Midwesterners Against The Middle Bar: The Viral Meme Sparking Conversations

Grayson Larkspur

Updated Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

A viral meme titled "Midwesterners Against The Middle Bar" has been circulating on Imgur, sparking significant discussions about public bench designs and their implications on the homeless community. The image features a predominantly yellow background with various illustrations and texts highlighting a controversial middle bar on public benches.

At the top of the meme, the phrase "Did you know?" is prominently displayed in large, bold, black font. This introductory text sets the stage for the information presented in the middle section.

The middle section of the meme includes an illustration of a public bench with a horizontal metal bar running through the middle. An arrow points to this bar with the text, "A person can remove this bar." Adjacent to the bench, another arrow points to an allen wrench/hex key set with the accompanying text, "With this tool, called an allen wrench/hex key." Below these illustrations, the meme suggests that the metal bar can be recycled for a meal, adding a touch of humor to a serious topic.

The bottom section of the meme credits its creation to "Midwesterners Against The Middle Bar" in white font on a silver-grey text box. To the right is an image of a taco and an emoji with heart-shaped eyes, adding a whimsical element to the meme.

The meme's comment section reveals a range of reactions:

- **square-hammer-round-sickle** humorously advises that wearing a hard hat and a hi-vis vest can grant one access to various places without question, echoing a common trope about perceived authority based on appearance.

- Another user notes that in their city, these bars are welded to the bench, indicating a more permanent solution to prevent tampering.

- Discussions also highlight the broader social issues, with comments like, "Cities will spend millions making it harder to be homeless in their communities... why not just spend that money on actually helping the homeless?" and debates about the effectiveness of anti-homeless architecture.

This meme and the ensuing comments underline the contentious nature of urban design choices and their impact on vulnerable populations. While some see the removal of these bars as an act of rebellion against anti-homeless design, others argue for more systemic solutions to homelessness.

The meme serves as a catalyst for a broader conversation about how communities address homelessness and the ethical considerations of public space design. With its blend of humor and criticism, "Midwesterners Against The Middle Bar" encourages viewers to think critically about the societal implications of everyday objects.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


You'd be shocked what you can do if you wear a high vis vest and carry a clipboard. Bonus points if you also have a hard hat. One time I got lost on an army base and wound up in a secure area because the guard assumed I was some kind of inspector. I was trying to get to a walk through for a small construction project. That wasn't the first time I'd done that on the same base (JBLM is f***in huuuuuge).


Honestly not sure which is worse, middle bar benches or solid bowl benches that collect rainwater and debris and turn into a nasty pond over time.


In my city, those bars are welded to the bench (they were retrofitted I think)


Cities will spend millions making it harder to be homeless in their communities... why not just spend that money on actually helping the homeless?


I'm gonna get hate for saying this, but I'll say it again. The solution to homelessness is fixing our destroyed social services and actually doing something about the cost of living crisis, not letting them take over whatever they want and chastising anyone who thinks a bus stop should be a bus stop.


Sleep wherever you want just pick up your trash.


Whatever junk "metal" that bar is made of will be worth around US$0.000000034 as scrap. Better to collect them and start a business selling the bars to the city for US$350 as a replacement for the missing bar. Then just harvest them and resell 'em.


I was curious about “unhoused”. It’s not something I’m familiar with in the UK. https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/comment/focusing-on-whether-we-should-use-unhoused-in-place-of-homeless-could-distract-from-the-actual-problem-79913


One time, I was walking around Home Depot in hi-vis and bought some drywall. Everyone just assumed I knew what I was doing until they watched me load the drywall into my hatchback. Then they no longer assumed I knew what I was doing.


That's why they weld the bar to the bench now

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