The internet has eaten itself

There was a time, before internet shopping took off, before Ebay, before YouTube, before FaceBook became cool and then uncool, when the main purpose of the internet seemed to be the dissemination of intermittently amusing short films and animations.  (Well, that and porn, obviously.  Apparently.)

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I even had a job compiling hundreds of these clips into two series of a television programme called “Totally Viral” with an “amusing” commentary by the glorious Donald Sinden.

There was a vaguely anarchic, stick-it-to-the-man quality about many of them, as the process of making and disseminating filmed daftness suddenly bypassed restrictions of budget, TV commissioners, taste and – often – humour itself.  You just couldn’t tell which of these things would “go viral” and become hugely popular.  People would send them to one another in emails and newsletters…remember?

And then YouTube happened. providing a “respectable” showcase.

And now, in 2015, this happened.

A huge corporation, Delta Airlines, has made a safety video containing loads of internet memes (as they became known).  It’s sort of clever without being very funny.  It’s way too long.  And for some reason, it’s ever so slightly sad, like watching an old man on a Segway.

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