Posted by: Jon Fine on August 24, 2006
I’ve had YouTube on the brain this week, so I’m especially receptive to Josh Levin’s smart Slate piece on the impact of viral video on America’s Funniest Home Videos—that long-running, bizarrely wholesome cultural touchstone that (still!) finds endless yuks in people getting hit in the crotch.
How long, O Lord, can such a show last in an increasingly YouTubed world? As Levin puts it
YouTube is faster, more personalized, and less censored than TV, and there are fewer commercials. But it’s also lonelier, less welcoming, and more pathetically voyeuristic. Since the rise of Internet video, blooper watching has transformed from a family activity undertaken in the living room to a solitary practice embarked upon while bored at work. Sure, YouTube videos are e-mailed from friend to friend, but we watch them alone . . .
The punch line:
Not long ago, we were hitting each other’s groins at family picnics. Now, we are Groin Punching Alone.
I get the feeling he wrote the entire piece around those last two sentences—if not those last three words, even—but it’s the sort of article where the whole thing is so sharply-observed that I don’t care.
Anyway, read it yourself.