The Most Terrifying Thing I’ve Seen Today

Really, there are no words.

Sent to me, apparently, by someone getting me back for the Ultravox video the other day. Yes, well. Talk about a disproportionate response.

76 Comments on “The Most Terrifying Thing I’ve Seen Today”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, with tears in his pants

    W—– wuh? ——- Uh, huh? What?


  2. ::smoke rolls across the stage::

    Ladies and gentlemen…

    ::lasers crisscross::

    …the one, the only, the amazing…


    Gob Bluth!

    ::flashpots explode::

  3. wha….

    heh heh…

    oh GOD…!!!!!

    as tears are running down my face….. and a manical laughter comes from my throat involuntarily… I CURSE YOU…

    MAy this song // act // performance slip into your mind while reading at a book signing…… or everytime you hear a kazoo…..

    oh no.. i have to watch it again…aaaauuuuggghhhhh…

    double curse you…heh heh heh….

  4. That is just what I need to see at 11:41 at night.

    The guy did put a lot of time in that. You have to give him some credit. On second thought, maybe you don’t.

  5. What’s appalling is that either the guy has worked very hard on this or he has some innate talent. He’s sort of on-beat and on-tune for most of it, and it can’t be easy to make that dorky instrument produce a recognizable tune.

    If he put his effort into playing a normal instrument, what could he manage?

  6. neutronjockey – Jeff Richard (J.K.Richard) a.k.a. the neutronjockey, is a former nuclear mechanic supervisor and medical officer recruiter for the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged from military service in January of 2006. In his civilian life he is a digital artist, leathercraftsman, and writer living in Tulsa, OK. Occaisionally he commits to research work for SF/F authors. Jeff is owned by a gray Maine Coon cat while at home and three awesome horses while at the barn. <a href="">I blog on LJ</a>

    Two words:
    American. Idol.

  7. That rocks! I’m still vacillating between horror and utter glee! Truly, one of the things that makes the Internet awesome.

  8. Now there’s a VP candidate with real potential – and useful too (could provide a real fanfare intro for POTUS).

  9. paranoyd – I am a father, an aspiring writer, and avid gamer. I am also into horror and scifi. I'm currently the Adventure league Local Coordinator for my area, and I'm really into the new FFG Star Wars RPG system. And I love a good curry.
    Corby Kennard

    Teh awesome

  10. Genius!

  11. Michael Langlois – Rowlett, TX – Michael Langlois lives in Texas with his family, two dogs, a cat, and BB, The Most Confident Rabbit in the World. When he's not playing tabletop board games, video games, or waxing nostalgic about zombies on his blog, he will occasionally stop procrastinating and write something. You can follow his antics at
    Mike Langlois

    Stop the internet, we have a winner!

  12. This is made that much funnier by the fact that someone sent me the link to that video just the other day. Now I can’t help but wonder if someone else on that email list reads your blog, and emails you stuff. Probably just a coincidence, but it makes me laugh.

  13. You know, once upon a time you had to wander the streets of a major city to find wacko street-performers doing things like that. Now you can watch them on YouTube in your jammies.

    What a fascinating modern age we live in.

  14. That is so totally awesome it belongs in Wil Wheaton’s pants.

    “I’ll see you’re Ultravox cover versions, and raise you ukelele/kazoo Europe.” And now you gotta ask yourself, “is he just bluffing, or does he really have the cards?” What’s your play, Scalzi?

  15. Science Fiction Librarian – Just your local librarian who loves Sci Fi. I work in my library's makerspace and with the digital media offerings that we make available.
    Keith L

    At first I was perplexed. Then it became awesome.

  16. Not to long ago, this song came on the radio (on the all 80’s music station) and my wife asked what kind of racket was that. I then explained to her that it was a song that we had played during my years of junior high band. She then proceeded to make sure that I felt like a dinosaur. I’m not sure how she will respond to this.

  17. Jeff @ 12 (“Drunk, that’s not so bad.”): yeah, but sober it’s flat-out awesome.

    I think it’s the way he committed to it, seemingly without any self-consciousness whatsoever.

    “Venus (venus venus)”

  18. Thank you for the warning. My coffee was moved FAR AWAY from the laptop before opening this.

    With the economic meltdown and the seemingly endless political season, this was just the laugh I needed.

