286: All Your Base

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All Your Base
The AYB retro-return-date (Zero Wing Zero Hour) should be around AD 2021.
Title text: The AYB retro-return-date (Zero Wing Zero Hour) should be around AD 2021.

[edit] Explanation

The comic refers to a popular internet phenomenon (meme) called "all your base are belong to us". This catchphrase originates from the arcade shooter "Zero Wing" and is a popular example of a poor translation into the English language. The phrase was popularised throughout the Internet and referenced in various images and videos. It is considered one of the earliest Internet memes, with the first occurrences dating back to the year 1998.

Cueball has, according to the comic, participated in the spread of the meme during its heyday. Ponytail wonders at his keeping the content he created years ago, as the meme's popularity has massively decreased since then. Cueball answers that this was always his favourite meme, and that he is waiting for the day it gets revived. His second to last line, "What you say!!" is a line from the game as well, although he says it much sooner than its supposed return to popularity.

By using the example of internet memes, the comic also relates to the general principle of fashion that everything once popular will, after a long enough time, be again in vogue. Trends experiencing this renaissance are often referred to as retro. Internet phenomenon can be observed to follow the same rule, although with much shorter intervals due to the speed of information turnover.

The title text prophesies the return of the "all your base" meme for 2021. It also contains a pun on the term "zero hour" and the name of the game which initially brought the phrase into fashion.

[edit] Transcript

[A section of a Linux terminal window is shown.]
Text from window:
~ / $ ls /
ayb    boot    etc     lib ...
bin    dev     home    mnt ...
~ / $ ls /ayb/
allyourbase_original.swf al...
allyourbase_remix.swf      ...
allyourbase_remix2.swf   b ...
ayb_acapella.mp3         ze...
ayb_images               ze...
ayb_orchestral.mp3        ....
[Ponytail is at computer.]
Ponytail: What's with the All Your Base stuff? Didn't that die like five years ago?
[From off-panel]: Yes.
[Cueball enters panel.]
Cueball: It was my first internet meme, and my favorite. Others tired of it, but I never did.
Cueball: So I wait.
[Cueball raises his fists.]
Cueball: Someday, decades from now, people will have forgotten. It will be fresh again.
Cueball: Retro.
Cueball: And when that day comes,
Ponytail: You need a hobby or something.
Cueball: What you say!!
Cueball: Wait, too soon.

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Meghan Trainor may have turned up the clock on this meme's recursion with her lastest hit. ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm not sure why this counts as an internet meme. Zero Wing was during the pre-WWW era, even the console port with the Engrish intro sequence. Not the Pre-Internet era, but in A.D.1991, when internet was beginning. 11:06, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
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