Could you be putting too much stock in this “cultural hierarchy” theory? Perhaps it’s just natural that people in the mainstream will see themselves as deserving their lofty positions and look down on those whose fame comes from something completely random. Perhaps the real stories are (a) that the concept of Internet memes has really grabbed the attention of the mainstream, and (b) the public’s interest in this sort of thing is itself evolving.
There was a recent South Park (aired during the writers strike) where all the Internet meme characters fought to the death while waiting in line to collect their non-existent “Internet money”. Of course, other shows have been using Internet memes as a joke or topic for a long time (The Office is big on this, though its certainly not as crass as Weezer, which has always seemed like kind of a mercenary band)… So maybe this self-conscious look at Internet memes isn’t going away.
This year the “ROFLcon” was held in Boston. Its whole purpose was to bring the big Internet meme people together for days of symposia and other self-examination. It was organized by a group of academics who study this social phenomenon, so I guess if you give them a forum they are bound to “ruin” the internet.
Does stuff like this really “ruin” the Internet? Or is this an inevitable development as more and more people get connected and have their moments in the sun. Once everyone gets a little sick of constantly checking funny videos, we have to go somewhere, don’t we?
No mention of “mini moni” in the beginning or the (as far as I can tell) random hiragana on the blackboard at the end? Oh Marxy, you disappoint! Doesn’t Rivers have a wife to check for these things? I mean, have you seen his mixi page? Gangare rivers, gangare.
Peanut butter jelly time is considerably older than last year, as are most of those, in fact. I do suspect that there is a secret goatse reference in there somewhere that has yet to be discovered.
I’ve oscillated on the video. I think it’s sort of condescending, but I also chuckle at the idea of people who aren’t so internet savvy watching MTV and being extremely confused. However, the percentage is probably so low at this point that it couldn’t possibly be considered the slightest bit subversive. So yeah, it mostly smacks of trying to capitalize not only on flash-in-the-pan internet sensations (before everyone else inevitably does (yes, besides the Barenaked Ladies)), but on the ever-shrinking statute of limitations on nostalgia and – more importantly, I think – the sort of false personal feeling of being privy to an inside joke that viral videos tend to invoke in their viewers, due to the way they are disseminated.
Or maybe they just thought it was funny.
P.S. – When I’m a world-famous musician, I’m ripping off this video.
Kind of unrelated, but “being privy to an inside joke” — ever since I saw Shrek I have absolutely despised that kind of humor. “Inside” references to things EVERYONE knows about are about as grating as anything I can think of. Make it stop!