I don't need to remind you all, once again, of the myriad of ways in which 2016 has been the year from hell. For the last ten months I have begun almost every single sentence with the words "oh no" or "he said what?" On more than one occasion I have woken up in a cold sweat, profoundly upset that "Brexit litigation" is now such a fundamental part of my existence it has made its way into my sex dreams. I'm hoping that a ritual I have planned for New Year's Eve in which I put everything that reminds me of this year in a box, set it on fire and hurl it into the Thames will finally cleanse my soul of these horrors, but I was fully ready to stick Gilmore Girls on, cross my fingers and hibernate until December 31.
That is... That is, until I saw the following video circulating on Facebook and found love in a truly hopeless place. Allow me to set the scene: you are scrolling through your feed – post after sickening post of clickbait articles, an update on the beef that's happening between someone you know who owns a house in a rural town with nothing in it apart from a Co-Op and the person they're in a parking space war with, boys you rejected in school celebrating their recent marriage to someone perfectly lovely-looking – and you sink into a pit of despair so deep not even Morrissey can see you now. Then, a strange video shows up. The thumbnail is a man's face, shot from the bottom up, a computer screen reflected solemnly in his glasses. You press play and hear a familiar haunting piano line and yes, that is definitely the opening few seconds of "Bring Me To Life" by iconic goth Christian nu metal band Evanescence. The man clears his throat, with an air of dignity and professionalism most X Factor contestants will never attain, and then this happens:
I mean, honestly, have you ever heard something so beautiful? I can't say I have, and I have heard many Smash Mouth remixes in my time, including this mash up with the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune that I loved so much I wrote about it for a VICE article on the most effective songs you could add to your Tinder profile (needless to say, I'll be changing it imminently). From the flawless alignment of two late-90s early-00s hits – the Romeo & Juliet of unlikely genres that somehow became immensely popular for a few weird years – to the well timed "shhh", to the final few seconds, which I won't spoil for you, it is a masterpiece.
I quickly discovered that the genius responsible goes by the YouTube name 'Jon Sudano'. His channel is only three days old with just three videos on it: the one you see above, another in which he sings "All Star" over John Lennon's "Imagine", and a cover of the Neon Genesis Evangelion theme straight up. They are all perfect, soothing, full of innocence and hope and joy. They have given me a reason to log on and not imagine myself as a pixelated character, running through Twitter with an aerosol can and a lighter. Jon Sudano is the hero we all need but don't deserve, like Spiderman if he was a vlogger.
Thank you, Jon Sudano, for being a ray of light in times so dark even Sauron would need a giant contact lens to find his way through them.
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