Okay, after having a wickedly busy week at work, I wanted to weigh in about the photographs of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that have emerged — specifically, the ones showing her putting back a few beers and shaking her tailfeather on the dance floor down in Cartagena, Columbia for the Summit of the Americas. So, in looking for a linkable Assigned Reading piece to draw from, I stumbled across this one …
The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton Responds to Her Meme … With a Meme
“The many LOLZ”! The meta, it is almost too much.
So the story has a happy ending for all involved: The guys get rewarded for their work, the Internet gets some laughs, and Hillary gets some cred for laughing right along with us. But today’s turn of events brings with it a new question, too: What, actually, just happened? What do you call it when the subject of a meme responds to that very meme with a meme of her own? What is the specific, socio-scientific term to describe something so meta — and meta-meta, and meta-meta-meta — that it hints at the idea that it won’t be the Hadron Collider that leads the earth to implode into itself, but rather an echoing infinity of lolz?
A meta-meme? An instance of, as Jared Keller suggests, “memeception”?
The problem with choosing that particular piece, besides the fact that it does not reference the Clinton photos but rather the very funny (and now closed down) Texts From Hillary Tumblr, is that I have absolutely no clue what the heck they’re talking about. I may be a part-time blogger and New Media guy, but that doesn’t even look like English to me. Yes, I know what a Tumblr is (check out the not-safe-for-work but hilarious Texts From Dog Tumblr), but LOLZ? Meta? Meta-meta-meta? I’m confused.
So, I managed to find this piece …
The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton Loses the Scrunchie in Columbia
The photos, awesome as they are, have already attracted scrutiny — mostly in the form of self-parodic media coverage. Exhibit A is the New York Post, which went with the characteristically classy “SWILLARY” on the wood. Meanwhile, Politico miraculously found a way to turn this into horserace coverage: “Clinton letting her hair down is the kind of thing that would play well in that presidential run in 2016 that some of her supporters have suddenly started talking about in the last few weeks.” Do they all have a keyboard shortcut for hollow 2016 speculation?
For years, I was saying that Hillary was going to challenge President Obama in the Democratic Party primary this year. Ronald Glenn and I even talked about it at length while we both worked in the Record Room at City Hall in Philadelphia. Obviously, I was wrong about that. I also wonder about whether Hillary is truly done with national politics in this country. I could see her as a UN Secretary-General or something, but I just don’t see her going for a presidential run, 2016 or otherwise.
Why? I don’t know. There is just something at-peace about Hillary Clinton right now. And while this administration is truly an unmitigated disaster (hat tip to Dick Cheney) in matters domestic and foreign, botched “reset” button aside, Hillary has still managed to maintain credibility when everyone around her is turning into a complete joke.
Let her party. Let her have a good time. Obama is going to be a one-term president, the world is going to wake up and smell the amateur hour, and Hillary Clinton–like her wayward husband–is going to live to see another political day. If that’s not something for her to be happy about, I don’t know what is.
In the meantime, I’m gonna work on finding out what “an infinity of LOLZ” means.