Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Been a while. With a little room to move this time I am going to subject the internet to my... analysis (only time will tell if that's too strong a word) of a not-so-obscure favorite that is by no means new but rather has settled into its place among the first few hints of a collective nostalgia for YouTube's first few years. Man that sounds like a thesis - Watch the video while I scholarly tone it down a notch.

Ahh, yes. Weezer. A large part of me feels like other devotees have gone through the same rite of passage in their fandom - become disillusioned every few albums or so, lately after Make Believe, yet eventually sense undercurrents of the early years, the stupid and obvious energy that drew you to their music in the first place in this song, despite all efforts to resist its catchiness. But maybe thats a little self-centered - off topic at the very least. The sentence might have been an attempt at an anecdotal paragraph introduction in spirit (it was a little long), but mostly an excuse for me to bring up Weezer's wondrously self-aware salute to dull care and lame emotion that, in one way or another, manages to come crashing through in nearly all their music and is brought to a finely tuned crescendo in this video. There I go again. Commence bullet points to induce brevity.

--- I have a good friend from back home who goes to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. As it is a school just this side of 2,000 students, he knows everyone, including Austin Hall, user generator of the thirty million views oh my god Daft Hands. Perfectly tangible, second-hand example of king content creating as close as we may ever come to an 'organic' viral phenomenon, ( "the beauty of the plan, dude, is its simplicity...") and much more importantly a pretty cool example of my buddy's friend in a Weezer video.

--- Clunky and tired film theory engine very prone at this point in our degree to groaning loudly at the sight of any sort of pop-culture pastiche-milkshake montage, (a la the 'Scary' Movies) and the hollow, fleeting excitement that comes with every 'hey I've seen that too!' and ' but that just came out a month ago!' (disclaimer: just like parentheses in the blogoshpere, when used tastefully, any cinematic device can have a profound effect. For further reading and a perfect example, see South Park, whom as many people know often finish their show mere hours before air time to ensure that a stupid degree of the last minute is visible in every episode. They also happen to have a very funny one centered around nearly the same cast of YouTube stars.) Anyway, a video like this, with youtube celebs and their viral offspring as ammunition manages to side-step the guilt I usually feel when the "i've seen that!" fades quickly into the realization that I saw it courtesy of big brother on a billboard. Let me be clearer: when I recognize a reference to a YouTube video, the package comes with a certain fondness for the spirit in which it was discovered - usually from a friend under the honest pretext of 'you gotta see this,' as opposed to the exasperation that comes from reappropriated hollywood jokes and the not-so-fond recollection of the trailer which gave all the good stuff away just so people would be quoting it when they sat down to watch it in the dark, which is the way you remember all movies seen in a theater. In layman's theory, the fact that these are YouTube phenomena from the last few years that we all remember makes the pastiche okay. I find this particular aspect of the video somehow akin to my affection for the Beatles and the funny way one can still be protective of something loved by millions, as long as it means something to the individual.

My bullet point strategy fell apart there, but this post is getting too wordy anyhow. This video is the perfect companion to a nerd anthem for the ages - a crafted montage of human beings who didn't 'give a hoot about what you think' and in the vernacular of the internet - epic win.

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