The year 2020 has been exhausting. With the Covid-19 pandemic, global recession, earthquakes, floods, cyclones, locust attacks, devastating explosions. And then the YouTube channel Slayy Point found you, Binod Tharu. So, 2020 will not be seen as entirely bad. You are precious, Binod. You are Everyman. And you are a meme like no other, a delightful inside joke that only a private group of best friends know about. Everyone should join the Binod party — the only good thing that has happened in 2020, this year’s glittering silver lining.
Open any comment section on YouTube or any other social media platform, and all I see is a string of comments just saying Binod, your name. In fact, many users have even changed their account name to Binod. Since we are you now, and you are us.
It all began when Slayy Point decided to explore the internet’s garbage dump, ie YouTube’s comments section, to mine for funny content among the bizarre comments users leave behind. Little did the channel know that it would chance upon a heera in the kachra (diamond in the trash). And through the mysterious workings of the interweb, Binod, you became a mutation of a viral meme that threatens to change the meme-game forever.
You are a meme like no other. In you, Binod, we can find our best friend, or the stranger walking down the street. You can be vulgar, and you can be genteel. In vernacular language, your name, Binod, is the new ‘MC’ and the new ‘BC’, and could soon replace ‘f**k’ as the most profane slur.
In Binod, we have have the answer to comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath’s question, “t****i tera naam kya hai?!”
Making of a meme
Binod Tharu, you were just an unsuspecting commenter who might have thought it was cool or funny to leave comments of nothing but your own name on one of Slayy Point‘s YouTube videos. The channel’s creators were clearly fascinated by this, which is why they decided to make fun of your comment, among many others, in a video dedicated to ridiculing uncanny comments they routinely receive.
But now, you’ve become a special kind of meme, much more than simple word-play, or an image juxtaposed with funny graphic text. You, as a meme, transcends all boundaries and all identities.
And that’s precisely the joy of you, Binod. Your name means nothing, but everything at the same time.
You have infinite avatars — the technologically challenged grumpy uncle, the creep sliding into people’s DMs asking for nudes. Sometimes you can be our favourite ‘slow’ friend, who doesn’t understand anything in one go.
As the unassuming founder of this movement, maybe this was all part of your elaborate and ingenious ploy for self-promotion. Maybe you knew exactly what you were doing, while typing out what could soon become the most popular and beloved comment in YouTube history. Or maybe, it was actually just an innocent comment that meant nothing at all. Who knows?
But we’re so thankful it caught on, and loyal YouTube addicts and commenters took it upon themselves to spread the gospel of ‘Binod’ all over the internet, spamming Twitter timelines and all possible comment sections. Even companies like Paytm, which might have been experiencing some FOMO, jumped into the meme fest and changed their Twitter username to Binod. Tinder India issued a statement confirming that you were on the app, and had matched with a lucky lady named Binodini. The Mumbai police also joined in, advising you to not use your name as your online password. Fair point.
Evolution of memes
Memes as a concept have evolved and proliferated like wildfire over the internet, in the past few decades. They are responsible for creating thousands of subcultures. From the dancing baby to the hampster dance, which are considered to be some of the first internet properties to be shared widely, Binod, you are the latest coming-of-age virtual offering.
Today, we have memes for teens, for existentialists, nihilists, math lovers, and literature buffs. Memes have also become tools of political propaganda, and are proving to be incredibly handy in successful marketing. And it’s not just YouTube, LinkedIn, or Tumblr addicts who are seeped in meme-culture. Cultural theorists, academics, and scholars are also doing research on meme theories, and creating transmedia works like India Culture Lab’s ‘The Meme Project’, that seek to “demystify the curiosities around memes, meme-making”.
Memes have helped rehash old TV shows by hyping up a particular dialogue, they have elevated scenes from shows and movies into iconic moments. They have added a personal dimension to statements made by anyone from a celebrity to a literary character, and helped them become far greater than the sum of their parts.
So, Binod, thank you for coming into our lives in 2020. You are special because you are one of those few memes whose origin story people must know about. If one says your name without any context, it will leave others clueless and perplexed. They need to know exactly what happened, in order to understand and appreciate you. Or else, they will be reduced to one of those people who forcefully laugh when everyone else in the room is cracking up over a joke.
Even in the viral ‘Mai MC hu jo yahan aaya’ meme, it wasn’t as important to have watched the original video to enjoy the subsequent jokes and memes. The line could still elicit laughs when used in a standalone context.
So anyone who is reading this, drop all you’re doing and get in on this joke.
We’ll be waiting.
Views are personal.