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Know Your Meme: FAIL

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are we filming? Fail is the internet's word ... "Fail" is the internet's word of choice for expressing contempt. is that...? what's the hand for? Fail! "Fail" is the internet's word of choice for expressing contempt. When disaster strikes, or irony rears its ugly head, you can be sure someone will say it. "Fail!" The word has its memetic origins in the 1998 neo-geo video game, "Blazing Star." The poorly translated "game over" screen read, "you fail it! Your skill is not enough. See you next time, bye bye." As we've learned from memes like "all your base are belong to us," the combination of "Engrish" and eight-bit retro awesome can be powerful. the meme has spread widely, and a "fail image" has been created for nearly every situation. there's a "fail group" on flickr, and the cheezburger network launched a dedicated 'failblog' in may 2008. there are fail dogs, the dubious canine spinoffs of lolcats, and there are even fail ships to facilitate the transfer of fail in bulk. much like the 'blazing star' game, 'fail' presupposes that one must apply skill in order to achieve a goal. in the game's case, you want to beat the level, but your skill is not enough; therefore you fail. this pattern, when abstracted out, reveals multiple cases of 'fails' throughout the world. the opposite of the 'fail' is the 'win,' which has a similar eight-bit 'engrish' backstory. The 1986 NES game "pro-wrestling" proclaims, "a winner is you" after you have applied sufficient skill and beat the level. "Owned," and its leader cousin, "Pwned," is a related term, made popular by online gamers. whereas 'fail' occurs due to your own lack of skill, when someone else has placed you in this undesirable situation, you are said to have been 'owned.' Fail is a solo activity; pwning takes two. but what exactly does 'fail' look like? Let's break it down. oh, i forgot to put mahnase on my sammich. freeze! in this instance, Ellie has attempted to eat a tasty sandwich. But she has forgotten the mayonnaise, turning this into a 'fail.' It must be pointed out. "fail." So when exactly does a 'standard fail' become an 'epic fail?' Institute research is bringing us ever closer to identifying the elusive 'epic threshhold,' that moment when a standard fail reaches the critical mass necessary to be called 'epic.' but for now, we'll know it when we see it. But is 'fail' ALL bad? Darwinian evolution posits that for every successful adaptation, there is a much larger number of failures. Fail itself is a precondition for success. The Sociologist Charles Boss points out that the best doctors are those who can admit they've made a mistake, and thus can learn from their fail so the next time YOU spot 'fail,' speak up. Your constructive criticism is helping make the internets a better place.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 13 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 191
Posted by: rocketboom on Oct 18, 2008

Blazing Star, FAIL group on Flickr, Fail Blog, Fail Dogs, a collection of FAIL images, Pro Wrestling, a collection of pwnage, 1895 Montparnasse train wreck, What is Mayonnaise anyway?, Darwinian Evolution, Charles Bosk’s “Forgive & Remember”

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