Tag Archives: memes

Please enjoy this selection of All Star meme videos

There was a trend early last year of making meme videos around Smash Mouth’s 1999 hit “All Star”. And today I want to revisit some of the best content that came out of that trend.

2018 memes are pretty boring for me. They’re standardised to the point of redundancy. I’ll write a longer blog post about this at some point, but I’m sick of seeing ‘three thing’ memes consisting of a trifecta of me // thing i like or should do // thing i don’t like or shouldn’t do. Literally they all follow this format: distracted boyfriend, ‘off ramp’, ‘bowling’, ‘gru’s plan’, ‘Jason Momoa Sneaking Up on Henry Cavill’, ‘is this a pigeon’. It’s all awful and contributing the internet hellscape we are all living in.

So 2017 Smash Mouth video memes an oasis of purity in this desolate wasteland of content. Let’s start off with something simple.

‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth, but all notes are in C

This is fun! I love when people take songs and mess around with the keys and stuff, like the major version of REM’s Losing my Religion.

This is especially fun because of how annoying it immediately gets. You’re so used to hearing the song rise and fall in pitch that hearing it entirely in one key is extremely frustrating. Good luck making it through the whole thing.

All Star but the melody is digitally remastered to be 200% more depressing

Actually quite moving.

SMASH MOUTH – ALL STAR BUT IT’S 1 BEAT OFF

This is so so so annoying. But it must be the hardest thing in the world to do, so I have nothing but respect for it.

“All Star” but it’s Sweet Home Alabama

This is when things start getting real good. Changing Smash Mouth to fit a different song. Especially when it’s a song as stupid as Sweet Home Alabama.

All Star but it’s Walking On The Sun by Santana feat. Rob Thomas

But it doesn’t have to be another band’s song! In this video, All Star is crunched up to fit into the lyrical tempo of another Smash Mouth song: ‘Walking On The Sun’. And in the video it’s played by Santana feat. Rob Thomas for some reason.

“All Star” by Smash Mouth, but only using the sounds and beats on my synth (and Ten Second Songs)

Here it is in a whole bunch of different genres! How fun!

All Star but it’s Donald Trump saying “covfefe”

Lol, I’d forgotten about the whole covfefe thing. Was that ever explained?

All Star by Smashmouth but every other word is reversed

Now we delve into the sub-genre of “but every word” videos. In this one, every other word is reversed. Why not every word? I don’t know!

“All Star” by Smashmouth but every word is someBODY

Sure, make EVERY word somebody. Why not? God is dead.

Allstar but every word is in alphabetical order

They sure do say “All Star” a lot.

All Star but the words are ordered by scrabble score

Just very very good.

All Star but “star” is replaced with Gordon Ramsay insults

Lmao. I love how long some of the clips are.

All Star but it’s played on the sharpest tool in my shed

Does what it says on the tin.

All Star But It’s Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C Minor (1st mov.)

Similar to the ‘Smash Mouth mixed up with other pop songs’ genre, there’s another genre of All Star in the style of classical music. Sorry to all musicians.

All Star but it’s a Bach chorale following the conventions of the Common Practice Period

This is the one that convinced me All Star videos would be the greatest meme of all time. Not only is it a fantastic idea, but it’s perfectly executed. It’s not just a cheap joke, it’s fully backed up with knowledge and expertise. Kudos to the creator.

“All Star” by Smash Mouth but it’s Pachelbel’s Canon

The absolute pinnacle of the form. A modern masterpiece. The perfect bridge of modern and classical music. The zenith of human creativity and perfection.

And an honourable mention goes to…

Steamed Hams but it’s All Star

Delightfully devilish!

Please enjoy my self care tips.

