In the wake of the US presidential inauguration, one person caught everyone’s eye. A photo of US Sen. Bernie Sanders, who twice sought the Democratic presidential nomination, sitting with large mittens looking downtrodden, has been shared widely. The photo was then repackaged as a kind of social media meme, with Bernie cut out and put in random environments. The photo was taken by AFP photographer Brendan Smialowski, according to reports. Smialowski said that he thought it was a nice moment and represented a good slice of life.
Here is a list of some of the more bizarre repackagings. Sanders was shown next to a large crab. The post by "Open Ocean Exploration" which says it is an account by an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Asheville, showed the approximate size of various ocean animals next to Sanders. One showed a giant crab.
The approximate size of various ocean animals with a Bernie for scale. A Thread. pic.twitter.com/4KsY1hof4m— Open Ocean Exploration (@RebeccaRHelm) January 22, 2021
The US senator was pictured in Syria being carried by the head of the Syrian Democratic Forces public affairs office, Mustafa Bali. Bali even retweeted the image. The image shows a slightly shrunken image of Sanders, cradled like a young person, being carried by Bali, who is in fatigues. In a rare twist, the image has been shifted to a diagonal so it can be carried, whereas usually Sanders is pictured upright. Bali remarked “that looks pretty good.” The SDF are the main US partners in Syria fighting ISIS.
Bernie was found on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. Kudsia Kahar wrote “this is so much fun,” posting the image of him seeming to hover over the mountain.
The ease of placing Sanders in various locations was aided by Internet gurus who made a website where you can stick the cut-out anywhere.
Sanders was also found on the throne of swords from Game of Thrones. That show, which once had huge ratings and people waited in anticipation of new seasons, is now over. Sanders has apparently – and unintentionally – found a way to revive at least one interesting element from it.
The senator is trending on Saturday despite many on social media who seem to feel they have been inundated with the “find Sanders” meme as he is miniaturized and hidden, like "Where’s Waldo" in various places. Unsurprisingly one of the places Sanders was repackaged was in a "Waldo" image, where viewers are invited to try to find him at a beach amid a bunch of other people.
Bernie has now also appeared in various GIFs, one of them involving a funny scene from a film in which a man unfolds a camping chair by flexing it with one hand. I can’t recall the name of the film, but the GIF is often posted and now it involves Sanders sitting in the chair as it is rapidly unfolded.
The senator has also appeared alongside the famous Gangnam Style video dancer Cho Soo-hyun. The song, famous several years ago, included a semi-comical skit of a Korean man dancing in various places, often while seeming to either hold a fake rope over his head or thrust his hips awkwardly. The original famous video is one of the most viewed and liked on YouTube, having been seen by almost three and a half billion people.
The popularity of Sanders has now spread from the image to people knitting him and making dolls of him. Someone even had her nails done with a small image of the senator.