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Keanu Reeves

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Cyberpunk, in the popular consciousness, conjures a glut of dissociated images: Blade Runner’s slummy urban landscape, hackers in sunglasses, Japanese cyborgs, grubby tech, digital intoxication, Keanu Reeves as Johnny Mnemonic. But it began as an insanely niche subculture within science fiction, one which articulated young writerly distaste for the historically utopian optimism of the medium and, in turn, provided an aesthetic reference point for burgeoning hacker culture, before metastasizing into a full-on cultural trend.

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Matrix Morpheus is an advice animal image macro series featuring a screen capture of the fictional character Morpheus[1] (played by Lawrence Fishburne) from The Matrix franchise.[2] The captions typically follow a two line format with the first line reading “What if I Told You,” followed by a revelation that often belittles futile or petty behavior, in a similar vein to the advice animal characters Conspiracy Keanu and Sudden Clarity Clarence.


While the line “What if I told you” was never heard in any of the Matrix films, it thought to be a paraphrased interpretation of a scene from The Matrix in which Morpheus informs the protagonist Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) that he lives in is a computer simulation (shown below, left). A different screen capture used in many of the image macros comes from a scene in which Morpheus warns Neo about the artificial intelligence programs known as “Agents” (shown below, right).

On February 11th, 2012, Redditor haveacigaro submitted a post titled “Morpheus Uses a Mac” to the /r/AdviceAnimals[4] subreddit, which featured a screenshot of Morpheus sitting in a chair with a caption informing Macintosh computer users how to take a screenshot using a keyboard shortcut (shown below).


On March 27th, 2012, Redditor matthewkol186 submitted a Matrix Morpheus image macro with the caption “What if I told you / the side with the USB symbol will always be the top side” (shown below, left),[5] which received over 620 up votes and 35 comments prior to being archived. On the following day, Redditor lindyhop411 submitted an image macro titled “Why I could never take Morpheus seriously” to the /r/AdviceAnimals[6] subreddit, which featured a screen capture of Lawrence Fishburn as the character Cowboy Curtis in the children’s television show Pee Wee’s Playhouse (shown below, right). Prior to being archived, the post received over 8,000 up votes and 200 comments. As of December 28th, 2012, the Quickmeme[3] page for “Matrix Morpheus” has received over 33,000 submissions.

Notable Examples

Cat Morpheus

On March 25th, 2012, Redditor ZeLittleMan submitted an image macro titled “Cat Morpheus” to the /r/AdviceAnimals[7] subreddit, which featured a black-and-white photograph of a cat wearing sunglasses with the caption “What if I told you / you can’t catch the red dot” (shown below, left). Prior to being archived, the post received over 7,700 up votes and 70 comments. As of December 28th, 2012, the “Cat Morpheus” Quickmeme[8] page has received over 100 submissions.

Search Interest

External References

[1]Wikipedia – Morpheus

[2]Wikipedia – The Matrix

[3]Quickmeme – Matrix Morpheus

[4]Reddit – Morpheus uses a Mac

[5]Reddit – Matrix Morpheus

[6]Reddit – Why I could never take Morpheus seriously

[7]Reddit – Cat Morpheus

[8]Quickmeme – Cat Morpheus

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Conspiracy Keanu is an advice animal image macro series featuring a still photo of the Canadian actor Keanu Reeves wearing a frightened expression from the 1989 comedy film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The images are typically captioned with paranoid conjectures and shallow philosophical questions that show similarities to the Paranoid Parrot, Philosoraptor and Stoner Dog advice animal series.


On December 11th, 2008, New York Magazine’s Vulture Blog[3] published a slideshow titled “Vulture’s Complete Field Guide to the Facial Expressions of Keanu Reeves” that consisted of screen captures of Reeves from various films. The 22nd slide featured an image of Ted (played by Keanu Reeves) taken from the 1989 comedy film Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in a scene where Ted is being chased by medieval knights.

The image was subsequently used as a reaction face with the earliest known instance occuring on the Fark[1] forums (shown left) on September 17th, 2010. The first image macro (shown right) was posted to the r/funny subreddit[2] with the caption “What if we CAN breathe in space / and they just don’t want us to escape” on June 2nd, 2011, which accumulated 6,847 up votes prior to being archived.


An instance with the caption “What if all the specs we see in the light / are all miniature universes?” was submitted to the humor site FunnyJunk[11] on September 24th, 2011.

In November of 2011, Conspiracy Keanu image macros began to spread on a larger scale with the launch of a Facebook fan page[10] on November 19th and compilations were posted to various sites including BuzzFeed[13], Pleated Jeans[14] and the web culture blog UpRoxx[5] within the next few days. On December 15th, the web culture blog Smosh[16] published a “Best of Conspiracy Keanu” post. The domain for the single topic blog[12] was registered on December 18th. Additionally, derivatives have been posted to FunnyJunk[6], Tumblr[7],[9] and Reddit.[8] A Quickmeme[4] page has 23,294 submissions and a Facebook[15] page has 1,221 likes as of Febraury 28th, 2012.

Notable Examples


Search Interest

External Links

[1] Fark – China plans to lead world in eco-friendly cars. Haven’t they lead enough?

[2] Reddit – Conspiracy Keanu

[3] NYMag – Vulture’s Complete Field Guide to the Facial Expressions of Keanu Reeves

[4] Quickmeme – Conspiracy Keanu

[5] UpRoxx – Conspiracy Keanu Puts A Meme To What Keanu Reeves Is Thinking

[6] FunnyJunk – conspiracy keanu

[7] Tumblr – #conspiracy keanu

[8] Reddit – conspiracy keanu

[9] – conspiracy keanu

[10] Facebook – Conspiracy Keanu

[11] Funny Junk – What If

[12] – Conspiracy Keanu

[13] BuzzFeed – The 21 Best Conspiracy Keanu Meme Images

[14] Pleated Jeans – Best of the Conspiracy Keanu Meme

[15] Facebook – Conspiracy Keanu

[16] Smosh – Best of Conspiracy Keanu!

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"The game my professor worked on" teaches me about interactive narrative...again. What are some of the challenges involved in interactive characterization and plot development? I'll try to convey them here.

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Point Break was released in theaters on July 12th 1991, twenty years ago today. The action film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the future Academy Award winning director of The Hurt Locker who was at the time married to James Cameron. Keanu Reeves starred as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who goes undercover to catch a gang of bank robbing surfers (led by Patrick Swayze). Here are five quick facts that you probably didn’t know about the movie:

  • The word “fuck” is spoken 105 times.
  • The movie was almost titled “Johnny Utah” after Keanu’s character name.
  • Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By The Bell, Showgirls) had a small role in the movie as “Macrame Girl”, but her scene was cut out.
  • Johnny Depp, Matthew Broderick and Charlie Sheen were among the other actors who supposedly auditioned for the role of Johnny Utah.
  • Johnny tells Bodhi to meet him at “Patrick’s Roadhouse”, an inside joke to the movie Swayze made a couple years prior – Road House.

Leave your memories of the film after the jump. We’ve also embedded a making of documentary.

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