I just had a fantastic bath. A fantastic evening bath. Here’s how it went down:

  • Whacked those taps on circa nine thirty pm.
  • Full blast taps. Temperature range in the very-hot-to-too-hot.
  • TEN drops exactly of tea tree oil.
  • While the bath is running, I’m brewing a cup of tea. Twinings St Clements.
  • Slam down the bathroom blind. Screw shut the bathroom window.
  • Strip, obviously.
  • Phone by the bath. Got a podcast on. A comedy one.
  • I’m dunking down into the bath once it’s around half full.
  • My body…. screams? This is very hot, way too hot. I should probably get out.
  • A few seconds later that passes. No, this is the ideal temperature. My skin is a light pink already.
  • The water is almost at the taps. This is no time for cowards. I ramp the taps up to the hottest they’ll go.
  • Finally I kick the tap off as I begin to sous-vide.
  • I’m sipping on that tea. It’s also scalding.
  • There’s sweat running down my face. Steam from the bath is trying to escape the room, but it’s no good – it’s locked in here with me now.
  • Considering the tea sufficiently brewed I remove the tea bag. It plops down into the bath with me. The water is now a extremely weak broth of oranges, lemons, and like all my dirty skin and hair.
  • Laying here for a few minutes perfectly still is key. Sipping the tea just a bit. Taking in the podcast. Feeling the sweat.
  • Eventually the tea runs out. Out comes the plug and I get out the bath. If you don’t feel dizzy at this point, you’ve done it wrong.
  • Congratulations on the best bath of your entire life.

And that’s just one way I do so-called  ‘self care’. We spend a lot of our days rushing around to fix things or do things for other people, so it’s important to take time to do things that make you feel happy, or relaxed.

Self care is commonly prescribed in mental health treatment and coping strategies. My CBT therapist has even recommended it to me recently, and my reaction was basically “isn’t that just candles and hot chocolate and youtube vloggers with strings of fairy lights?”

Why do I think that? Well, because those are the things you hear most about it. It’s a term somewhat hijacked by both pseudo-scientific spiritualism and vacuous lifestyle vloggers. To quote this Buzzfeed article:

It might be overly cynical to suggest that vloggers have simply found in the mental health advocacy phenomenon another avenue through which to peddle products….But regardless of intent, the lines have become blurred over what, exactly, the audience is to assume they are watching”

And if you google “self care” you get a lot of stuff like this. Pictures of flowers, hearts, and words in the shape of a meditating alien. None of which is appealing to me at all.

Which is a shame, because I think self-care is really good and important. The main things it covers seem to be:

  • Healthy eating and meal planning
  • Seeing people
  • Taking care of your body (exercise)
  • Doing activities that are beneficial to your mental well-being.

Or to sum it up: be good to yourself. But what does that even mean?

Is it a treat yo’ self situation? Or a do what you feel one? Is it meant to be outright hedonism? Or is it more about self-discipline?

The most important thing IMO is that self care is about looking after your self (duh!), down to your basic needs of food and hygiene. Depression in particular can make things like just showering or changing into proper clothes a chore. So it’s vital to engage in these things.

Last year I read A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind by Emily Reynolds, which is a good book absolutely jam-packed with practical tips. Tips like:

Before you get depressed, or before you realise you’re overwhelmed and can’t cope, put small and manageable systems into place. Make tidying a habit, and be strict with yourself. Make your bed every day. Put bleach down the toilet every other day. Get a laundry basket and put dirty clothes in it at the end of every day, instead of on the floor.

And that’s what I think self-care is about. Not so much bath bombs and face masks, but remembering that you’re living your life, and taking care of that. Having that sympathetic, caring approach we find it easily to dole out to others, but almost never ourselves.

That all said, I think there’s still room for the ‘do things that make you feel good’ interpretation of self care. And I’d like to share some of the things I do:

1. Meditation and other exercises.

I’ve had mixed feelings about Headspace before. But I’m back on the “Headspace is good” train. If you don’t want to use it, there’s other perfectly good and free resources out there that do exactly the same things.

And if mindfulness / meditation isn’t your bag, there’s just plain breathing exercises that are really helpful. My CBT person recommended the Soothing Rhythm Breathing Practices here, and I do too! Real handy to calm you down in a stressful situation if nothing else.

2. Junk food.

Ok, this is probably a bit controversial. The official Mind guidance on self care specifically notes that you should watch your diet. And of course bad food has a negative influence on your mood. But sometimes eating rubbish just makes me feel better. And I’m ok with that.

3. Video games

Video games are very fun. There’s no denying that. I like to play them, often more than anything else, and especially more than having to deal with people in real life. Which is why I struggle with multiplayer games – if I’m trying to escape from other people, why would I actively go and seek them out?

But yeah, video games are fun. And I’ve learnt not to feel guilty about spending time on them if they cheer me up.

