In 2003, a teenage animator by the name of Jason Windsor created one of the internet’s earliest viral videos, “The End of The World.” The 1.5-minute flash video is a sort of satirical period piece, created in a post-9/11 world in which America was invading Iraq, that details how we are definitely going to blow ourselves up. In 2018, that still seems pretty likely, but a sequel to the original video shows we have a new set of problems.
The 4-minute video spins through deportation, discrimination, and Nazis, while Trump continues to tweet from the toilet. “END OF ZE WORLD ...PROBABLY FOR REAL THIS TIME” introduces viewers once more to the Earth before cutting itself off. “Crazy fires,” it starts. “Hurricanes are being huge assholes. Terrorists. This kind of terrorist. Opioids. Refuges. The Twitter. Nazis are trying again. We didn’t blow ourselves up! Buuut we still might.”
In the pre-YouTube days, the original “End of Ze World” gained popularity on sites like Albino Blacksheep and Ebaum’s World. Its political message was swaddled in parody; its goofy animation exists as a time capsule that encompasses the web at that age. While the original video preferred to show, rather than tell (like George W. Bush cuddling a bunch of nukes, for example), the new “End of Ze World” has no problems calling out global warming or Trump by name.
Roughly 15 years later, the end of the world may look like we remember, but the message hits harder than it used to.