For a long time the internet was a simple place, full of cute dogs and babes in bikinis, before a darkness swept through the virtual lands. In the mid-aughts, users began to troll each other with a bait and switch, promising a link that was relevant to the topic at hand that instead redirected to a video of Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Since then, the practice of Rickrolling has waxed and waned, and though it wore out its welcome long ago it’s never disappeared entirely. Now it’s scarring a new generation, with a recent 4K, 60 FPS remastering that promises to smooth your eyeballs into oblivion.

For those who don’t know, FPS means Frames Per Second. Most experts seem to think the human eye can only track something in the range of 30 to 60 FPS, with anything higher than that wasted on our natural optical equipment. As for 4K, it refers to a horizontal display resolution of 4,000 pixels, with many newer films preferring it as ultra high definition. When something older is remastered in 4K, it is digitally scanned and adjusted. In some cases, horrifyingly so.

Twitter user @Ray_Sh0 was among the first to spot the “Never Gonna Give You Up” re-monstrosity, posting it with the caption “THIS IS SO FUCKING CURSED.” Writer and comedian Zach Heltzel re-tweeted, saying, “I am deeply, deeply upset.” The video has an unnatural quality to it, with certain quick motions seeming to hold an image in place before it unexpectedly blurs and jumps. It also destroys the original’s pleasant illusions, turning Astley’s perfectly coiffed locks into a hair gel helmet, and allowing viewers to experience the wetness of his mouth. But worst of all is the color; the grays of the original footage have been viciously saturated, turning Astley into a human eggplant. Of course, not everyone was upset. Some Twitter users wondered what the big deal is, and why everybody was so unsettled. But this moderation isn’t in the spirit of Twitter, and most of those folks were rightfully ignored.


Check out both the original and remastered version of “Never Gonna Give You Up” below.

Last year, Astley released a series of quarantine covers that included Foo Fighters “Everlong” and an acoustic rendition of Post Malone’s “Better Now”.