Bundled-up Bernie goes viral in a meme

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. inauguration / ɪnˌɔ gyəˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – the ceremony where someone is officially put into an important position

    The president’s inauguration will be shown on several TV channels.

  2. run an errand / rʌn ən ˈɛr ənd / (idiom) – to go out to buy something or do a task

    I can’t go to the party on Saturday because I need to run an errand for my mom.

  3. sartorial / sɑrˈtɔr i əl / (adj.) – relating to clothes or the way they’re worn

    The billionaire is known for his sartorial simplicity. He always just wears a black shirt and jeans.

  4. bodega / boʊˈdeɪ gə / (n.) – a small, usually family-owned store that sells food and other grocery items

    I asked my sister to go to the bodega to buy some bread and milk.

  5. chill / tʃɪl / (v.) – to relax or calm down

    Robin is chilling with his friends beside the pool.


Read the text below.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, wrapped up in a winter coat and mittens at the presidential inauguration, is now a fashion icon for looking like he was running an errand at the historic event.

Amid a sea of designer coats, the 79-year-old Vermont senator made a sartorial statement on Jan. 20 by showing up in a jacket by snowboarding equipment company Burton and homemade woolen mittens, carrying a large brown envelope.

His practical Vermont dad look became an instant meme.

“Your uncle Bernie stepped out to the bodega for a cream cheese and lox bagel and got trapped at an inauguration,” Lester Kiewit wrote in a tweet.

A news wire image of Sanders sitting, arms and legs crossed, inspired netizens to place him in both familiar and unlikely settings.

Several memes show the native New Yorker on mass transit, including chilling to music on headphones. Elsewhere, he shares a park bench with actor Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, sits behind Chewbacca and Han Solo in Star Wars, and appears on desolate planets. (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Some people criticized Sanders for wearing casual clothes to Biden’s inauguration, but others praised him for choosing practical clothing for the cold outdoor event. How do you feel about his sartorial choice? Why? Discuss.
  • Have you ever regretted your clothing choice for an event? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is it ever okay to judge people by the way they dress? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Why do you think the photograph of Sanders became such a popular meme? Discuss.
  • What other popular memes do you know? Do you find them funny? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that meme culture will still exist 10 years from now? Why or why not? Discuss.
Category : Human Interest