Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced last month that Hungary needs more children. But only Hungarian ones, of course. Orban is staunchly anti-immigrant, so his government’s solution to the country’s declining population was to permanently abolish the income tax for Hungarian women who have at least four children.
The Orban government, as it tends to do, put up billboards to promote its campaign. One billboard featured a young and in-love couple. They looked oddly familiar.
Viewers of this billboard who spend too much time on the Internet will instantly recognize this young man and woman as the stars of the series of stock photos that gave us the “distracted boyfriend” meme. For those blissfully unaware, the meme is typically used on social media to poke fun at various manifestations of the fleeting nature of human loyalty. For example:
“This was such a perfect faux pas,” Zselyke Csaky, research director for Europe and Eurasia at the nonprofit Freedom House, wrote in an email. “One of the reaction memes had ‘emigration to London’ written over the original distracted boyfriend meme, which kind of demonstrates young Hungarians approach to the issue.”
The meme becomes a billboard, and the billboard, in turn, becomes a meme.