It is the year 2007. The future has arrived and the human potential has been realized. We live in an amazing world of high technology, instant communications, streaming broadband videos and multiplayer high definition video gaming. Individuals generate thousands of hours of content every day for a new form of collective user-generated media. Newspapers, television programming, movies, and encyclopedias struggle to compete with this unparalleled wealth of entertainment. But there is a dark cloud, a shadowy gorilla that mankind is reluctant to acknowledge.
User-generated content sucks. The videos are terrible, the ugly photo albums are disgusting, the encyclopedias are overflowing with inane minutiae, and the babbling comments are borderline retarded. For every genius and auteur among this new generation there are a thousand screaming idiots.
Welcome to the New Media Hell.
Dumpy director suburbanmom posted a video on YouTube asking the quintessential American question, "What products do you love?" Her six minute video is as much a soliloquy on her love for various cleaning and hair care products as it is a question posed to the viewer. Nevertheless, a large number of people responded to suburbanmom's question with their own answers. Watching all the video responses is a bit like bugging the teacher's lounge at the school from Peanuts, but we'll try to find the legumes lurking in the bowl after the courtesy flush.
Video blogger kellym28081 has the pale and powdery appearance of a living marshmallow and she chews gum throughout her video response, showcasing her well-rounded teeth. She loves the citrus-scented dust she can dump on her carpet to cover foul odors and she really wants you to know how much she and her boyfriend are in love. If you've ever wanted to hear a glandular case discuss ringtones and remote controls for nine minutes then you're in luck. Europeans please take note: fewer than half of Americans look like this.
Try to watch Singer1939's response as if you are an alien scientist who has just called this video onto the screen of a corroded video terminal in a cave beneath the ashes of a desolate human city. Mankind has finally wiped itself out and you are arriving just in time to sift through the last of our debris as the howling wastelands reclaim the earth. A hard drive hums to life and this is the epilogue, our last silent cry into the void: lotions and jewelry give us a rash. Consider it Singer1939's message in a bottle to the infinite ages.
Sexless house frau lmosack belches and seems disinterested in telling us about the greatness of Comet Cleaner and Olay Daily Facial foaming discs. She is absurdly unattractive and is sitting next to a life-sized R2D2. As she rattles off a list of the products she uses to make herself beautiful you can't help but wonder if napalm or some sort of disintegration ray might prove more effective.
If you really feel like treating yourself, check out lmosack's cerebral riffing on the nature of war and the end of the world. You should feel your IQ begin to ratchet down about 45 seconds into the video. "Where is that bomb gonna go," she ponders. Heavy stuff.
Do you remember the crazy clothes and hair of the 1990s? Do you remember Crystal Pepsi and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Do you remember where you hid the box your mother gave you?
The singer dove off the stage and crowd surfed in a sort of reverse funeral procession where the person being carried is the only one truly alive. Touching him I felt religious ecstasy and started speaking in tongues and requesting songs that didn't exist.
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