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The Technoviking: Fighting the Meme

This is now an 8 year old meme with origins from an actual unscripted event in 2000. I look back at the years of my life when I existed without knowing the glory of the Technoviking and I feel inadequate. The Technoviking is one of the more mythical and interesting YouTube protagonists to emerge yet and he just so happens to be at the center of an upcoming documentary "coming soon" according to the website technoviking.tv, which is run by the artist who shot the orginal film and subsequently lost a Berlin case in 2013 for violating "personality rights" and had to pay tens of thousands of dollars. Well, at least he can say he was sued by Thor.

First, let's consider what's so amazing about the film and why it went viral. I write 'film' because as a piece of art, it's very interesting in that it's difficult to understand if this is staged or not. Also, the angle is interesting. The moving truck with the cameraman is interesting. The music is sweet (although slightly sped up). But the Technoviking! He literally rescues a damsel in distress with flourish and then appears to lead an army of ravers forth into the world to end all injustice with his raw power of will and strength. When he stands there pointing his finger, whoever is on the other end of that stare has obeyed a command to desist. But it doesn't stop there. He deals with random people handing him things in a hilarious way. He dances his ass off. It's just an epic. And partly, its power is amplified by the mystery of the man-god — who is he? Amazingly, he is still anonymous.

This drama hits some buttons. Beyond half-baked parodies, Technoviking has even inspired legit works of art. The sad, strange reality is the Technoviking himself felt like he was being abused and sued Matthias Fritsch, the artist. Was he right? His likeness is what is being profited from ($8,000.00 before a Cease and Desist took the original down), so in one basic sense of common decency, sure. At the very least, it seems like Technoviking and Matthias should split the profits 50/50 since no money would have been made at all if the film wasn't shot.

And of course (as you can see), the video is all over the internet still to this day. I'm looking forward to the documentary, but I don't think I want to know more about the real person behind the Technoviking. His myth shouldn't be ruined by relevant and compelling legal cases that could shape our content and likeness rights in the future.

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