Here's a 21st Century story about the speed with which an innocent joke becomes a roaring Twitter meme and just as quickly dies in the GIF wastelands of Tumblr.
8:50 a.m.: Deborah Needleman, editor of T Magazine, tweets about an upcoming appearance by (occasionally rage-inducing) author Katie Rophie:
8:55 a.m.: Confusion sets in.
8:59 a.m.: Followed by mockery...
@debbieneedles Did you wrote that tweet from 1963? Impressive.— emilynussbaum (@emilynussbaum) October 8, 2012
9:06 a.m.: ... then Anger...
10:34 a.m.: The hash tag begins.
Just came back from a Pilates class #sorryfeminists— Anna Holmes (@AnnaHolmes) October 8, 2012
What a cute baby. #sorryfeminists— Irin Carmon (@irincarmon) October 8, 2012
I like makeup. And shoes. #sorryfeminists— Gina G. Simpson (@evafortuna) October 8, 2012
Just watched a Nicholas Sparks movie. #sorryfeminists— Angie Blanken (@AngelaBlanken) October 8, 2012
I forgot to blame the patriarchy.#sorryfeminists— Mary Beth Williams (@embeedub) October 8, 2012
I did three loads of laundry yesterday. #sorryfeminists— Stacey Burns (@WentRogue) October 8, 2012
Fully intending to soak in the tub at some point this evening. #sorryfeminists— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) October 8, 2012
11:01 a.m.: A guy pitches in with a BJ joke.
I really like blow jobs. #sorryfeminists— Rob Tannenbaum (@tannenbaumr) October 8, 2012
11:07 a.m.: Things get confessional
I cried during The Notebook #sorryfeminists— amaeryllis (@amaeryllis) October 8, 2012
Sometimes when I have my period I don't contemplate my glorious place in the lifecycle of mother earth. #sorryfeminists— Jen Deaderick (@jendeaderick) October 8, 2012
11:11 a.m: Another guy tries to help. Doesn't get it.
I put my women on a pedestal cause its easier to peek up their skirts. #sorryfeminists— RMatthewSonger (@RMatthewSonger) October 8, 2012
11:13 a.m.: As the tag spreads, the confusion returns.
I can no longer separate the tweets that get the joke from the ones that suck and/or derail #sorryfeminists— Jackie A. (@colorlessblue) October 8, 2012
11:19 a.m.: Things start getting absurd:
Baby's gotten too big to fit in my attaché case. #sorryfeminists— Andi Zeisler (@andizeisler) October 8, 2012
Beach volleyball is a totally legitimate sport. #sorryfeminists— Lindsay Beyerstein (@Beyerstein) October 8, 2012
haven't called anything hegemonic this year. #sorryfeminists— Sarah Lipton-Lubet (@LiptonLubet) October 8, 2012
11:44 a.m.: 2 hours and 54 minutes after Needleman's tweet, the Reaction GIF Tumblr is born.
12:17 p.m.: And 23 minutes later, the Tumblr birth announcement goes out on Twitter.
Had to be done. sorryfeminists.tumblr.com— ann friedman (@annfriedman) October 8, 2012
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.