Over at Making Light, the Nielsen Haydens stumbled upon a video of the Hurra Torpedo version of the Bonnie Tyler/ Jim Steinman kitsch masterpiece “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which absolutely boggles the mind. Of course, the weird thing is that their re-invention isn’t actually any weirder than the original video, which Teresa also attempts to explain. All this together inspired Matt McIrvin to one of the best post titles ever.
But the really fascinating thing about this is the “explore more videos” feature on YouTube. From the original video, you can find links to several live versions of the original, which isn’t too surprising. You can also find an amazing number of homemade videos of the song, edited out of footage of an astonishing variety of cartoon and videogame characters, and also River Phoenix movies. And beyond that, you can also find the song being sung by a school choir, drunken idiots of both genders, and lip-synched by shirtless frat boys, two guys in a living room from the 70′s, and, broadening the search to include Google Video (via a link in comments at Making Light), upside-down mouths with faces painted on the chins. And that barely scratches the surface– Google Video has a whole slew of other versions to offer.
Ultimately, this is the answer to Charlie Stross’s query about why nobody writes near-future SF any more: because this is what you have to compete with. Presented with revolutionary, world-spanning communications technology, and the ability to instantly retrieve information from an astonishing array of sources, and send it to any of a truly mind-boggling number of people, this is what we use it for.
Futurism never stood a chance.
(Incidentally, I’m not saying this is a Bad Thing. This kind of inspired lunacy is the glory of the Internet. But, really, find me the science-fiction writer who predicted this…)