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Three Great Mash Ups – A Twenty-First Century Scriblerian Phenomenon?

October 10, 2014


Cannot face the political state of the world this morning.  Had a peak and had to look away again.  Do not have it in me.  Need to access stuff that has some kind of swift restorative impact.  These three things continue to make me smile.

Mash up videos are the Scriblerian delight of our age.  Just as Pope, Swift, Gay, Arbuthnot etc.  got their kicks from sudden shifts in register and a supreme delight in well timed bathos, so the well constructed mash up video involves a life-affirming pricking of pomposity that is the comedic equivalent of a brisk decongestant.  A good video mashup is a Peri Bathous for the twenty first century.

Watch all three of these things and your day will be better.  Even if your plane crashes in the Andes later today and you end up having to eat your fellow passengers, at least you’ll have seen these three videos and the day won’t have been a complete write off.

1)  Nyssa and Tegan/Laverne and Shirley

Two Doctor Who companions from the Peter Davison era, reimagined as an early seventies yugogirl sitcom.  You will have forgotten quite how often Nyssa and Tegan exchanged knowing glances.  They did that quite a lot it turns out.  This will remind you.  And the whole performance is 100% guaranteed Adric free.

2)  “Are you being Subjugated?”

The same lovely people who did Nyssa and Tegan did this – the Blake’s Seven/Are You Being Served? mash up.  These guys are going straight to heaven when they die.  I don’t care how many panda-strangling atrocities they commit between now and their final rattle(s) – a screening of these two videos will get them past St Peter without a bother.  These folk have watched Blakes Seven with the proper degree of obsessive detailed reverence so as to acquire the perfect grins to camera.  And there’s something about the detumescent whine of Orac’s shutdown that is timed perfectly with Ronnie Hazlehurst’s unique muse.

3)  “Battleship Potemkin-Last of the Summer Wine”

My brother still wins.  This is the most Scriblerian of entries – the most perfectly judged exercise in crafted and ironic bathos.  It functions at the interstices of Burlesque and Mock Heroic and satisfies the crisp desiderata of both traditions.  After a while you forget whether Eisenstein is being deflated or Bill Owen is being inflated.

This very twenty-first century art form makes me feel more of an eighteenth-centuryist than ever.  All I need is to surround myself with eighteenth-centuryists who watched the same 1970s and 80s TV as I did so we can all watch these together and the chortle factor will go through the roof.

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