Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Tickle Me Elmo on Fire
January 2, 2007 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Tickle Me Elmo On Fire (google video, disturbing)
posted by empath (95 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
strange. It could have been done with higher production values...
posted by bhouston at 12:17 PM on January 2, 2007


Young hoodlums jumping robots and setting fire to them; in the future, this will happen often.
posted by popcassady at 12:21 PM on January 2, 2007


Even as it's destroyed, it keeps robotically trying to do what it was designed to do, even as its systems catastrophically fail.

It would be instructive to play this video for anyone who believes Near Death Experiences are anything other than the body flailing away, trying to do as it was designed to do, even as its systems catastrophically fail.

Or for that matter, anyone who holds that our various flailing, physical or mental, at death or prior, are a sign we're more than (very complex) meat robots.
posted by orthogonality at 12:21 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I kept waiting for it to reassemble itself and morph back into shape. Cool video.
posted by Evstar at 12:21 PM on January 2, 2007


awww, I love Elmo. That was disturbing. And you call yourself empath. :)

Post holidays rage. Hellidays rage?

But if you haven't had enough there is also Furby being fried in the microwave.
posted by nickyskye at 12:22 PM on January 2, 2007


That was really sad.
posted by dov3 at 12:22 PM on January 2, 2007


This is indeed a disturbing universe
posted by Smedleyman at 12:28 PM on January 2, 2007


Looks like this is a job for Potty Time Elmo!!!
posted by The Straightener at 12:28 PM on January 2, 2007


I feel like there should be a law against this, but I'm not sure why.
posted by empath at 12:29 PM on January 2, 2007


I can't find one anywhere to buy my niece for Christmas and these people are setting them on fire?
posted by saraswati at 12:29 PM on January 2, 2007


Elmo On Fire was strange even by Tony Scott standards.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:29 PM on January 2, 2007


Disturbing, but at the same time superb.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:29 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can't find anything to set my niece on fire with for Christmas and these people are burning Tickle Me Elmo?!
posted by Kwine at 12:34 PM on January 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of putting a KISS cassette in a Teddy Ruxpin doll in high shcool.......
posted by peewinkle at 12:37 PM on January 2, 2007


Stop. It tickles.
posted by srboisvert at 12:38 PM on January 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


It would require a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell Elmo.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:42 PM on January 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Thank you, my road rage has passed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:42 PM on January 2, 2007


God hates Flaming Elmo.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:49 PM on January 2, 2007


All that's left is for Elmo to be canonized and then, well....
posted by jimmythefish at 12:52 PM on January 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ha! That Furby video was hilarious what perfect timing.
posted by Science! at 12:55 PM on January 2, 2007


That's the one muppet I can't stand, but that was...well, as advertised, disturbing. To take something that could give so much joy and do that instead, is hella sick.
posted by notsnot at 12:55 PM on January 2, 2007


Elmo's on fire
Better throw him in the water
Look at him laughing
Like a Muppet to the slaughter

posted by InfidelZombie at 12:56 PM on January 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


Never mind Asimov's laws of Robotics. We need the three laws of Humanics.

When the singularity comes, SkyNet is going to remember this. And it will remember all who laughed on metafilter.
posted by seanyboy at 12:57 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of Brian Elmo's finest, InfidelZombie!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:57 PM on January 2, 2007


SkyNet can suck my coax!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:58 PM on January 2, 2007


Even as it's destroyed, it keeps robotically trying to do what it was designed to do, even as its systems catastrophically fail.

It's not trying to do anything. It's simply doing what it was built to do even while its systems fail, some systems last longer than others. Trying, to me at least, implies consciousness a planned attempt even when realizing it may likely fail, but your greater point is correct.

Is there an extended clip of this? I would pay cash money for a video of a new Elmo burning to the point of failure, that would up the creepiness by at least a couple orders of magnitude. I am however too lazy to go buy one and burn it.
posted by Science! at 1:02 PM on January 2, 2007


They should have let some Sadrist Shiite militiamen hang him.
posted by spitbull at 1:20 PM on January 2, 2007


Poor Elmo true to his nature until the bitter end. That Furby in the microwave was hilarious. It reminded of this ancient flash encounter with an uppity hamster.
posted by Skygazer at 1:21 PM on January 2, 2007


Science! -- And that is different from normal life, how?
posted by empath at 1:21 PM on January 2, 2007


In the future all S&M Child pornography videos will be supplied by robots.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:23 PM on January 2, 2007


Aw, I was laughing until Elmo stopped moving at the end. Then I felt a little sad.
posted by afx237vi at 1:24 PM on January 2, 2007


I'll be a pisser and say that I think it's sad and depraved that with so many underprivileged children in this country these bozos decides to destroy a $60 toy that could have brought a smile to some kid's face. This is the worst sort of bored suburbanite indulgence I've seen in a while.

