If you are alive, on the internet, you have probably seen the "Double Rainbow" video, in which a seriously intense guy named Paul Vasquez (or Hungrybear9562) freaks out at the natural wonder of not one but two, count 'em, two rainbows in the sky. The video was huge.
And now: It's inspired its own real-life ripoff! Sort of. Los Angelenos were witness to a real-life, live-action double rainbow in their sky tonight, and immediately took to Twitter to talk about it. So much so that it became a trending topic. Worldwide. Most Tweets seemed desperate to refer to the "double rainbow guy," like this:
There were also plenty of pictures, like this one courtesy Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton:
But I know what you're thinking! You're thinking: "Okay, so, in the 21st century, the only way we can relate to natural phenomena is by refracting our experiences through the prism of internet-generated memes. Of course the first instinct of Twitterers was to refer to the double rainbow guy meme. What else is new?"
Well, why don't we turn to Italian author and semiotician Umberto Eco and see if he can help us figure out how the real-life double rainbow teaches us about postmodernism? In the postscript to his great In the Name of the Rose, Eco writes that "the postmodern attitude" can be thought of as
that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows that he cannot say to her ‘I love you madly', because he knows that she knows (and that she knows he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still, there is a solution. He can say ‘As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly.' At this point, having avoided false innocence, having said clearly that it is no longer possible to speak innocently, he will nevertheless have said what he wanted to say to the woman: that he loves her in an age of lost innocence. If the woman goes along with this, she will have received a declaration of love all the same. Neither of the two speakers will feel innocent, both will have accepted the challenge of the past, of the already said, which cannot be eliminated; both will consciously and with pleasure play the game of irony… But both will have succeeded, once again, in speaking of love."
So, basically, take that, and replace "a man" with "Jason Alexander" and "love" with "double rainbow" and "Barbara Cartland" with "double rainbow guy," and you've got, well, if not a graduate thesis, at the very least an undergraduate senior project.