In the dwindling days of the prequarantine U.S., perhaps around the time you last set ass in an actual movie theater seat, the president was laser-focused on the country’s most pressing issue: not understanding why Parasite won best picture at this year’s Oscars.
Had the president paid closer attention, or perhaps read Fast Company’s explainer on why Parasite was best-picture-worthy, he might have understood more about what was to come. (The word “might” is doing strenuous work in that sentence.)
Parasite, after all, has already proven to be enduring cultural shorthand for economic disparity—and fans are using it during the pandemic to put the upper class on blast.
Parasite: You think it’s about a virus but it’s actually about how the rich are exploiting the working poor.
The Pandemic: You think it’s about a virus but it’s actually about how the rich are exploiting the working poor. pic.twitter.com/lFur3K6BpG
— Witch from home???? (@StarWarshipper) May 1, 2020
Even before Americans locked themselves in for quarantine, the film had already etched itself deep into the cultural consciousness. During the tail end of the political primary season, people were already projecting Parasite everywhere stark class-based contrasts exist. (So, basically everywhere.)
Here we go: pic.twitter.com/HjUXp4xu9k
— Bongos? (@BongosForKevin) February 27, 2020
Once the pandemic hit and everyone had to hunker down at home, Parasite became a factory full of meme-fodder. As celebrities began spreading the message that “We’re all in this together,” more and more people who were just scraping by or worse couldn’t help noticing the difference in what being “in this” meant to the wealthy.
Indeed, the quarantine has revealed that some of these celebrities’ houses actually resemble the Parasite house to a T—something that has not escaped the notice of the film’s many fans. Those in the know have made a go-to meme out of merely mentioning the basement in these tastefully gaudy digs.
please check your basement https://t.co/6X2rfkmv3p
— ponyo fishy in the sea (@niazahraaa) March 19, 2020
unknowingly provides shelter to two people in his basement https://t.co/ifPWHWAT02
— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) April 24, 2020
"We're naming him X Æ A-12…" pic.twitter.com/7GMBGbS0Jc
— ✨ Mallorie Jessica Udischas✨ (@SweetBeans99) May 5, 2020
Fast Company plans to continue monitoring the situation and will add more examples here as they develop. Even though, as Ki Taek (Song Kang-ho) says in the film, “Life cannot be planned,” you can count on this.