In recent years, the word “epic” has taken on another meaning beyond just “heroic,” as under-25-year-olds have appropriated it to describe pretty much anything they find awesome. (See Urban Dictionary for a fuller 21st century definition of the word.)
That second meaning has ensured a popular Libyan internet meme, “Epic Libyan,” carries a dual meaning: It not only celebrates the rebel forces who are fighting against leader Moammar Gaddafi, but it also makes us laugh.
Since March 5, Libyan-American medical student Hamza Malek has been tweeting photos of the crisis in Libya, using the hashtag #EpicLibyan. Each photo is accompanied by a humorous, exaggerated, “Chuck Norris Facts”-style caption.
Underneath a picture of a man with ammo around his waist, Malek writes: “EpicLibyanMan never lets his pants sag”. He captions a photo of a ragtag rebel group with the words:“It takes more than a broken leg, a broken arm, a lack of shoes, and old age to slow down #EpicLibyanMan”.
When Malek’s twitter account swelled to more than 2,000 followers, he added a tumblr for the photos.
We earlier questioned whether it was okay to laugh at the plethora of jokes being made about Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s clothes, rhetoric, and name spellings. But the photos and captions on “Epic Libyan” appear to have garnered only a positive response. Supporters of Libyan’s rebel forces aren’t decrying “Epic Libyan” for making light of a violent revolution, but instead talking about how “proud and honored” it makes them feel to be Libyan.
Here is what a few tweeted:
More “Epic Libyan” photos (screengrabs):