Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Someone had a grade-A lungfish decorate their home." (THIS is a THING?!)

I think, for a change, I'm out in front on a trend, so it's time for me to explain that trend, and in doing so, make sure that I make it so uncool that it stops being a trend. I have to do that; I can't help it. I'm not ready to be cool or trendy. I never learned how to handle it. I'm far more comfortable being "the guy who knows that Ambush Bug started as a villain and then briefly was a hero before settling in as a kind of wacky one-off adventure kind of guy who battled a sock and got kicked out of the afterlife."

The thing that I know about maybe before many of you know about it is...

Bad Lip Reading!

What THIS THING is, in a Nutshell: "Bad Lip Reading" is what the creator of a series of hit Youtube videos does: He plays the videos, without sound, and interprets what the person is saying.

It makes more sense if you watch:

That's the first one of these I watched, because I'm a political guru who is a mover-and-shaker i in this world, sort of like James Carville if James Carville had done anything worthwhile since 1991 and/or had eyebrows, and also because anything that makes fun of Crazy Eyes Michele Bachmann is worth promoting.

How I, and maybe You, heard about THIS THING: I first heard about it on Gawker, which I now read on my cell phone and which I won't pretend I fully understand, as Gawker talks about a lot of pop culture things that I only know exist because Gawker talks about them, which is sort of like hearing someone from Bombay tell you about something they once saw in Australia: it can be interesting, and mystifying, and at some point my mind is going to wander while you talk about it, because I don't always get the place or people references.

But I digress. Gawker one day while I was killing time before a court hearing had this story:

Lip-Readers Transcribe Rick Perry’s Disturbing Psychobabble

Certain Internet forces with apparent magical powers have synced Rick Perry's lip movements during a speech to strange, alternate words that nevertheless are probably more coherent than what he was really saying. Does that make sense? It is hard to describe this sort of witchcraft.

With this video:

Since then, Bad Lip Reading has started to be noticed by the media more and more. Gawker posted that on September 27, Rolling Stone got a hold of the phenomenon October 7, and now you're hearing about it... from me. Because I'm third in that line.

Or fourth, behind "," which broke the story on September 28, 2011. Curse you, Beaumont Enterprise! Scooped AGAIN!

When Did THIS THING Start!? That's the other thing that convinces me I got in on the ground floor of this, bought Apple at $1 a share, created Google, or none of those things: It started only six months ago, which, sure, in Internet time means that all of this stuff is now so fossilized that the Republican debates are about to declare it a tool of the devil the way they declare everything including Hermain Cain's mysterious "9,9,9" plan to be a tool of the devil...

That actually is not a Bad Lip Reading. But really, given that Michele Bachman says stuff like that, don't you kind of go back and watch that actual Bad Lip Reading video and think "I bet that's what she talks about when the cameras are off?"

Anyway, the whole Bad Lip Reading THING that THIS is started just seven months ago with this:

That's Gang Fight, the reinterpretation of Friday, which you probably gathered. It was posted March 21, 2011, and has already been viewed almost four million times. That's...

*attempts to look for pen and paper, can't find one, realizes he long ago lost the ability to do math, doesn't want to open up the calculator on the laptop screen because that always causes it to crash and anyway Mr F took the equals sign key off the keyboard, so nothing ever adds up*

... a lot of people per month!

When did THIS THING officially pass into pop culture? Although Rebecca Black remains a pop culture hot potato, sure to attract attention everytime she pops up, that wasn't the video that really drew a lot of widespread (as opposed to hipster) attention; it was the Michele Bachmann video. Posted October 3, 2011, Bachmann's video has already been viewed 950,000+ times. That's more than 100,000 people per day, so not quite Nyan Cat territory, but still impressive.

That level of interest was, I'm sure, generated by the fact that Michele Bachmann is sort of the Rebecca Black of the Republican Party, only far less sympathetic, and by the fact, too, that Republicans obviously don't know how to use the Internet or don't get the joke: The Rick Perry video is averaging about 500,000 views a week, while the Obama video:

Has only garnered 700,000 or so views in 3 weeks, most of them, I'm sure, from FOX News reporters who think they've found a scoop and were about to Do It Live! only to be told it's not real, after which they still considered just running with it anyway, because FOX news viewers at this point are completely incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction, as evidenced by the fact that a recent FOX News viewers poll found that 1,456% believed Obama once strangled Baby Jesus with a fish tie.

Is THIS THING still going on!? Hard to say; in that Rolling Stone interview, the Bad Lip Reader him?self said that he produces other songs and doesn't want his identity revealed, because he doesn't want to be known as the Everybody Poops guy:

Which (a) is the song I emailed to everyone I know (my wife, and three oldest kids) when I found this site, and (b) what would be so wrong as being known as the Everybody Poops guy?

Oh, right.

He's posted 11 of them so far, only recently branching into political videos, which he said he did because he wanted something quicker to do in between the more elaborate Bad Lip Reading Music Videos.

It seems like Bad Lip Reading is going to go on, as he's got sort-of plans to do at least one more video. He told Rolling Stone:

Maybe I'll do Biden next.

That'll definitely kill it off, though.

Can you sum up Bad Lip Reading for people who just skimmed this post and want a quick takeaway?

This headline, from the National Journal, adequately tells you what this phenomenon is going to be in mere minutes:

LOL Pols: 'Bad Lip Reading' Videos Lampoon GOP Candidates, Obama

LOL! Seriously! You should LOL about this BLR! About BHO! Also, it's more popular than Auto-Tune The News, whatever that was. Keep your old memories off my Internets, grandpa.

Oh, and I didn't forget:


Rogue Mutt said...

Bad Lip Reading reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode where Jerry's deaf girlfriend (who I assume was Marlee Matlin because she's the only deaf person working in Hollywood, or so it seems) reads people's lips for him and translates sweep as sleep with hilarious consequences.

Stephen Hayes said...

Interesting. I hadn't heard of "Bad Lip Reading" before. Remember that old joke: How can you tell if a politician is lying? Answer: Their lips are moving. So these words coming out of their mouths are as good as any.