Music by VICE

Jon Sudano, Last Emperor of the Meme, Will Be Singing "All Star" as the World Burns

Behold Evanescence bleeding into Linkin Park, becoming Eminem and then Rick Entire Astley.

by Ryan Bassil
Apr 4 2017, 2:23pm

As humans we have a need to categorise the passing of time. To do so, we separate the millennia of life on earth into eras. There's the Mesozoic Era, where velociraptors stalked their padded feet over Pangaea. There are the historical, calendar-based ones – Ancient Egypt and their pyramids; the Tudors and their worryingly rotund kings; the Mayans and their world-ending prophecies – and there are also geological and cosmological periods. Today we live in the latter end of the Holocene epoch: home to Elon Musk, bomb-ass microwave dinners and a novel form of human interaction known as the meme.

Jon Sudano is the master, the Tutankhamun, the last emperor, the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the meme form and "All Star" by Smash Mouth is his guiding light. For the last year or so, Sudano has been churning out videos of him singing "All Star" over a litany of irrepressible pop and rock singles. It's a simple form and one that should have reached death long before now, laid to rest in the trash chute of the world wide web. But as of now, it has been given a new life. Peep, below, the latest in a line of storied work. Look on as the game is changed. Revel in this triumph.

Here, in these opening moments, the Louis Vuitton don of the meme breathes into it some new life. In essence, he embarks on the mode of transport that gave birth to this warped creation – "All Star" lyrics sang over the interminably melancholic tone of Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" – presses reverse, and sets the train back across the tracks and toward the place it came from.

"How can you see into my eyes, like open doors? Leading you down into my core, where I've become so numb. Without a soul, my spirit is sleeping somewhere cold. Until you find it there in me..."

Poetry. From here – and, really, I'm not going to insult your ability to use your ears and eyes – Sudano opens the treasure chest of meme-ready songs, enters the catacombs, and emerges with a medley to rival any of the canvas of the Louvre or Greek statues of NYC's Met.

Remember when the crazy CERN scientists in Europe turned on the Large Hadron Collider and some people were worried a black hole would be created and, humanity as we know it, would end? That hasn't happened yet. I am willing to wager, however, that the folks at CERN are responsible for what we're seeing in this video and across the internet. There is no other explanation for what is happening here, no psychological or sociological study to give reasoning to why this artform has been able to excite and terrify like no other.

In one way or another, what we're seeing above is an example of the demise of humanity. It burns, it hurts, it makes me question myself. How can I see into my eyes, when I've become so numb? It's like my mind is melting, the neurotransmitters of my brain locked in a car like a puppy on a hot day.

But goddamn, am I here for this moment. Take me with you Jon Sudano, so we may ride into the apocalypse together, hands clasped tightly together and brains frying like overcooked eggs.

You can find Ryan Bassil on Twitter.

Smash Mouth
Linkin Park
Jon Sudano