Social Distortion: Kanye Ain't the Only Celebrity Meme You've Seen

At this point, we can all tentatively agree that Big Bad Kanye West did something kinda yucky to some doe-eyed teenage country bumpkin on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards, right? And since the incident, it's been well chronicled how he's begged for forgiveness on his website (in all caps, no less), and bashfully painted himself as a lapsed humanitarian (to overwhelming cheers) at Jay Leno's spot.  The man has done what he can to make his amends, and we should all follow his lead in moving on.  Case closed.  Door shut.  Chapter turned.  Under someone new.

And yet, Kanye's likeness remains omnipotent in the internets, making starring appearances in email forwards from your brother, father, and sister, blanketing reputable news sources like "lunch hour" executives on a golf course, and even causing Presidents (past and present) to refer to him not-so-nicely.  If you didn't know who the hell Kanye West was before the hullabaloo, you sure as shit know who he is now.

But the tomfoolery has only just begun.  That's 'cause the Kanye thing has morphed into something much larger than he is.  No, no, not into Jesus this time. Into an Internet meme.

Back up.  We know you've heard the phrase "Internet meme" before, and we know you've been too chicken shit to ask anyone what it means.  That's what Social Distortion is for - to only poke fun at you in printed form about your severe lack of tech savvy without making you feel too inadequate.  We'll leave that one to your lover.

Anyway, an "Internet meme" (which rhymes with "cream," ahem) is anything -- a concept, a video, a picture, a story, an idea - that is spread from person to person via the internets -- email, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, what have you.  You could call it an "online phenomenon," if the Stone Age suits you better.  Suffice it to say that if you've touched a computer, you've most likely spread an Internet meme whether you know it or not.  A lot like Paris Hilton and herpes, if you will.

So who else in Tinseltown (and surrounding environs) has suffered Kanye's unintended place in the Internet spotlight?

Rick Astley

If you try to explain it to your mother, it'll never work. Yet being tricked into watching Rick Astley's 1987 hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" was the ultimate in cyber shenanigans, like, a year ago. But it didn't stop at the interwebs. Baseball games, holiday parades, and institutions of higher nerdom felt the rickroll, too. And still do.

Justin Timberlake

Talented, sexy, and now with a perverted sense of humor? Justin Timberlake was an Internet meme waiting to happen. Jizz. Now gimme that box.

Bill O'Reilly

We'd really like to get him a Merriam-Webster as a Christmas present, but conservative assholes completely losing control of themselves when they're unable to translate modern terminology is actually worth the cruel deprivation of language clarity. And hey, don't miss the remixes.

Miss Teen South Carolina 2007

We personally believe that U.S. Americans, such as, Houstonians and Minnesotans, like to know that we should be smarter than, like such as, the Madagascar, and the Conroe. We believe that our education over here should help build up our future. South Africa. Like such as.

What other celebrities are now synonymous with the eponymous meme? Tell us, tell us!

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