The man be­hind Bi­den-Trump memes

Jamaica Gleaner - - LAWSOFEVE KELLY’SWORLD -

WASHINGTON (AP): T WAS two days af­ter elec­tion day when Josh Billinson de­cided to turn heart­break into hu­mour. The Washington, DC-area Hil­lary Clin­ton sup­porter de­cided to start churn­ing out tweets match­ing pho­tos of Pres­i­dent Obama and Vi­cePres­i­dent Bi­den with fake cap­tions that show Bi­den plan­ning to prank the in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Soon, one tweet in par­tic­u­lar went vi­ral with many more to fol­low.

In the post­ing, Bi­den is seated in the Oval Of­fice look­ing over at Obama, who has his hands over his face.

And Bi­den is act­ing like a kid who doesn’t want to meet his step­fa­ther for the first time.

Obama: “Did you re­place all the toi­letries with travel-size bot­tles?”

Bi­den: “He’s got tiny hands, Barack. I want him to feel wel­come here.”

On Billinson’s Twit­ter ac­count alone, the tweet has been seen by more than 3.3 mil­lion peo­ple and retweeted more than 35,000 times.

“It’s com­pletely blown me away to see the re­ac­tion from this,” said Billinson, a 22-year-old preschool teacher in Burke, Vir­ginia, who spends time in Delaware at his par­ents’ Fen­wick Is­land home.

“Per­son­ally, I’m not happy with the re­sults of the elec­tion and I think the nat­u­ral re­ac­tion from my­self and oth­ers in my gen­er­a­tion is to voice that frus­tra­tion pub­licly,” he adds, “and Twit­ter seemed to be the nat­u­ral plat­form for that.”

His Twit­ter ac­count, @jbillinson, had 300 fol­low­ers be­fore elec­tion day. Now, he has more than 14,000. Three days af­ter the elec­tion, Billinson had to turn off no­ti­fi­ca­tions

Ion his phone – they were com­ing in so fast that the Twit­ter app was nearly un­us­able. And in the past week, he has been in­ter­viewed by CNN, ABC and the New York Daily News with his tweets fea­tured ev­ery­where from the BBC and NPR to Ya­hoo and satir­i­cal news site The Onion.

Billinson’s tweets, which find Bi­den in­volved in harm­less Home Alone-es­que an­tics, share the same Internet space as a wave of fel­low arm­chair co­me­di­ans who have since been post­ing their own Bi­den prank posts. (Bi­den memes are noth­ing new, but prank­ing Trump give them a fresh, pop­u­lar wrin­kle).

It has caught on so much that if you’ve been on the Internet or so­cial me­dia at all in the week fol­low­ing Trump’s vic­tory over Hil­lary Clin­ton, you’ve likely seen one or more of the post­ings.

In the mean­time, Billinson is field­ing of­fers that have come in dur­ing his 15 min­utes of fame, in­clud­ing pro­pos­als from a lit­er­ary agent. But for Billinson, he would rather hear from the Of­fice of the Vice-Pres­i­dent of the United States to get a stamp of ap­proval from the big guy him­self.

“While my tweets might seem to be pok­ing fun at him, that was never my in­tent,” he said. “I’ve looked up to him for years and would love noth­ing more than to meet him.”

And if he ever does, he won’t cer­tainly fall for the ol’ salt trick.

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