Annoying Internet Prank Explained
- Blog Post by: James Lileks
- September 10, 2012 - 12:00 PM
Happy Monday. Warm today and hot tomorrow, and then back to normal. I still think we'll have a warm October, but I base that on absolutely nothing but pathetic hopes. Let's begin:
INTERNET A seminal moment in the history of web culture, right here:
On May 15, 2007, a then-19-year-old YouTube user named Shawn Cotter–employing the handle “cotter548”–uploaded the music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up,” intending to troll some of his fellow gaming cohorts on 4chan. Mr. Cotter, who was serving in the Air Force in South Korea at the time, linked to the video under the pretense that it was a new trailer for Grand Theft Auto: IV.
Fury resulted. Blind, sputtering, floam-flecked fury. The amusing part? He trolled 4chan, which seeks to irritated the rest of the world with prankery, but couldn’t handle being denied a game trailer. Because they are children, more or less.
ART Speaking of tunes we’ve heard a few times, can everyone agree not to use this music ever again? Thank you.
Here’s a suggestion: Carmina Burina. No? Fine.
At least it’s an interesting video. I have to wonder why the guy uses the versions of Kubrick’s films, and doesn’t respect the original aspect ratio. C'mon! Do we have to go through this again?
NO WE DO NOT. As this site notes: “Kubrick's ratios, the birther argument of the film nerd.” I’m not sure any other director evokes such awe; this FAQ goes on and on about the helicopter shadow glimpsed in “The Shining,” interviewing one of the editors before asking - and I think quite rightly - “So is the helicopter shadow a Brechtian alienation effect?”
NO IT IS NOT. But for some, Kubrick was such a perfectionist that everything must be intentional. I’ll accept that for most of his work, but mistakes are made. Sometimes the cigarette changes place in the ashtray because someone forgot to move it, and that’s the shot they used for other reasons. But I don’t believe the choice of Danny’s sweater is an admission Kubrick helped NASA fake the moon landing.
Stanley Kubrick is accused of having produced much of the footage for Apollo 11 and 12, presumably because he had just directed 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is partly set on the Moon and featured advanced special effects. It has been claimed that when 2001 was in post-production in early 1968, NASA secretly approached Kubrick to direct the first three Moon landings. The launch and splashdown would be real but the spacecraft would stay in Earth orbit and fake footage broadcast as "live from the Moon”. No evidence was offered for this theory, which overlooks many facts.
Did you get that? How the author of that wikipedia post put in a secret message to let us know that Kubrick was involved? IT”S SO OBVIOUS. (Don't OVERLOOK the clue.
Then there's the guy who’s done the exhaustive study of the geometry of “The Shining,” demonstrating how not one of the rooms makes sense. Kubrick, he posits, used these impossible spaces to build up our sense of dread. For the first few audiences, perhaps. After that, the low-level dread you felt as your mind grappled with impossible geometry might have been overwhelmed by the dread you felt waiting for all the stuff you’d seen in the trailer.
In other words, I don’t buy any of it. Sorry. I agree with this fellow, a screenwriter who notes:
In his analysis of cinematic geography, Ager is ignoring a tremendous amount of silent evidence. Namely, every movie ever made.
He backs that up, by the way. My favorite comment from the site:
…and you’ll notice that the outside of the Brady house is one-story, but upon entering one sees that it is, in fact, two stories. The only explanation for this is that Sherwood Schwartz was a genius.
Incidentally, do you know who owns the Apollo 11 sweater Danny wears? The director of Toy Story 3. He's a big fan of the movie.
Theeeeere's Woody. More of that here.
No, I had no intention of writing any of that. It just happened. Let's move on.
YOUR GOV AT WORK You may have seen this story last week. From AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- "The zombies are coming!" the Homeland Security Department says.
Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you're prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.
First of all, the “zombie apocalypse” is shorthand for “wouldn’t it be cool to be able to hit people in the head with a baseball bat all day? In the name of survival, of course.” Cracked explains why this will not happen. Basically, zombies would blow up from gas, and would be eaten by animals.
More to the point, though, the skills that would get you through ZA are not skills that would be handy in a hurricane or tornado. “Ability to swing a bat or scythe” and “Ability to avoid being bitten” are not relevant to meteorological disasters.
RANDOM Found this on Reddit. Everyone loves houses with secret tunnels with secret doors behind bookcases. This one would be less unnerving if the image set didn’t end with a dark room and a hook.
You know, the pictures don’t exactly mesh. There’s a disorienting narrowing of perspective towards the end. MY GOD IT’S KUBRICK’S HOUSE
WEB Finally, this. As Tony Stark said to Pepper: You auto-complete me. News from Germany.
When you search for “Bettina Wulff” on Google, the search engine will happily autocomplete this search with terms like “escort” and “prostitute.” That’s obviously not something you would like to be associated with your name, so the wife of former German president Christian Wulff has now, according to Germany’s Süddeutschen Zeitung, decided to sue Google for defamation. The reason why these terms appear in Google’s autocomplete is that there have been persistent rumors that Wulff worked for an escort service before she met her husband. Wulff categorically denies that this is true.
Well, if she categorically denies it, I'm convinced. But I'd like to know which categories she used.
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