Introducing… The Civic Beat Sundae: Your weekly scoop of internet culture writing from ’round the web. The Civic Beat team has been tinkering a lot in the background as we prepare our public-facing site and research, and we realized we’ve been coming across a slew of articles and research already out there talking about this unique intersection of net culture and civics. So what better way to highlight this work than a weekly round-up? And of course, Sundays made us think of sundaes, and scoops, and well… there you have it.
Here’s some of what we’ve been reading this week, illustrated above:
- [USA] Buzzfeed looks at the wide variety of online meme responses to Obama’s speech on Syria. Quite a number of movie poster remixes and references to George W. Bush. We’ve been collecting a few other responses from the American context and will be posting those soon.
- [North Korea] Boing Boing discovered the Excellent Horse-Like Lady, the North Korean music video featuring Kim Jong Un’s rumored former girlfriend, Hyon Song-wol. Hyon and 11 others were executed recently on indecency charges. With nearly 1.5 million views, the 2005 video went viral seemingly everywhere except North Korea, where the vast majority of citizens don’t have internet access.
- [Japan] The apocalyptic anime epic Akira predicted the 2020 Olympics would be in Tokyo. Buzzfeed shows us how its fans giggled all over it: “a gruesome tale of government experiments and mutant children in rebellion, and the internet loves that it ‘predicted’ Tokyo winning the 2020 Olympic bid.” We’ll have more response memes to #Tokyo2020 in a coming post.
- [USA] Queerty features more Blurred Lines remixes from the queer/feminist communities. The music video and song lyrics have been criticized for promoting rape culture and demeaning attitudes toward women.
- [China] Just what you need for early bird Christmas shopping: Grass Mud Horse socks, via Samantha Culp. The Grass Mud Horse is one of the mascots of The Civic Beat for its wacky but serious stances against internet censorship.
And don’t miss these other fantastic pieces:
- [USA] Jillian Steinhauer at Hyperallergic tells us why watching cat videos with 10,000 people matters.
- [China] 150 censors, mostly men. $490 a month. 3 million posts deleted in a 24 hour period. Reuters gives us an amazing look at the censorship machine in China (h/t Jason Q. Ng).
That’s all for this week. Let us know what we’ve missed!