It’s been some time now but for those who are not really meme aficionados here comes a sad piece of old news. Gabe the dog died. For most it might have gone under the radar but Gabe died on the 20th of January this year. You might be asking yourselves who’s Gabe the dog? Well one might say that besides the cute shiba inu that turned into the Dogge meme, Gabe was the next most popular pupper meme out there. Gabe is famous for his Bork song remixes.
How did it all start?
It all started with Gabe’s owner posting two innocent videos of Gabe being slightly unreasonable on youtube. The videos posted are called “the new dog source” and “newest dog source”, both obscure titles that seem to have no particular reason behind them. Despite the erratic name choice, both videos had accumulated a significant amount of views and likes over the span of three years. A couple of days after the first dog source video was posted on youtube, some internet user used Gabe’s bark and remixed it into a song and there was no stopping the avalanche that followed. Youtube videos with other song remixes started to be posted on youtube at a steady rate. Catching on this, Gabe’s owner, even started to make remixes of his or her own. Among the most popular of Gabe’s remix memes were those of “The midnight Tango” by Herp Alber, “I am a God” by Kanye West and “I speak no Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool (the last one being one of those remixes done by Gabe’s owner himself).
So how did Gabe get memefied?
The word “meme” might be new but the concept is nothing novel. It is best to view memes as somewhat living entities. Memes become memes depending on survivability and their ability to weather the passage of time while still staying relevant to as many social contexts as possible. Like actual animal species memes survive depending on the niches that they occupy and to what extent those niches can be exploited. In order for a meme to survive and stay relevant to these niches it needs to outperform or hold its own against other memes that seek to occupy the same niche.
In order to achieve this a meme needs to be intense, memorable, and yet random enough to transcend contexts and therefore occupy as many niches as the social environment has to offer.
Gabe got memefied because he satisfied most of these criteria to one extent or another. Gabe’s “the new dog source” and “newest dog source” videos shows us a feisty and intense yet small and adorable, white, Pomeranian – American eskimo mix with a hoarse but piercing “bork”. Gabe ticked most of the boxes. Gabe ended up being reinvented in as many popular songs as possible. Music being an integral part of modern society ended up being fertile ground for memefied Gabe. In this manner Gabe percolated every other niche and context that could be remixed and therefore this ensured his survivability. Although at a slower pace, even after his death, Gabe still lives on and propagates in the form of new remixes. It is inevitable that the “bork” meme will eventually fizzle out, outcompeted by other newer memes that resonate better with the times, but until then Gabe is somewhat of a survivor.
How can I memefy my dog?
Who knows maybe your dog can be meme material. The recipe is not rocket science. Most dogs are cute but for your dog to be memefied you must catch your dog doing something odd but relatable and random enough to percolate contexts and become one of the colloquial social vocabulary that people can use to express how they feel about everyday situations. Grab your camera and take as many pictures and videos of your dog as humanly possible, and maybe … just maybe you’ll get that golden picture or piece of footage that can turn your dog from ordinary to meme.