Sarah Stultz: For once, political party hasn’t mattered

Published 8:58 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultsz

I’ll admit it. I’ve been highly entertained by the memes that have flooded the internet since the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

They’re not of Biden, of course, but of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will forever be remembered in a photo from that day wearing a winter coat, a light blue face mask and a brown, black and white pair of repurposed mittens, and seated with his arms and legs crossed.

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I’m not sure if it was his fashion from that day or the expression on his face that caught everyone’s attention from the photo, but within hours, Bernie was photoshopped out of that photo and was appearing in people’s photos everywhere — from the gym, to the subway to the DMV and movie sets, to near famous places throughout the globe and next to celebrities.

I had some friends who were religiously posting when they found new ones that were especially entertaining, and I caught myself actually laughing out loud at several of the memes.

Even the people who were annoyed by the memes were getting in on the action, and before I knew it there was a meme floating around of a snake that clearly ingested something large, and the only thing left behind was one of Bernie’s mittens. Another one showed a polar bear that had pushed over a folding chair into open icy water. The polar bear had one mitten in its mouth and the other on a leg. The face mask was strewn across the toppled chair.

As fast as the memes came out, then came a crocheted Bernie and even the pattern for people to make their own. Artisans all over the country who make mittens similar to the ones Bernie wore on Inauguration Day were sharing their skills online.

It was crazy how quickly the internet sensation grew.

Shortly after, local businesses also got in on the fun, and Bernie could be seen next to the Wells Flame Theater, the Albert Lea Family Y and Peppered Cow, to name a few.

It also gave some of the local shops the opportunity to showcase their own repurposed gloves for sale.

Whether everyone who got in on the fun was a Democrat or a Republican didn’t matter, and for a few days at least, I saw fewer people arguing about politics on Facebook and more people sharing in the laughs of these memes that have taken on a life of their own.

It was nice after such a heated last year to have a little relief from the arguing, the name-calling and general ugliness that has taken over social media.

I’m sure it won’t last forever, but I’ll enjoy it while I can.


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.