Meme of the hour
Article from the Sun daily by Bernard Cheah (posted on 13 September 2016)
BESIDES cat videos, the Internet’s pretty fond of rage comics and memes. To the uninitiated, memes are amusing or hilarious images, videos, or texts that are quickly passed among netizens.
Malaysia’s not far behind from the bandwagon; in fact Belveen Singh accidentally found fame through the memes he made. Specifically, the “Emo Protestor” series he concocted during last year’s Bersih 4.0 rally, which features melancholic pick-up lines plastered over his sad face.
Belveen, who works in an insurance company, had attended the two-day rally in Kuala Lumpur when a friend took a picture of him looking sad. Quite naturally, Belveen decided to make a meme out of it. His first one said, “All these people, yet I still feel so alone.” The ideas kept coming, so he made more with catchphrases such as “I put ‘emo’ in democracy” and “Said I love you; charged under Friendzone Act”.
“I turned the dark humour I have into something light-hearted, combining the country’s political state and my lack of a girlfriend,” said the 28-year-old. He added that those who are single or tuned into the political climate could relate to his memes.
The series, needless to say, became an overnight hit when he published it on Facebook. It received hundreds of Likes and close to 5,000 shares on the site.
Even offline, Belveen gets approached occasionally. “There have been people who recognised me as the Bersih or Emo Dude, and then we’d take a ‘sadfie’ (a wefie with sad faces) together,” said the KLite.
He added, “It’s nice to be appreciated for the jokes I made, and it feels good to make people laugh.”
Indeed, it only seems instinctive for Belveen to venture into stand-up comedy. He has participated in several open-mike sessions, but is still in the midst of tinkering with materials and gauging the audience’s tastes.
“It’s still a learning process,” he added.
However, Belveen hasn’t stopped cooking up memes – he has posted a few more series for the past Christmas, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya celebrations, as well as pop culture ones based on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Game of Thrones.
He highlighted that some memes hit the nail on the head more than others. For example, the ones he made in conjunction with Deepavali – using props such as food and firecrackers – had more than 4,000 shares on Facebook. Some of the comical phrases he used include, “You told me to find someone else, but naan can replace you” and “I can’t spell murukku without u”.
Jokes aside, he opined that social media is an informative and accessible platform for people to keep abreast of current affairs. “If it weren’t for the Internet, I wouldn’t have learnt much about politics.
“Social media provides a lot of information including the struggles of people overseas, and helps create awareness among users,” said Belveen.
Pastime: Watching movies and writing poetry.
Favourite football team: Manchester United.
Favourite food: Cheeseburger.
Favourite sport: Futsal.
Favourite band: The Beatles.
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