Thursday, April 10, 2008

Have you been Rick-rolled?

Among my college embarrassments was that I owned a Rick Astley CD. And played it. A lot. Loud. (But I must say, my friends danced to it during our sad impromptu DJ parties in the dorm). So I note with some amusement that good ol' Rick is having quite a comeback. I initially read that some Internet pranksters were creating online videos on Youtube that promised sexy women or other lures, but once the video started it began playing the video for Astley's big hit "Never Gonna Give You Up". This prank, known as Rick-rolling, has taken on a life of its own and folks stuffed the electronic ballot box to chose the same song as the New York Mets new 8th inning song. This Times story about that prank is hilarious:

As upsets go, it ranks alongside the most extraordinary results in sporting history. When the New York Mets, one of America’s most revered baseball teams, asked their fans to select a new theme song, they could never have predicted that the winner would be a has-been Lancastrian pop star. But five million people had apparently voted on the Mets’ website for Rick Astley and his 1987 classic, Never Gonna Give You Up. Organisers were, to put it mildly, puzzled.

The story details many other examples of Rick-rolling--using the song or video to mock Hilary Clinton's reluctance to quit or blaring it at Church of Scientology protests--and notes his record label is releasing a greatest hits and planning a tour for him to capitalize on the publicity.

Astley said last month that he thought the fame was “a bit spooky”. “It’s just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it,” he said. “But that’s what’s brilliant about the internet.”

If you want to see the classic song and video, who am I to deny you. Click here.

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