RSS
5 Hurricane Sandy-inspired memes
Despite (or perhaps because of) the devastation, the superstorm still provided fodder for dark humor
Sign language interpreter Lydia Calas became one of the storm's breakout stars thanks to her exaggerated facial expressions that brought extra life to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's updates.
Sign language interpreter Lydia Calas became one of the storm's breakout stars thanks to her exaggerated facial expressions that brought extra life to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's updates.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
C

olossal superstorm Sandy may have inflicted record levels of damage on New York City and the East Coast, but its slow-brewing start gave the internet time to respond in the only way it knows how: Satirical memes. Even as the storm ravaged the East Coast, flooding countless homes and knocking out power for millions of Americans, the Sandy jokes continued, if only to offer a blip of comic relief. Here, a round-up of some of the more inspired distractions from the storm's harsh realities.

1. Oh, Sandy
As newscasters issued early warnings about the storm's size and path, the internet was quick to mock the hurricane's given name, referencing Olivia Newton John's good-girl-gone-bad character in Grease. In this rather perverse "hurricane tribute" video, YouTube user robbo34 plays John Travolta's anguished love song "Sandy" over early images of storm's trajectory:

2. The sign language lady
One of the storm's biggest breakout stars was Lydia Calas, the sign-language interpreter who appeared at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's side whenever he made a public statement. Bloomberg's live storm updates, sometimes expressed in stilted Spanish, were translated by Calas, who underlined the drama with extremely committed facial expressions that became an immediate Twitter hit. Her mesmerizing display inspired gifs and her own Tumblr:

3. #RomneyStormTips
While people waited for Sandy to make landfall on Monday, the internet took the opportunity to mock Mitt Romney and his wealth with a faux Twitter account, @RomneyStormTips, which has since been taken down, and hashtag, #RomneyStormTips, offering satirical guidance in the face of the storm's destruction:

4. @ObamaStormTips
For nearly every faux Romney Twitter account, an Obama-based counterpart cropped up. The still-intact @ObamaStormTips account — with the tag line "I make it rain. Back in DC, baby!" — spins Sandy's damage into campaign quips:

5. @AHurricaneSandy
Of course, soon after the news of the impending storm broke, Sandy got its own Twitter account. In the early hours and days, @AHurricaneSandy tweeted attitude-filled updates on the storm's relentless attack with all-caps aggression:

But not even mock-Sandy could go unaffected by the reality of the storm's destruction. By Tuesday, the real user sobered up:

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week