Years from now, our great-grandchildren will sit down to watch a documentary on life in the early 21st century. And some talking head, probably freakin' Daniel O'Brien, will be forced to explain how a generation faced with natural disasters, economic upheaval and catastrophic climate change could justify spending hours and hours watching an Asian man do a horse dance. This documentary will be hilarious.
These Internet clips are the legacy we're leaving our children, what we'll be remembered by, and the footage that will inevitably condemn us all to hell one day. Enjoy!
Have you seen the video of the adorably crazy-eyed girl singing/rapping about her love for (I think) Justin Bieber and her desire to be his girlfriend?
It's pretty funny. So funny that Reddit almost immediately turned it into one of its more popular memes:
Laina, aka "The Overly Attached Girlfriend," became an instant viral hit. Those memes are everywhere, and her video has been seen over 13 million times, clearing 1 million within the first 24 hours. When it first came out, I thought that it, like all viral Internet things, would be fun for a while until it got too old and played out, and then it would fade out of existence. That's how virality and the Internet work.
Most viral stars do not handle this fadeout gracefully. They get immediate attention and fame, and then they try to milk it for everything it's worth (hey, did you guys know that Tay Zonday is still doing stupid bullshit, right this second?). I assumed that Laina would be no different; she'd make a bunch of follow-up funny videos in an attempt to stay in the spotlight, overstaying her welcome and annoying everyone. Because that's what literally every viral star has ever done. Antoine Dodson became famous for being an idiot on the Internet and has been trying to capitalize on that fame ever since. It's been rough.
We're still holding out hope for a sex tape.
Then something really interesting happened. Laina got super-Internet-famous for her video and she didn't turn into a total piece of shit as a result. After enjoying Internet fame and vlogging for a while, Laina launched a new series on her YouTube channel that's all about donating to charity. She didn't try to parlay her Internet fame into a TV show or album; she used it to make the world slightly better. This is a 21-year-old girl who looked at her massive, massive audience and, unlike almost every other viral star before her, used that audience to help people (as of this writing, Laina and her fans have managed to raise over $22,000 for Surf Camp, a charity that helps kids with autism).
Do you remember who made our "[Blank] of the Year" list last year? Rebecca "Friday" Black, and she made it like three times. That was one of 2011's inescapable memes, and it was horrifying because, as my co-worker pointed out at the time, it spoke to a larger trend about how 1-in-4 teenagers wanted to grow up to be famous just for the sake of fame. You see so many viral stars desperately trying to cling to relevance and claw at the spotlight any way they can, and everyone is just trying to stab at this vague idea of fame, that it's so refreshing and life-affirming to see someone actually doing something nice for a change.
Seriously, consider donating. She hardly looks crazy at all in the other videos.
I'll be honest: I haven't watched "Innocence of Muslims," and I'm not about to. I have a long list of other hateful propaganda in my Netflix queue, and it's not going to get drunk and make fart noises at itself.
But watching all the chaos, hatred and recrimination that spiraled out of a single YouTube video (whether it was ultimately the cause of terrorist attacks or not), it was hard not to be impressed by the spread those guys got. I mean, those bigoted pricks hit eyeballs across widely disparate demos, and their completion rate was through the roof. Trust me, I work in Internet video, and those ignorant assbadgers really unlocked the key to viral domination.
Apparently, making sure no one blends into the background was the key all along.
Naturally, as a comedian and entertainer constantly looking to improve my marketability, I've decided to analyze their strengths and incorporate them into my own creative process. Consequently, I'll be picking on Australians in even grimmer terms than before, and really just doing my damnedest to be as international-incident-causingly offensive as possible.
By selecting this pile of prolapsed horse anus as my Internet clip of the year (and using the phrase "pile of prolapsed horse anus" three times in the section), I hope I've done that.
Pile of prolapsed horse anus.
I can't think of another video that so perfectly captures the litany of mistakes and pitfalls that accompany any quest to become Internet famous better than this clip of Walmart employees in Kentucky beating the shit out of dozens of defenseless iPads. It's like a greatest hits collection of ways to make people hate you on the Internet.
For starters, these clowns aren't even shy about what their intention is here, and that, of course, is to make sure people who have the audacity to walk into that Walmart with designs on buying an iPad will suffer. Of course, if you're buying an iPad at Walmart, it's likely been sitting on layaway for six months growing more and more obsolete by the day as some single mom who just wants to get her kid something cool for once picks up extra shifts to pay it off. So naturally, we're going to want to fuck her over because, clearly, the goal here is to make most people with a shred of feelings hate you.
Congratulations! You did it.
I accept that maybe they thought this would do more harm to the reputation of Walmart than anything, but still, they're so completely wrong, and I'm not going to forgive them for being stupid. So that doesn't matter.
Speaking of stupid, these clowns make another error that we should have all learned to avoid since way back in the day when Anonymous had that tween raped for torturing a kitten or whatever. My memory of the specifics is hazy. But what I'm getting at is, if you're going to commit a crime on video, it's a good idea to not reveal distinguishing details about yourself lest the ramifications somehow find their way to you. These idiots not only put their faces on the video, but also even make it clear where they work. Why not just flash your Social Security number while you're at it? Of course, these dimwits were eventually fired.
We kinda doubt anyone who knows these guys was surprised.
But their video will live on forever, a perfect representation of all the things that can go wrong when a person who's unfamiliar with the murky waters of Internet etiquette and privacy tries to use those very waters to leisurely float to Internet stardom.
I am not a sentimental person. I don't cry in movies, I don't get emotionally attached to objects and I only hug when it's absolutely necessary. But each time I watch this video, I am moved to tears on behalf of those poor assholes out there who were planning to propose to their girlfriends right around the time this video popped up on YouTube and ruined everything.
I am so sorry for you.
Might as well trade that ring in for a noose now.
It's the most creative, charming, personal, beautifully thought-out proposal I have ever seen, and anyone who has to follow that in their own life is absolutely doomed. For at least half of the 16 million people who watched this, a choreographed proposal that involves everyone in the family learning a complex dance on a deserted street is now the expectation. Anything less will be a private disappointment for the proposee.
What may not be immediately obvious from only watching once is that Isaac is extraordinarily lucky. He and his girlfriend have a mutual friend (the girl in the red dress) who clearly choreographed the whole thing. By being the glue to it all, it confirms every serious boyfriend's worst fear that regardless of what kind of proposal he thinks up, girls already have four or five better ideas in mind.
If it involves choreography, it's automatically better.
Worst of all, at some point someone will top this and post it to YouTube. Then it will just keep escalating like a marital arms race until people won't even bother getting married anymore because it's just not worth it. And to think, before this we were so worried about porn being the most dangerous thing on the Internet. We left insanely well-crafted declarations of love in our blind spot. That was stupid, and now we've paid the price.