In late March, Reddit declared the American Chopper argument meme dead. “SELL SELL SELL” read a top post in r/MemeEconomy, linking to a screenshot of VICE’s Facebook post of my blog entry “This Angry ‘American Chopper’ Meme Is Our New Favorite Meme.”
“They die too young these days,” said one Reddit user. “When it becomes Vice's favorite meme it becomes everyone else's least favorite,” wrote another.
In fact, the original format has now shifted into a conversation about the nature of memes themselves.
Turns out, the American Chopper argument meme is itself a perfect medium for discussing some of the various arguments and theories around meme optimization. Check out some prime examples below.
In some ways, the meme isn’t ideal for mobile users...
...but also proves challenging to desktop users.
So, point-blank, does it work or not?
Is corporate use of the meme OK?
Like the format, but not the source material?
And THIS idea.
So, that’s where we’re at right now. In fairness to all you meme speculators out there, I actually think one meme economist got this one quite right. “I suggest just freezing your assets short to medium term,” wrote Reddit user someoneinmyhead in the previously-mentioned thread. “It was a blip and didn’t get any real interest or attention yet. Vice attempted to normify before it even took off, so this format is dormant and stunted, not dead.”
Well done, someoneinmyhead. Better luck next time, everybody else.
Additional reporting by Anna Iovine.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Peter Slattery on Twitter__.