Ah, the power of the meme.
When someone becomes a meme, they are skyrocketed into the world's spotlight, and their legacy becomes engraved into the never-forgetting memory of the internet. It's a bizarre kind of fame, and some people use this opportunity to do a bit of good in the world.
Enter: Blinking White Guy.
We all know this meme - The blonde-haired, blue-eyed, slightly perplexed man who has been used as a reaction to funny tweets for the past couple of years. Well, his real name is Drew Scanlon, and he has been using his popularity to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. What a guy.
Keep scrolling to read Drew's story and the unlikely series of events that catapulted him to internet stardom.
The man behind the meme.Yes, the people in memes are real people, folks, and the "Blinking White Guy" is no exception.
Meet Drew Scanlon.
via: TwitterAt the time of the creation of the meme in question (roughly around 2013), Drew was a video producer for Giant Bomb, a popular gaming website.
As a video producer, Drew was not only shooting and editing videos, but featuring in them himself.
via: YoutubeSo, he appeared on camera quite frequently. "Because we were a really small team, everyone was kind of on-camera all the time," he explained in a video.
Giant Bomb would host a weekly show titled "Unprofessional Fridays."
via: YoutubePremium subscribers would be able to watch as the Giant Bomb team would "sit around and play a bunch of video games." This was where the famous meme we all know and love today was born.
Drew said that their reactions been turned into gifs wasn't uncommon.
via: Youtube"The Giant Bomb fans are amazing, and they're very passionate, so there were animated gifs been made of us constantly. So that part wasn't really new to me." He recalled how, when this would happen, the gif would usually be contained within the Giant Bomb community, and wouldn't gain too much attention.
How wrong he was.Drew became a worldwide meme. The show in question was filmed back in 2013, and followed Drew and his colleagues as they played Starbound, a farming-style videogame. After one of the gamers made the comment, "I've been doing some farming with my hoe here," Drew rapidly blinked in a perplexed and confused kind of manner.
He marvelled at how his reaction was even spotted...Because the show was a staggering 2 hours in length, and his reaction was a mere 2 seconds long. Some people have way too much time on their hands...
Though it did take a couple of years for the gif to become the viral sensation it is today.
me: ill take a biology class, im smart enough for this just watch me teacher: cells me: https://t.co/fHJJsPLioO— iniro 🍥 (@iniro 🍥)1486278286.0
And, ever since that fateful tweet...
me: *buys stuff* bank account: *deducts the money I spent* me: https://t.co/06MHbJonjv— beto🤴🏽7-4 (@beto🤴🏽7-4)1487179421.0
It has been used as a reaction gif to pretty much any topic.
Me acting surprised on judgment day when I get told I'm going to hell https://t.co/BihKoL7d6q— Abéy (@Abéy)1487191986.0
Drew admits to initially finding the whole thing a little scary.
When you're in a fight and they make a good point https://t.co/Lt7QdSrQi5— Jen Lewis (@Jen Lewis)1487690996.0
Though he was pleased that the meme has been enjoyed by so many people.“I like what memes can do for people. They’re such fun, throwaway things I see," he explained in a different interview. "These memes have been generally positive. It’s not like I’ve had a say in what the internet does with a gif of my face. But I’m pleased to see people are enjoying it."
He quickly became a viral star.And his fame even went as far as being invited onto Good Morning America to recreate those infamous blinks.
But, when Drew isn't being a meme...
Gooood morning, race fans! Today I’m riding 86 miles to raise money for MS research. So far we’ve raised over $18,0… https://t.co/aXL0mde65o— Drew Scanlon (@Drew Scanlon)1569072560.0
Drew is now using his internet fame for a great cause.
Hi Internet! I'm Drew and THIS IS MY FACE. If this GIF has ever brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to c… https://t.co/OVSg6uzFS0— Drew Scanlon (@Drew Scanlon)1568906333.0
Drew has a personal connection to the cause...
It's Bike MS STREAM TIME! @VinnyCaravella is here and we're going to play some strange video games for a while. Joi… https://t.co/wP7sXLYSAc— Drew Scanlon (@Drew Scanlon)1568664342.0
He wants to use his meme to help raise money for the cause.
via: National MS Society“If a fraction of those who have seen my goofy face donated to MS research, I have a feeling we could kick this thing in no time!" he explained.
And it worked!
Folks, we have raised over TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS so far!! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has contributed, this… https://t.co/y2BaAqdVAs— Drew Scanlon (@Drew Scanlon)1569093142.0
And, of course...
@drewscanlon mfw people have been using the gif for ages and diddn't even donate at https://t.co/yMtCaQqaGt https://t.co/ihgKtzEGTl— 🦖 robertoff 🦖 (@🦖 robertoff 🦖)1568906421.0