    Next task—–email it to everyone in my address book.

  19. You know, I only listened to the first thirty or forty seconds of this song, I didn’t immediately recognize it, AND IT’S STILL STUCK IN MY HEAD.

  20. I love the tempo change at 0:32 in — having to leave the piano keyboard alone goes a long way to increasing speed. (sick grin)

    Dr. Phil

  21. That straight sucked and my brain is mad at my eyes and my eyes are mad at my click finger.

    Ultravox video should be rewarded not punished.
    This was cruel and unusual.
    God have mercy on our souls.

  22. I can only hope this leads to tribute bands comprised of Linus-like pianos, ukuleles and kazoos at Scalzi book-signing events the world over.

  23. Two blogs I keep an eye on are this and Antipope.

    There appears to be a congruent set here – and Charlie featured a certain cat/bacon incident on his blog not 2 days past. And lives in Edinburgh.

    I must stop looking for patterns………….

  24. Martyn Taylor – Northumberland – A writer exploring what lies beyond our peripheral vision. Published by various small presses and now considered to be nearly a Proper Author. Can be found lurking around the frozen North of England, happily herding a small family of recalcitrant adults who may once have been children and a woman who may very well be the fulcrum upon which the universe turns. Available for hire for very reasonable prices.

    He obviously hadn’t been taking his medication.

    What’s your excuse?

  25. I didn’t really think it was that bad. the kazoo / ukulele combo made for a pretty catchy sound, and the song itself has that wonderful property where no matter how horribly it’s butchered it still sounds all right.

    That probably says more about me than it does about the video, though.

  26. Terrifying? Terrifying?

    No. Tremendous. Stupendous, even.

    My only quibble: in my day he’d have had cymbals strapped to his knees and a bass drum thumping on his back. Maybe a trombone to go with the kazoo?

    But seriously: a home-built plinky/ukelele/kazoo combo is several colors of awesome.

  27. Anyone have a link to the original video? My 10 year old daughter looked over my shoulder while I was watching and wanted to know why it was funny.

  28. catvincent – Yorkshire, England – I'm Ian Vincent, but most folk call me Cat. I'm a writer on the subjects of the occult, Forteana and magical practice, an occasional writer for Fortean Times and a contributing editor to The Daily Grail. I'm a former professional exorcist and combat magician. I'm fascinated by everything that does not fit easy categories, Forteana and general weirdness. I also love movies, much SF, some comic books and awful puns. I live in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire with my wife, the artist Kirsty Hall.
    Cat Vincent

    Now if he’d performed that while riding a Segway, it would have been perfect…

  29. I was at a Bat Mitzvah yesterday and the DJ played an electro house dance remix of Don’t Stop Believing.

    John, you had to be there.

  30. John, with all of the people following your blog, you have a responsibility not to promote this kind of thing. Hundreds of thousands of people are now lying on their floors, clutching their bleeding ears, and crying to the heavens, “Why? Oh God, why? Why did JOHN SCALZI do this to me?”

  31. FU Scalzi!

    Why? Read your email! This annoyance was mine, I tell you….MINE! And not because of an Ultravox (who I adore!) payback, but because a few months ago you unblocked my memories of the *existence* of this song!

  32. Gah! This stupid song has been stuck in my head all DAY! I just caught myself whistling it, for crying out loud.

  33. Genius is a word that is thrown about too casually; yet, the real thing remains unmistakable. Rasputin was a genius, too. Let us be grateful that he is using his powers for music something other than evil blatant homicidal acts on a global scale.

    I wonder if he takes requests; love to hear his take on “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

    Note to self: Must move to Edinburgh before the property values skyrocket, about to become the coolest place on the planet…

  34. Easily the best version of Final Countdown ever. Which doesn’t commit me to liking this version, just noting its superiority to Europe’s original.

    But, okay, it is entertaining.

    I was laughing so hard watching this that people kept peeping over my cube to see if I’d finally gone completely bonkers.

  35. Where do people like that come from? Surely this guy could have gotten laid by at least 10 times if he put half the effort that he put into making this video into losing his virginity.

  36. Hit the random whatever button and got this….. Serves me right for wasting time when i gotta go to work…. Can i gouge my ears out? ROFL

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