The Bernie Meme

Can we talk about how Bernie Sanders has become internet gold this week?

In case you missed it, a photographer captured this basic image of Bernie at the inauguration. It was cold and Bernie had come prepared to stay warm in a heavy coat and handmade mittens that were a gift from a New Jersey school teacher.

He looks crabby here but the photographer says he really just looked cold. He also stood out, appearing surprisingly casual and comfortable in a sea of more formally dressed attendees.

Nonetheless, the internet got ahold of the image and generated something completely unexpected. He has been photoshopped into every imaginable scenario from sea to shining sea. He’s been spotted at Niagara Falls, at the the Grand Canton and at the Rutherford B. Hayes historic site here in Ohio. The pop culture references have been fabulous as he’s popped up in everything from Mayberry to a Bob Ross painting with his “happy little mittens.”

Even local businesses like antique stores and book shops have their own version of the Bernie.

Joann Fabrics had a fabulous take on it too as they hock their supplies to those wishing to make their own mittens.

But none are as perfect as this Big Bang Theory reference.

It’s funny. Right?

But it’s more than just funny pictures on the internet.

Hear me out.

My Facebook feed is packed with a bizarre combination of people who believe a vast array fact and fiction. From the left to the far right, I can point to people who don’t agree on even the most basic concepts like who won the election and whether the insurrectionists are heroes or criminals.

But they’re all sharing the Bernie memes!

The Bernie meme has become some kind of weird unifier.

And why not? We all have that cranky grandpa or uncle who wears his thirty year old jacket and looks cranky everywhere he goes.

We all know a Bernie!!!

(I hope you read that in a Bernie yell!)

And we can all get behind the silliness because we just need something to make us laugh.

Scout even got in on the action.

Who knew that we just needed a practical New Englander to don some homemade mittens and slump on a metal folding chair to curb the feuds as we all giggle over the ridiculous?

And it is ridiculous but that’s what makes it fun.

In case you’re interested, Bernie is selling a commemorative sweatshirt and all the proceeds will benefit Vermont Meals On Wheels, an excellent cause. Click here to see that or to order.

A Patriotic Shadow

This is from last Saturday’s adventure through Ross and Highland counties. The flag is fabulous but so is the tree’s shadow.

This week has been a bumpy one, stressful even, as our country has lived under a shadow of uncertainty. Our modern world has made us more impatient than ever and has shortened our memory too. Many years we haven’t known the outcome on election night. Although I’m not sure how long it has been since we were left hanging in the balance for this many days.

I’m guessing the Pony Express was involved.

I have a lot of thoughts on this topic – not on the subject of politics so much as observances on human behavior.

My own Facebook feed is full of people who do not understand that election laws differ by state or that counting every legal vote is, indeed, the patriotic thing to do. The Electoral College also seems a mystery to some and the conspiracy theories are running rampant.

It’s an indictment of the average American’s grasp of their own government.

I’m hopeful for many things this morning.

I’m hopeful that we’ll have an answer today and that we can begin to move forward and prepare for the next four years. I’m hopeful that we can begin to heal from the trauma of late.

And honestly, I’m hopeful that a few of those swing states that have held us up will learn a thing or two from their neighbors and be better prepared in four years.

Meanwhile, we are expecting a beautiful seventy degree fall day here in Ohio. Despite the problems our nation faces, the sun will rise and set again today. The days aren’t as long as we would like so let’s make the best of the sunshine we have available.

Take a deep breath, relax those shoulders, turn off the news and go find something else to do. This could be one of the last beautiful fair weather days of the season and you don’t want to waste it.