Then again if you buy an Elmo he is your's to burn...
posted by wfrgms at 1:25 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just think about how many smiles that video brought.
posted by jimfl at 1:27 PM on January 2, 2007


In the future all S&M Child pornography videos will be supplied by robots.

That won't happen until robots are cheaper to replace than children.
posted by empath at 1:29 PM on January 2, 2007


Science! writes "Trying, to me at least, implies consciousness [,] a planned attempt"

I can see how you'd see it that way; for me (a programmer) it's normal to say of a computer program (or a machine, a gene, or an organ of the body, or a virus) that it's "trying to" do something, using the intentional stance without ever implying meaning consciousness or decision-making: "that function tries to look up the url, or returns null if it fails"; "the engine tries to start but the starter just grinds away"; "as the virus tries to replicate, the immune system tries to match the intruder against its templates of previously seen viruses"; etc.
posted by orthogonality at 1:31 PM on January 2, 2007


wfrgms, then be sure not to visit sites like Smash My PS3. 'cause that'll piss you right off. At least the video of Elmo burning was amusing.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:34 PM on January 2, 2007


That Furby in the microwave video is some high quality entertainment.
posted by jefbla at 1:35 PM on January 2, 2007


And that is different from normal life, how?

I don't believe humans are preprogrammed or predetermined to do anything. A machine most definitely is. A good example would be if you set an artist on fire and despite the pain he struggled and struggled to finish a painting. There's no outside force driving him to brush on another color, he just wants to. He could do anything in that time, or do nothing.

This Elmo has to do what it does because that's all it can do. It can't even choose to give up, as long as power is getting to its motors it moves, as long as power gets to its speaker it laughs that's simply all it can do. That is entirely different from life.

orthogonality
is right about our differing views on the word 'trying'. In fact we don't differ at all, I use try and trying every day in that same way without meaning a conscious attempt. It just struck me as notably inaccurate in this context.
posted by Science! at 1:45 PM on January 2, 2007


Perverse. I love it.
posted by OmieWise at 1:47 PM on January 2, 2007


Man, you're like androids killing spiders.
posted by darkripper at 1:52 PM on January 2, 2007


How do we know Elmo was a witch?

He turned me into a newt?
posted by tkchrist at 1:54 PM on January 2, 2007


Science! writes "I don't believe humans are preprogrammed or predetermined to do anything. "

Reflexes? Suckle reflex? Hunger? Desire to (do things that tend to lead to) procreation?

"This Elmo has to do what it does because that's all it can do. It can't even choose to give up, as long as power is getting to its motors it moves, as long as power gets to its speaker it laughs that's simply all it can do. That is entirely different from life."

It may well have feedback circuits that cause it to continue to "try" until the feedback sensors indicate it has "accomplished" its "aims". Thus is may be programmed to "give up" when the feedback sensors indicate it has succeeded. If it did have feedback sensors, wouldn't its "cognition" exceed that of a virus?

What about a bacterium that "follows" nutrient gradients in a solution. That bacterium can't "choose" to give up, "as long as power energy is getting to its motors flagellum", right? A bacterium is life, right?

What about the cognition mechanisms that allow a fly-killing wasp to find its prey and take it back to its nest? Does the wasp "choose" to kill flies and transport flies, or is it a robot? does it understand the concept of fly, or does it just carry out stereotyped movements in response to certain stimuli?

We can certainly get the wasp to attack fake, nutrition-less flies, or even colored dots that move "like" flies. And we can get human males to waste copious amounts of sperm, not on women able to bear their children, but on colored pictures in Playboy or on a computer monitor. Does it make us less "robotic" that we can realize the outlines of the programs that drive us?
posted by orthogonality at 2:09 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll be a pisser and say that I think it's sad and depraved that with so many underprivileged children in this country these bozos decides to destroy a $60 toy that could have brought a smile to some kid's face.

Yes, but think about how many smiles this video brought to however many faces. Do you think children don't enjoy destroying things?
posted by delmoi at 2:11 PM on January 2, 2007


orthogonality: Um yeah. The point is, while the Elmo might be comparable to a bacteria or a wasp, it's not comparable to a human. No one is saying that bacteria have free will.
posted by delmoi at 2:13 PM on January 2, 2007


wfrgms writes "This is the worst sort of bored suburbanite indulgence I've seen in a while."

