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These are unorthodox times, when the United States is consumed by discussion of fake news (a term people regularly misuse to refer to stories they don’t like or trust), finger-pointing (instead of self-reflection), condescension (for instance, someone pointing out that debt-ridden artists are still privileged, even if they themselves are too), and justification for inaction (don’t get me started).
The latest bombshell comes from BuzzFeed, which published an unverified report supposedly by a former British intelligence official that claims Russia has compromising information on President-elect Trump. It’s been manna to the meme-isphere. One of the bullet points in the report has drawn particular attention:
That item ignited the hashtag #goldenshowers, and, well … it went from there.
Art writer/podcaster Tyler Green pointed out that Republicans have been knee deep in piss controversy before, most famously because of Andres Serrano’s photograph “Piss Christ” (1987), which was part of one of the most infamous “culture war” incidents of the 1980s. The Wellcome Collection in the UK couldn’t resist joining the fray. Artist David Colman brought together the worlds of art and politics to give us some comedic thoughts on the matter (pictured at the top of this post).
Memes are reactions to the world, and they have more of an influence on the electoral process than most people are comfortable admitting. Sit back, urine for a treat.
What goes around, comes around. pic.twitter.com/nANtNHTxNx
— Tyler Green (@TylerGreenBooks) January 11, 2017
— Wellcome Collection (@ExploreWellcome) January 11, 2017
— Robert Cicetti (@iberob) January 11, 2017
— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) January 11, 2017
— Donald J. Drumpf (@RealDonalDrumpf) January 11, 2017
Bad News: #GoldenShowers is the top trend on Twitter.
Good News: At least now we know who should perform at the Inauguration. pic.twitter.com/TRIugSJEZz
(@Delo_Taylor) January 11, 2017
— Paul Bettany (@Paul_Bettany) January 11, 2017
Novelist Rabih Alameddine started a thread of artistic jokes based on the meme. In the tweet below, he reminded us that the ancient Greek god Zeus, who desired the human Danaë, tricked (though, in a modern understanding, we’d probably say “raped”) her in the form of golden rain (often represented as gold coins):
Ahem . . .
Titian and workshop, Danae, 1564 pic.twitter.com/0RqZwC8Ugn
— Rabih Alameddine (@rabihalameddine) January 11, 2017
#Goldenshowers has also given older images and tweets new meaning:
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) January 11, 2017
What did the artist behind this know that the rest of us didn’t?? Was he/she giving us a hint? Who did he/she work for??? pic.twitter.com/ti2hhFVeP1
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) January 11, 2017
President-elect Donald Trump’s plane given a water salute as it takes off from NY to the White House for his meeting with President Obama pic.twitter.com/XFY6xsX8Zi
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 10, 2016
But, maybe best of all, it has inspired poetry:
Tinkle, tinkle, little czar. Putin put you where you are.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 11, 2017
… and scene.
by any memes necessary
— that guy
(@kyle_petreycik) January 10, 2017