Why Does This Video Exist? (#6)

There's a meme trend on social media which seems to be a progeny of the Vine (rest in peace). The top of the meme will be inscribed with something like, "My reaction when a morning person tries to have a conversation with me before my coffee." Below that, an embed frame with a 3-second video will show a disheveled house pet smushing their paw into another house pet's face.

It's a bit of an easy trick, because typically the short video is something that's funny or cute in its own right. Adding another layer of context with the caption at the top gives it a shareworthy twist to appeal to the "it's funny because it's true" type of comedy fan.

"Me at noon: 'I'm only eating salad today.'
Me at 10pm: *Video of Snarf from Thundercats devouring a whole pizza.*"

Well last night I was lying in bed laughing transportively at the twist in genre. "It's funny because it's true" humor can reflect universal small moments of the human experience. But this particular meme is so startlingly absurd and patently unrelatable that it briefly scrambles the circuitry and renders the central nervous system over-loaded with dumbfoundedness, novelty, slight annoyance, and a whole shit ton of questions about the original circumstances of the video.

Here it is, I'll check back below with you after you watch this:



When I first saw it on Facebook, it was on auto-load. The video played automatically, and I had had just enough time to read, "When someone tells me to smile..." when the eyes widened crazily, the teeth dropped forward (?!) and an already lit bic lighter ignited the beard very intentionally.

And immediately, the video is over. Or, should I say, it starts over. It replays at a rate of three times per every six seconds. There's such a black hole void of context, that instead of thinking about the video--which your brain is desperately trying to do (attempting to rectify its existence as a thing, or an item of existing)--you are bombarded by rapid-fire repeats of this... act.

More to the point, it's a sequence of acts. It's three unrelated things that amplify an uncanny and inexplicable zaniness at a logarithmic curve over the course of two seconds. After the teeth drop out, the beard-fire is an amplification of an amplification. The resultant feedback cripples the synapses and sends the consciousness (in my case) into a non-consensual seizure of laughter, a miniature psychological hostage-crisis of terrified mirth which laughs without smiling (coincidentally). (Or maybe, at the risk of doling out too much credit, not so coincidentally).

The caption about being told to smile is a red-herring; your hound nose follows it perpendicularly across a path, only to be hit in the face with a frying pan of absurdity and you're left seriously attempting to rectify the original stated intention of the meme. It is annoying when people tell me to smile. I'm bad at smiling for photographs. I feel like my forced smile looks fake. Then, when I get really into it with a natural looking smile, I feel slightly insane because of the emotional tethers to the physical act of really and naturally smiling.

There's also the issue of cat-calling and women being asked to smile as though they exist on this planet for the comfort of men. If I were a female being asked to smile when I was not in the mood to do so, I suppose I could see giving forth with am unpredictable facial expression to convey my annoyance.

But none of those things could seriously lead me to anything like this video. Not metaphorically, certainly not literally.

And the fact that the dude is, himself, sort of smiling... is really goddamn troubling.

I have no clue who this man is. I have no clue who he's trying to... entertain? I have no clue why that sequence of events would even arise in a man's consciousness. And finally, I have no clue why the annoyance of being asked to smile would pop into this meme-maker's head as being related to this video.

Four stars. Would watch on repeat many times in a row.

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