Published on Sep 2, 2012
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CLINT Eastwood's bizarre chat to an empty chair has sparked a new internet craze, dubbed "Eastwooding".
The Dirty Harry actor made a surprise appearance at the climax of the Republican National Convention on Thursday to endorse presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
But he made the internet's day with a speech in which he hectored an empty chair representing an invisible president Barack Obama.
The speech, which ran more than twice as long as intended and had some Republicans looking at each other in bewilderment, became an online craze.
Web wags quickly Photoshopped the stock standard memes onto the chair - "sad Keanu", the Princess Leia hologram and scowling Olympian gymnast McKayla Maroney.
Others looked further afield, faking up a Simpsons newspaper front page reading "Old man yells at chair", with a picture of Grandpa Simpson (the original read "Old man yells at cloud"). Comedy site HUMORdy made a video of the chair's imagined response ("my record of providing excellent lumbar support is beyond reproach").
It wasn't long before an @InvisibleObama popped up on Twitter.
And then a new fad sprung up. Salt Lake Tribune reporter Robert Gehrke posted on Twitter a picture of his coworker pointing at an empty chair at the convention, calling it "Eastwooding".
Hours later, there were more than 25,000 "Eastwooders" on Twitter - and the trend spread to Tumblr, Instagram and beyond, as thousands rushed to share pictures of themselves pointing at chairs.
Celebrities joined in the "Eastwooding" fun, including actor Zach Braff, actress Mia Farrow and comedian Hal Sparks.
And the internet being the internet, soon it was the turn of cats and dogs to have their chance to quizzically confront the furniture.
Even the president himself joined in the fun.
Mr Obama (or one of his advisers) is known to have a keen eye for internet memes: when the president popped up on Reddit.com during the week he quoted the "not bad" meme.
In this case, he settled for tweeting a photo of himself at the office in a chair marked "The president", with the comment "the seat's taken".
Naturally, it was the cue for more hilarity. It wasn't long before someone had gotten around to replacing Mr Obama's hair with a clown wig.
As for Gehrke, he says he has "never been prouder in my life" of the meme he helped spawn. But he insists "I'm not a hero. Just a smartass with a Twitter account".
Check out twitter.com/#!/search/%23eastwooding for more examples of the Eastwooding meme.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/news/clint-eas...
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