During the debate, Gov. Mitt Romney explained part of his plan to drive down government costs in order to reduce the deficit. He stated that each expense would be weighed on matter of importance. If a government program was not deemed important enough to take out a loan to fund, it would be shut down. He called out PBS specifically, and Big Bird.
“I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS.” He said, “I like PBS; I love Big Bird.”
The term “Big Bird” received 17,000 tweets per minute shortly after the debate with PBS receiving over 10,000. On Facebook, mentions of the big yellow bird went up 800,000%.
17,000 Tweets per minute for "Big Bird" and 10,000 Tweets per minute for "PBS". #debates
— Twitter Government (@gov) October 4, 2012
Memes are hard to predict, and they tend to source from the most unusual places. A comment made by a politician, a random passerby in a photo or video, or even a suggestive photograph itself could become the next big thing on the Web. For now, Big Bird’s popularity is at an all-time high and it’s all due to a political debate.
Popular meme creation site Meme Generator already has a boatload of Big Bird images complete with witty subtitles ready for you to copy and paste onto your social feed. You can also share (and reshare) one of hundreds (if not thousands) currently being passed around.
Memes are a funny part of modern society, and it would appear that images with white subtitles are far from being played out. If anything, they may be the one lasting reminder of this particular stage in our cultural shift.
It’s astonishing to believe that one side-comment in a debate that lasted over an hour could generate so much fervor, but it did. The question facing voters in the upcoming election is whether or not saving Big Bird is a big enough issue to sway your vote.
Image: PBS (modified by unknown)