SCP-4429
rating: +40+x
scp-shatner.jpg

William Shatner (pictured above) is both immune to SCP-4429's primary effect and the target of its secondary effect.

Item #: SCP-4429

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Foundation agents embedded in William Shatner's PR firm are to ensure he remains isolated from any reference to Pulp's song "Common People". Pre-interviews are to be conducted with interviewers and hosts to determine whether or not they intend to reference "Common People" during his appearance. Anyone who engages him in a conversation about the song is to be contained and amnesticized.

Description: SCP-4429 is the anomalous, persistent belief that musician and actor William Shatner recorded a cover version of the song “Common People”, originally by Britpop band Pulp. While no such recording exists, affected individuals have consistent memories of this cover. The song's lyrics deal with an affluent female college student who glamorizes poverty and wants to be “like common people”; in the non-anomalous Pulp original, these lyrics are delivered in a disaffected, ironic manner, but all those under SCP-4429's influence describe Shatner's cover as “aggressive”, “biting”, and far more acerbic in its mockery of the student. SCP-4429 affects upwards of several million people.

Those affected allege that this cover appears on Shatner's 2004 album Has Been, which in fact exclusively contains Shatner's own original spoken-word pieces. Among those affected is musician Ben Folds, who produced Has Been and claims to have produced the “Common People” cover as well; it does not, however, include William Shatner himself, who is the only known individual associated with this album to be completely resistant to SCP-4429's effects.

SCP-4429 has a secondary, related effect that manifests when an affected subject attempts to converse with William Shatner about the supposed song. Those affected will become verbally hostile towards Shatner, escalating towards threats of physical harm. It is unclear if this would eventually lead to actual physical harm as Shatner has consistently been unwilling to remain in proximity of affected subjects once they start threatening him; while the Foundation became aware of SCP-4429 due to Shatner's failed attempts at prosecuting several such individuals, he has nonetheless declined all requests to test out the limits of its effects, even in controlled environments. When interviewed, affected individuals express no remorse.

Addendum 4429-a: Transcript of radio interview, 11/02/2004

The following is a transcript of an interview on the music radio program Q between William Shatner, Ben Folds, and host Jian Ghomeshi. This is the first known occurrence of SCP-4429's secondary phenomenon.

Addendum 4429-b: Data recovered from William Shatner's personal archives re: Ronald Coleman

It was noted that in multiple instances of SCP-4429-induced hostile behavior towards William Shatner, the phrase “fat Canadian fuck” was used, even in cases where it did not fully make sense as an insult (as in the example in Addendum 4429-a). The Foundation explored Shatner's extensive collection of personal fan correspondence and discovered this phrase multiple times in the letters of Ronald Coleman, a 37-year-old unemployed male from Seacaucus, New Jersey. Coleman had written hundreds of letters to Shatner, largely consisting of vituperative insults and mockery, several of which liberally quoted from “Common People”. In these letters, Coleman accused Shatner of falling out of touch with his fans and deliberately ignoring them. Shatner was not aware of Coleman and had read none of these letters, as his personal assistant had filtered them from his inbox. The last letter Coleman wrote was posted shortly before the release of Has Been and consisted solely of a two-word profanity.

In sharp contrast to the majority of his writings, Coleman's first dozen letters to Shatner were uniformly positive, praising him for his acting talent and musical prowess. As far as the Foundation has been able to determine, the tipping point for Coleman came after Shatner left a Seacaucus fan-meetup early, before Coleman was able to get him to sign an autograph.

Coleman disappeared shortly after his final letter and his current whereabouts are unknown. Foundation agents searched his house and recovered a copy of Has Been which contained a cover of the song "Common People", apparently by William Shatner, that fits all known descriptions of SCP-4429. This copy has been extensively tested for cognitohazards and is completely non-anomalous; it is the only known recording of this song to actually exist.

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