Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Oh how far we've come, from passing a meme along to pretending to be over it. There are a few humor eggs nestled together here, let's pick apart the yolks for starters:
-Mr. Hat hired Rick Astley to do some mischief! Not a bad start, even if it leans on an aging meme.
-Astley's going against the grain and not performing his most popular song. What, then?
-The girl can't stand a mute Astley and goes nuts waiting for him to sing. Mental torture ensues.
-Astley gloats for a moment and pulls a CSI: Miami by flipping sunglasses on during a one-liner.
This comic had appeal for me until that fourth panel. Mr. Hat's in action, Rick Astley is going to do something original...but the victim goes nuts all on her own. You could mute her computer speakers during a Rickroll and get the same reaction. The comic plays on people's obsession with memes, then spins around and endorses them by pretending Rick can beat the system.
Rick appears cool with his girl-maddening powers, but he should be more sad than anything. If the public has such a strong love/hate reaction to his claim to fame, then Mr. Hat must have paid him out of pity, because Astley has no choice but to embrace his Internet-fueled popularity. Why? Because of meme-passers like xkcd that repeat forum-born jokes until only the final person who hears of them is spared the vomit-inducing repetition of "Have you heard of ________ yet?" That's how Astley wound up performing the song during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and he was paid to sing -- he must roll both ways, then.
There's also the loose end of why Mr. Hat wants to drive a seemingly innocuous girl insane, anyway. It's not evil, clever, or in the name of piracy; it's just an anti-Rickroll.
Rickrolling was fun for its time, and like any punchline, can be forgiven in spare doses. But Randall, GET OUT OF ASTLEY'S HEAD. David Caruso thanks you.
Note about the alt text: Those are some lame-ass guesses for the next big trend. Even Urkel did better ("I've fallen, and I can't get up!"), and in my ultrabiased opinion, we folks have, too. While I don't expect anything born here to find a new home, calling Anonymous posters Cuddlefish and shouting down blind worship with "GET OUT OF MY HEAD" are both small, anti-internet-mob gestures (assuming we don't kill the new phrases, too). Randall asks us to place our bets, but only he knows what the Internet will hail next! Tell us, Randall! Deliver to us from on high the catchphrases of your drunk programmer friends, and they shall show us a funnier, more easily repeatable future!
*EDIT* What the hell is this?! We were first, forums!!