Internet whiplash: Llamas, the dress, Leonard Nimoy

Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-27 20:19:52-05

It's been a rollercoaster of viral emotion.

The escape of two llamas gripped the country Thursday. The Internet responded with unkempt joy as these majestic creatures trotted the streets of Sun City, Arizona.

#llamadrama was the best escaped animal since the Bronx Zoo Cobra! (I know, it’s so 2011)

But within hours, the crowd’s unified elation was shattered. Glee turned to anger. Anger turned to hate. Hate, turned into an ambiguously colored dress.

The Internet dug its trenches into two camps: the minority that saw blue and black, and all the wrong people who saw white and gold.

The debate raged throughout the night. #Dressgate exposed the variability of human perception. People who have nothing in common saw it the same. Others who share everything saw it different.

Others found that the dress changed colors on multiple viewings. We should all be so lucky. But really, it’s blue and black:

The emotional rollercoaster screeched to its final stop Friday morning.

Leonard Nimoy, a cultural phenomenon who transcended generations, was dead. The Internet was united again. This time, in mourning.

The llamas and the dress will be forgotten in weeks, just like #tansuit and #leftshark. But the hole left by the death of a husband and father of two, who inspired millions, will be felt forever.


Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter at @GavinStern.