Clear a path, people, because there’s a new meme in town. The Verge calls them “technical memes,” while Know Your Meme dubs the new phenomenon a “word replacement remix.” Basically, you take a piece of existing art (Bee Movie, for example), then alter it somehow based off a particular word or trigger. There’s YouTube user Avoid At All Costs’ “The entire bee movie but every time they say bee it gets faster,” which is self-explanatory. There’s also That One Ghost Named Asdfghjkl’s “The Bee Movie But Without Bees,” which is also self-explanatory. Now, Idea Channel has given us the epitome of all Bee Movie memes with “The Bee Movie But Every Time They Say Bee We Explain The Deal With Bee Movie,” which is self-explanatory both in name and conception.
In it, host Mike Rugnetta alternates between a practical explanation of how to create your own “technical meme” with a definition of the term and an academic analysis of its appeal and artistic merit. After roughly 15 minutes of this, Bee Movie begins, and, well, every time they say “bee,” we get Rugnetta again explaining the deal with Bee Movie. The whole thing runs for 11 ungodly hours (and it would’ve been longer had Adobe Premiere not crashed).
It’s a clever concept and mind-bending morsel of meta-humor, and if you’ve got the stomach for a dude simultaneously and painstakingly breaking down a complicated technical process and a twisty theoretical analysis rife with words like “hypersignification,” there’s actually some neat takeaways. This comes mainly in the “fetishization of difficulty” that’s come to be a hallmark of much online tomfoolery, as well as the question of what makes good source material for these kinds of remixes. In the latter discussion, Rugnetta touches on modern meme touchstones like Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” Santana and Rob Thomas’ “Smooth,” and Shrek.
Now that there is nowhere else for Bee Movie memes to go, we should all be terrified of what Bee Movie meme will come next.