November 14, 2008

Is This How You(Tube) Envisioned the Future?

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Every generation leaves its mark on the world. As we move on to modernity, and as each passing ideology becomes archaic and passé, we phase out that which precedes us. But each time this happens, a period’s entertainers seem to have a much more lasting impression on the culture they leave behind than anything else. The names speak volumes – “Old Blue Eyes” Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe…David Hasselhoff? They’ve all added something to the very media in which they were once relevant.

But today’s entertainers are of a different caliber. Not worse, per say, but different nonetheless. In an age dominated by the Internet and technology, of which we’ve all been reminded countless times, the media-based realm is steadily changing.

And so it came to pass: the YouTube star was born. It’s not a new phenomenon – we’ve all got our favorites. But when it comes to romanticizing those who came before, who will our children and the generations that follow look to as the entertainment giants of our time?

Perhaps they will watch the adolescent girl many of us know as “Dog Lover” and gasp for breath at her rendition of Top 40 hits. Will they wonder, “Did my parents used to wear Tazmanian Devil t-shirts and flick their lights on and off to Rihanna’s ‘Disturbia’?” Some of us do. Indeed, some of us do.

Or perchance they will learn the words to “Montgomery Flea Market,” a private furniture shopkeeper’s attempt at recruiting customers. Will they study it in a college-level sociology class and wonder what we did with our time in the “The New Millennium”?

“You can find ‘em at the market.”

When it comes to a forum as open as the Internet and the World Wide Web, though, it’s crucial to remember that anyone can put up a video and open their door to stardom. Literally…anyone. My most recent obsession is “Hamster On A Piano (Eating Popcorn)”, courtesy of some friends of mine.

The newest craze.

To be frank, this hamster has seen more fame than I probably ever will. But what’s the harm? In a nation where “all men (and hamsters) are created equal,” what’s really so bad about a rodent becoming the next “big thing” in the world of entertainment? Well, nothing. As long as we, as a generation, come to understand that this may be our legacy.

And by God, it’s hilarious one at that.