Yelp Geeks Out with Cheezburgers

We opened up the Cheezburger offices in Seattle to a group of about twenty people from the Yelp community. The Cheezburger event was one of several weekly Yelp events held this month highlighting local businesses. Check your area for fun things like this to do! Scope out http://www.yelp.com/events for more details or to find similar events in your neck of the woods.

We quickly made friends as we introduced ourselves and tapped the keg. We took them on a tour of our office and then moved on to playing games:  Big Game Hunter for Wii, Trivial Pursuit, Cards Against Humanity, and Anomia.

We noshed on food from Veggie Grill, a nationwide chain of vegetarian restaurants in Seattle. Yum! You can find more information and a menu online if you’re interested at veggiegrill.com.

Check out our cool pics from the evening below, and you can always find us back hard at work at cheezburger.com.

 

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LOLPERA: An Epic Opera About Teh Internets

The interwebs are a magical place—filled with twisted minds, pockets of humor, and the gradual blurring between reality and Cyberspace.

And it is in this place where the creative minds of Ellen Warkentine and Andrew Pedroza discover the future they feature in their meme-centric opera. The world of 2084—where the meaning of life is buried somewhere beneath mounds of captioned LOLCATS, and the latest Internet meme is as priceless as the Mona Lisa.

With surging power ballads and swelling crescendos, LOLPERA touches upon the audience’s human (and animal) desire to connect with each other…in any way possible.

And to use the eloquent words ripped from LOLPERA’s own website—

“Call it 1984 set in a virtual litter box. Call it Brave New World with bad grammar. Just please, please, don’t call it Cats.”

We at Cheezburger HQ were lucky enough to catch up with co-creators Ellen and Andrew about LOLPERA and their upcoming stint at New York Fringe in the following interview.

For schedule and ticket information visit their website, http://www.lolpera.com/, and don’t forget to swing by http://lolpera.cheezburger.com/ in preparation for the festivities!

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How did the idea for LOLPERA come about?

Ellen: LOLPERA started as an innocent musical improv with a few friends. We set the Astrocat meme to music with accordion, bass, and piano. It was glorious. I showed Andrew what we’d created and we began setting more memes to music. We have a tradition of writing epic absurd plays and Christmas albums together, doing a lot of musical improvs and ridiculous power ballads. It came about very organically.

Andrew: I don’t think it really started to take shape as an opera until we began working on “I’m in Ur” where we included multiple images rather than one meme. That’s when we began to see how we could put all the pieces together.

How did people react when you first told them about this idea?

Andrew: They said “WTF.”  We were misunderstood.

Ellen: A lot of my closest friends said “I don’t get it.” Or “It sounds terrible.”

Andrew: …but because The Garage Theatre knew us from other Long Beach theatre projects, they trusted our creative instincts and they helped develop our workshop.

Ellen: Especially Jessica Variz, our director and friend at The Garage. She was very enthusiastic about it and …

Ellen/Andrew: …on a blowy, leafy, fall night…

Ellen: …she decided to take on the project and there was no turning back.
(more…)

 

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2012 Cheezburger Cattillion Ball

Hey Burgers!

We here at Cheezburger HQ just thought you’d like to know about an exciting (and unique) event happening this weekend.

Fellow Cheezburger Razuli has organized the Cattillion Ball, an evening of swanky kittehs, sweet moves and even a crowned Tom and Queen!

The submissions keep rolling in at: http://cattillionball2012.cheezburger.com, so create your own RSVP in preparation for an unforgettable evening!

But here, we’ll let Razuli take the reins for a moment and tell you more:

What sort of preparations do the attendees make in order to be ready for the ball?

Well, one of the most exciting preparations the ladies will have on their minds is planning the drop-dead-gorgeous outfit they will don for the big event! They will probably be out, gleefully shopping for that purrfect dress or working with their favorite designers for that one-of-a kind creation. ‘Purrsian Cature’ is all the rage these days.

The gentlemen will no doubt be making their appointment to be fitted for formal ‘tails’ and maybe even dusting off their top hats! (The invitation did state that formal attire is required.) As far as the preparations for the ball itself, the planning committee is already busy securing the booking for the ballroom (at the Fritz Caterton Catel on Catalina Island in Catlifornia), and the chef to cater the event has been secured as well. We are lucky to have contracted Wolffang Pug to do the catering. The other preparations include flower arrangements, decorations and booking the band and the DJ. It’s enough to make a kitteh’s head spin!

Are there any traditional aspects of a Cattillion Ball that people should know about?

As this is the first Cattillion Ball, I guess we will be creating our own traditions. I think similar balls were designed to introduce young ladies to polite society, with the goal of showing them off to eligible bachelors and their families! We will instead be celebrating the opportunity for all Cheezburger society members to meet and socialize with each other in a polite and neutral zone (since many kittehs and goggies don’t always get along)! Our Cattillion members should honor and respect the cultural diversity that makes up the Cheezburger community and goggies and kittehs will need to put their differences aside and be polite to each other. Many of our female attendees will be asking escorts to the ball, and I understand those young ladies will also be carrying dance cards, so in some ways there will be some old traditions incorporated.

(more…)

 

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The Internet IRL: ROFLcon

ROFLcon III — the biannual conference about Internet culture — was held at MIT on May 4th and 5th, 2012.


Jamie Wilkinson and Kenyatta Cheese, Greg Rutter, Christopher “moot” Poole and Ben Huh
Mainstreaming the Web panel

In attendance were Success Kid, Chuck Testa, Antoine Dodson, and thousands of other memes and meme-lovers, discussing the impact and magic of Internet culture and hosting panels on everything from Adventures in Aca-meme-ia to Defending the Internet.

