The Internet's Favorite Dumpster Fire Gif Actually Burned Behind The Dolby Theater
"Dumpster fire" is a warm, little image has been used repeatedly to describe events that are a precious combination of hyperbolic, zany and horrifying. It's come up a lot lately because a "dumpster fire" seems to be the perfect way to categorize this year's presidential election, regardless of whose side you're on.
Writer Jason Feifer tells LAist that upon seeing a .gif of an actual dumpster fire numerous times, he decided to try to find out that particular blaze's origin story. And as it turns out, it happened right in the heart of Hollywood.
According to Feifer's article on Entrepreneur, the dumpster was located behind the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and it caught on fire in 2012. Attempts to get the LAFD to comment on what exactly started the dumpster fire were unsuccessful: a spokesperson for the department told Feifer he didn't see them "dedicating time and resources to a video that's popular online."
It's not just "popular online," LAFD. Mother Jones called it "the meme of the year." THE MEME OF THE YEAR. The phrase originated not with this actual fire, but was possibly first used by sports commentator Colin Cowherd in 2008. Cowherd ran into his own highly flammable rubbish bin in 2015 when he made controversial comments about baseball players from the Dominican Republic, costing him his relationship with ESPN.
The Dolby also declined to comment, leaving us in the dark as to who or what started the fire. Perhaps it was always burning since the world's been turning, or something like that.
If you'd like to feel hopeful, watch crews from Engine 27 put the dumpster fire out. There's no audio to the video, but perhaps you can add your own triumphant soundtrack. I set it to Slayer's "Born of Fire," for instance. Very uplifting!
The Dolby, formerly known as the Kodak Theater, was built in 2001 and has hosted the Academy Awards, the ESPY Awards, the BET Awards, the American Idol finals, and musical acts like Adele, Neil Young, Prince and Alicia Keys. It also hosted the Miss USA pageant in both 2004 and 2007. Given that Donald Trump owned the pageant from 1996 to 2015, he might have been there then. And he was definitely there in 2011 when he attended the Academy Awards, taking this very awkward photo with his wife and an uncomfortable looking Helena Bonham Carter. It all comes full circle.