Considering it's just two and a half minutes of complete absurdity, making the Rick Perry Bad Lip-Reading video must have required an insanely specific skill. The creator had to learn to read lips, but not quite to proficiency; he had to be exactly mediocre for it to work.
In an interview with The Washington Post, he revealed that his mother had lost her hearing over a matter of months, and in an effort to understand what she was going through, he would mute the television and try to guess what people were saying. He didn't have any formal training, he was just curious about lip-reading. His inadequate ability made for some hilarious errors, and so he started sharing them on YouTube, through dubbed music videos first and then political commercials. Had he discovered his ability at any other point in time, it would have just been a novel trick that a few people would have appreciated before moving on, but by chance, he discovered it during the first stages of the Republican primary, and that made all the difference.
"... and that's the kind of liberal immigrant work policy we just won't tolerate in this party."
"Save a Pretzel for the Gas Jets" was the first of many political dubs that found the perfect way to poke fun at rambling politicians, regardless of party affiliation. There is no pointed agenda or attacks on the personal lives of the politicians -- they are just compilations of laughably senseless dialogue spilling out of the proud faces of each candidate. I don't know what kind of lasting power these videos will have, but "Save a Pretzel for the Gas Jets" was a perfect zeitgeist for 2011.
I really wish I could say that the existence of this commercial says something profound and interesting about our culture, like the fact that some brand had the genius idea to hire brilliant filmmakers like the Daniels means something. That a one-minute clip advertising a cereal sold in England speaks to some larger trend about where we, as a global community, are heading. That the perfect marriage between art and commercialization as manifested by this amazingly badass advertisement is indicative of the future of content.
But I can't make any of those arguments. I just think this commercial fucking rules, and it makes me want Weetabix. Real bad.
One thing the Internet loves (aside from more cats forever) is LOLing out loud and ROFLing its fucking ass off at other people's failures. People getting hurt.
Earlier this year, reporter Serene Branson started a sentence. Then something happened and she finished her sentence, but not with human words. Watch below.
Within minutes, two things happened. An ambulance was called, and the video went viral thanks to the hilarious word vomit spewing from blondie's gob. There was concern she had a stroke on air, but also lulz at the scared gibbering lady. No need to wait a day to see if she's okay you can already see she's not. It wasn't just some on-air flub where the reporter got marble-mouthed or nervous. Something was wrong, and you could tell by the look of terror in Serene's eyes. Ironic name, I suppose.
As it turns out, Branson suffered from a bad migraine, and that's why her words weren't words. So, yeah, I guess laugh it up because she didn't have a stroke, but also why? I mean, objectively, yeah, the video is pretty funny, because, seriously, those aren't words. But this woman went through a real ordeal on the air, and maybe instead of IMMEDIATELY laughing at the hilarious loser for failing, we could be a nice little Internet community and not be insensitive dicks about it. As we all know, insensitive dicks are useless because nothing can get them to cum.
Some Internet memes are just completely meaningless. They're self-sustaining inside jokes with no entertainment value of their own, perpetuated because they became bandwagons for teenagers who are desperate to show that they belong. Rickrolling, for instance, was probably funny that first month it appeared on 4chan (or wherever it was born), but from then on it was a secret handshake. You didn't laugh because it was funny; you laughed because you wanted to be in the club.
You cannot say that about Rebecca Black's "Friday." We can disapprove of people insulting this teenager, we can hate how we kept hearing about the song for months after its expiration date. But the video is fucking amazing. It's a slow, unintentional descent into madness.
For instance, there's a moment at about 2:05 when the visuals spin out of control, into an unsettling waking nightmare wherein Black is suddenly transformed into a seizure-inducing flickering strobe that keeps getting darker and more ominous as it lowers us into hell:
And then, just as we've given up all hope, at 2:30 the rap break kicks in, sung by a dude who couldn't even bother to get out of his car:
Wait a second. Why was the world mocking Black? She was 13. This guy is a grown-ass rapping man. What has gone wrong in his life that he's making this video at this stage of his music career?
As an aside, the out-of-nowhere rap interlude has become my favorite pop culture phenomenon. I wish it happened in real life. I'm going to use that as an excuse to once again post a link to my favorite song of the last 10 years, Riskay's "Smell Yo Dick," a song about a woman who suspects her boyfriend is cheating on her, and as such is demanding to smell his genitals to see if she can detect the odor of stripper vagina:
The rap rebuttal that explodes onto the scene at 2:13 gives me chills every time I hear it. He demolishes her case like goddamned Kevin Costner in JFK. From his opening line:
"Smell my dick? Wait a minute, hold up.
See, that's how a bitch get her eyes swole up!"
To the conclusion that slams the door shut on any lingering doubts about his innocence:
"I might break bread with one or two strippers
But that don't mean you got to pull on my zipper
Thinkin' I dicked down the whole town
Even though I got dick to go around!"
Wait, is it too late for me to declare that my clip of the year?