Our 2017 staff picks: internet moments
Internet moments are fleeting by nature. The memes and themes that were lava hot in July are now cold and stale, like a cup of covfefe abandoned on the kitchen sink. But in a year that saw us even more passionately divided along political lines, it's nice to reflect on moments that united us on our great democratic platform, the internet. These are six of our favourite moments from quality time we've spent in the dark playground:
Nikki Lam, ACMI X coordinator, says:
For me, #WOCAffirmation was one of the most positive moments that came out of the internet this year. Wedged between Weinstein and #MeToo, it was a glorious Twitter moment in October that still trends today. It brought together women of colour around the world, and we shared our frustrations at being silenced and left out of the conversations that mattered to us. We shared our strengths and stories in solidarity with all WOC, queer women, femme and non-binary folks. The internet has been a battlefield in 2017 and this little moment reassured that we are never alone.
Check out the hashtag here.
Serena Bentley, curator, says:
Writing about #metoo is tricky. It is frustrating that it is still the responsibility of the subjects of sexual harassment to raise awareness (particularly when the unfortunate side effect of the movement involves reviving and reliving past experiences of sexual harassment). We need to shift our focus to the perpetrators and to rape culture. That said, the roaring collective response that has been spreading like wildfire since October is a clear manifestation of the breadth of the problem and the deep desire amongst so many for change. #metoo’s most memorable moment, for me, was Uma Thurman’s red carpet interview about Weinstein: a moment of measured, white hot rage. We need to channel this rage into action, to create a culture where harassment is not tolerated or swept under the carpet under any circumstances. And when I say we, I mean all of us.
That interview interruption
Jim Fishwick, assistant curator, says:
In a year of bad news, we had to find our moments of joy wherever we could. Unexpectedly, one came during a news interview about North Korea with geopolitics correspondent Robert E. Kelly. His daughter, unaware he was live on TV, barged right in with the confidence and pizzazz only a kid can muster, followed by her baby brother, and her mother, to try and extricate them. The simple slapstick and old-school situational comedy of video took the world by storm.
Editor: who remembers when Peter Greste's adorable milk-loving child interrupted a very serious interview with Virginia Trioli after our screening of Clash? Kids definitely kept us going this year...
Greg Turner, chief technology officer, says:
Nothing riles up the internet quite like threats to the internet, and so it was heartening to see a rare moment of online unity in response to the US Federal Communications Commission's move to dismantle 'net neutrality'. Although it's a US-led debate, there are knock-on effects for Australia and how much we pay for access to US media and services such as Netflix.
Last time the issue came up in 2014, John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show prompted a flood of activism - so many comments were made on the FCC's site that it crumbled under the strain, and net neutrality lived to fight another day.
That day has come, and John Oliver has issued a new plea (the official YouTube video isn't yet available in Australia). And now it's emerging that a flood of comments in support of the change are fraudulent, using stolen names of real people, including senators and deceased people.
Unfortunately the FCC ignored the people and voted 3-2 to dismantle Net Neutrality, but the activism has meant that the US Senate will take a vote on it. Here's hoping the Internet prevails!
Twitter, in general
Rosalind Fulton, creative technologist, says:
2017 was a… year… and nowhere was that more apparent than through the 140 (and controversially now 280) character snippets of the social consciousness that is Twitter. From the hashtags, to the memes, and the biting social commentary, it has been a place to laugh, cry, vent and try to make sense of the world for its 330+ million active users. And given that pretty much the same could have been said of Twitter in 2016, as 2017 draws to a close we can all look forward to the hashtags, memes and biting social commentary of 2018.
Rick and Morty inadvertently winning the internet
Jessica Kemp, digital marketing coordinator, says:
This bizarre rant about animated sci-fi sitcom Rick and Morty was just my everything this year. It originally appeared on a Reddit thread, before blowing up as a copypasta across all kinds of social media and discussion boards:
It's almost certainly not genuine (could it be genuine?!), but isn't it a perfect parody of inexplicably confident fanboys who regularly drown out all other perspectives? It's the 'well, actually' style of mansplaining incarnate. And "To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand..." became the rallying response to deep-thread philosobros that the world desperately needed.
And, of course, lots of people made good memes about it:
A very high IQ indeed. Thanks again, the internet, for all you've been in 2017. We'll be praying for net neutrality.