It’s well established that the Internet is composed of twenty-five percent cat pictures and seventy-four percent pornography, and God help you if you stumble into the middle of that Venn diagram. But the collective hive-mind of the world-wide webs is a strange and surreal place, and its fixations — planking, for instance, or girls taking pictures of themselves while making ugly faces — are frequently random, surreal, or just plain ridiculous. Sometimes, however, somebody still manages to have a Really Good Idea. For instance, taking a picture that makes it appear like you’re choking the crap out of somebody with the Force. Allow us to introduce the meme known as “Vadering.”
Oddly enough, the Vadering craze actually began with a photo uploaded to Instagram by staff from Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas. During a break from preparing for Easter weekend services, some of them were goofing around outside and hit upon the idea of having one guy leap in the air while miming being choked, with another person lifting a hand, Darth Vader style. The result was the photo seen above, which they uploaded to Instagram on March 29th. After that, the Internet’s spirit of one-upsmanship kicked in and the barrage of Vadering photos began.
Rob Martinez, the church staff member who actually uploaded the original Vadering photo, told the Houston Chronicle, “Did we set out to create an internet meme? No. We just wanted to have a little fun, but then it took off and we were thinking, ‘This could get really big!’” Indeed it did, with Vadering already having been covered by Yahoo News and Jimmy Kimmel Live, amongst others.
You can see some of the Vadering cream of the crop below. If you need me, I’ll be off in the corner inventing the Solo-ing meme.