This feels like the triumphant culminating scene in a Groundhog Day-type sequence where this dude has been dancing this dance hundreds of times and at first he was a wall flower but now he has it memorized and cuts looks like nobody's business, finally winning over his ladyfriend (who, by the way, somehow managed to PULL A CANDLE out of nowhere during the line in the chorus: "I wanna feel the heat with somebody!"):
Guess it was a slow news day in Ohio. OK, so it actually was a van, which does make the offense worse. The kid's defense: "I was like, 'It was an accident.'" That didn't fly with the driver, or school district, which made it clear that if it happens again, the punishment will be the same. Oh, the Tyranny! As the news copywriter put it: "Now, Christian must fear his flatulence." Under this new regime, he "must be secretive when letting one slip in the school bus."
First, it ascended to high art with Kutiman's assemblage of unrelated music clips into original jams. Now the ante has been officially upped by Darren Solomon, who combined twenty YouTube music clips into a sprawling, interactive, personalized Steve Reich-o-tron, right in your browser. As if that wasn't nifty enough, the conceptual coup-de-grace is the instruction to use the volume sliders as an equalizer for your own mix!
Watching it again, I hereby declare this to be the most succinct and effective commentary on the modern American workplace. Not to mention: a testament to the lasting power of The Backstreet Boys. I love the pacing, the escalation, the Busby Berkeley in office chairs effects. And while we're at it, I'd say this video is inadvertently a genius spec ad for Mac. One take + five computers + iMovie = office ennui sublimated into five minutes of verve, abandon and fun times!
So: I am mildly obsessed with the Tsim Fuckiis phenomenon, having been sent one of the videos on the cusp of discovery one night by my pal, John. Tsim Fuckiis (or, depending, Fuckis, and also Fuckus), aka Chick3n Little, is a Progeria-afflicted Juggalo who had put up more than a dozen videos of himself on YouTube wherein he ranted some deranged shout-outs, lip-synced Offspring (preface: "This is an original!"), flexed at the camera, revealing what appears to be a penis on his stomach, sang a bizarre homophobic sing-song ditty, and fell over while trying demonstrate his kung fu powers on a stool. The whole thing was sordid but deeply fascinating. But not for everyone: I showed them to Ronni and she got mad at me. Then the videos disappeared overnight. Maybe his parents found out what was going on. Thankfully (one supposes), various enterprising YouTubers managed to preserve them for posterity. I know it's wrong, but I just can't stop looking. What really got me was the fact that genetics had dealt this poor fellow a cruel hand, dramatically limiting his time on earth, and what did he do with those few previous years? This. What also struck me about Tsim Fuckiis' juggalo act was that, at times, it seemed half-hearted. I mean, he's stomping around talking about his crew and ICP and all that, while on the dresser in the background is a Strawberry Shortcake lamp. Even when TF announces "What I Am Going To Do To The Haters" by demonstrating some wrestling moves on a pillow, it feels like he's only going through the motions.
Nevertheless, I give TF props for going conceptual: a title, no words, and a warning to all.
Having described Tsim Fuckiis' oeuvre to Paul F and Janie H in detail, I sent them the videos. To which Janie replied:
I have so many emotions right now, happening at the same time. I don't know where to begin. I started with the first one -- and stopped as it was hard to watch, you know.
Then, I skipped to the last one..."this is for all you haters one"...and it actually was full of joy. I call it the Yankees pillow dance -- it made me happy instead of sad, so I am leaving it at that.
"Full of joy" is not something I ever would have thought could be applied to Tsim Fuckiis, and all I can say is that Janie has a very generous spirit. I am going to come to her for life coaching next time I'm feeling down...
Me -- I think the parasol is a nice touch. Not to mention the music, which I think we can all stipulate is what makes this not just another bipedal pug, but a transcendent experience that made another commenter say: "I have watched this 30 times and it always brings tears of joy in my eyes."
But my favorite comment got practical, simply wanting to know, "What modifications did you do to the stroller so she can push it?"
I will admit: I'm still proud of the fact that I saw the Thriller in Maniller prison choreogaphy when there were only a couple thousand views. But being ahead of the intercurve isn't everything. Plus, it's hard these days. And now I've come to love it when I catch a meme that's far along, such as:
Even though it's been going for like five months now, I don't have to wait for more. I know that this first little nug was delicious and there's more waiting for me in the box! It's like TV on DVD.
The Zombie Zeitgeist A full scale movement is on the lurch. But why the best zombie movie ever made a video game?
Believer interview with Mark Allen Digital artist and awesome gallerist Mark Allen talks about Tekken Torture Tournament and other projects where people were wired to machines and did strange things in public.
Believer interview with Marjane Satrapi Enlightening Q & A with the Persian cartoonist, memoirist, quick conversationalist in which she declares: “THE WORLD IS NOT ABOUT BATMAN AND ROBIN FIGHTING THE JOKER; THINGS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.”
Yeti Researcher Yet another 100-page issue of the world's top academic journal devoted scholarship about the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasqatch, and other mystery primates worldwide. For researchers and lay audiences alike, the latest YR features a history of Sasquatch sightings in southern California, an update on the wily orang pendek of Sumatra, and a new look into Teddy Roosevelt's obsession with bagging a Bigfoot. As Editor-in-Chief, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Panda PowerPoint! I guess I don't mind being "the entertainment" when it's at Mark Allen's second annual Holiday Fry-B-Que. Presented: preliminary findings from my ongoing research into the most charismatic megafauna of all: Giant Pandas.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Dec 9, 2006 For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
Jest Fest at Skylight Books Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006 Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006 The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.