Did Volvo Just Win the Internet?

by | Nov 25, 2013 | Uncategorized

Jean-Claude Van Damme, screen shot from YouTube

You know Jean-Claude Van Damme from a lot of really bad action movies (see also his filmography. Q.E.D.). You may know Enya as the new-age Irish musical wonder – the soundtrack of many a retreat house. And you probably know Volvo for making sturdy, safe, Swedish cars. There’s not a lot of common ground between them. I thought.

Until a friend posted this mind boggling video the other day. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the moment when Volvo won the Internet:


Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic about the whole “winning the Internet” thing. But if Jean-Claude’s legs have been “engineered to defy the laws of physics,” then this video has been engineered to exemplify the laws of the Internet.

Which is to say…what laws? What law could possibly govern a place (if that is the word) where we devour videos of kittens one moment, take in Jean-Claude doing a split between two trucks driving backwards in a sunset-lit desert with Enya playing in the background (?!?), before bouncing over to TJP to read Brendan Busse’s reflections on matters spiritual?

If this sounds like the beginning of a harangue (“Van Damme’s doing splits in the desert and now the world’s going to hell in a handbasket!”), don’t worry: it’s not. I’ll leave such things to your relatives on Thanksgiving.

But still (and stick with me here…), I think it is worth our wondering – in terms of both regarding with awe and asking questions about – how we interpret this postmodern world of ours. How do we “make meaning” in a world where three things that manifestly don’t go together all of a sudden do go together?

I never thought Jean-Claude Van Damme would (could?) provoke postmodern philosophical reflection. But then the Internet’s full of surprises.


Cover image screen shot taken from YouTube.


Timothy O'Brien, SJ

tobriensj@thejesuitpost.org   /   @tob_sj   /   All posts by Timothy