Nine hours ago, Phil Braun tweeted an image of an eight-month-old tweet from internet personality Steven Crowder. In that time, hundreds of people have turned the source into a punchline. These are the precious and almost clockwork early stages in the birth of a meme.
"This is the ideal make body," says the tweet, "You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like." Attached is an image of a man who appears to be mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko, standing uncomfortably in a photograph that channels the grime oeuvre of Terry Richardson.
And thus begins the memetic equivalent of a top 40 radio station.
Within four tweets from the source, Shrek appeared:
Within the first 20, we saw Waluigi:
In the first 50 replies, that creepy car crash body appears three times:
This is how the meme sausage is made, every member of the meme space taking its turn merging with the newcomer in attempts to achieve a more powerful, hybrid form. And eventually, that form is found:
Correction: The post originally attributed today's earliest retweet of Steven Crowder to Sunni LaBeouf. Phil Braun shared the Crowder message hours before LaBeouf. The post has been updated to reflect this information.