The Fox Song Leads to Existential Crises Among Deep-Thinking YouTube Users
What sound does god make?
In the two weeks since the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis’ song “The Fox,” which asks what sound the vulpine makes, went viral, some Internet citizens have had metaphysical break-downs in the YouTube comment section.
From the beginning, the music video was dubbed the “next Gangnam style” and commenters gushed about it being the “best song ever”—both typical and to be expected comments on a video like this. In an unexpected twist, however, many commenters began implying this song is actually about the meaning of life.
One commenter even suggested lying naked and blindfolded in a dark room and listening to this song to become “truly enlightened:”
Various philosophers throughout the ages have contemplated the meaning of life. Socrates, Nietzsche, Kant, Derrida, and Sartre to name a few, but none have ever speculated on the sounds of the fox or how the vulpine fits into the greater scheme of things. Their writings are devoid of fox sounds.
Besides folks pondering the meaning of life, or professing that this song was the meaning of life despite having the lyric “no one knows,” another strange comment began appearing with some frequency: that this song had somehow changed the viewers life.
This man, for instance, was so compelled to make a change his life that he wrote a YouTube comment, the first “in a LONG time.”
Mr. Pappadeas might have been exaggerating about the "making the world a better place" part. To some, “The Fox” did not make their world a better place. In fact, a few who listened to the song took to questioning their own lives:
Others questioned if they were dead, or if this was real life.
"The Fox" song is indeed a real song, even if it is just a promotional video for a TV show by two comedians. Causing existential crises in the comment section of YouTube (also a real site) was probably unintentional. It might make those questioning the meaning of their lives feel better to know that the song is meant to be a parody of the music industry, and not about the significance of being.
It’s highly plausible these YouTube commenters are not actually having philosophical dilemmas, and they are writing these comments in a desire to be a part of something greater than themselves.
Like the YouTube users that keep commenting on Norwegian pride—this being the first viral video by folks from Norway and its citizens have taken to flooding the comment section—perhaps those metaphysically inclined want to express how in tune they are with the collective consciousness, that digital zeitgeist, by commenting in this fashion on the latest viral video. At 29 millions views at press time, "The Fox" has become a global phenomenon, and that realization may be what is causing thoughts of enlightenment and this desire to be part of that digital community.
This isn’t the first intentionally absurd video to shatter worldviews either. Nyan Cat and He-Man Sings, for instance, also collect these types of existential reflections in their respective comment section. Finding meaning in absurdity is an old pastime once relegated to academics, but it appears the advent of the Internet has opened this practice to everyone.