Earlier this week, a group of three women in Ohio stormed into a Victoria’s Secret store and stole 62 bras. They were in and out so quickly that to date, they still haven’t been apprehended (or shall I say, “busted”?! 😉 One of the women was, however, caught on the shopping mall security camera (pictured above).
What caught my attention was not the elated look on her face; it was the meme on her t-shirt. If you recall, a few years ago Miss Sweet Brown went into her kitchen to grab herself a cold pop, and smelled what she thought was someone Barbecuing. It wasn’t long until she realized that, “Oh Lord Jesus!” It was a fire! Then she got bronchitis, and ain’t NOBODY got time for that! Her recollection of the calamity that evening made the local news, and that quickly was mixed – and remixed – and became one of the internet’s most famous meme children, with over 46 million views on YouTube.
If you were in a coma or going through your Meth phase, here it is again (original news story and remix) so you know what I’m referring to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFEoMO0pc7k
This shirt to me proved the supreme power of how much creativity has a fast friend in social media. Art imitating life is not a new concept of course. Since man could pick up a stick we’ve been expressing though art what we experience in real life. But consider this shirt, and the path it took in its awesomeness to come to life:
- Sweet Brown’s parents had to create her.
- She had to be in her apartment at that exact time there was a fire. Modern refrigeration and soda had to enter life, as did BBQ.
- The film crew who filmed her were also all born, developed interests in working in communications and got jobs at their local TV station to converge upon Ms. Brown’s unfortunate scenario.
- YouTube had to be invented.
- The remixer had to be born and grow up with an acute talent for locating the perfect 80s TV references to accompany the news remix. Then 92 million eyeballs had to watch it.
- Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and everyone and everything else in the world who talked about this video had to be born and eventually develop a common interest in hilarity.
- And then – and only then – did someone see a moneymaking opportunity to print on a shirt the very meme that Sweet Brown made possible, so powerful in its message that it was ensured to appeal to the very girl who stormed the Victoria’s Secret store in Ohio to steal 62 bras.
The moral of this mindful trip? Creativity and opportunity are everywhere, made easier to manifest by the power of social sharing and people’s ability to make fun of others. Internet memes are today’s shared experiences, shaped by cultural beliefs and basic desktop skills. And I am sure that although the criminal choices of a deviant shoplifter are looked down upon – perhaps by Ms. Sweet Brown herself – certainly her taste in fashion taste would not be questioned.
I hope the 124 Ohioian breasts that will benefit from her actions were worth it – otherwise… ain’t nobody got time for that.
A special thank you to Paul Bradshaw and Stacy Smith, who both first introduced me to Sweet Brown, and my new friend, Austin Coop, for inspiring this blog with your Facebook post.