Written by CiH
In which the writer attempts to shed a little bit of comedic light into the horrible origins of some of the most inexplicably popular internet memes..
Those of you who inhabit (or inhibit) the darker recesses of pouet.net, which is pretty much everyone who reads this, might well recall this fellow from last year.
There was a thread which was busy for quite a long time, with many more or less witty variants on the seal and bucket theme above. One or two people took a less affectionate look at the matter. Shifter was one of those, who posted the following when the thread was finally dying a slow death.
"Minazo was forced to perform various stunts before audience at each mealtime, such as holding a bucket with one flipper, bending back like a prawn, and standing still while a keeper jumped and clung on him. The hard work made him exhausted and might have caused his early death."
"Enjoy that passe internet meme of yours, you jerks."
It might be safe to assume that the seal and bucket thread never really came back to any great extent after that. However, it raises a fascinating issue, worthy of me making up further stuff up- (cough!) conducting 'research' about the cruelty of the origins of many (as I can be arsed to cover) other popular internet memes. In that respect, they would be reflecting the cruelty of much of what life is, or something.
Not much mushroom, mushroom?
Going back to 2003, and the 'Badger Badger' animation is presented to worldwide acclaim, courtesy of a Mr Weebl, on the Weebls Stuff website. Oh how we all enjoyed the Badger-mushroom-snake interplay with a comedy soundtrack, like the passe jerks we were.
Little did we realise the colossal acts of cruelty and Badger abuse that Weebl resorted to in the making of his creation. I mean, do you really expect to find Badgers doing group calisthenics in real life? I'm not saying anything, but I don't think you can completely discount the odd rumours of Weebl skinning alive those badgers who refused to perform in the manner he expected in his cartoon?
Bomb da Bass!
Not all internet memes have their origins in random acts of animal cruelty. Some have their genesis in events of great historical significance. For example, we are told the "All your base are belong to us." catchphrase comes from the 1989 'Zero Wing' arcade game. We can duly confirm that this is a complete lie!
In fact, the phrase "All your base are belong to us!" was first heard as a garbled radio intercept from a Japanese Aichi D3A 'Val' dive-bomber when it was over Pearl Harbor, on the 7th December 1941, seconds before everything there exploded. President Roosevelt responded with his "Oh no they fucking well don't!" speech, which was later somewhat heavily edited for the historical record into the more dignified response as befitting an international statesman, "A day which will live in infamy."
Weak Joke alert!
Not so much cruelty but a definite uplift in the crapness quotient, so yes, a form of cruelty to you, the reader.
You all remember the movie '300', and the many variations of the annoying tagline "This is Spartaaa!" Well I think the badass reputation of King Leonidas is somewhat misplaced, and based on one crucial misquote. When he announced "Tonight, we dine in hell!" he really wanted to tell the world of his dining preferences for the Minerva Fish restaurant, a rather pleasant venue in Kingston-upon-Hull! Which was on the third exit off the Thermopylae bypass, back in classical times. It was quite a handy spot for a light pre-battle fish supper.
Look, here he is, with his extra-large fishknife, fighting his way to a good table in a clientele-packed restaurant. There is even a mini-review below.
I have to be quite honest and say that Hull is not my preferred choice for a day out, and there's nothing personal about that. It's just that I was born in Sparta, for many of whose inhabitants the construction of the Humber Bridge was not necessarily seen as an advantage.
So when I heard about The Minerva, I began to wonder if this was the time for a reassessment. Close to the city centre, next to the river and marina, I nevertheless did not allow myself to be influenced by the fact that it has the smallest room in any pub in Britain, though I cannot believe that includes a gent's loo in a waterside hotel in the East Midlands that shall remain nameless.
But when I heard about their giant haddock, chips and mushy peas, and their Humber pie, a noteworthy blend of prawns, haddock, salmon, tuna and crab topped with cheesy mashed potato, I was prepared to think about surrender.
Hmmm? So much for the big 'L' and his hard-man image, prepared to hand over the keys to his kingdom for a big plate of fish, chips and mushy peas, he was!
And out of nowhere..
Here's the Hoff, cranking up the cruelty once more, by swinging from a tyre, like a monkey in a zoo, swooping down to steal poor dead Minzano's bucket! but the Germans love him (the Hoff, not the seal) you know.
Noooh! Hoff be stealin' my bucket!
A-a-nd we're fast running out of ideas here!
We all enjoyed Garfield versus the demoscene, which was one of the most humourous and bestest threads ever to appear on Pouet. But do you think that the strain is beginning to tell, that Garfield is feeling the existential agony of the typical demoscener a tad too much?
Garfield, right at the moment where he notices the taste of bitter almonds mit der prussic acid in his catibix.
And we end with Garfield contemplating Nosfe after a busy demo party, who in turn is giving out some free advertising for another famous diskmag. Don't all write in at once to thank us guys!
(Nitpickers, if you're wondering about the lack of distinctive Nosfe facial hair, let's pretend it all fell off in a tragic beard accident, it's like trauma-induced baldness, but the wrong way round!)
CiH, for Hugi Mag, Feb '08