Taylor Armstrong, Julia, Amery Sievertson discussed on Dear Sugars

Dear Sugars
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hey sugar fans, this is producer emeritus amery sievertson, and I'm coming to you with an episode today of another show, a show that I actually co host with my colleague Ben Brock Johnson. The show's called endless thread. And we've been doing a series lately all about memes Internet memes. And there's one episode in particular that I thought might resonate with some of you. It's about a woman who starred in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She was part of the original cast. Her name is Taylor Armstrong, and she became the focus of a truly ubiquitous meme that you've probably seen, but you might not have known was Taylor Armstrong, and even if you knew it was, you might not know the story behind it. So we wanted to share that with you today. And if you like what you hear, you can head on over to the endless thread feed right after this and hit subscribe to hear more episodes like that. But in the meantime, here's our episode with Taylor Armstrong called woman yelling at a cat. Produced by the eye lab at WBUR, Boston. Quick heads up guys, this episode deals with physical and emotional abuse and mention suicide. We have resources on our website if you're experiencing anything like this. So listen with care, or you could skip this one, and we'll catch you next time. Okay, here's the show. Hi. Can you hear me okay? Yeah, I can hear you. I'm using my do you recognize this voice Ben? Isn't it real housewive? Isn't it a real housewife? Unless it's the real housewife, sieverts in addition, 'cause that's my sister. Do you know sister? You really pull the fast one on me. Well, I called her up because a few years ago, Julia made a meme. This was one of the multi paneled ones featuring a father and son, and I'll let her describe it. The dad is like a gray haired guy in a black T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. He's got a bunch of tattoos and a huge handlebar mustache. He's sitting at a desk chair yelling, and then the next panel is the sun in a ball cap, yelling back and like pointing, and then the dad yells more and then the sun throws a chair and then the dad continues to yell pointing. So it's a back and forth argument. Love this meme. Great meme. Good job, Julia. That's the template. I'm glad you can picture it. So Julia inspired by a low stakes kitchen implement related argument she had with her husband. Oh boy. She captioned the meme like so. So the dad yells, you can't use the microplane for cheese. The sun says yes, I can. The tad yells. It is for citrus zest and spices only. The sun throws the chair. Cheese is literally one of the examples on the blade cover. The dad says, then please wash it right after you use it. Okay, so first of all, I definitely use my microplane for cheese. Come on. You're not alone. You're not alone. So Julia in this case was the dad in the meme, the handlebar mustache guy. And her husband was the son who in this scenario used the microplane to grate cheese. Don't you mean the one who's correct? Well, correct or not, there were some results from this meme that Julia made. I've got to say me posting this did lead to him not using the microplane for cheese. Congratulations, Julia. You've used a meme to browbeat your husband into doing the wrong thing. A small marital victory with a meme to thank. But anyway, this is from a show called American chopper. It's a reality show on discovery and then TLC doesn't exist anymore. It followed a family run custom motorcycle manufacturing company. And this scene is from an episode in 2008 featuring the father and son who run the company, Paul tuttle, senior and junior. Yep, mister handlebar mustache in the boy. Yeah? Exactly. And in this scene, Paul senior is confronting Paul junior about how he's like late and lazy. And so things get heated, Paul junior throws a chair. You know what? Don't call the coconut terminator. Good it's about time. So that's what's actually going on in the scene. They got memed, but Julia had never seen American chopper, she just saw this meme template and thought, oh yeah, I got something for this. It was a good representation of how we communicate about things that we disagree about. And one of his friends has comment on it was this is so romantic. Yeah. That was the intention. I mean, hey, if you think the meme version of whatever dad is romantic, then I agree. This does get at the heart of something though, right? Which is that we see ourselves in our own relationships in these caricature ish meme templates. Memes are so powerful because they get it reality in this way and they really hit us in the fields and when we get hit in the fields, it's hard not to join in on the fun, often without really thinking too deeply about who the real people who are becoming our avatars in these memes are, and what the original scenario was. Well, fortunately, for Julia, this quote unquote real reality TV scenario on American shopper had relatively low stakes. But imposing our own story on a scenario without knowing the actual backstory can get tricky. You know the one that's popular now that's like the women screaming at the cat. That's meme chorus member Sarah leola, a system Professor of digital culture and design at coastal Carolina university. I think she's like blond, and she's took two panel one where she's yelling and then there's always a cat on the other side that's like, ah. For the first time in the history of this meme series, this was a meme that I was actually more familiar with than Ben, who sort of fancies himself the meme lord of the EP. Come on. I think I can picture the woman you're talking about. I don't remember the cat, is the woman? Does she have her mouth open and she's? And there's a girl like a friend behind her, like, either holding her mouth pointing her back. Yeah, I'm sure that you've seen it. Yeah. This meme that I definitely have seen is very ridiculous, absurd, even. A woman on one side screaming and pointing, and she's of course pointing at a picture of a white cat, totally unrelated to the woman sitting at a table, the cat's got like a plate of salad in front of it, making a kind of derpy cat face, like, I did not order salad. And so when the two pictures were put side by side in a tweet in May of 2019, the Internet went to town. One person put a little Santa hat on the cat and captioned it, Merry Christmas, while the woman yells, it's November. Another version has the woman screaming target in the cat responds, targe. And so on and so on. And the cat is named smudge. And the picture of the cat giving salad some attitude was first posted on tumblr by his human who says he really does like sitting at the dinner table and he really doesn't like vegetables or vegetals in the parlance of the Internet. But who is the woman in the meme? And what is she yelling about? Look more closely at the picture, and you'll see that she has tears in her eyes. Her face is red with rage or pain or both. The friend behind her is gripping her just under her outstretched arm. She's holding.

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