Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pat’s Top 5 Internet Phenomena

As someone who uses the internet, typically, at least three hours a day; I know a thing or two about the wide world of the internet meme. These are the crazes that find their way into every little facet of the World Wide Web; if they be images, videos, or even widespread quotes. Take the words ‘pwn’ and ‘lol’ for example, words with their origins in e-mail and forums that now had wormed their way into everyday speech. What was once a little microsm of our own life has become a culture of its own, and spreads to other cultures. So, with that in mind, here are my five favorite phenomena born of the internet.

5. Leave Britney Alone

The phenomenon itself:

Chris Crocker’s hay day may have passed, but that doesn’t mean his little tirade has earned its place as one of the most memorable memes to erupt from YouTube. It may seem like a distant memory now with her career stronger than ever, but remember when Britney Spears was nothing more than the paparazzi and media’s red headed stepchild? Well, one adoring fan stepped up, and through his tears, passionately decried us to “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” The response had little to do with Ms. Spears, though. Instead, the video was circled around to mock the androgynous activist, with comments typically saying either “lol fag”, or my favorite, “is this a guy or a girl?”

But now, everyone involved is better off. Those 26 million video views have made Chris into a celebrity in his own right. Hell, his YouTube page has a manager now. Meanwhile, Britney Spears has revived her career, and God damn it; her new songs are freaking earworms. So now, this video is nothing more than something to show your friends for a laugh. Here’s my favorite parody:

4. Garbage Day and Its Parodies

Watch this before you read more:

This one isn’t nearly as popular as any of the others on my top 5, but it’s a bit of a cult classic in the field of movie memes. This brief scene is from a 1987 slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, a movie consisting of nearly 50% stock footage from its predecessor. One of the original scenes though, is this little gem. Out of context, it’s a delightfully random: A psychopath approaches a resident of suburbia taking out his trash, shouts “Garbage Day!”, and shoots the poor bastard. Part of the fun of this meme are the many parodies, replacing garbage collection day with some sort of other day. Here are some of my favorite parodies:

Judgement Day:

St. Patty’s Day:

Free Comic Book Day:

Of course I was going to post a parody involving the Joker. You’re delusional if you think otherwise.

3. Downfall Parodies

This one’s popularity is almost sort of sad. Downfall was a very serious work. This movie made waves in Germany as dramatically portraying Adolf Hitler as a central character, humanizing a man dehumanized by history. A longstanding taboo towards Hitler was broken: Portrayed not as a monster, but as a flawed human. It was even nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Even a complex, envelope pushing work is fodder for the internetz though.

Starting in 2008; Downfall became a fully fledged internet phenomenon. A scene in the German war room is the target here. The original German dialogue is preserved, but subtitles are altered in parodic manner. Typically, the parodies all go the same way: Hitler is informed of a distressing situation, and then proceeds to angrily rant about said situation. Hitler’s woes have been issues such as banishment from X-Box Live, Barack Obama winning the Democratic Nomination, or Brett Favre retiring from the NFL. Really, Downfall parodies can be used for any kind of event in the news, and all it requires is a video editing software with subtitling capabilities.

This one is just too good to not mention, Hitler’s reaction to Michael Jackson’s death:

2. Nigga Stole My Bike

The possibly racist, endlessly parodied crowning jewel of YTMND itself: Nigga Stole My Bike. In context, this image is a loading screen from the Nintendo game Punch Out!, of protagonist/Boxing champion hopeful Little Mac and his trainer Doc Louis traveling to the next match in the boxing circuit. Out of context, the GIF animation looks like a young lad chasing after an African American on a bike; Nigga Stole My Bike. Once a catchy NES-styled tune was added, history was made, and a meme was born.

Again, this one is sustained by the parodies. Spoofs of this have the Nigga stealing everything ranging from Mario’s Yoshi to a fighter jet, all with variations of the catchy tune. Were I more racially sensitive, I may see it all as a bit racist, but as long as that music is so addicting, I’ll stick with it.

The original:

Some of the best parodies:

1. 300 Trailer Parodies

The film 300, in my opinion, is one of the greatest cultural achievements of mankind. It’s one of the greatest visual experiences ever put to film, regardless of what you think of the rest of the movie. Hell, even the trailer is one of the most iconic movie trailers of the modern age. It’s just so perfectly epic, perfectly setting up the movie. Hell, I can recite the audio off the top of my head. 

We Spartans are descended from Hercules himself. Taught never to retreat, never to surrender. Taught that death in the battlefield is the greatest glory he could achieve in his life. Spartans! The finest soldiers the world has ever known.

It’s quiet now, they came from the blackness.

Be afraid! Sparta will burn to the ground! The thousand nations of the Persian Empire descend upon you. Our arrows, will blot out the sun.

Then we will fight in the shade.


You get the idea. This shows how many of these parodies I’ve watched. The idea is the inverse of the Downfall meme: Retain the audio, but replace the video with footage from other works of media. Here is a sampling of 300 trailer parody subjects I’ve watched: Pokemon, Star Wars, Godzilla, Dragonball Z, Blades of Glory, Spongebob Sqaurepants, Bleach, Heroes, The Matrix, Kingdom Hearts, Pound Puppies, World of Warcraft, Pucca, Family Guy, Futurama, Anchorman, Final Fantasy, Halo, and The Office.

You can use the 300 trailer audio for really any kind of parody, all it takes is some creativity with the footage added in to really make something hilarious and memorable.

So, here are my favorite 300 trailer parodies.

300 PG Version:

Spongebob Squarepants 300:

300 Transformers:

I’ve even made one! The 300 Brawlers:

What are your favorites? By the way, a new Looking Forward tomorrow, so stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment