Obama Meets the Horse Head Mask MemeBy: Mike Tuttle - July 9, 2014
President Obama has made history numerous times. He was the first black president in the United States. He got health care reform legislation through, a feat the Clintons could not accomplish. He got Osama bin Laden, a feat George Bush could not accomplish.
And now, he’s come face to face with a meme.
It was downtown Denver, Colorado, on Tuesday, when the president was shaking hands with a line of people, as presidents will do. As he made his way down the line, the president found his hand being shaken by a man in a horse head mask.
The president seemed startled, as anyone might be. Secret Service agents kept a wary eye on the fellow in the line, probably concerned that no one had seen this coming. The president laughed and continued on down the line.
What President Obama did not know, was that he had come face to face with a meme. If he had raised a glass of beer and given a thumbs up, it would have been a very meta moment.
So, what’s with the horse head mask?
Wearing the horse head mask — aside from the usual Halloween uses — started with a book called The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel. One of the social experiments in the book was wearing the horse head mask while mingling in tourist groups on vacation.
The mask has become a symbol of anonymity, akin to the Guy Fawkes make made popular by members of Anonymous and the movie V for Vendetta.
A man in Scotland put the mask on when he saw a Google Street View car approaching. He was immortalized on the Google map of his town, which led to an Internet sensation.
In some places, it is known as Creepy Horse Mask.
Image via YouTube