"Because without it then Americans would have to learn to read"
Aaron Sorkin used to say about The West Wing that it was written in the belief that the people who make television aren't any smarter than the people who watch television (a sentiment his elitist characters probably wouldn't have endorsed, but I guess that's beside the point). It was a noble belief, true, but I often wonder at its accuracy. And nothing has made me question said accuracy more than YouTube, and the videos people consistently rate as "worth watching.
A good example is that Brookers girl whose channel was once (still is?) all the rage. People used to love her videos, so much so that she supposedly got signed to Carson Daly's talent agency--which I know sounds like a faux organization from The Simpsons (The Carson Daly Talent Agency?), but apparently it does exist. But I would watch her videos and think they were the dumbest shit ever. They would be mildly funny if they were the kind of video you'd made with your friends when you were in middle school and then years later got drunk and watched together. But as an outsider looking in, it all feels pretty lame.
Another example, and the catalyst for this post, is this video:
I am sorry to say I have watched this over and over, but it's all been in a desperate attempt to figure out why people think this video is so funny. Because it's not. It's lame. It's a kid doing a mediocre job lip-syncing to a Will Ferrell bit. He's not even doing an impersonation of President Bush. He's doing an impersonation of Will Ferrell doing an impersonation of President Bush. Soooo lame.
But the YouTube community disagrees with me. They're praising it as brilliant and funny. "Dude, you've got talent." Seriously? You think this constitutes talent? I've got like ten friends from elementary school who used to do the exact same thing with Dana Carvey and Ross Perot, and now they're all...I don't even know, probably working as bike messengers or something. But particularly talented they were, and are, not.
At first I thought maybe people thought it was so funny because they didn't realize it was from a Will Ferrell bit, but some comments praise it as "funnier than the original." Which it isn't, by the way. The humor of the original bit is in the voice inflection and writing, not the stupid facial expressions. The kid even screws up on the best part ("Well what kind of science book would you suggest? One filled with facts, maybe?")
Anyway, if you find this funny, than the fact of the matter is that, yes, even though I am not in television, I am still smarter than you.