Friday, October 28, 2016

Bridging, Blending, or Blurring?

Online media and its context has transitioned over time to reflect three different types of techniques. These techniques include bridging, blending and blurring. But how do these concepts work in relation to the memes that I am researching? Because of the most recent election season, Donald Trump has been highlighted in religious themed memes to display an either positive or negative portrayal of his so called Christianity. This portrayal is done by bringing up past events or reflections on things he has said in past interviews. These specific memes that I am looking at this week have had aspects of bridging, blending and blurring of online context.

For example: Donald Trump on the Phil Donahue Show meme

This meme reflects bridging. My argument for this to fall under bridging is that during the time period in the late 80s, memes were unheard of across the globe. They were not a form of media that was used heavily. However, during the election season, people have used memes to compare and contrast Trump's previous statements on religion to what he is currently claiming as his religion. This meme quotes from 1989, "I have a really high IQ, Phil, I mean, c'mon. It's impossible for me to not be Atheist." When Trump was not in the political spotlight, he had no problem sharing his beliefs on being an Atheist. But now because political candidates running for the President of the United States are traditionally Christian, he is claiming that he is this ultimate conservative christian man. In this example of bridging, the meme has taken a completely different social medium and placed it on a more current social medium to get this point across. 

My next example: Donald Trump and Mean Girls meme

This is an example of blending arguably because of the different social mediums being reflected in this meme. In 2004 when Mean Girls was released, memes were considerably more popular and had already started the climb to popularity in terms of social media context. I would consider this meme to be promoting the idea of blending because it is taking one of the most "quotable" and popular movies to negatively portray Trump and his efforts to "Make America Great Again." It is explaining that Trump is going about making changes in a poor manor.

My last example: Buddy Christ and Trump meme

I would argue that the Trump spin on Buddy Christ is a meme using blurring. While Buddy Christ stems from the 1999 Dogma movie, this meme has taken off in the meme world. It has been widely used across different meme topics but because of its popularity I would consider its use in a meme context is a modern twist to Buddy Christ. In a more positive yet humorous light, Trump is portrayed to love the bible even so much that it is his favorite book of all time. This meme is taking his new found Christian appeal and placing it on Buddy Christ. Because this has taken two modern ideas, meme culture and Donald Trump as a Christian, the argument that this is a meme is focused on blurring. Blurring occurs when a both contexts are created into a new context altogether. Because the movie and Trump have been intertwined to be one new form of social media, this is considered blurring.

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