You’ve Been RickRolled

A meme acts like a flu or a cold virus, traveling from person to person swiftly, but transmitting an idea instead of a life form. Richard Dawkins defines memes as “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Memes are the best way to get an idea from one person to another. Some are considered to be quite humorous, while others can be portraying a serious message. Rickrolling is one particular meme that seemed to have both a love-hate relationship with the people involved in Rickrolling. Usually the person getting rickrolled hated every part of this meme, but the person Rickrolling would find this meme to be enjoyable.

Rickrolling is an Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. The meme is a bait and switch phenomenon which had its beginning on imageboard site 4chan as a spin-off of an earlier practical joke known as duckrolling, in which an external link with a sensational title would be redirected to an edited image of a duck with wooden wheels. A person presents a hyperlink apparently relevant to the topic the person is talking about, but in fact leads to Astley’s video. The link can be masked or hidden in some way so that the user cannot find out the true destination of the link without clicking. People led to the music video are said to have been rickrolled.

Rockrolling first started as a little prank that many people used to pull on friends. Now, rickrolling is used in many sporting events, and to trick viewers in thinking that they are about to view something “interesting”. A rickroll flash mob took place on 11 April 2008, in London’s Liverpool Street train station with an estimated 300–400 people in attendance. When the flash mob finished the countdown, they sang the song from beginning to end.

The meme was part of a hit music video in the 1980s and people were amused by the lyrics and the way the music was recorded. Many people have uttered the opinion that the most attention-getting aspect of the video is Rick Astley’s surprisingly deep voice in contrast to his youthful looks. According to VH1’s PopUp Video, record executives who heard his recordings didn’t believe it was his voice either at first.

Many also question the memetics community’s common, almost spontaneous, assaults on religion, which they describe as nothing more than preprogrammed, irrational memetic imitation. Many semiotic theorists observe the concept of “meme” as a primal concept of sign. Semioticians can hold a meme as a deteriorated sign, which includes only its capability of being imitated.

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