Meme Management: Meet the Man Who Reps Internet Stars
J Thoendell stashed this in Meme
Ben Lashes is a meme manager — and as far as we know, he is the first and only of his kind.
Consider him an agent for the stars of the Internet. Lashes represents memes and their creators such as Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat and Scumbag Steve, to name a few. He's also an A&R for Rebecca Black. It's a full-time gig, and he's been at it for over two years.
Justin Bieber manufactured himself:
Lashes uses Justin Bieber as a prime example of what happens when you're discovered by the masses first, calling him "the Elvis of the Internet age."
"He wasn't manufactured, he manufactured himself — like a mom and pop operation," says Lashes. "That's the same way that the next Mickey Mouse or the next Bart Simpson will happen, or maybe it's already happening."
According to Lashes, putting the masses in charge of what or who the next iconic character or celebrity will be could also be detrimental to major companies.
"By the time that Disney votes on how lovable this character is that they're developing, and whether or not it's going to get approved by parents or have this weird undertone, there are going to be a hundred thousand different uploads of people trying to fill that same space with whatever they've come up with," says Lashes.