Thursday, April 13, 2006

Idiots Take Over The Internet

The Internet was a revolution. But evolving technology, like faster Internet connections, cheap personal computers and the widespread availability of digital video recording devices has led to another revolution-that of the Internet video.

What is an Internet video? Well, it could basically be anything. A 30-second clip of a dorm room prank, a three-minute music video parody, a 15-minute original comedy skit, or a five-second snippet of someone's best friend getting laid flat by a cafeteria tray to the face. Essentially, anything that is funny, amazing or just weird qualifies.

There is a litany of these videos out there. Web sites such as, and have fueled the fire as well. But the roots of this fad stretch further than the Internet, reaching all the way to television.

As kids, shocking videos of the Loch Ness monster swimming in murky water, Big Foot stumbling through the woods and UFOs grazing the treetops seemingly captured our imaginations on film. Perhaps this was the beginning of our fascination with the "clip."

Today's college students are the "Double Dare" and "You Can't Do That On Television" kids of yesterday. Video antics have been with us from the start.

A recent TV trend that may have inspired the Internet phase of the clip craze was MTV's Jackass. After the program, which featured untrained idiots doing stunts your parents would definitely disapprove of, gained a huge youth following, amateur stuntmen and crazy college kids alike began filming themselves doing equally deranged acts. Many of the filmed stunts then made their way onto the Internet.

College males commonly film, star in and post the clips online for the world to see. Because there are few restrictions on what can be posted, just about any clip can make it onto public Internet sites. Most Web sites will leave censorship up to the viewer's moral discretion.

One notorious video features a portly young man singing and dancing to a Romanian pop song by O-Zone called "Dragostea Din Tea," in front of his computer. It is better known as the "Numa Numa video." Anderson Cooper even made mention of the clip on his show "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN.

Another video is commonly referred to as the "Star Wars kid." It's a less than endearing look at a pudgy kid furiously twirling around a broomstick as if it were a light saber, alone, trying his best to look tough. As funny as this was on its own, someone with video editing skills found it and spliced in glowing light sabers and Star Wars theme music, bringing the sad display of awkward egotism to a hilarious new low.

There are some stunningly lowbrow clips out there-friends being lit on fire, friends having darts thrown at them, friends diving through beer can pyramids, etc. However, there are professionally made videos, too. Saturday Night Live cast members created a music video called "Lazy Sunday," where they rapped about mundane bits of everyday life. While NBC has requested that the copyrighted clip be removed from several Web sites that posted it without consent, the damage has already been done. Videos often get copied and reposted from Web site to Web site until they are too widespread to ever be taken down.

The Internet video craze has gained such momentum that VH1 has even created a weekly show called "Web Junk" to recap the most popular videos on the net. Numbered in order from worst to best, viewers without computer access can stay up to date with what's new.

This new show seems to bring the phenomenon full circle. The web-clip revolution, which was spawned from young people watching wild television in the 80s and 90s, has finally landed back on television. Perhaps "Web Junk" will be the spark to inspire the next generation's pop-trend revolution.

Reprinted From – KeystoneOnline.Com

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