How The Internet Is Going To Kill "Call Me Maybe"
It's nearly impossible to definitively pinpoint the moment when a phenomenon hits its saturation point. Thanks in no small part to the internet's insistence on not only "more," but also "now," we as consumers live in an era where there are more opportunities to kill the things we love even faster, and with only the click of a mouse. But it was possible to target something of a tipping point with "Call Me Maybe," Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen's inescapable hit that is most definitively the proud owner of the coveted title of Song of the Summer, 2012. Said tipping point came last week, in the form of click-baiting little headlines suggesting that the Crooner-In-Chief had finally succumbed to the will of the American people and taken on their favorite summer jam.
"Barack Obama Singing 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen"
The video was, of course, not quite what had been advertised (it never is, is it?); it was actually a mashup of clips from the president's speeches strung along to the instrumental. It boggles the mind why anyone would want to create such a thing (never mind take the time to do so), but the clip was, in fact, pretty amusing. Yet, something about its release felt somehow... suffocating, thanks to what had preceded it. First there was the business card. Then the lip-dubs. The covers. The memes. A profoundly amazing mash-up with Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life." Type "Call Me Maybe Parody" into YouTube's search bar, and you run the risk of having your eyes melt out of your face, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style. It had some rightfully crowing, "Enough already."
Most recently, Jimmy Fallon hosted the 26-year-old ex-Canadian Idol finalist on Late Night last Thursday, and as a little internet-only aside, he, Jepsen and the Roots performed the song using only toy classroom instruments. Again, pretty amusing little video, but there seemed to be a distinct scent of "What the fuck do we do with this thing now?" swirling around that tiny dressing room. I mean, classroom instruments? What could possibly be next? Two xenomorphs jamming to it in the Prometheus cargo bay? Alia Shawkat reprising her Arrested Development role on Funny or Die? It chills the blood.
In the past, the worst thing that could happen to the Song of the Summer was it being played to death. But in the digital age, the pitfalls are boundless. As "Call Me Maybe" is increasingly meme-ified, it runs the risk of becoming completely mummified. This is how the seemingly un-killable is ultimately undone.