Want endless Bernie Sanders memes? Try this meme generator
Is there a more accurate marker for stardom than being turned into a meme? Whether they are borne out of fame or infamy, memes consolidate your fifteen minutes (or more) in the spotlight. You could say you’re not really a celebrity until people have started making memes about you.
Senator Bernie Sanders has ridden on the meme rodeo more than once. Bernie became a pop culture icon long ago – we’ve all seen those LOTR/Sanders memes, right? – thanks to his passionate defense of his sometimes controversial opinions. It could be argued, however, that the most recent Presidential Inauguration took Sanders to the next level of meme-ness.
Bernie’s casual attire during President Biden’s Inauguration is the stuff meme-makers dream of. It didn’t take any time for the web to be flooded by a new batch of Bernie memes. Unfortunately, not everyone knows their way around Photoshop. So, a twenty-two year-old grad student has decided to throw a bone to those of us who aren’t great at image-editing.
Meet Nick Sawhney, the twenty-two-year-old who saw a void in the world of memes and filled it. Sawhney created the website Bernie Sits, an instant hit with amateur meme-aficionados. The site allows you to place Senator Sanders (“Biden Inauguration” edition) in front of any address in the world, courtesy of Google Maps. All you have to do is enter the address, click submit, and the meme will pop up, ready for you to download.
Just how popular are the new Bernie memes? In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Sawhney said the site was averaging twenty to thirty requests per second on the day after the Inauguration. The NYU student had to work overtime to keep up with the demand.
“It was very frantic. I felt like my apartment was on fire,” Sawhney told Buzzfeed News. “I was, like, scaling up the website, going on Twitter and trying to raise money to keep paying for it so it wouldn’t just shut down. It was really a nonstop kind of night.” Is that a prime example of American can-do attitude or what? And did we mention Sawhney pulled all this off in less than a day?
Is there a way to channel all this love for the parka-wearing, mitten-brandishing Senator towards something bigger? Or is giving everyone in the world the power to create Bernie memes the endgame? Sawhney said he actually hoped he could use the momentum to achieve something meaningful.
“I’d much rather the energy go from this to like talking about what Bernie has to say and how we can deal with it. I’m not here trying to, like, you know, turn this meme website into a business or anything like that,” Sawhney explained to Buzzfeed News. “I’m very happy that people are giving me money to support the site, and I will keep it running and maintained, until all of that runs out.”
Bernie would probably appreciate Sawhney’s gesture, not that the Senator needed it. As Sawhney himself noted in the interview, Bernie is a rather beloved figure online – unless you happen to be diametrically opposed to his political views, perhaps. “I feel like, especially in these circles of Twitter, people poke fun at him in a much more loving way than they poke fun of other politicians,” said the grad student.
Meme it while you can
It’s unclear how long Bernie Sits will run. Regardless of how long Sawhney decides to maintain the site, another important fact about memes is they’re ephemeral. Sure, some memes come back to prominence time and again, but most are hot for a few days and then fade into obscurity.
Bernie memes have a longer shelf-life than the average meme because the Senator is a meme-inspiring machine. That works for & against Bernie Sits, as it will remain relevant thanks to Bernie but also will quickly be set aside once Bernie does something else that is memeable. Then again, Sawhney might create a new site out of that new situation as well.
What we are saying is: if you want to create a photograph of Bernie sitting in front of your house, wearing his parka & mittens, now’s the time. Don’t wait too long to create your Bernie memes.