In the interest of getting through the offseason with something to talk about, given there's almost nothing going on with Carolina sports at the moment, we've decided to start a new series here at GABA - Things We Like. Unlike the GABA Q&As that George pulls together every* Friday, Things We Like focuses on things other than South Carolina and the Gamecocks, but rather just things we enjoy and think you may also enjoy. There's a big ol' comment section there at the bottom to tell us what we got wrong or what you'd prefer, so feel free to employ it.
*Offer void on Friday's where George doesn't get around to it.
Starting off the Things We Like series is a question we were throwing around on Gchat this week - what is the funniest thing you know of on the internet? The thing where if you were trying to explain to someone why the internet had value as a medium for funny things, this is what you would show them? And, since we're trying to avoid this also being a Gamecock-centric segment, let's not take the easy option.
There is a part of me that likes bad things to the point to where I no longer like them because they're bad, but I just genuinely like them. This is why I end up doing things like not changing the channel when Call Me Maybe comes on the radio. It's also why one of my favorite football plays of all time is Dan Orvlosky running out the back of the end zone, leading the Lions to the only 0-16 season in the history of the NFL.
Given that, it shouldn't surprise you to learn that I love the Eurovision Song Contest, which is a significantly worse version of American Idol crossed with the grotesque nationalism you normally reserve for things like invading small countries or, perhaps, the World Cup.
Still, if it's your sort of thing, it's beautiful. A few contestants try to win through sheer effort and talent - the rest, deliberately or otherwise - just make a mockery of the damn thing.
LET'S GO TO THE TAPE:
Cezar, "It's My Life," Romania, 2013
The man dressed up as a vampire and sang in falsetto. If this is all you ever know about Romania, it's enough.
Farid Mammadov, "Hold Me," Azerbaijan, 2013
Try explaining this to someone who has never seen it. It's like trying to describe the color blue to a blind man.
Lordi, "Hard Rock Hallelujah," Finland, 2006
This is all I ever think of when I think of Finland. It is enough.
Dschingis Khan, "Dschingis Khan," Germany, 1979
The gold standard. Notice one of the five members of the band is not going to do anything musically related during this entire performance. He will be your favorite part.
You don't even need to know the words to enjoy the patent absurdity of everything about this video. It is perfect in every way. Most people get annoyed by the open of the video - a weird one minute video of a woman churning butter or something, but this is literally how Europeans were entertained during the minute to 90 second interval between songs. If that doesn't make you happy you live in the age of the internet, nothing will.
Let me preface this by revealing something about myself: I am fourteen years old. I turned fourteen in 1999, and never bothered with fifteen or twenty or any other age because things that are fourteen-funny are the best, so I chose to remain in that headspace for the duration. Ergo, I give you My Dick, a musical duo that dedicated unfathomable amounts of time to faithfully re-recording a number of prominent pop songs but liberally replacing lyrics with "dick" or "my dick". Billy Joel's "Piano Man" is now "Piano Dick", where it's always dick o'clock on a Saturday. Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" is now "Fast Dick", Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" is "Ironic Dick", Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" is now "Baker Dick" with the immortal saxophone riff replaced by a squealed refrain of "my dick". My personal favorite is disco anthem "Everybody My Dick Tonight!", complete with robot voice on the chorus. The collection is dutifully recorded but grounded by overt amateurism (flubbed notes, cheesy synth) that makes it even more ridiculous.
If this sounds like the stupidest thing you've ever heard, you're probably right and also probably female. But I assure you, throw fifteen dudes in a room with a ton of beer and an iPod speaker dock and you'll laugh until you cry. Or maybe it's just me. After all, I'm only 14.
Before Google bought YouTube and the DIY video publishing service became became the domain of music videos and movie trailers, it was mostly a bunch of people doing really weird stuff and putting it on the internet.
It's remarkable to see how poorly some of my favorite videos from, say, 2006 and 2007 hold up today. The language of YouTube videos has rapidly evolved over the past decade, mostly for the better. For the most part, production values are much higher and everyone is pretty good about getting to the point in the first 15 seconds. (When there's so much internet to look at on a day-to-day basis and viewers are forced to sit through ads for up to 30 seconds, you don't have anyone's attention for long.)
But I do still enjoy some of the rough edges worn by the videos that were at the vanguard of the #viralcontent revolution. One of my favorites from the early days of YouTube is this 10-minute video that reimagines the public service announcements from the G.I. Joe cartoons. The audio soldiers warning teenagers about the dangers of stealing a pack of dad's smokes or goofing off at an abandoned construction site is replaced with much more hilarious/bizarre/surreal dialogue that juxtaposes the intended All-American message with straight-up trippy weirdness.
Please feel free to share your favorite internet things so we can grow as a community and spent more time on this Friday afternoon productively contributing to society.