Klaatu barada niktu

While we’re discussing wake-up calls, here’s one that’s been circulating in pop culture for quite some time now: All Your Base Are Belong To Us. It’s a catchphrase pulled from the intro of the Japanese video game “Zero Wing,” released by Sega Genesis. The humor of the game’s faulty English translation has caught worldwide recognition and the satire has spread like a virus. It’s been sampled for a techno remix, blurbed about in Time magazine and some random guys in Australia even posted the pseudo-apocalyptic phrase on a bridge last month. For a more detailed chronicling of the events that promoted AYBABTU, log on to hubert.retrogames.com/history.htm. But for purposes of this column, consider the visual impact of the statement made by www.planetstarseige.com. This hobby Web site plays the beginning of the video game, and then PhotoShops “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” to replace a stream of American icons. For example, the motto appears as the Surgeon General’s warning on a pack of Marlboro Lights, as the logo on a box of Kellogg Corn Flakes, as Wheel of Fortune’s winning phrase, as Budweiser’s logo and as Microsoft Access’ error statement. When all these recognizable images are replaced by that mantra, what’s really funny is the insane amount of useless information our eyes are forced to sift through on a daily basis. Check out the mock video montage on www.planetstarseige.com/allyourbase/.

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