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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sad Keanu

Sad Keanu is a photoshop meme based on a paparazzi photo of the well-known Canadian American actor Keanu Reeves sitting on a park bench and (sort of) enjoying a sandwich by himself.

Using this photo and the exploitable as a base, he has been photoshopped into various situations, and eating various things.

We all know Keanu Reeves through his acting career: he mostly plays the cool and stoic hero in works such as The MatrixJohnny MnemonicSpeed, and Constantine. However, behind the cool name (Keanu means, “the coldness” in Hawaiian), cool shades, and the deadpan “Whoa…” lies a man with a very tragic past.
His father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., abandoned him and his mother when he was 3 and has never reconnected with him. His mother, Patricia Bond, became a costume designer and showgirl who constantly remarried and divorced. This led to a constant moving, a series of different high schools, and a string of 3 stepfathers for Keanu. He had a key interest in hockey and was MVP of his hockey team, earning the nickname “The Wall”, but his dream of playing in the Olympics ended after an injury. Afterwards, he dropped out of high school to become an actor, thus starting his career. He never obtained a high school diploma. Keanu has never married and avoids most relationships.
Currently, Keanu’s best friend is his sister, Kim Reeves, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. His remaining money probably pays for her medical bills, and he plays the guitar for a small band to further get finance.

In his career, Keanu turns down big roles if he believes the character he would portray is too violent. He took a 90 percent pay cut on The Replacements just so Gene Hackman could be cast. Previously, he had deferred 2 million of his salary so that Al Pacino could be cast on The Devil’s Advocate. Even then, he gives most of his earnings to charity and the backstage crew/people who help on the set.
Keanu Reeve’s memorable quotes are as follows:
  • “I’m a meathead, man. You’ve got smart people, and you’ve got dumb people. I just happen to be dumb.”
  • “I’m sorry my existence is not very noble or sublime.”
On June 3rd, 2010, Reddit user rockon4life posted an image of Keanu Reeves looking particularly sullen while eating a sandwich on a park bench, with the phrase “I really enjoy acting…Because when I act, I’m no longer me” in a thread entitled Keanu. More sadness in comments. The thread quickly made it to Reddit’s front page, gathering over 281,000 page views.
On June 4th, the sympathy for Keanu spread to other Reddit users, resulting in the creation of other threads, usually with more derivatives of the image posted on the day prior:
On June 5th, the love for Keanu continued on Reddit:
  • On June 8th, 2010, Buzzfeed user memecore submitted 10 Best Sad Keanu Images to Buzzfeed, where it quickly reached the Top 10 list with 12,812 total views.
  • The creation of Sad Keanu images and posting of existing ones also spread to Tumblr.
  • There’s even a fan-made SadKeanu Twitter account.
Once on Tumblr, the Sad Keanu meme popped up on the Tumblr Radar over and over again.
  • June 14th, sad-keanu.com launches, also on Tumblr, publishing a new Sad Keanu every day.
The Daily What posted Sad Keanu again on June 16thtwice.
On June 17, 2010, SadKeanu.com was issued a DMCA takedown notice. 

The next day, all the posts had been removed and replaced with an entry stating that Splash News, the paparazzi site that owns the picture, was the one who issued the DMCA:

Since then, the site has been posting submissions that do not use the bench photo, but instead are silhouettes and other renderings of the image.
News of the takedown was posted on Reddit.

Operation “Happy Reeves:” Cheer Up Keanu Day

Following that intense trend in photoshopping pictures, a Facebook event entitled Cheer Up Keanu Day was organized. Planned for the 15th of June, it encouraged any people to send love letters, gifts, phone messages, cancer donations or mails of any kind in order to make a special happy day for the actor.
To keep up that work, a fan-made single-topic blog, named Thank You Keanu was created for people willing to leave sympathetic comments.
June 15th, 2010 – By decree of The Internet, June 15th is now an internationally celebrated holiday dedicated to Keanu Reeves.
That action was also covered by DiggE! OnlineEncyclopedia Dramatica and Time Magazine.

Keanu Reeves on His Fame

On January 18th, 2011, the Hollywood actor briefly addressed his newfound internet fame in a studio interview withBBC, quoted as saying:
Do I wish that I didn’t get my picture taken while I was eating a sandwich on the streets of New York? Yeah.

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