Not sure how many of you commune with the intarweb as closely as Viper Pilot does, so sometimes I wonder that you’re missing out on the wonderful world of internet memes. I highly recommend Wikipedia’s article on the subject, but to sum up an internet meme is a product of the internet community – it’s a completely uncoordinated collaborative effort of parody and imitation of a single theme. It’s a bizarre series of works of a schizophrenic web-based hive mind that dropped out of its art course at community college and now spends most of its time playing video games and eating Doritos. Those of you old enough to have any idea what All Your Base Are Belong To Us means have already had a brush with the grand-daddy of internet memes already.
The current trend in internet memes seems to follow this pattern: some random YouTube video will suddenly be struck by scores and scores of ‘remixes’. I can only assume that all it takes is one good remix and then the imitators rush forth to ride the coattails. A good example is the Dramatic Chipmunk (which was actually a Richardson’s Ground Squirrel). I don’t have the time to sit around looking at random YouTube videos, but someone surely must, as by the time I’d discovered the lovable little prairie dog, there were boatloads of Dramatic Chipmunk videos – my favourite being the Kill Bill remix.
The latest YouTube meme to hit my radar is The Techno Viking. It’s some fairly mundane footage of the decidedly not mundane Techno Viking (a manly man of a raver) and some other revellers dancing in the street at Berlin’s FuckParade. Now, all of a sudden, if you do a search on YouTube you’ll score 50+ videos featuring the footage set to different music, cut up, spliced up with the Dramatic Chipmunk, etc. All the videos appear to have been added to YouTube in the last month, yet according to Wikipedia the footage comes from FuckParade 2000.
The Techno Viking (Beat It)
(No, that’s not the orginal music to the clip)
(Watch the video before reading on)
(Trust me, it gets good)
The above clip is far and above the best of the lot (although Techno Viking Bakes a Cake gets some serious cred for its melon-twisting factor, and the one with the TIE Fighters gets points for mashing up Star Wars and a drugged up visigoth). In general, however, I find that the majority of the products YouTube memes tend to be of poorer quality than their photoshop-heavy predecessors – a lot of them consist of nothing more than adding a new soundtrack. The Beat It remix works despite being just the addition of a new soundtrack because the editor has taken the time to stretch the video ever-so slightly to synch it with the lyrics – and let’s not forget that the lyrics to Beat It were WRITTEN FOR TECHNO VIKING. Jacko truly is a musical visionary to have known back in the 80s that some day his powers would be needed to give the Techno Viking his fifteen minutes of fame.
One last pearl of wisdom from the fleet’s databanks: don’t ever fuck with a guy who braids his beard.