Suburbanite?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:15 PM on January 2, 2007


that may be the most tragic sort of semiotic stage show ever.
posted by nola at 2:16 PM on January 2, 2007


delmoi writes "No one is saying that bacteria have free will."

You're assuming (I think you are, anyway) that humans do have free will; I'm less than sure of that.
posted by orthogonality at 2:16 PM on January 2, 2007


Ah, those PS3 guys are just pikers for inflamitory wasteful action.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:22 PM on January 2, 2007


orthogonality

You got me on the reflexes, I did not write out my point with as much clarity as I should have. I mean that I believe humans can take an unlimited number of actions that they don't have to take, and there are many actions that we have to take and have no conscious control of. This Elmo cannot take any action that is not preset for it.

Yes the Elmo could try to roll or stand or whatever X number of times then stop to avoid burning out a motor under normal circumstances, but that's just following its programming. It has no option to not take those actions X number of times and then do the next thing in it's programming.

You are quite right about animals and my response was about what humans are predetermined to do. Along with my previously mentioned lack of clarity and explanation I should have made my final statement: That is entirely different from human life.

And I do believe humans have free will and am reasonably convinced that most, if not all, animals and all non animals lack it.
posted by Science! at 2:25 PM on January 2, 2007


This reminds me of an only slightly less perverse past-time I and some friends adopted in High school and college. And some of you from the Northwest who are of a certain age may remember the...

Adventures of The Stunt Monkey! Too bad there was no YouTube to document his adventures.

I had this fantastically well designed monkey doll from childhood. It had this insane facial expression and a wire skeleton and would hold poses. In 1980 one drunken night a friend discovered it rummaging in a drawer in my house along with my considerable old school GI Joe footlocker. After the derision concluded it was discovered that the monkey was the same size as the GI Joe. So we dressed the monkey doll first in the GI Joe Nazi uniform, hilarity ensued, and then eventually in a GI Joe Space Suite and helmet. Stunt Monkey was born. Our mascot.

It started small. Stunt Monkey accompanied us to keggars... on the hood of the car. Stunt Monkey would get thrown on stage during pep rallies. Eventually a couple dozen people got involved taking Stunt Monkey places. Stupid shit.

But then it got weird. I mean REALLY weird. Stunt Monkey evolved a persona with all of the people in his clan. A voice (he sounded kinda like Race Bannon). He evolved a sense of dignity and this extreme test-pilot machismo. He became obsessed with certain cultural trends and was compelled to compete with real people. Man, this sounds insane typing this out. But it was MORE insane than that. Almost like the dummy in that Anthony Hopkins movie "Magic" but mass hysteria -like. You had to be there.

It took on a life of it's own. People would come to my locker and take Stunt Monkey out and go ditch school with him. Because HE wanted to go drive fast. Or chicks, who had been harassed by a notorious group of guys, would take him to class and use him as a muscle escort. You did not fuck with the Stunt Monkey.

Eventually Stunt Monkey was having his picture left around town doing pranks. Burning obscenities in the opposing schools football field etc. Eventually it died down, people got distracted, and The Stunt Monkey laid low. He retired to his Capsule in my parents garage.

The one day in college The Stunt Monkey decided enough was enough. And he wanted to one last great act. This was told to me by some other friends of mine who had been in communication with Stunt Monkey. Some how they had got The Stunt Monkey and drove him to where I was living at the time. They SWEAR he came to them. To this DAY they swear he appeared in their car. Anyway.

Stunt Monkey's last great act was to be put into orbit off the Western Washington University campus. We built a space capsule out of coffee cans and duct-tape. The launch vehicle was powered by a couple of M-80s. He gave a very moving speech, was presented us with mementos of our time together and then made peace with the Great Ape (his god).

I only remember AFTER the explosion. The debris from the launch vehicle exploded everywhere. It was pandemonium. The ground crew was running around stamping out fires. The flight engineers in denial of what must have gone wrong. All I could think of was The Stunt Monkey. He was nowhere to be found. My girl friend and I running around western screaming "Stuuuuunt Monkeeeeeee!" in anguish. My god what had we done! Then there was this stillness. There was a siren in the distance. And we all just stood there looking up to the cloud obscured stars. It clouded up and started to rain.

"He knew the risks." My friend Trace said, finally - the capsule designer.

"Yup. That was The Stunt. He would have wanted it this..." said my girlfriend.

And then... we heard the whooooosh. Like the sound of candle getting blown out only drawn out. It got louder. One of the ground crew pointed up. "Look!"

