Posted at 03:23 PM ET, 04/05/2011

‘Epic Libyan’ internet meme celebrates rebels, but also makes us laugh

(Screen grab from “Epic Libyan” tumblr)
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:

I have always loved being #Libya n but I have never been more proud&honoured to be1 as in the last 2 months. 'Libya feha rajala' #EpicLibyanless than a minute ago via web   Favorite | Retweet | Reply

"Epic" internet meme brings levity to Libya crisis. Love looking at all the #Epiclibyan pics. Keep up the good work! than a minute ago via Tweet Button   Favorite | Retweet | Reply

More “Epic Libyan” photos (screengrabs):

See the “Epic Libyan” tumblr here. There’s also a Libyan rebel fashion tumblr, “Rebel Haute Couturabolis”, which has the tag line “Winning the war on bad taste.” See it here.

By  |  03:23 PM ET, 04/05/2011

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