Are you familiar with the show Punk'd? It was a little like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy except at the end of it everyone looked like this:
As I'm sure you are aware, it was actually about playing pranks. Anyone who knows me can guess that I hate pranks. First off, they aren't funny. Second, they just invite counter pranks. No one likes getting pranked, so why would you do something to increase the chance of this happening?
Recently this happened to me: I was leaving work so I walked to the train station. It was brutally cold (I believe it was 11 below 0) so I wanted to stand under the heat lamps. Unfortunately I saw the following sight:
A large group of pigeons had taken over the heat lamps. I approached cautiously, hoping to share the warmth with the birds. They proceeded to aggressively fly towards me. I could have tried to weather the initial attack and see if they gave up, but I knew that pigeons wouldn't last very long in Chicago if they were unwilling to peck out a commuter's eyes.
Now, after this harrowing experience, imagine that some jerks came out and claimed that they "got me" while laughing to each other. That is what a prank feels like.
I think you know where this is going. If you don't, a little background reading would help you. Read here about the history of pranks and their victims.
I'm referring to the rickroll. In 2008 it was extremely popular. Once people got rickrolled they immediately wanted to rickroll other people to the point where you didn't want to click on any internet links. I know it isn't a great hardship to accidentally have to watch a music video, but I always felt deeply hurt and betrayed. Over many viewings, though, I came to appreciate the video for Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. You did watch the entire video every time you got rickrolled, right? It has an earnest quality that really speaks to me.
Lets take another look:
Doesn't his dancing make you smile? It should. And all of Astley's outfits are ridiculous.
High-waisted pants, shirt buttoned all the way up, sunglasses, and his shirt and pants are the same color. He is quite a hip dude. But his dancing is great! I feel like he is not at all self conscious about the dorkiness of his dancing.
In a lot of this video he looks like a kid dressed as an adult.
Is he supposed to be a private eye meeting you in the sewers underneath Paris? Or did someone grab a cheap trench coat from the prop department?
For a while he pretends to be a 1940s white jazz artist.
The old-fashioned black (unpaid?) servant looks on with distrust and distaste.
I think there is a hint of disdain in there as well.
He is soon won over and does the splits enthusiastically.
At the end, there are a lot of shots of Astley grinning like a damn moron.
I think this video really lacks guile. That's probably why my hackles were so raised in 2008 when I kept getting rickrolled. I think Rick Astley is the kind of guy who would just keep clicking those links.
I'm not sure what compelled me to write about a dead internet meme, but here at Another Flavor we like to keep our finger on the pulse of what's hip, boss, and the bee's knees. We really try to keep a leg up on the pile. Join us tomorrow for Sartorial Sursday!