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Memes and Memories


I was almost too perfect too even expect it to happen, but it did. Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet to victory in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona Friday night. It was a car that was an homage and tribute to his late father…a car his father drove to victory many times in his hallowed Hall of Fame career….a car Dale Sr. won two of his championships in. It was a car that Junior would drive for the last time, and never again. No more # 3 EVER!

So it HAD to go to victory lane. There was no way it couldn’t, and many ways it couldn’t. And remarkably, as the laps were winding down, Junior and the #3 car team found a way to win. It was a brilliant and wondrously emotional moment. It simply HAD to be. There no way that fate or god or Kyle Busch was going to keep #3 from winning the damn thing. It was a great tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt and the #3, which are 2 of the most enduring memes of NASCAR…and 2 of its most endearing memories.

Now the concept of meme has been greatly abused in this brave and terrible world of 4-chan and all that dross. But it still can be of some use other than for cheap comedy. So I got to thinking…maybe memes can be used for smart, intelligent and obscure comedy. Maybe memes or a reasonable approximation thereof can reveal a truth or two about the world that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. So I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I stuck the picture of Junior in Victory Lane into a meme generator of some sort.

I thought about it and decided to use the Multi-Image Service at: What IQDB does is search multiple anime image databases for images that are similar to the one you enter. Usually it is used by people who have an image and don’t know the source…what anime, manga, or hentai game the image is from. Or they’re looking for some similar type of image. So I thought to myself, why not see what comes up.

So on the first go at it, the picture in the middle, above, by artist Jitsu Hidari, was one of the images that came up. Now mind you, the similarity is more metaphorical than actual. The similarities that result from using non-anime/manga images usually ranged between 27 and 42%. I was pleased with the image you see above, and amused that some of the images that came up were on the filthy side.

But then the porch-light came on and I thought….aha!!! Diego Maradona is out there!!  And THAT’s when the curtain rose and the music began to play.  The results of this little skit, a tale in 6 parts, are after the jump. All images are what IQDB came up with as being similar to the source image. Every picture is worth a thousand words or more, and some of these pictures have a LOT to say!!

“Diego…..are you nervoushh!!”

1. The Visions of Diego Maradona Illuminated By The Hand Of God

Looking back on World Cup 2010, vuvuzelas not withstanding, the most consistent memory to be take away from it perhaps is the image, imago, and presence of Diego Maradona, who by some strange power’s employ was named coach of  Argentina’s national team. Lively, animated, and at times verging on batshit insane, Maradona was an animated presence that ultimately eclipsed that of his team. He puffed cigars during team practices and insulted the Germans. But I suppose I should let the pictures simply speak for themselves.  I’ll be honest…when I tried this little experiment and saw what pictures came clanking back as a result, I knew I had to make this the basis for my post. Inadvertently, the anime image libraries revealed a series of truths. After all, any system that finds a similarity between Diego Maradona and Fate Testarossa (the blonde girl pictured above) is a system that MUST be exploited and explored to see what ELSE it might reveal.

Wow!! If only he could be a soft-spoken as my trusty Observer, Yuki Nagato. But Nah….he’s freakin’ Diego Maradona!! Ready to pounce with boisterous exuberant insanity at a moment’s notice.

Germany 4    Argentina 0

Ahead of Argentina’s quarter-final match with Germany….Maradona taunted the Germans:  “Are you nervoushh?”

But in the end it was the Germany who had the final words. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, and Thomas Mueller’s play on the pitch said it all, as Germany boatraced Maradona, Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and company out of Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium and out of the World Cup. It was, I’m sure, a stunning and entirely unexpected beatdown as many, myself included, felt that Argentina was, perhaps because of and perhaps in spite of, Diego Maradona, the odds on favourite to win the World Cup.

Now, it’s obvious that Germany is the team to beat, and while Miroslav Klose is no Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in the world, it goes to show that the best players don’t always win the World Cup, it’s the best teams that win. Messi is a better player, although in this World Cup he was unspectacular. Germany was the better team, and Joachem Lowe, judging from the scoreboard, was the better coach. But I hope Argentina brings Diego back to coach again for 2014. He’s was always fun to watch….there was never a dull moment with Diego Maradona around.

2.    Oasis Will Not Be Re-Uniting Anytime Soon

Ahead of the quarterfinals, Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi made the pronouncement that if Argentina wins the World Cup, they would pay the Gallagher Brothers whatever the fock amount of money they wanted to reform and play a gig for Tevez and Messi and the lads from Argentina….£1,000,000….whatever the fock…here a ya go mates, blank check,  dust off those chops and crank up a little “Wonderwall” for us.