4. Ironing.

Ironing belongs in a special category of things including colouring and knitting. I call this it ‘secret mindfulness’. It’s a category of activities where you have one task to focus on that requires some amount of technique but not any particular amount of difficulty. It’s brain-on-autopilot territory.

Man, I love ironing. There’s something just really satisfying about pressing the creases out of clothes with hot steam. Turning a pile of laundry into a neatly-folded stack of shirts ready for the drawer is molto, molto bene.

Plus it’s also proper self care in that it means you have clothes to wear that aren’t all creased looking. Top self care, ironing.

5. Memes

Memes are very self care. I’ve fallen lately into the pit of Vine compilations – 10 or so minute youtube videos of collections of funny 6-second videos. As my housemates point out, these compilations invariably contain all of the same Vines each time, but that’s the point. Seeing the same things again and again, and laughing at them again and again, they soon become like close friends to you.

6. Getting real organised. Probably too organised.

I’ve written before about my stupidly overly-organised online life. But I stand by it. There’s something liberating about letting a complicated system of rows and columns rule my life. I don’t really have much control any more about what TV series I watch next, or the next book I read, and that’s fine. I’m sort of glad that these decisions are being made ‘for me’.

Is getting up at the same time every day to follow the same routine every day good or bad? I’d say it’s good. It lets me actually get things done, like regular exercise every day, which is what self-care is all about.

7. Loud music.

Today I had a stressful walk. I was walking between offices and had a lot to do, but knew the walk itself would take up about ten minutes of valuable time. So I put on my intensity playlist and power-walked the hell out of it. On the way, I listened to ‘Ize of the World‘ by The Strokes and ‘Big Unit‘ by Abedisi Shank – two of my favourite songs – super super loud. It felt amazing.

Music really does have that power to exorcise our emotions. And its use in self-care is enormous. Most importantly, it doesn’t have to be light, fluffy Katie Melua stuff; heavy metal, electronica, rap – it’s all good if it makes you feel better.

(‘What Went Down‘ by Foals is another very good song for banishing stress. For me at least. And you have to play it really bloody loud).


And that’s probably enough self-care tips for now. I hope you found them useful.

I’m still not 100% clear on what SC is. But I think we’ve at least been feeling around the right kind of area. The main takeaway is that we should love ourselves, which I hope you do. Because I love you. You know that, right? x

Did David Bowie predict memes?

Ok, shut up and watch this.

Watch it a few more times. It’s two seconds long. Watch it like fifty times.

Watch it, and then tell me that David Bowie didn’t just say “meme school”.

HE TOTALLY DOES, RIGHT?

I want to investigate just what is going on here. Because it’s so weird and fantastic and the fact it’s David Bowie just makes it all that much more magical and interesting. So let’s start at the beginning.

This is a clip from a 2002 ‘Live By Request’ show. Live By Request was a program on the A&E Network in the US that was basically a phone-in show where artists would play songs as requested by callers. It’s a pretty cool idea, and the Bowie one is, of course, amazing. Here’s the full thing.

Anyway, the interesting bit occurs about 1hr35mins in. He’s talking about his early days. Transcript as follows:

INTERVIEWER
A lot of people don’t know, you studied as a mime when you were starting?

BOWIE
I’m afraid I did, yeah it’s vulgar.
I couldn’t get into clown school, so I ended up with mime school.
There were so many more vacancies!

PAUSE

BOWIE
[LOOKS AROUND. SMILES]
Meme school.

So it’s clear that Bowie is talking about mime school, right? WRONG. He clearly can say “mime school” normally, he does it seconds before he says meme school. It’s the pause that gives it away. He pauses, clearly thinking about his next words carefully. He looks around, gives a knowing smile, and says the words “meme school”.  Which doesn’t make any sense.

Unless, of course, you believe (as I do) that Bowie was predicting the rise of memes. In which case this makes perfect sense. His smile reveals that he’s enjoying a little in-joke. He knows the audience won’t understand, but it’s just a little fun for him. Maybe he even knows that a decade and a half on people will uncover this clip and be like “oh my god, he saw all of this coming.”

Anyway, he definitely says meme school.

Don’t believe me? Well, here he is in an even earlier interview saying the phrase “meme companies”.

CASE CLOSED