Like space-invasion films of the mid-20th century or soap operas of more recent decades, the cultural phenomena of Internet memes reflect societal anxieties or desires, and that through studying these memes we can better understand what is going on in the collective mind of our culture. To ignore Internet memes, is to ignore the huge outpouring of modern folk culture that is occurring online…
- Could LOLcats Actually Be Making Us Smart?


Life After The Meme panel

Traditionally, Mr. Zittrain said, something that becomes popular on the Web, like a meme or a YouTube video, tends to get written off as something that is “somehow not real life.” There is a perception, he said, that the people who inhabit the Web are largely separated “from the world at large.” But increasingly that is less and less true, as the line between Internet culture and popular culture blurs. Memes are penetrating the entertainment industry and advertising — think of the recent spate of pistachio commercials starring the Honey Badger — and delivering political commentary through new twists on media, including remixed photos and GIFs, as with Occupy Cop, the overzealous pepper sprayer.
- ROFLCon: The Internet Goes Offline to Talk Web Culture

Scumbag Steve posed for photos and Craig Allen, creator of the Old Spice commercials, Skyped in Internet sensation Isaiah Mustafa during an imaginative panel that perfectly captured the current trend of brands becoming memes and memes becoming brands.

…the fact that a one-off joke can now be turned into a (potentially) lucrative mini-franchise is a sign that web humor is no longer as inaccessible — in every sense of the word — as it was even just five years ago. This internet thing might really take off!
- At ROFLcon, Internet Memes Collide With Meatspace

It was an incredible weekend, and we’re honored to have been involved both as guests and as sponsors of the event.


Cheezburger ROFLcon party via Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

We threw an epic party Friday night, where attendees took pictures with Mt. Mememore, picked up Cheezburger swag and played board games till 1am.

The Know Your Meme team spoke at a panel called Becomes An Advice Animal; Talks About It

…and CEO Ben Huh’s discussion on copyright law and how we can build a less restrictive and more creative Intertubes was considered to be the most intellectually stimulating panel at the conference:

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PART 2 | PART 3


Success Kid at ROFLcon

Something very apparent at this year’s ROFLcon was just how no longer niche Internet culture is:

Another thing we can all agree on: memes and related internet culture are now mainstream. When ROFLCon started in 2008, memes were still for a niche (if very large) audience. There are great reasons for that. Memes don’t explain themselves very well — you have to know how to read them, and you have to look at several examples before you “get” the joke. … This is true of most memes, and a few years ago, most people simply weren’t in on the joke. That is all changing very fast.
- When Memes Go Mainstream

We’re arriving at a time of incredible change because one of the things that humanity invented — the Internet and technology — is really taking off. What we have to do is we have to use that piece of technology and rethink the world, because it’s gotten us an amazing amount of efficiency. What it’s also done is changed people’s expectations about what content is, and how we make it work. At Cheezburger, that’s humor.
- Ben Huh to Adrienne LaFrance


Kenyatta, moot and Ben, via KYM

Want moar ROFLcon pics? Click here!

 

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Oscars Live-Meme Event

Join Cheezburger this Sunday, February 26th, for a live-meme event over at ROFLrazzi! Help us caption some great celebrity humor live as the ceremony happens. The party starts at 4:30 p.m. PST. See you there!

 

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Thanks for Attending Field Day and Cheezburger Night!

Hey guys, we want to thank everyone who made it out to Safeco Field last Friday for Field Day and Cheezburger Night. We hope you had a great time! Cheezburger owes a big thank you to the Seattle Mariners and Bing, as well as all of the speakers, presenters and performers during Field Day, who did a fantastic job! Check out some photos from the big day (thanks to Bootstrapper Studios for help with the video and photography). More pics can be found on the ICHC Facebook Page

Cheezburger Fans show off their smiles, and ears, for the camera

Panelist Craig Wheat meets a member of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee

 

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Cheezburger Night at the M’s Game!

There is no other way to say it: our first ever Cheezburger Night at the Mariners was a home run!

On hand were at the ballpark were 1200 LOLcat fans (Yes, one thousand two hundred!!  A full five sections of the stadium.) to watch the Mariners defeat the Texas Rangers on a beautiful summer evening.

But the baseball game wasn’t the main attraction…it was the Cheezfrenz.  It wasn’t just Cheezfrenz from Seattle and Washington State, but people came from all over the country: Oregon, California, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Washington DC, and British Columbia, Canada.  A big special Cheezburger thank you to everyone from far and near who came to the game!

In addition, Tofuburger, a.k.a. Emily, threw out the first pitch to a rousing applause and the M’s saluted the Cheezburger fans throughout the game.

Want More Pictures?

Martin, one of the Cheezburger team, posted an amazing set of photos on Flickr, and we’re planning to post the video that Kevin shot next week, so stay tuned! Click here to view Martin’s photo set or watch the slideshow.

Do You Have Pictures?

You can also upload your own Cheezburger Night pictures to Flickr and tag them with “cheezburgernight” (one word, no quotes) and they will appear in our Cheezburger Night slideshow.

 

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Cheezburger Night with the Seattle Mariners

I was just checking to see if tickets for Cheezburger Night with the Seattle Mariners are still available (they are, get yours if you haven’t already) and I saw that we currently have 701 people attending.  701? OMG! That’s more than we had for the FailBlog party back in November and we gave away free beer at that one.

This should be a lot of fun.

 

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