leave your inhibitions at the door
BOOM! You just got Rickrolled!
What’s that? You don’t know what Rickrolled means? It’s when you’re on the Internet and you click a link to something and you get directed the video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”. For example, in 2008 a number of political blogs posted an article that was purported to have Michelle Obama on a racist rant. When readers clicked on the link they were sent to the video. The Obama White House got in the act on it’s Twitter feed as well. It’s also gone beyond internet – the song or video has been played to disrupt public events or newscasts. (Samples at the end of the post).
Let’s get this out of the way first – it’s not a Guilty Pleasure, per se. It’s very guilty, but I don’t get much pleasure from it. What I do get pleasure from is my history with Rickrolling. According to Wikipedia, it started on an Internet forum as a variation of duckrolling, where a link goes to a picture of a duck with wheels. Well, that’s not entirely correct.
I’m hereby laying claim to inventing Rickrolling. Back in 1991 or so, I was out drinking with some friends at Chicago’s Durkin’s Tavern. It was a pretty good crowd there and we were slightly more than inebriated. I went to the jukebox with one of my friends and tossed in $5, which got us about 8 songs. I don’t recall what the first song we chose was but, in a moment of sheer genius, I picked “Never Gonna Give You Up” for songs 2-8. Here’s how it went down:
Rick Astley #1 – No reaction from the crowd.
Rick Astley #2 – No reaction from the crowd.
Rick Astley #3 – One or two people have puzzled look on their faces.
Rick Astley #4 – About half the bar started asking, “Wasn’t this song just on?”
Rick Astley #5 – People are starting to get pissed.
Rick Astley #6 – People are starting to get REALLY pissed.
Rick Astley #7 – We left. We were laughing too hard and were convinced we’d get busted.
So there you have it. Mind you, this was about 3-4 years before the Internet became widespread and wayyyyy before YouTube. Obviously, I can’t prove it, but the story is legend amongst my friends over the years. It’s not like I can get it patented or anything like that, so I can’t make money off of inventing it. I guess I can leave it to the Pieholes as a legacy. Wonder if that’ll help them get into Harvard…
Here are some other examples of Rickrolling.
Westboro Baptist Church – those jerks who disrupt soldiers’ funerals – got disrupted themselves.
Christian talk show
Bill O’Reilly – not sure how real it is, but I really want to believe it happened.