A Cover by Who?

23:44 Fri 14 Mar 2008. Updated: 16:00 31 Jul 2009
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Apparently this is a well-known internet meme at this point, but I had somehow missed the fact that William Shatner covered Pulp’s “Common People”.


Internet “memes” like this now have the ability to propagate very quickly and widely. So is this ability warping our culture in some way, or just exposing a tendency that was already there? Is warping too loaded a term? Is it a radically democratic seizing of the means of cultural production (in the sense that the collective gets far more influence now in determining culture), or is it a further extension of late capitalist boredom and parody that the usual suspects can use to distract us from ongoing horrors? These answers are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

4 Responses to “A Cover by Who?”

  1. UnkieDave Says:

    Internet memes are a funny thing, because once you have been exposed to one a few times you start to think that everyone in the world is aware of it. When you casually refer to lolcats in casual conversation and elicit blank stares it reminds you of how small and bubble like the dot-com world in which we live in really is, and how irrelevant much of what you do really is. Vint Cerf was asked about this at a recent conference and his answer was pretty interesting: http://tinyurl.com/2nmscj

  2. Tadhg Says:

    UnkieDave: Well played, sir.

    Everyone else: I advise against following UnkieDave’s link.

  3. Seth Milliken Says:

    Your advice is insufficient without explanation, Tadhg. UnkieDave’s tinyurl serves up a solid Rick Rolling, except this one plays that lovely Rick Astley video in a endless loop without controls and takes measures to make it particularly difficult to close the window.

  4. UnkieDave Says:

    Its actually almost impossible to stop it when you are using Camino, as I found to my misfortune on no less than five separate occasions during a recent online discussion with a group of, ahem, “friends”.

    The Guardian had a recent article (http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2266526,00.html) about RickRolling, (including a RickRolling link at the end) so this meme is now so mainstream as to be officially dead.

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