Thursday, May 04, 2006

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

This was last month's internet fad, but there is a very profound subtext that I only saw today, after watching the original sequence from "Zero Wing".

The video is compelling because, like all art of the first order, it deals with broader social changes. It is about nothing less than the triumph of virtual reality over the traditional world. "All your base" stands for the fabric of the viewer's universe, and "are belong to us" asserts that it is now under the control of people skilled in the manipulation of images.

The apocalyptic subtext, "You are on the way to destruction" prepares the viewer for the experience of having their traditional understanding of the universe exploded. The fact that the laughter ("ha ha ha") is less perfunctory in the original is also telling (i.e., the "cats" are emotionless in the remix). It is also interesting that the original ends with "For Great Justice", but the battle for justice is an interlude in the remix, which ends with "You have no chance to survive, make your time".

Ending the video with "GAME OVER" underscores this.

Needless to say, it is a very important cultural artifact, and it may as revelatory of our culture as gothic cathedrals are of the late middle ages. If you're wondering how people got the patience to do pixel by pixel manipulation of the images, just take a look at the arches on the Cologne Cathedral: With Zeitgeist filling your sails, all things are possible.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home