Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Here’s what’s up with Trump and that orb in Saudi Arabia

(Photo: Getty Images, Mark Wilson)

If you’ve been on social media at all today, you’ve most likely witnessed one of the most beautiful things that can happen on the internet: the birth of a meme. However, unlike the memes that are created by mocking people who make weird faces or by stealing a frog from an innocent cartoonist, this meme was born out of current events. Specifically, it came from Donald Trump’s hypocrisy-filled tour of Saudi Arabia, during which he seems to be purposefully doing the sort of things he previously criticized Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for, like accepting massive donations to his daughter’s foundation, curtsying in front of Saudia Arabia’s King Salman, and letting his son-in-law orchestrate an enormous arms deal. Also, he put his hand on a glowing orb:


Sometimes it can be hard to determine where a meme comes from, but that’s not the case today. Trump might as well have just started tweeting his own orb jokes the instant he saw the thing, because there was no way Twitter wasn’t going to go crazy with the image of some world leaders putting their hands on a glowing orb:


But what was the orb really all about? Answering the question requires doing a small amount of research (on Newsweek), which unfortunately happens to be the quickest way to kill a meme. In the photos going around, Trump and King Salaman are at Saudia Arabia’s Global Center For Combatting Extremist Ideology, and the orb is actually a globe. Apparently, the act of these men putting their hands on the globe is just meant to be a basic gesture of unity. You can see the whole thing right here:


It makes for a strange visual, sure, but it’s really just a flashy photo op. Of course, if Trump returns to the United States and immediately installs his own shining globe in the center of the Oval Office, maybe then we should be a little concerned—especially if he starts using it during his regular blood oaths.

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