whatever comes next. But Ken Bone, a man know for a red sweater, a mustache, and one TV appearance during a presidential town hall, isn’t ready to stop being famous yet. Now, in minute 16 of being a public figure, Bone has a YouTube channel.
It’s not exactly the pick-me-up we all needed after the election: Ken Bone admitting he’s had one interesting moment in his life and then telling us all about that moment. At length. This is a 20-minute video about his 30 seconds in the TV spotlight. What’s left to talk about in future installments?
There was a brief national moment of feeling sorry for the Bone, thrust unexpectedly under the hot glare of the U.S. media with no way to stop it. He started landing endorsement deals, which seemed certain to dissipate his meme status: No one likes a “sellout,” after all.
But then Bone really embraced his celebrity, and not even news reports about his checkered posting history on Reddit seemed to discourage him. Even with the negative attention, he still seems to be having fun.
We turn “regular guys” like Bone and Joe the Plumber into celebrities, but there’s no way they can live up to our expectations for them. Inevitably, we find out they’re disappointing or downright awful, and we wish they’d go back to being regular guys again. But they can’t. Once you get a taste of fame, you’ve gotta have that YouTube channel, or that career as a “conservative commentator.”
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Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.