The Double Rainbow: A Geek Baby Perspective


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Photo by Jeremy Austin; used under Creative Commons Attribution license

What do a newborn baby and a cage wrestler have in common? About three minutes of awe and wonder, wrapped up into a new Internet meme.

Know Your Meme, a great source for background on Internet culture, explained the latest viral sensation — Double Rainbow — as follows:

In January of 2010, YouTube user and self-proclaimed mountain man Hungrybear9562—real name: Paul Vasquez—uploaded a video of an awe-inspiring double rainbow. As the video progresses, Hungrybear becomes more and more passionate, eventually giving in to the double-rainbow-induced rapture.

Bear remained in Internet obscurity for months after the encounter with nature, until talk show host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted about it in early July. The spike in views has cleared 5 million, thanks to additional coverage by Mashable, Huffington Post, and geek celebrity Nathan Fillion. The swell of double-rainbow parodies are getting millions of views as well, including over 3 million from the song remixed by the Auto-Tune-the-News folks. Even Hitler got into the act. (That’s a double meme, all the way!)

The over-the-top reaction was genuine. As Bear told KYM, “The rainbow was the Universe or Spirit flowing through me, the reaction you heard was how I reacted to seeing the Holy Ghost, kind of like Moses seeing the burning bush in the 10 commandments.” Another interview with Shira Lazar (CBS News) indicated its brilliance was enough to knock Bear to the ground.

Double Fish Mobile

New father Richie Hazlewood first came across the original Double Rainbow through StumbleUpon, after it had already made the rounds through Huff Post, Fark, and Funny or Die. He and his wife, Chantel, turned some video of their eight-week-old baby, Theo, into a riff of their own. The charming aspect of this Double Rainbow entry is seeing the world from the perspective of a new baby, something any GeekDad or GeekMom can appreciate.

As Theo’s vision developed, the mobile above his changing station came into view. One day, Chantel’s laughter drew Richie into the nursery. Theo was smiling and “going nuts” while he looked up at the mobile. It wasn’t clear to the new parents if their baby was happy, sad, or freaked out. The connection to Bear’s experience became obvious.

The entire video was done with three short takes captured with a handheld camera: the baby happily freaking out under the mobile, Theo crying before a diaper change, and a baby’s-eye view from underneath the mobile. “Yes, I delayed his diaper change so i could get a few seconds of heart-felt misery,” Richie admitted. “Theo demands method acting.”

Hazlewood claims Theo has become impossible to live with since his internet debut. “We have to feed him, bathe him, dress him, and entertain him constantly,” says Richie. “This generation really struggles with a heightened sense of entitlement, I think.”

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