Internet snark that just won't die

Thu May 21, 2015

Humour has long been a staple of the Internet - in fact, you probably have some favourite delicious sites, such as the Onion or the Oatmeal, that you regularly check on for a fresh serving of laughs. But then there are those single-serving static sites that have been hosting¬†the same joke for years and years and seem impervious to non-renewal. I wonder who keeps paying for these internet one-liners? They had their day in the sun years ago, but now languish in relative obscurity as faded internet legend. Here are three such sites that refuse to die (and a recent one that should have died weeks ago, but didn’t).

This parody of flash animation was created in 1999 and still manages to epitomize the weirdness of the internet in a way that no other site can. According to who you talk to, is either the best or most useless website in the world. Now that Flash is quickly becoming obsolete as HTML5 takes over, it will be interesting to see if future generations will find Zombo amusing at all, or just scratch their heads at the anachronistic humour of the 20th century.

Now a sarcastic insult to mock those who don’t know how internet culture works, this phrase was first uttered by Homer Simpson in a 1998 episode. Not particularly funny anymore, sites like this are fading away from our collective memory - but aren’t in the grave yet.

“Let me Google that for you” is a 2008 site designed as a snarky response to questions asked online that can easily be answered by googling the answer. Although this site has been banned on some websites, the gentlemanly thing to do would be to put it to bed now that the meme is long past it’s prime.

Honourable mention:

I first came across this satirical site back in 2007, but I was surprised to find that it’s still around. This parody campaign for a fictional medication actually fooled a number of people into thinking they had this disorder. I’m actually glad this site is still up because the concept is far cleverer than some of these other examples.

And now, I mentioned an internet gag that should have died weeks ago? Remember that mysterious button in Lost that had to be pushed every 108 minutes or the world would end? ¬†Reddit’s April Fool’s joke this year was to host a button with a sixty-second counter. Every Reddit user only has one click to reset the button to 60. Once the button counts down to zero…nobody know what will happen. Because it hasn’t happened yet. Yes, people are still clicking the button.

I must admit, I am curious, but am also a bit disturbed. This joke reminds me a lot of the cow-clicking game in this Wired article - a game that was supposed to be a Farmville satire, but ended up being a legitimate phenomenon in itself, much to the befuddlement of the developer. Still, there is an allure to such a long-running gag. I’ll be sure to update this post once if the button ever reaches zero.

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