But big Oasis fan Carlos Teves, and his converted Oasis fan Lionel Messi had their hearts and souls crushed by the Germans. And thus, Ian and Noel Gallagher are spared  the comedy of Diego Maradona dancing onstage with them.

3.   The Boy From Brazil

Netherlands 2   Brazil 1

The sadness of the most beautiful boy in the most beautiful game. The eyes tell it all. The eyes that saw hopes and dreams of greatness, the eyes that saw the surge of expectation, the eyes that in the end saw those hopes dashed and dreams crushed in the eyes of a nation that has defined football greatness over the years. The eyes of Kaka, the beautiful boy, saw in their own reflection, the disappointment in the eyes of the greats ones, the eyes of Pele, the eyes of Gerson, the eyes of Socrates, and Zico and Didi and Carlos Alberto Torres.

Instead of the beautiful brilliance of Kaka,  it was the dogged persistence and gritty and grungy raw power of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder and the Dutch that ruled the pitch in the end. It was Beauty vs the Beast and the Beast won.

4.    And They Erected A Statue In His Honour

Spain 1  Portugal 0

The most handsome man in all of football never made it out of the sweet 16. Spain’s David Villa made sure of that, as did Spain’s tough defense. Portugal never had a real chance. Which is surprising since if one were to stack Christiano Ronaldo up against David Villa, not only is Ronaldo more handsome, he is also considered by many to be the better footballer. After all, it’s Ronaldo in the Nike commercial who’s having a statue erected in his honour. David Villa is nowhere to be found….in the commercial, that is.

But if you’re looking for David Villa, you can find him in the starting 11 as Spain takes on Germany at 1:30 PM CDT  July 7th 2010 on ESPN.  Ronaldo…well…he’s joined Kaka, and Messi and Tevez and Wayne Rooney…on the sidelines, where they’ll have plenty of time, 4 years of time, to write their futures.

5.   There Will Always Be An England

Germany 4     England 1 (2)

No matter that England facking sucked, that they were tired and old. Not matter that John Terry is a cunt and that Wayne Rooney was a pissy little brat and that Emile Heskey and Robert Green were worse than useless and that Fabio Capello is a dopey focking wanker and on and on and on. This was a team of Premier League All-Stars who were up way past their bed time. They were not a happy breed of men.

Rooney did naught much but whine and piss and moan a lot, whether rightly or wrongly. And like the Pretty Boys of the World Cup, he too has been sent to mow a meadow in that fortress built by Nature for herself.

Yes, There will always be an England, but maybe next time it should be an England w/o the Premier League All-Stars.

6. In The Interest Of Fairness And The Pursuit Of Idealism

Since my original intent was to use this as a meme generator to make a bit of sport at the expense of some of the recently fallen football heroes,  I only felt it fair to subject myself to the same intent gaze. And unlike the Boy from Brazil and company, I like what I see when I look at myself in this mirror of meme and memory. According to the fine folks at the three anime images are similar, or have a similarity, to the picture of me from my wedding, posed with my wife’s bouquet in front the bust of Fighting Bob LaFollete, Wisconsin’s great political hero. The similarity ranges from 42-43%. That’s close enough for me. But what struck me about this little skit is the metaphorical similarity to the original occasion that I’m quite sure is in the 78-91% range. In a poetic sense, the pictures tell the real story. And I’m good with that. And yes, it was Friday, September 25th, 2009 at the State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin. And the pictures tell several thousand more words of the truth.

So there ya go. A little bit of something to pass down through the generations and over the borders of the cultures and countries and continents and planets…or, something to note with alacrity and soon forget. A hundred million sporting event are occurring at every second of the day…give or take a a few million…and someone is scoring a run or a goal or a bullseye….someone is hanging their head shame and wallowing in the sharp and terrible moment of defeat…the cheers of crowd, the jeers of the mob, the bands are roaring and punters tear up their betting slips and drown their agony in beer.

I wish I could cover it all and tell every tale in the world of sports that happens everyday. I wish I could, but there is no way…even with a million of me and a million networks there still is no way. But I can tell you this.

Sports is uplifting. Sports is transcendent. And despite the competitions and the rivalries, sports can tear down more boundaries and create more peace and harmony than any of mankind’s endeavors. I love it all and I savour it all, and I hope you take a moment, and set your terrible daily lives aside, and in that moment you set aside , something magical and miraculous will happen, something outside yourself, something from beyond your daily world…no matter what the arena or stadium or field of play….I want that moment to transcend you and live with you forever…and in your memories may it glimmer like a bright and beautiful star.

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