RACHEL MARTIN, host:
So, folks. Big news. ROFLCON begins today. And that means academics, makers and purveyors of all that is funny and wonderful on the net will gather on the campus of, where else, MIT, to deconstruct Internet culture. Attendees are also promised there will be some, quote, "rocking out." BPP producer Ian Chillag is there. He joins me now on the line. Ian.
IAN CHILLAG: Good morning.
MARTIN: Good morning, Ian. So, there you are. ROFLCON officially begins today. But apparently things got started a little early. Last night a little pre-party action, right?
CHILLAG: Oh, indeed. It was crazy.
MARTIN: What happened?
CHILLAG: This guy Scott Beale, who runs the influential blog "Laughing Squid," opened up a bar tab at this Irish pub near MIT and invited all these memes. You know, like everybody- the LOL Cats, Chuck Norris facts, all these different humans behind the memes to basically come and have as many drinks as they wanted. And he was - the room was packed. Scott was one of many people drinking with one hand and twittering with the other. Here he is.
Mr. SCOTT BEALE (Blogger, Laughing Squid): You could see if you walk in that room right now, there's a lot of drunk memes. There's probably some brand new meems that are being hatched tonight. And we will see in six to eight weeks.
MARTIN: Drunk memes.
CHILLAG: Yeah. There was a guy there who is making YouTube videos possibly future memes of ROFLCON while ROFLCON is going on. So who knows.
MARTIN: Wow. OK, big-time memes, Internet celebrity sightings?
CHILLAG: Yeah. I still don't know if I'm allowed to reveal his name, but Cheeseburger from "I Can Has Cheezburger," the big LOL Cats site was there. It was like that scene in "Boogey Nights," where Dirk Diggler goes in the club and like everybody's dancing with them, and surrounding him. Cheezburger was actually signing autographs.
CHILLAG: I really was hoping...
MIKE PESCA, host:
Did you sign him in the LOL Cat language?
CHILLAG: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, yeah, I've got to assume.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CHILLAG: I was really hoping for Tazon Day (ph). He wasn't there. Neither was Rick Astley.
MARTIN: Oh, bummer.
CHILLAG: Which brings me to something I learned last night. Jacob, can we hear a little bit of "Never Gonna Give You Up?"
(Soundbite of "Never Gonna Give You Up")
Mr. RICK ASTLEY: (Singing) Never gonna give you, never gonna let you down...
CHILLAG: OK, enough.
MARTIN: That's enough. That's enough, yeah. Fade that out.
CHILLAG: Maybe for the last time, you know, I talked to a lot of people. I talked to the Internet last night, and the Internet told me this.
Mr. BEALE: So, there's a joke that needs to die right now, but it won't. We're rolling, right?
MARTIN: Wow, the Internet spoke.
PESCA: Who was the Internet?
CHILLAG: Yeah, that was Scott Beale again, from Laughing Squid. And he made this point about, you know, it's really interesting, because a lot of this stuff, it's very inside. Like, even though the Internet is very much about including everyone, I mean, kind of the Internet in it's nature is everyone in the world getting together and thinking these things are funny. Yet there's this group that was, basically this party last night, to whom these are the inside jokes. And, you know, you might have these with your friends. And then through the Internet you have these jokes with millions and millions of people. And so when like the mainstream picks up on Rick Rolling and it's like your mom picking up on a joke you had as a kid.
MARTIN: Yeah, not funny any more.
CHILLAG: And you want nothing to do with it any more.
MARTIN: Not funny any more. Well I understand you have lots of good stuff coming up. There's going to be an LOL Cats "I Can Has" case study. You're going to talk to all kinds of cool people, Ian. We're going to get the full debrief from you on Monday.
CHILLAG: Sounds good.
MARTIN: BPP producer Ian Chillag. He'll be blogging and writing.
PESCA: Of course, he'll be blogging, yes.
MARTIN: All weekend long. Oh, yeah. Sure, let's go out on that. Hey, that does it for this hour of the BPP. We're always online at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Rachel Martin.
PESCA: And I'm Mike Pesca.