It was the re-entry vehicle parachute. Partially deployed. And in flames. Coming down from where it had hung up on the roof of one of Westerns Buildings. It drifted down almost four blocks away. We ran. The recovery vehicle rushed out ahead.

"He... He's OK!" My buddy Rob yelled! "He made it!" Trace and Rob held Stunt Monkey up. you could see his little monkey silhouette give the thumbs up.

He was burned slightly. His flight suit scorched. His helmet shattered. His plastic boots in flames... doused with beer. But he was going to be ok.

This is odd. I have no recollection what happened to him after that. He went off with the ground crew for a brief but strangely bitter sweet celebration and then went off by himself they say. Maybe even that brush with death was not enough? Some say he retired back to the jungles of Malaysia. Others claim he went to work for the government. I guess we will never know.

I do know we had to book the fuck out of there because one of the trees at Western lit on fire.
posted by tkchrist at 2:42 PM on January 2, 2007 [53 favorites]


“Does it make us less "robotic" that we can realize the outlines of the programs that drive us?”

I’m convinced. I will no longer eat Muppet.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:42 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Orthogonality and Science!: You may be interested in The Soul of the Mark III beast.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:49 PM on January 2, 2007


Even as it's destroyed, it keeps robotically trying to do what it was designed to do, even as its systems catastrophically fail.

Much like this machine. (YouTube)
posted by evilcolonel at 2:50 PM on January 2, 2007


Hahaha perfect.
posted by Science! at 2:52 PM on January 2, 2007


Remix!
posted by Variablizer at 2:54 PM on January 2, 2007


Has anybody made a Saint Elmo's Fire joke, yet? No? Good.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:03 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


that video didnt have nearly enough gasoline.
posted by MrLint at 3:08 PM on January 2, 2007


Next up: Flaming Emo!
posted by bwg at 3:12 PM on January 2, 2007


Good. Fuck you, Elmo.
Dick.
posted by hellbient at 3:14 PM on January 2, 2007


Kids, this is what happens when you steal from Oscar the Grouch.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:18 PM on January 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Science!: here's how it begins, and continues, before it ends.
posted by progosk at 3:27 PM on January 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Just as phenomenally disturbing as I expected it would be.

Thanks progosk
posted by Science! at 3:32 PM on January 2, 2007


This was far more interesting than my "Elmo in a Pot of Water That is Slowly Increasing in Temperature" video.
posted by VulcanMike at 3:35 PM on January 2, 2007


I've never seen the Coles Notes for A.I. before. This is far more entertaining than the movie ever was.
posted by eurasian at 3:36 PM on January 2, 2007


British Government Contemplates Robot Rights

Perhaps an ASBO is warranted.
posted by dhartung at 3:49 PM on January 2, 2007


Hell hath no Furby.
posted by hal9k at 3:55 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


The fire tickles!

Remix!

Awesome.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:20 PM on January 2, 2007


Has anybody made a Saint Elmo's Fire joke, yet? No? Good.

Yes.
posted by A dead Quaker at 4:32 PM on January 2, 2007


Ah. Missed it. Seemed like an unlikely oversight. Thanks.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:35 PM on January 2, 2007


Eponysterical?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:42 PM on January 2, 2007


Ha ha ha. Yes, yes it is. Delightfully so.

This thread is fantastic. Too bad empath didn't find this a few days ago.
posted by Science! at 4:56 PM on January 2, 2007


tkchrist: stunt monkey on fire (no connection, i believe).
posted by progosk at 5:00 PM on January 2, 2007


Stent Monkey, on the other hand, was just sad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:02 PM on January 2, 2007


oh, and: stunt monkey gun trick.
posted by progosk at 5:03 PM on January 2, 2007


[I try to avoid posting lyrics, but this seems... right]

Will these dreams still follow me,
out of dark obscurity?
can't you see it up in the sky
as it kicks you in the face and says you die
you never have the answers
and now you tell me the facts of life
I really couldn't be bothered with you
get out of my face and watch me die
Burning inside! Burning inside!
posted by quin at 5:17 PM on January 2, 2007


.
posted by NortonDC at 5:49 PM on January 2, 2007


If i had found this on xmas, i'd have just posted it as 'merry christmas'

The WII would have been mine.
posted by empath at 5:49 PM on January 2, 2007


Linguo dead?
No. Linguo is dead.
posted by hojoki at 5:52 PM on January 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Who weeps for Elmo?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:12 PM on January 2, 2007


"Who weeps for Elmo?"

Not Big Bird
posted by hojoki at 6:19 PM on January 2, 2007


No puns; no empathy; no discussion of free will, consciousness, or metaphysics; just a confession: I have not laughed that hard in years.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 7:33 PM on January 2, 2007


I hear Elmo did it as a protest against the war, akin to the monk during Vietnam.

