Cinematic Moment: What happens to the youtubers?
So I've been watching a lot of Youtube these days. You know, the requisite homemade videos that make us laugh, wince, cry or wonder if the human race can even make it to 2012. Something tells me we don't need a Mayan prophecy to kill ourselves off.
What I've been wondering about while watching these videos, is what the long term effects of being a YouTube superstar can have on someone. How do these people move on and have functioning lives and careers?
Take for example, the "Leave Britney Alone boy." Note that I left the boy in quotation marks because to be honest, I'm not entirely sold on that. Regardless, here we have someone who's been turned into a celebrity for wearing loads of eyeliner and sobbing hysterically under a blanket, begging for the whole world to leave a then, clinically insane Britney Spears alone. No, he is not a friend or relative of Ms. Spears, just a fan. The kind of fan I'd be concerned might be interested in abducting her children to steal hair samples for DNA replication. He also appears to buckle pretty easily under stress. Even stress that doesn't directly effect him. Can you imagine this person working in an office or even a bagel shop? Let's say someone doesn't return a co-worker's call. Lo and behold, hours later, his boss locates him underneath a desk, covered completely in Post-It notes screaming into the heavens while drawing black circles around his eyes with a Sharpie.
Then, there are the adorable ones. You take a child who does something and give it praise and attention for doing it. It's simple puppy training, really. Classic Skinner reinforcement. Think about the kid in the "laughing baby" video. It's just so freaking cute, we can't stop watching. All 109,212,718 of us. That's exactly 109,212,718 cases of positive reinforcement. My survey says he's ending up in some institution for cracking up constantly as an adult. A cackling adult running around the streets of Anytown USA, losing his shit anytime someone makes a noise isn't called endearing-it's called freaking loony.
Then there's the infamous "Charlie bit me" youtube video. Flash forward 20 years and we will find "Charlie" on a job interview.
Interviewer: So tell me Charlie, what would you say your strengths are in the workforce?
Charlie: (grabs interviewers hand and bites him, drawing blood because his adult teeth are in)
Unfortunately for the interviewer, Charlie's big brother is also up for the position and can't resist cramming his finger into the mouth of everyone he meets, in turn blaming THEM in a bird-like British accent. For the rest of his life.
To be fair, there are some youtubers who will benefit from their fame. The "Jesus is My Friend" guitar player is clearly one of them. He wins at life. Tay Zonday is another, who's song Chocolate Rain reminds us all of a simple concept: It doesn't really matter what the words are, as long as they rhyme. It also doesn't hurt to look like Howdy Doody if you want people to instantly trust and love you.
Last, but certainly not least, there's one of my ultimate faves, which if you follow me on Twitter, you already know. "That's my penis" guy is the ultimate winner of the YouTube video game of life. With three simple words, he managed to convey three grander ideas to the world: "This particular officer of the law is not very intelligent", "I do not in fact have a weapon because I am a peaceful man" and finally, "Yes, my mammoth junk does extend 3/4 of the way up my abdomen, thank you." WIN!
(Ps. Missed you guys! Sorry it's been so long, but I may have a special treat for your patience...keep you posted. )