Ryan Gosling is an actor. He is also, apparently, a meme. To be more precise, he is a meme generator. A meme machine. The perfect blank slate on which to draw meme after meme. Ryan Gosling diehards create Ryan Gosling memes — just as many fandoms who circle around their object of affection do. This certainly isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. Part of the nature of fandom revolves around taking a single cultural item or person and spinning that item or person off into many, many iterations. The Internet makes that task unbelievably easy. But what’s it about Ryan Gosling that has caused his memes to be created at such a high volume?
Is it his current position as the Millennial’s Leading Man? His vast catalogue (dating all the way back to the Mickey Mouse days!) of available content to manipulate? His own willingness to play along? Once the Internet decides something is meme-able (see: Cats), it seems as though people who don’t even really care about the topic at hand immediately jump onboard. Ryan has gone on record about this all:
“I don’t think it’s really about me,” he adds. “I think it really is sort of like, I’m a pigeon and the Internet is Fabio and it just happened.”
The Meme Economy exists so we can continually one-up each other with clever GIFs and image macros, etc. And now there is a new medium: Vines. “Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal” barely even takes actual Ryan Gosling into account. This Vine-r could easily have chosen any celebrity to manipulate, but he decided to choose Ryan. Why? Because he’s the perfect target with which to achieve web stardom. People already like him, and he’s already closely associated with popular web culture. Meanwhile, they’re admittedly hilarious. Poor Ryan! He’s already famous. All this means is that he’ll have to eat cereal during his next press tour.