That Elmo...he really *believed*!
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:10 PM on January 2, 2007


Or for that matter, anyone who holds that our various flailing, physical or mental, at death or prior, are a sign we're more than (very complex) meat robots.

MEATBOTS!

Are you classified as human?
Negative: I am a meat popsicle.
posted by eparchos at 9:12 PM on January 2, 2007


Wow, orthogonality, you're such a romantic.
posted by Doohickie at 9:50 PM on January 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just remember: this fate is probably far better than the fate it would have eventually suffered at the hands of a young and easily distracted child. What is worse - immortalized immolation in a viral video, or a month or two of joy and ultimate banishment to a closet or toy chest in favor of the next big toy craze?
posted by deusdiabolus at 10:31 PM on January 2, 2007


Fucking sick and downright disturbing.




I loved it! Keep up the great work! /T.V.'s Frank
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:19 PM on January 2, 2007


The Stunt Monkey was intense. He had this way of clarifying situations for you. Though he was a monkey of few words - he never lied. And almost everything he said was right.

"Christensen." He always used your last name. "Christensen... what are you doing?" His tone was deep and friendly. Filled with that cock-sure test-pilot drawl.

"Oh. I...uh... I got to study. Then I got to go to work at the Cathay House Cafe..."

"Christensen. Listen to me. What are gonna remember in 20 years? That you drilled the Periodic Chart and then went and chopped some Bok Choy... Or...

"Man. I can't... Look I can't go off on one of your adventures right now I..."

"Look at me. LOOK at me. You can. I believe in you. Or..."

"But I..."

"OR... Are you in 20 years gonna remember the night you, me, Barnes, Albrecht, Ebergsen and Swan liberated a keg from those pansies at Sehome High. Then floated Mr. Keg out to the pontoon on Lake Padden where five of this cities most attractive and morally lax women will be waiting on this sweet still spring night."

"Hmm... sounds intersting..."

"Outstanding soldier! ...I need you to steal your dad's van for a few hours. Oh. Before I forget. Your ditching tomorrow to go skiing."

"Cool."

See. He WAS right. I do remember that.

People listened to The Stunt Monkey. Total strangers, even. Some of you may say that "he was just a reflection of our inner...blah blah blahs..."

If you met The Stunt Monkey you would know it was more.
He was the collective monkey mind - wisdom without the pre-frontal cortex.

Man I miss him.
posted by tkchrist at 11:42 PM on January 2, 2007


"You can say what you want about how I'm just crazy and these are only children's toys, but when the flames and black smoke filled the air, the other robots knew. They KNEW. Their beeps got softer as their robot companion burned and soon they were watching in a kind of disbelieving silence. Thirty seconds later, the other baby robot flew into a fit of impotent heroism and made a desperate crawl towards the flames. It realized that it was pointless to throw another robot life into the inferno and stopped to let out a few whimpered blips. A minute of silence passed until the Shelby apparently lost its mind and offered, "Knock knock?" to which there was... no response."

--Seanbaby
posted by rifflesby at 12:39 AM on January 3, 2007


Hilarifying. I laughed almost as much as the burning plastic!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:47 AM on January 3, 2007


Is it disturbing that I didn't find it disturbing?

*hides from SkyNet*
posted by deborah at 5:38 AM on January 3, 2007


Hey TkChrist I know exactly what you mean about puppets and dolls taking on a whole reality and personality of their own. With me it was a swaggerin' Rooster puppet called Fred. Man, was he crotchety and attitudinal. One stern look and you were rolling on the floor. Or I was anyway. He didn't do any stunts though. I wish I'd gotten to meet Stunt Monkey. He sounds like a blast. Man, ami I glad I didn't know the Elmo in the video. Heads would've rolled.
posted by Skygazer at 7:52 AM on January 3, 2007


Disturbing? Cathartic.
posted by dozo at 12:39 PM on January 3, 2007


11 users marked this as a favorite. Going by their profiles, 10 are men, 1 does not list gender or name. Hmmm, what does this mean?
posted by notswedish at 10:35 PM on January 3, 2007


Going by their profiles, 10 are men, 1 does not list gender or name. Hmmm, what does this mean?

This means there are 10 times more men than non-gendered people on MeFi!
posted by eparchos at 10:41 PM on January 3, 2007


NortonDC, you made me laugh!
posted by onlyconnect at 2:20 PM on January 5, 2007


« Older Think you get a lot done?...  |  Have you been wondering how to... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments