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"RickRolling" - The latest tRick!

"RickRolling" - The latest tRick!

"RickRolling" - The latest tRick!

Rick Astley in 2008Even though I was born in the 80s I am generally of the opinion that it has a lot to answer for, terrible hair, bad fluorescent colours and Rick Astley. Now the last time I heard anything about Rick Astley was when I bought an Album by DJ Yoda called "How to Cut and Paste: 80's Edition" and that was several years ago now. All of a sudden recently Rick seems to have been making a bit of a comeback but not in the normal way that 80s popstars might do, but instead through a phenomenon called "RickRolling". So what is RickRolling? Basically "RickRolling" consists of a user following a link to a page on a specific topic but are then confronted with a video of Rick Astley's 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” The UrbanDictionary describes it as the following:

Rick Roll When what you think is a link to something you want to see actually directs you to a video of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up." This is common in the WoW community.

Wikipedia describes where "RickRolling" comes from:

The song's campy music video became the basis of an Internet meme known as "rickrolling". It took its name from an anonymous message board meme known as "duckrolling", a prank in which someone would post a blind link to a post, allegedly relevant to the discussion, that upon viewing would prove to be a non sequitur - specifically, an image of a duck on wheels. Similarly, in a rickroll a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand which actually takes the user to the Rick Astley video. By May 2007 the practice had become widespread, and it eventually began to receive some coverage in the mainstream media.

Will this ever end? Apparently this has been going on for over 6 months but it seems to have passed me by, I do however have a recollection of clicking a link and getting a video on YouTube of Rick Astley, but didn’t really think that much of it. It was brought to my attention last night while watching the news on North West tonight (unfortunately I live in Derbyshire and would prefer to get Yorkshire but I get North West Telly) there was an item about “RickRolling” and how it is making Rick famous again. I presume they were focusing on it due to the fact he originates from Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire. Some significant “RickRolling” events are:

  • YouTube April Fools - For April fools day 2008 all the videos featured on the front page of YouTube linked to the Rick Astley Video.
  • RickRolling Protests - In connection to RickRolling, "Never Gonna Give You Up" was played and performed at some of the Project Chanology February 2008 protests against the Church of Scientology.
  • Live Rick Roll! – In March 2008 “Tim Shey” founder of New Networks was “RickRolled” by some of his collegues live during a meeting.

What does Rick think about it? On the 25th March the Los Angeles times interviewed Rick about his thoughts on the phenomenon which had been sweeping the internet for the past 6 months.

“It’s a bit spooky, innit?” said Rick Astley, the singer who made the song famous in 1987 and who is not dead. With considerable help, including assists from RCA Records, the webmaster of Astley’s U.K. fan site, and his manager at Sony BMG, I tracked down Astley at his home in London last weekend. He spoke for the first time about the phenomenon called Rickrolling, best described by example: You are reading your favorite Hollywood gossip blog and arrive at a link urging you to “Click here for exclusive video of Britney’s latest freakout!!” Click you do, but instead of Britney, it’s a dashing 21-year-old Briton that pops onto the screen. You, sir, have been Rickroll’d.

When Rick was asked if he had any plans to cash in on the current craze he responded:

“I don’t really know whether I want to be doing that,” he said. “I’m not being an ageist, but it’s almost a young person’s thing, that.” “I think the artist themselves trying to remix it is almost a bit sad,” he said. “No, I’m too old for that.” “Listen, I just think it’s bizarre and funny. My main consideration is that my daughter doesn’t get embarrassed about it.”

Even though all the RickRolling is very funny and to quote one person who I came across on the web that had been RickRolled “LMAO but with a warm feeling inside” it does make me think that maybe we are becoming a little too complacent when surfing the web, relying too much on our software protection to stop any nasties getting into our systems. There used to be a time that we were all too scared to click on a link to something we didn’t know anything about. This could be seen as a wake up call for becoming too casual with the way in which we surf. Anyway I didn’t think it was fair to do any RickRolling in the contents of this post, but still I can have a bit of Rick in my life in the end.

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