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How Kooky Pop Songs Made Parry Gripp an Internet Sensation

Most songwriters take their art very seriously. And then there's Parry Gripp, whose novelty and meme-themed songs have made him an Internet sensation.

With titles like "Spaghetti Cat (I Weep for You)" and "This Is the Best Burrito I've Ever Eaten," Gripp's videos have hundreds of thousands of views and have helped his YouTube channel reach more than 300,000 subscribers.

Gripp got his first taste of fame as the frontman of Nerf Herder, a band best known for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song. The band is well-loved, but, in the eyes of its fans, never quite got the acclaim it deserved. (In fact, after an outpouring of support from their fans, Nerf Herder is currently recording a new album.)

But his talent for crafting meaningless music emerged during a dark time in his life, Gripp told the Ohio Edit. "I had given up on having a music career ... My dreams were crushed."

To keep himself occupied, Gripp started writing fake jingles. And then he wrote some more. And some more. Soon he had enough for a whole album.

For Those About to Shop ... We Salute You boasts an impressive 50 tracks with titles like “You’ve Got to Have Faith (In Your Antiperspirant)” and “You Ain’t Never Drank No Soda Like This One Here.”

"Nobody really encouraged me to write those songs," Gripp said. "In fact, people would always say things like, 'You should make a real album.'"

But he didn't. Instead, the musician developed a fascination with memes and their ability to quickly multiply. As a satire of meaningless viral videos, Gripp and animator friend Nathan Magur made a music video called "Do You Like Waffles?" The video went viral. "I became that thing I was making fun of," Gripp said.

It was time to embrace his gift. Gripp was impressed (and a little grossed out) by the success of Crazy Frog's "Axel F" remix, a track that somehow reached number one on the charts. "I knew I could come up with something that stupid and ridiculous. And that thing was 'Up Butt Coconut.'" 

His lyrics are nonsensical and the videos are silly, but there are occasional poignant moments.

"Lazy Harp Seal Has No Job" tells the story of an embittered tourist in the Arctic who watches jealously as a fluffy seal pup gets all the ladies. "The Whole World's Laughing at Me" is a mournful tale of failure and shame set to video of sad-looking cats.

Gripp's novelty tunes have even found some commercial success. He's worked with National Geographic Kids, Wawa, and Disney, and made a guest appearance—as himself—on Phineas & Ferb

Gripp's music is weird, and a lot of it may seem pointless, but it does make people laugh.

And then there's "Neon Pegasus," which may be the most inspirational silly song ever written. "No matter how insane or ridiculous they seem," Gripp yells, "you must follow. Your. Dreams."

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British Film Institute
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Where to Watch Over 300 British Animated Films for Free Online
British Film Institute
British Film Institute

The history of animation doesn’t begin and end with studios in Japan and the U.S. Artists in the UK have been drawing and sculpting cartoons for over a century, and now some of the best examples of the medium to come out of the country are available to view for free online.

As It’s Nice That reports, the British Film Institute has uploaded over 300 films to the new archive on BFI player. Dubbed "Animated Britain," the expansive collection includes hand-drawn and stop motion animation and many distinct styles in between. Viewers will find ads, documentaries, films for children, and films for adults dating from 1904 to the 21st century. Episodes of classic cartoons like SuperTed and Clangers as well as obscure clips that are hard to find elsewhere are represented.

The archive description reads:

“Through its own weird alchemy, animation can bring our wildest imaginings to life, and yet it can also be a powerful tool for exploring our everyday reality. Silly, surreal, sweet or caustic, this dizzyingly diverse selection showcases British animation's unique contribution to the art form, and offers a history ripe for rediscovery.”

This institution’s project marks their start of a whole year dedicated to animation. UK residents can stream the selected films for free at BFI player, or check out their rental offerings for more British animated classics.

[h/t It’s Nice That]

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Amy Meredith, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
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You Can Still Visit This Forgotten Flintstones Theme Park in Arizona
Amy Meredith, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
Amy Meredith, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Like many pop culture institutions of the 20th century, Hanna-Barbera’s The Flintstones hasn’t been relegated to just one medium. The animated cast of America's favorite modern Stone Age family sold cigarettes, starred in a live-action 1994 film, and inspired all sorts of merchandise, including video games and lunchboxes. In 1972, it also got the theme park treatment.

Bedrock City, located 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon in Williams, Arizona, was the brainchild of Linda and Francis Speckels, a married couple who bought the property and turned it into a 6-acre tourist attraction. Concrete houses were built to resemble the Flintstone and Rubble residences and are furnished with props; a large metal slide resembles a brontosaurus, so kids can mimic the show’s famous title credits sequence; and statues of the characters are spread all over the premises. The site also doubles as an RV campground and parking site.

A Flintstones theme park house
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

A statue of Bam-Bam at the Flintstones park in Arizona
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

A statue of Wilma Flintstone at Bedrock City in Arizona
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When it first opened, Bedrock City employed actors to stay in character, but the remote location proved challenging to retain both employees and visitors. Over the past four decades, it's had a steady stream of tourists, but not enough to turn a huge profit. Atlas Obscura reports the attractions are in various stages of disrepair.

Linda Speckels put the property up for sale in 2015 with an asking price of $2 million, but it has yet to sell. One possible hold-up: The new owner would have to negotiate a fresh licensing deal with Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. for the right to continue using the show’s trademarks. (A separate Flintstones park in South Dakota, owned by another member of the Speckels family, was sold and closed in 2015.) With its proximity to the Canyon, the 30 total acres could be converted into almost anything, from a mall to a golf course. For Flintstones enthusiasts, the hope is that the park’s unique attractions won’t be reduced to rubble.

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