Tuesday, March 3, 2015

YouTube's 10th Anniversary Is Surprising Trip Down Memory Lane

Possibly the most iconic YouTube video
Leave Britney Alone!  
It almost feels like YouTube has been around forever, but it's only ten years now

I'm a total addict with YouTube. I watch it more than television.

It's a great time waster when I don't feel like doing anything, or I want to procrastinate, or I just want to see how strange and wonderful and awful and gorgeous and creative and (rarely) bland the world and its humans are.

There's a tenth anniverary video of the highlights of YouTube over the past decade. Each snippet of the video lasts barely a second, but click on this hyperlink to see the entire list of the YouTube moments you liked or loathed. 

It's probably impossible to include all the best, most viral, most controversial videos out there, but they tried. I'm sure you can add yours.

Susan Boyle auditions for Britain's Got Talent,
setting off a YouTube viral frenzy about
five years ago. 
A number of them are music videos. MTV hasn't had music videos for years, so YouTube is now the go to place for popular music videos, or people who do covers of popular songs.

It reminds me of how quickly things change. One of my favorite videos, one that made this 10-year compilation, is Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". It's weird and scary and wonderful and perplexing and crazy and odd. Which is perfect for me.

That video only came out about five years ago, but already, Lady Gaga has moved on to expertly singing torh songs, ballads and Broadway hits. At least for now.

The homeless guy with the golden radio voice
went viral on YouTube a few years ago. With all the
attention, he's certainly not homeless now.  
Then there's the world debut of Susan Boyle. That was just six years ago, when the dowdy, awkward woman stunned everybody with her vocal briliance. That video now has more than 65 million views.

Other rags to riches stories, or undiscovered talent came to us, and are in this compilation, too. Remember the homeless guy with the golden radio voice? He's there too. So is the amazing "Pumped Up Kicks/Dubstep" guy    

Some of the videos are instant classics, something that everyone remembers, like in previous media eras, when the world instantly recalls, to cite both the frivolous and the devastating, the I Love Lucy chocolate factory episode, or Winston Churchill's "Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself" or the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. 

The baby laughing gleefully as his
father rips up a job application rejection
letter is one of the best ultra-viral
YouTube videos of the past decade. 
Here, on YouTube, we have the silly, the interesting and the serious touchstones.

Perhaps the most famous is the wailing, distraught guy, mascara streaming down his face with his tears as he screamed at us to "Leave Britney Alone!," when the pop star was having a well-publicized meltdown.

Others were almost as famous, like  the VW Darth Vader ad, and the two baby twins seeming to have an intelligent conversation made of baby babble, and the baby laughing hysterically as his dad rips up a job application rejection letter. 

There was history, of course, like Obama's 2008 election and the 2011 Japanese tsunami, and the Boston Marathon bombing. 

I'm sure we'll have other viral videos taking over our lives any minute now. Or other media. Vine, those six-second video snippets, are already starting to becoming cultural icons.  

As Sonny and Cher once sang, back in the dinosaur age when anything online wasn't really even the stuff of science fiction yet, the beat goes on. 

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