We all seem to have that one person we know who is captivated by internet memes – those pictures and videos that express “an element of a culture or system of behavior” and are passed around and shared on social media. Some examples are Leonardo DiCaprio making a toast, Keanu Reeves with a deep thought or some LOL Cats.
We even have a small collection of Corvette-related memes which you can see at Pinterest.
For the life of me, I have never understood the meme dedicated to Harambe, the male silver back gorilla that was tragically shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo last year after a 3-year-old child climbed into his enclosure and was getting dragged around like a toy.
Earlier this year, I came across a tweet of a Corvette Stingray wearing a Harambe vanity plate and like the original poster, called out the driver for his choice of using the vanity plate to make a statement who said “damn a 2017 Corvette stuck in 2016…sad”.
damn a 2017 corvette stuck in 2016… sad pic.twitter.com/N79u1cAYxd— 1994 Subaru Outback (@Sadieisonfire) February 27, 2017
We feature many Corvette vanity plates here because we think they are fun, creative outlet for owners to express themselves. I’ve always believed that most Corvette vanity plates belong to one of two groups: Specifically about the car itself, or describing the owner (or owner’s state of mind). However, the Harambe plate fell into a third category – the pop culture reference.
So it took a few months, but Garrett K., the owner of the Harambe vanity plate on the back of the Corvette Stingray finally got wind of our
mockery salute to Harambe and wanted to give his side of the story. So I asked the important question, “Why Harambe?” and his reply in full follows:
So let me start this by saying I’m 26 years old and the harambe meme has become larger than life online. There is definitely a generational gap between the people that get the meme and the people that don’t. Ironically your article touches on the very thing that made me get the license plate for this car. The fact that harambe will live on forever. The eternal memory of harambe is literally built into the meme. Even though it is a fad, part of what is funny about it is the fact that harambe can and will continue to re-emerge in the years to come. Secondly, naming a powerful Corvette after a powerful silver back gorilla also felt appropriate. And thirdly, paired with the don’t tread on me sticker and the 3% sticker on my window, the Harambe plates indicate my libertarian political standing to those who are in the know with libertarian/conservative pop culture and has become a young conservative icon much like pepe the frog and Donald trump. The situation involving Harambe was a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of situation and the animal rights activists attacked on cue and the memers responded without missing a beat.
Almost everyday I see people taking photos of the plates and when the top is off they yell Harambe and “dicks out!”. People honk, wave and laugh. The response is overwhelmingly positive and I love that this simple vanity plate can make so many people smile. And as long as people continue to enjoy this license plate, including myself, I see no reason to not let this little fad have a 6″x12″ plaque in its memory on the back of my car.
There you have it! Garrett has since updated his Corvette Stingray and the Harambe plate is now featured on the back of a 2017 Corvette Grand Sport.
We appreciate Garrett being a good sport about the subject and as I’ve always said, the Corvette is a canvas that can be customized to the owner’s will. The other fact worth pointing out is that Garrett is much younger than the traditional Corvette buyer. Seeing a pop culture meme immortalized on the back of a Corvette may be the latest trend as millennial Corvette owners join the ranks.
Does your Corvette vanity plate provide a break from the norm? Let us know!
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