Date of this Version
The American Historian
In late September 2015 a video began circulating on social media under the hashtag #pizzarat. As of early October, it had garnered more than seven million views on YouTube—sufficient evidence of cultural relevance to make not only meme-happy sites such as BuzzFeed and Gawker take note, but also mainstream media such as the New York Times, CNN, and NPR. The 14-second video, shot by comedian Matt Little, showed a rat dragging a slice of pizza down the steps of a Manhattan subway station. Responses to the video varied. Some interpreted it as evidence of poor sanitation, while others admired the little rodent's pluck and perseverance, seeing him or her as "a symbol of the ultimate New Yorker."1
Originally published in The American Historian © 2015 Organization of American Historians. Reproduced with permission.
Benson, E. S. (2015). The Urban Upwelling. The American Historian, 40-44. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/hss_papers/31
Date Posted: 18 February 2019
This document has been peer reviewed.