Internet, you are nothing if not quirky. After a caffeine-induced jaunt through the labyrinth of YouTube's "related videos" section, yours truly was met with a rather curious TF2-themed bit of multimedia weirdness, "The (not so) Pleasant Cycle of Thundermountain."
Utilizing the famed "Gary's Mod," the video is an offshoot of the "Vicious Cycle of X" meme. The videos feature frantic, offbeat weirdness - bearing all the hallmarks of something scraped together from crayon scribblings on the walls of a lunatic asylum - inspiring YouTube user "Sakuukuli" to buck the trend in a most subversive way. Casual viewers may be charmed by the juxtaposition of an otherwise-violent video game with the sweet, classical stylings of Georges Bizet's "Les Toreadores;" yet beneath the sheen of silliness, the above video paints a harrowing portrait of that irredeemable species of which we are all a part: humanity.
"The (not so) Pleasant Cycle of Thundermountain," presents us with a portrait of a brave, egalitarian age. With the scourge of Capital and it's trappings vanquished, mankind sought to forsake the law of the jungle and step, ever so tenuously, into the age of genuine civilization. The old ways of thinking (one might even go so far as to call it a "vicious cycle") of warfare, hatred, and social division would die, and in its place would be erected a new system of relations - one built on the principles of kindness, compassion, and the Universal Brotherhood of Man (just a poetic flourish, ladies). Internationalism would rule the roost, and a united humanity would step boldly, arm in arm, into a brighter future, Leaving behind material want, and vulgar lust for power, ours would forevermore be the epoch of peace, progress, and the pursuit of happiness not for a select few, but for all.
Yet in the end, our bestial origins prevailed, and like the savage apes from whence our humble species arose, we once again sought to destroy the reviled "other." Tribe against tribe, friend against friend, the Brotherhood of Man was torn asunder Indeed, the empty battlefields of TF2 are a tomb - not for a soldier, nor even an army, but for mankind's highest aspirations. Our species would died not in a blaze of glory, as the video may superficially suggest: Rather, our demise was the dull consequence of our pride, our callousness, and above all, our stupidity. One cannot help but dwell on the haunting words of T.S. Elliot:
"This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang but a whimper."
So enjoy the video, happy Friday, and may God have mercy on your souls.