Why Is This Old Photo Of Lady Gaga & Joe Biden Now A Meme?

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
The US inauguration is now underway, and while the air is still heavy with concern about potential violence from the far-right, the internet is crawling with as much happily chaotic content as usual. On today’s horizon of true randomness, we have some people fighting about Avatar: The Last Airbender and others rejecting Noah Beck’s underwear pictures with cleansing pictures of One Direction stars. Among all the weirdly nostalgic internet chatter, there is also an old picture of Lady Gaga and Joe Biden making the rounds and gathering funny captions in the process. 
Though Lady Gaga will be one of the headlining acts at Biden’s inauguration today, the photo that’s been circulating on social media wasn’t taken recently. The picture is actually from a 2017 public service announcement for “It’s On Us” — a campaign launched during the Obama administration aimed at ending sexual assault on campuses. With or without his dark aviator sunglasses, Joe Biden is just Joe Biden. But, here we have Lady Gaga in one of her straightest looks, giving absolute Meredith Blake energy. And it seems like a handful of Twitter’s blue-checks agreed. 
Today’s best meme has spun the photo and cast Gaga in the role of younger partner to a much older man. The meme gathered some momentum as Twitter’s oral historians began to draw connections to other meme-able celebrity-politician pairings, like Senator Bernie Sanders and Cardi B. 
After four years with a corrupt bigot in the White House, it’s tempting to conclude that the memeification of this pair as a surrogate dad and stepmom to America is a reminder that things are about to change and someone new is in charge. But more likely, this positively bland, all-white, and unseasoned meme is just a palate cleanser, a transition into the new administration and all the memes that will come with it. Or it could just be another random meme for the pile of chaos that is our lives.

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