Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Tag

South African chair malfunctions in the YouTube age

By now probably millions of people have seen the viral video of South African MP Nhlanhla Nene, chairman of the portfolio committee of finance, having a chair collapse under him while giving an interview on live TV.  Before I try to make a serious point about the incident, for the record, here is the admittedly comedic video clip:

Now that you’ve seen the video, take a look at Nene’s Wikipedia article.  Earlier today I contributed to the article but since then I’ve been thinking about it further.  Excluding citations and headings, the article currently has 467 words; 366 of them—78% of the content—is dedicated to describing the furniture  malfunction of which he was the victim.  The article didn’t even exist until the video and news of the chair collapse started spreading via the internet; few people cared that this man even existed until a chair that he just happened to be sitting on broke while he was on television. Apparently, that is what defines notability in the YouTube age.

How pleasant that so many of the flags recently featured on this blog are so good; South Africa's is awesome--it's the exception that proves the rule about having no more than four colors

How pleasant that so many of the flags recently featured on this blog are so good. South Africa's is awesome; it's the exception that proves the rule about having no more than four colors.

Presumably, Mr. Nene has dedicated his life to trying to better his community and his troubled nation.  I can only say presumably because Wikipedia gives few details on his political career in the 22% of the article devoted to his life in the pre-chair collapse era.  All anyone cares about is that the gentleman had a chair break underneath him.

Well, the article does accurately describe the chair incident, in a NPOV way, with proper citations.  But I feel kind of bad now for contributing to it.  That 26-second video can’t represent 78% of the man’s life; that’d leave just 7.333 seconds to everything else he’s ever done.  Therefore, in the next few days I’m going to try to learn more about Mr. Nene and, hopefully, make his article more balanced and a better reflection of his life and work.  Sure, let’s laugh with him about this little accident, but let’s keep it in perspective; this guy isn’t a dolt or a failure just because of this event, which was outside of his control.

Food Court Musical, courtesy of Improv Everywhere

In advance of tonight’s vice presidential debate, which only might produce humor (if either candidate says something really dumb), here is a fun video from Improv Everywhere.  Just imagine if this happened the next time your at your local mall’s food court:

I love the reactions at the end.

If you enjoyed this, check out Improv Everywhere’s YouTube channel for more like it.  I think this is their best work, but some of the others are really good too.  Also, some of you guys know that Anton Chekov is dead, right?

Bill and Jerry’s Microsoft ads

Microsoft has an interesting new series of ads featuring company co-founder and chairman of the board Bill Gates hanging out with Jerry Seinfeld. Here’s the first spot:

In the best Seinfeldian tradition, they’re basically ads about nothing: no Microsoft products are mentioned and computers are never seen.  The ads center around Gates and Seinfeld trying to “connect” with “real people.” And I think they’re funny. Check out the second, longer spot:

I think this is a very interesting advertising approach. It seems the basic goal is to simply get customers thinking positively about Microsoft and their frontman, who haven’t always gotten the best press. The spots couldn’t have cost much to produce (beyond Seinfeld’s fees), and each has been viewed almost a million times each in the past few days on YouTube alone, though they’re also being televised.

I think it is fun to see Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world (current networth: $58 billion), making fun of himself.  He comes across as very likable in the two ads and he seems to have a good sense of humor.  If you look closely in the first ad, you can see that the picture on his Shoe Circus Clown Club membership card is his mugshot from a 1977 arrest (for a traffic violation in Albuquerque).

The ads also tie Jerry Seinfeld, a very well-liked guy, to the Microsoft brand; no doubt the software giant hopes that people’s warm feelings about the comedian to rub off on their software products.  Hey, if Jerry Seinfeld is in an ad with Bill Gates, Microsoft can’t be that evil of an empire, right?