Life in the Internet Era moves fast. Given that just a few centuries ago a letter carried from New York to Philadelphia might take two to three weeks to make the 100-mile journey, it's almost difficult to fathom the speed at which news and information caroms around the World Wide Web these days.
Take the first viral story of 2011, for example. On Jan. 3, Ted Williams was an unknown, unemployed, unattached voice-over artist. After a brief snippet of a conversation with a Columbus Dispatch videographer, hundreds of thousands of people heard his golden voice. Job offers came rolling in. A house, even. Within just 72 hours, he was a household name on the Today Show.
We get things quickly. Within days of the life-changing earthquake that rocked Japan, we had more tsunami porn than we knew how to handle. Everyone can now see a fast-food fight at a local taco shop. A Marine screaming at NYPD officers at an Occupy Wall Street rally was national news within minutes. A campus police officer pepper-spraying nonviolent protesters became a meme before some people had even seen the footage. Rick Perry morphed into the uber-disliked Rebecca Black in one day.
But we also move on from many of these videos soon after watching them. Gone. Saw it. Forgot it. That's why all the "OMG YOU GUYS CHECK OUT THE BEST/WORST 10 VIRAL VIDEOS OF THE YEAR!!1!1!!!" posts aren't a bad thing. They remind us of what we saw this year, what we liked, what we disliked, what we forgot about already. And, sometimes, we even see new things for the very first time. So as your favorite websites post their Top 10s and Best 10s and Worst 10s of 2011, we thought we'd just post 10 videos we enjoyed this year -- some you will have definitely seen, some you may not have. They're not the best or worst. They're just cool. They should be seen again. Or for the first time.
New South Wales sits in the southeast corner of Australia, but for a week in mid-March the country's most populous state was located squarely in the center of the Bullying Universe. In a video that could have been the ultimate anti-bullying propaganda, we see a smaller, aggressive little f*&ker of a bully punch Casey Heynes in the face, unprovoked. He taunts Casey. He invites conflict. And he gets it. Casey finally snaps, and he picks up his tormentor. Then he body slams his foe to the concrete below.
In the computer age, humans have lost a bit of oral history. There's really no need to listen to our elders tell stories when we can just watch the iMovie on YouTube. This is neither good nor bad, it's just reality. Oral history used to be a large part of what made humans human. But stories still guide our lives, they help us make sense of the chaos and provide order to an indifferent universe. Ross Capicchioni lives in Detroit, and his story about the time he was shot in the inner city is captivating. It's just one kid in front of a camera telling the world about the moment that changed his life. It's a testament to the power of oral history, a reminder that the telling of stories still makes humans human, whether we are using technology to tell that story to family and friends or the entire world. Just watch this:
Archie's got Cruel Intentions! If you saw this fake film trailer back in February, it's possible your entire childhood was either destroyed or validated. As the song goes, "The gang's all here. So, let's all cheer." Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and the rest of the comic book gang all show up in Riverdale, the amazingly well-executed, not-for-profit, fan-made, live-action adaptation of the Archie comics. The good folks at Cross Eyed Bear Comedy said "Riverdale is a fan-trailer responding to the common trend of 'gritty' remakes of popular franchises... If there are still any doubts as to the legitimacy of this trailer, be assured that this is a not-for-profit project produced purely for fun." Now, watch:
We landed an exclusive interview with filmmakers Jorah Porteous and Nathan Lusignan in the aftermath of the fake film trailer going viral -- check out the fascinating story of how it got made.
With a headline like that, this one should need no introduction. But when the India's Got Talent judges recoil in horror every step of the way, you know you've got Internet gold.
Journalism, MTV ain't. But the above quotation actually sounds like a more accurate depiction of modern television than modern journalism. In an attempt to prove Oscar Wilde's hypothesis about uneducated ignoramuses, veteran stage actors Santino Fontana and David Furr took a break from Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest to read some transcripts from MTV's hit show Jersey Shore. You'll never hear a stage actor say the words "Dick for Skittles" so well again.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! CLICK HERE FOR FIVE MORE COMPELLING VIDEOS YOU MUST SEE OR SEE AGAIN BEFORE THE YEAR IS OVER... NO SPOILERS, OF COURSE, BUT SUPER HAPPY POLE PULLDOWN SPORT TIME WILL MAKE YOU GRIN UNCONTROLLABLY.
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