THE BLOG

ParkRidge 47 Speaks...on Video...Again

03/30/2007 01:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

ParkRidge47, aka Phillip de Vellis, the guy who made that Hillary attack ad and who was unmasked by reporting by Arianna Huffington et al, is interviewed on video by YouTube's editor of news and politics, Steve Grove. Good idea for making news on YouTube (and an interesting format: the asynchronous webcam interview).

De Vellis gives the geeky details: which machine and software he used to make it (he's a Mac guy; I'll bet lots of Obama fans are). He says he picked the 1984 commercial to mash because he's an Apple fan. It sounds as if he wanted to promote Apple more than Obama. I'd have thought his first point would have been ideological but, no, it's geekological.

He argues that he didn't think it would go viral: "I'm really stunned by the attention it got. I thought it was pretty cool when I did it and that it would get passed around on some progressive blogs. But I had no idea it would be shown on TV." I think that's a bit disingenuous; everybody who makes a YouTube video thinks it might just go viral.

Asked what he thinks the impact of the video is, he feints. "I'll leave that to other people to decide." He explains his anonymity as a matter of employment and defends the American tradition of anonymous speech, savoring the moment when he points out that 1984 was written by George Orwell, which was a pen name. But he says he understands why, when something gets this big, people want to know who's behind it. "In this case, the system worked."

What's most telling, in the end, is the banality of it: He's not, as it turns out, a slick operative with a master plan. He's a geeky guy with the skills (and talent) to say what the heck and make something that amuses him. Oh, it might change the election and the world? That's cool.

(Crossposted from PrezVid.)