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April 6, 2007

Lazy Friday Videos

Video inspirations of the day: First, via an email tip, "It's Raining 300 Men" and "If Dick Cheney Was Scarface." [Update: I just realized the Cheney video is a couple of years old, but somehow I'd missed it until now.]

Also, Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing retold using Fisher Price Sesame Street toys. Via Michael, who raises a question I've been mulling for a while now.

In pointing to Virginia Heffernan's article on that Seven-Minute Sopranos video, Michael observes that attention from the mainstream press serves as "a kind of endorsement of value" for these videos that seem to come out of nowhere. I've been trying to think through how certain videos become valued or recognized as objects worthy of attention (or study) and what that means. There's an interesting tension between the novelty of those videos that seem to come out of nowhere (LG15, Vote Different, etc) and their eventual contextualization (and popularization) in MSM articles that ought to be addressed in some detail. Obviously the artists behind these videos are often rigging the system, parodying or playing off of better known cultural texts (300, Scarface, The Sporanos the Apple 1984 ad) in order to find the wider audience MSM attention brings.

But what I like about Heffernan's article is the interpretive tension that she describes when it comes to the "Sopranos" vid. Noting that some viewers see the video as an homage while others see it as a parody, Heffernan illustrates the degree to which these videos sometimes remain elusive, beyond the easy interpretation that categories such as authorship provide.

Posted by chuck at April 6, 2007 11:45 AM

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