Between a Rock and a Funny Place
When the forefathers of the Internet envisioned it some decades ago, they were designing something meant for more – well, to put it bluntly – serious matters such as long-distance communication, education, and even military purposes. As the natural progression of things would have it though, the Internet would eventually reach a far wider and more diverse audience. Little did they expect it to become a flourishing fountain of popular culture that it has become today.
Thus, for my first entry for our revamped online portal, I’d like to celebrate the lighter side of the Internet: the reason why I just can’t seem to get enough of it at times (even though actually, I probably already have).
Thanks to the boom of user-generated content (as well as the multitude of websites that expose and encourage it), the reach and influence of online social networks, and most importantly, the creativity of users of all ages and from all corners of the world, the Internet is now brimming with nuggets of comedic gold. These days, we’re living amidst a sea of what has come to be known as Internet “memes,” which are basically simple concepts – usually of the amusing (or downright hilarious) sort – that have grown in popularity thanks, of course, to the Internet. This, quite frankly, is a sea I don’t mind drowning in.
Allow me to share with you three general types of my favorite memes off the top of my head:
I’d dare say it’s hard not to be a fan of those parodies of motivational posters where images are framed in a big black border and made funny through a big one-line title and a supporting caption to deliver the comic coup de grâce. I find those so-called demotivational posters as simply excellent illustrations of creative, tongue-in-cheek humor.
Then there are also those FAIL posters where, guilty pleasure notwithstanding, it’s just hard not to find a chuckle about the ridiculously unfortunate situations some people put themselves in.
And of course, who could forget those silly little LOLcats (LOLpups, LOLbunnies, and even LOLbabies included)? By adorableness factor alone, they score consistent WINs in my book.
Before YouTube came into prominence, I had flash animations to thank for my funny moving pictures fix. For some reason, I found cartoons with silly songs about the most random of things (playing on loop, at that) just hilarious. Case in point: hit up www.badgerbadgerbadger.com on your browser, forget about all semblance of sense for a few minutes, and just immerse yourself in the mesmerizing senselessness of it all. It won’t hurt.
Internet Killed The Video Star... or did it?
Who here doesn’t love a good music video, much less, a funny one? I’m sure I know I do, that’s why they also take a spot on this quick list. Thanks to video streaming sites like YouTube, more and more people are able to showcase their talent in video creation, and a by-product of this is the growth in number of music video parodies and, more recently, mash-ups based on previously existing, but not necessarily related content. You’ll see what we mean in a bit.
For starters, previously existing videos are instant fodder for creative, comedic minds. A quick change or two in lyrics can transform a well-loved classic into an even more likeable 5-minute audio-visual delight. Take for instance, well-known songs transformed by comic geniuses by means of changing the lyrics to literally match the imagery in their classic videos. Try searching for “literal video versions” of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, A-Ha’s Take on Me, and Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything for Love and you’ll instantly see (and hear) what we mean.
Then, there are also folks who are creative enough to make their own songs out of mundane things (notice how the “random is funny” formula echoes in this case?). Here’s an immortal example: “All Your Base Are Belong To Us,” a house/electronica ditty inspired by the terrible Japanese-to-English translation of a video game cut scene. More recently, I’ve been enjoying the creations of Schmoyoho (a.k.a. the Gregory Brothers and their Auto-tune The News team). If you haven’t seen or heard their mash-ups based on TV news shows (yes, TV news shows), you’re certainly missing out. Look for “The Bed Intruder Song,” “Backin’ Up Song,” and Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” the next time you visit YouTube. Good stuff, we promise you.
So there you have it: a brief listing of quick laughs that you can find on the Internet today. At least, this is from the humble perspective of yours truly. Got your own favorites? We’d love to read about them too, so hit us up with your comments!
Granted, the Internet of today has not lost its serious aspect. In fact, far from it, as it continues to develop into one of the most powerful tools that modern man has ever had at his disposal. It’s good to know, however, that after a long day’s worth of work, there’s something you can easily turn to for a quick, good laugh.
Jason Marges / Executive Editor, HWM Philippines
A member of the HardwareZone Philippines family since 2006, Jason is the Executive Editor for HardwareZone's print publication, HWM Philippines. Apart from his keen interest in all things high-tech, he is also a huge fan of basketball, pop culture, Internet memes, and free, high-speed Wi-Fi.