Saturday, August 4, 2007

Weekend video: Mr. Spock meets Dr. Know

I love mash-ups, I really do. Even when they suck. Even when they're completely devoid of ideas and originality. No matter how bad they are, they are always a product of someone taking the time to actively engage media, rather than passively consuming them. They are interacting with entertainment, responding to it, shaping it to fit their personal take on it then sharing that take with the world. And the world is free to take it or leave it. Wonderful.

I also love YouTube. I love it for a lot of reasons, but one of the best things about it is the treasures it unearths from the landfill of popular culture. Perhaps you've seen this monstrosity, which I'm not even going to waste enough space on your screen to embed here. If you don't feel like clicking, it's that Leonard Nimoy video where he sings about hobbits. Were it not for YouTube, I would have no idea it exists, let alone have seen it. But thanks to the Internet, my life is that much richer.

What's fascinating about it is the complete lack of discernible context. What the fuck does Leonard Nimoy have to do with Lord of the Rings? Why is he singing this? Whose idea was this? Why was this created? It's not just like staring at a car wreck, it's like staring at a wreck between a clown car and a truck shaped like a giant hot dog. Where the hell did the clowns come from? What are they doing on the Garden State Parkway?

I have no answers. I could have researched it, I suppose, but I don't care. Scratch that, I do care and I'd rather not know, it enhances the weirdness of it. Besides, the only reason I posted it was so you could see the raw materials for what follows.

This is one of the most hilarious video mash-ups I've come across so far, for several reasons:

  • the inconguity of the source materials; there's no irony in the juxtaposition of the music and the images, no cultural backstory; it's just ridiculous

  • brevity being the soul of wit, mash-ups, video or otherwise, are rarely funny beyond the two-minute mark; the length of this one contributes to the endless re-watchability

  • little attempt is made to synch things up perfectly; there's just enough convergence to suggest synching, but the creator clearly felt no need to overwork it; when you see that upside-down close-up of Nimoy's mug at the beginning of the vocals, you get the idea, and the lo-rez video quality takes care of the rest

Without further ado:

Incidentally, someone else made a mash-up using the audio from the Nimoy clip with clips from old Transformers cartoons: timely! Fun, and the lip-synching is almost eerily good, but you have to sit through that awful song with none of the Kroft-y visuals.

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