A cheeky grin and an impolite gesture: This viral meme celebrates a historic month for Argentina. First seen on Twitter, the meme had scarce engagement, but then proliferated online after it was used as the lead image by at least six national media publications. Soon, it caught the vibe of gleeful Argentines celebrating two major triumphs on the world stage. Here’s how three images came together in one meme to capture a country’s mood.
In December, Argentina won their third World Cup, their first in 36 years, sparking massive celebrations by fans across the globe. Argentina’s Emiliano Martínez, upon receiving the award for best goalkeeper, thrust his hips forward and placed the trophy on his groin in a gesture that has been described as impolite and unsportsmanlike. (He’s defended it, of course.) However you see it, it’s an unforgettable image from a night football-mad Argentines will remember forever.
The following month, in January, came another triumph: Argentina, 1985 — a film about the military coup almost 40 years ago — won the Golden Globe for best non-English language picture. Actor Ricardo Darín and director Santiago Mitre, seen in the photo below, accepted the award in California. As with the World Cup win, the film’s victory was seen as a symbol of Argentina’s global clout, despite the political and economic turmoil back home.
The film’s protagonist was played by Darín, who is one of Argentina’s most beloved actors. He is also known for his cheeky grin, best seen in this 2012 picture.
Soon, an image combining Martínez, the Golden Globe trophy, and Darín was created, resulting in a meme that couldn’t have captured more perfectly the zeitgeist in Argentina. A film about one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history won on the global stage, just a month after its beloved football team shined bright at the sporting world’s single greatest spectacle. As the inflation crisis mounts, Argentines may be going through tough times, but that has hardly stopped them from some meme shithousery.