Friday, June 3, 2011

SPOKANE SASQUATCH: Birth and death of an Internet Meme

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Last week, a grainy video purporting to show a Sasquatch lumbering down by the Spokane River created a minor Internet firestorm, spreading from to KREM to KXLY to the Seattle P-I to a bunch of middling overseas "news" sites to that largest of online media outlets, the Huffington Post

Now that the dust has settled, let's take a moment to reflect.

It took almost exactly a week for the the original Sasquatch video post to reach HuffPost, and in that time the Spokane Sasquatch has garnered a quarter of a million views (though PC World put it at over a half-million, somehow). When we blogged it, it had a couple hundred. 

Early on, word seemed to spread fastest though the Sasquatch-hunting community. People spend their lives searching the remotest areas of the Northwest for Bigfoot; it makes sense they'd search the Internet, too. Initial comments actually debated peculiarities of the shot, the posture of the beast, etc.

As the video began to enjoy a broader kind of YouTube popularity, the majority of comments became more terse and less analytical, ranging from "whoa, rad" to "dude, gay."

Now, as all things on the Internet must, public opinion has migrated further, to the absolute poles of human worship and indignation. To whit: The "fake" camp has decided that the figure in the video was not merely not Sasquatch — it was a purposeful and hateful fraud.

BUT! Elements in the "real" camp, having accepted that Spokane Sasquatch is real, are now wondering whether he/she might be an immortal being — like either John the Apostle, helping humanity get to heaven; or Cain, cursed to walk the earth for all eternity. 

And, of course, huckster debunkers have also (hilariously) weighed in: 

And with that, we suspect that Spokane Sasquatch: Internet Phenomenon has run its course. 

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About The Author

Luke Baumgarten

Luke Baumgarten is commentary contributor and former culture editor of the Inlander. He is a creative strategist at Seven2 and co-founder of Terrain.