From a reality TV star becoming the Republican Nominee to a presidential candidate promising immortality, to say that this has been a bizarre election would be an understatement. But throughout the internet, a popular figure has been making the rounds in the form of a meme, more notable following his death than he was alive. This, of course, is Harambe.
Harambe, a handsome gorilla who was shot dead in order to save a two-year old at the Cincinatti Zoo has quickly become a popular internet meme, with people calling him a hero or martyr of some kind. But one man, Ryan Hall, has taken it a step further. Read Ford Fischer’s exclusive interview with the founder of “Justice For Harambe PAC.” Hall has officially registered the organization with the FEC.
NEWS2SHARE: Why did you create the “Justice for Harambe” PAC?
RYAN HALL: The death of Harambe was without a doubt one of the most tragic events to happen in the history of our country. His death represents a failure in the way that both political parties have dealt with this nation. It is time that we deal with the real issues in our country like his death rather than on phony issues like foreign policy or the economy that have no real impact on people.
“He was a martyr for the sanctity of our nation.”
NEWS2SHARE: Will the PAC be supporting a particular candidate for president? Who, and why?
RYAN HALL: We will support candidates up and down the ticket of any and all political parties that are willing to recognize the importance of the life and impact of Harambe. We will go through a strong and thorough vetting process to make sure that candidates truly support Harambe and will do anything in their power to make sure the American people never forget about his life and death. This issue is one of the few ways that the American people can look across the aisle and vote for candidates that truly represent what’s important and focus on what needs to be paid attention to. Jobs, the economy, global warming, foreign policy and all of the other trivial issues politicians babble on about can wait; America and Harambe can’t. He was a martyr for the sanctity of our nation.
“Harambe represents the love and the bond that holds us together.”
NEWS2SHARE: Harambe has evolved into something of an internet meme and symbol. Clearly he means something to you. What does he symbolize? Is it meant to be humorous, or are you making some larger point?
RYAN HALL: Harambe represents the love and the bond that holds us together. He represents the essence of what it means to be an American patriot, to love our country, and the be the backbone of our strength. His death is a parallel for what will happen to this nation if we don’t change the political system to make sure he is given the respect he deserves. Millennials all across America know this and this is why even months after the poor saint’s untimely death, the internet is littered with testament to his life.
NEWS2SHARE: Have you raised any money or spoken to actual donors?
RYAN HALL: In the past few days, this super pac has generated a great deal of interest and many people have shown interest in donation that I know.
NEWS2SHARE: What is your plan for the future of the PAC?
RYAN HALL: If this super pac gains a great deal of popularity, I might be able to start a gofundme page or kickstarter to run local ads.
NEWS2SHARE: Can you tell me more about yourself and your story generally?
RYAN HALL: A few days ago, me and my friends that hadn’t left for college yet were joking about the issues with the political system in our nation, where billionaires could buy out influence in super pacs in a way that is basically legalized corruption. I joked that I might as while create a super pac myself to show that anyone can do it, and put myself among the millionaires and billionaires that do the same. To my surprise, after a few days, word spread beyond my friend group that this super pac made it big. I guess the underlying goal of all of this is to show how ridiculous super pacs are, and to put something funny like the Harambe meme on the same level as the major parties that use the same super pac platform to dominate the political system. Nonetheless, if interest grows, I would be happy to see where the “Justice for Harambe” super pac goes, and what kinds of things we could do with it.
“Dicksoutforharambe is a phrase that says to all of us that our love for him is as integral to our lives as something like eating, sleeping or sex. The phrase shows the deep connection we all have for Harambe and what he means for us as a people.”
NEWS2SHARE: One of the major aspects of the Harambe memes online is “DicksOutForHarambe,” a hashtag/slogan used to sarcastically imply an overly zealous response to his death. Do you have a position on the phrase?
RYAN HALL: I think it’s overzealous. The slogan represents the extent to which people care about Harambe. I think it’s an important metaphor where people publicly show through writing and internet activism that they are willing to expose their love for Harambe in the most bare and essential sense. Dicksoutforharambe is a phrase that says to all of us that our love for him is as integral to our lives as something like eating, sleeping or sex. The phrase shows the deep connection we all have for Harambe and what he means for us as a people.
NEWS2SHARE: The Atlantic wrote that “Harambe is post-everything. Post-normal, atemporal, post-cultural, post-ironic—choose your favorite descriptor of the zeitgeist: Harambe is an entropic heat death anti-narrative that can mean anything while signifying nothing. And perhaps that’s a good thing: any substantive and creative collective response to the weird, no matter how incoherent, is better than a fearful retreat to the normal.” Please respond to this quote.
RYAN HALL: Alrighty – I’ll just say that the world we live in is weird, either politically or otherwise. On one side of the aisle, we have people calling Hillary the anti-christ and Donald Trump Hitler. Any different person would have a complete exact opposite response on an issue, even if they are the same age and live next door. As a result, I think that humor has gone further and further in the direction of irony as a way to get adults away from the inside jokes of our generation. As people get more united and divided at the same time through social media, we find places to make fun of the media and their over-reactions to non-events and non-issues. I guess the Harambe meme is a case of our generation simultaneously taking irony to the extreme.