All posts tagged: Lyra Jones

The Strange and Sudden Rise of ‘MAGA Bluey’

The Strange and Sudden Rise of ‘MAGA Bluey’

Samantha Speiller, of Round Rock, Texas, started watching Bluey with her young daughter in the early months of the pandemic. Two years later, by then a dedicated fan of the wise and beloved Australian cartoon, she joined a Facebook group for Bluey memes. Here was Bluey, the six-year-old dog and title character, looking exasperated and saying, “But I don’t want a life lesson! I just want an ice cream!” And there was Bandit, her beleaguered father-dog, drinking coffee at a table with a sign that reads, Bluey is a show for adults, disguised as a kid’s show. Change my mind. Speiller was not herself an active poster in the group, and saw only the memes from other people that happened to pop up in her News Feed. But at some point this past spring, Speiller noticed that the Facebook group, called “Bluey Memes????,” had taken on a different character. At first the change was subtle—a slow drift into the culture wars. One post from April shows Bluey at the park with Bandit, who is pointing …