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How Much Money Has Rick Astley Made From Rickrolling?

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YouTube

by Kirsten Howard

Have you ever clicked on an exciting link or potentially explosive news story, only to find yourself watching the 1987 Rick Astley hit 'Never Gonna Give You Up'? Then you’ve been rickrolled, my friend.

A classic bait-and-switch scenario, the meme is as popular now as it’s ever been.

“I think it’s just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it,” the eponymous singer told the L.A. Times in 2008. “But that’s what's brilliant about the Internet.”

He originally rose to fame in the 1980s, scoring number one singles in the UK, a platinum-selling album, and even a Grammy nomination. But after millions upon millions of views, how much money has the rickrolling prank raked in for its star?

Well, as of 2010, he has received the princely sum of…$12.

This is because Astley didn’t write the song, so he only receives a performer’s share of the sound recording copyright.

Astley doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings about rickrolling.

“Listen, I just think it’s bizarre and funny. My main consideration is that my daughter doesn’t get embarrassed about it.”

And despite the prevalence of the meme, he has no plans to remix or re-release the song to cash in on the phenomenon.

“I don’t really know whether I want to be doing that,” he said. “I’m not being an ageist, but it’s almost a young person’s thing, that. I think the artist themselves trying to remix it is almost a bit sad. No, I’m too old for that.”

If you want to see Sir Rick Astley being knighted by the Queen earlier this year, click here.

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Report: Police Have Arrested a Suspect in California's Golden State Killer Case
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FBI

From 1976 to 1986, a serial killer now known as the Golden State Killer committed a staggering number of crimes in California ranging from burglaries to rapes to 12 known homicides. Like the Zodiac killer, the individual’s ability to escape detection and capture led to a public fascination over the decade-long spree. Now, it appears authorities may have finally closed in on the person responsible.

According to The Daily Beast, Sacramento police are expected to announce Wednesday afternoon that an arrest has been made in connection with the 120 burglaries, 45 sexual assaults, and murders that ended more than 30 years ago. Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, has reportedly been arrested on two counts of murder, with authorities expected to confirm he is a suspect in the Golden State Killer cases. DeAngelo is a former police officer who worked just outside of Sacramento in the 1970s.

The Golden State Killer is the topic of a recent best-selling true crime book, Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. McNamara, who spent five years researching the case, passed away suddenly in 2016, when she was only halfway done with the project. Her husband, comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, hired investigative reporter Billy Jensen to complete her work. The book, which is currently being turned into an HBO docuseries, is being credited with renewing both public and law enforcement interest in the case, which may have led to DeAngelo’s arrest.

The killer was active in the Sacramento suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Carmichael, as well as other parts of Southern California. He was also given the labels East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, and the Diamond Knot Killer. His last suspected crime was the murder of an 18-year-old girl in Irvine, California in 1986.

[h/t: The Daily Beast]

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Charles Dickens Wrote His Own Version of Westworld in the 1830s
John P. Johnson, HBO
John P. Johnson, HBO

Charles Dickens never fully devoted himself to science fiction, but if he had, his work might have looked something like the present-day HBO series Westworld. As The Conversation reports, the author explored a very similar premise to the show in The Mudfrog Papers, a collection of sketches that originally appeared in the magazine Bentley's Miscellany between 1837 and 1838.

In the story "Full Report of the Second Meeting of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything," a scientist describes his plan for a park where rich young men can take out their aggression on "automaton figures." In Dickens's story, the opportunity to pursue those cruel urges is the park's main appeal. The theme park in Westworld may have been founded with a slightly less cynical vision, but it has a similar outcome. Guests can live out their heroic fantasies, but if they have darker impulses, they can act on those as well.

Instead of sending guests back in time, Dickens's attraction presents visitors with a place very similar to their own home. According to the scientist's pitch, the idyllic, Victorian scene contains roads, bridges, and small villages in a walled-off space at least 10 miles wide. Each feature is designed for destruction, including cheap gas lamps made of real glass. It's populated with robot cops, cab drivers, and elderly women who, when beaten, produce “groans, mingled with entreaties for mercy, thus rendering the illusion complete, and the enjoyment perfect.”

There are no consequences for harming the hosts in Westworld, but the guests at Dickens's park are at least sent to a mock trial for their crimes. However, rather than paying for their misbehavior, the hooligans always earn the mercy of an automated judge—Dickens's allegory for how the law favors the rich and privileged in the real world.

As for the Victorian-era automatons gaining sentience and overthrowing their tormenters? Dickens never got that far. But who knows where he would have taken it given a two-season HBO deal.

[h/t The Conversation]

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