There’s no deeper feeling of dread than when a friend or co-worker excitedly tells you that you “gotta to check out this hilarious video on YouTube!!” You’re then obligated to gather around a computer with three or four other chumps, sit through a 30 second Kia advertisement, and politely chuckle throughout a five-minute long video with no real punchline, no importance, and no genuine “LOL-able” moments.
Yes, I’d pretty much rather snort cayenne pepper that sit through a bunch of other people’s favorite internet videos. But because we’re all at work, and because it’s hump day, and because I’m above leaving angry comments on YouTube.com itself, I thought it’d be funny to list out the 10 worst ones I can remember being subjected to:
10. Leave Britney Alone
Poor Chris Crocker, alone in the universe, sticking up for his gal Britney Spears, who was having a bit of an off-year herself.
While I admire his deep compassion for the human condition, his Cruella DeVille-like hairdo, and kohl-rimmed eyes, the backdrop of this video is what irritates me to no end. Is he standing up against a silky curtain? Is he inside a boutique dressing room? Laying in bed with his webcam suspended in the air above him? Maybe he taped one of his mom’s tablecloths to his bedroom wall? Or is he just shooting this video from some awesome blanket fort?
9. The Juggernaut, Bitch
We all remember the surge of dubbed cartoons that hit the ‘net around ten years ago. The GI Joe PSAs got it right, with short clips, absurd plots, and clear dialog. Conversely, the Juggernaut video lasts almost ten minutes, is impossible to understand, and drops more profanities than Joe Pesci stubbing his toe. Many-a house party in my middle school years were ruined by some wannabe badass forcing everyone to gather around a family computer, waiting 20 minutes for the dial-up to load the video, and sitting through possibly the dullest cartoon ever.
Freshman year of college, one of my friends from high school pledged the cool fraternity, and we both lived on the same floor in Couch at OU. I’d clomp over to his dorm room in my Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants and Ugg boots, sit on the beat-up futon he squeezed into his dorm, and tried to appear cool and amused as him and his pledge brethren chowed down on Pizza Shuttle and watched this video on repeat. In retrospect, I was definitely naive and they were definitely high.
7. Numa Numa
Look, I get that this video (may or may not) be considered a watershed moment for YouTube and the internet age. This guy was voted by VH1 as the number one greatest internet superstar, and taught us all a use for a webcam that didn’t involve getting naked. But if I wanted to watch a dork singing and dancing to a foreign song, I’d flip on 99 Luft Balloons and look in the mirror.
6. The “I Don’t Like You” Kid
Is it just me, or does this mom seem like a total bitch?
A) You can clearly hear the offense and agitation in her voice. What kind of mother gets that pissy when a toddler says something silly? I wouldn’t like her unless she was giving me cookies either.
B) What kind of a jerk posts an unflattering video–of their own child–on YouTube for the world to see? (Hint: apparently a lot of them. Assholes.)
C) There’s now a pop-up ad on the video for a COOKIES KID iPHONE APP. I want to punch this lady in the face.
5. I’m on a Boat
Moles, how do we feel about Andy Samberg? I’m actually pretty on board with his new show Brooklyn 99, and I’d gladly pass the chronic–les of Narnia and shoot the shit with him on any ol’ Lazy Sunday.
That being said, I’m pretty sure that the only things needed to create a viral Lonely Island video are A) convince an “it” celebrity to guest star, B) come up with some catchy earworm phrase, and C) chant said phrase over and over again while a generic track blares in the background.
4. Salad Fingers
Maybe my intellect is far too basic to understand these cartoons. But to this day, I am completely, utterly, exhaustively, and unconditionally baffled as to why this series became an internet sensation.
Actually, I take this one back. Rebecca Black’s debut hit single is possible one of the most funny and revealing social commentaries our world has ever seen.
2. OMG Shoes
This video itself wasn’t so bad. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that to a suburban teenage girl at a slumber party during the mid-aughts, it might as well have been Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The terrible thing about this song and dance is obnoxious and unrelenting catchphrase quotes it spurred. “Let’s get em,” “Stupid boy,” “These shoes cost $300 fucking dollars,” and “I am gonna get what I want!” barely tips the iceberg.
1. Gangnam Style
I bought a shirt at Urban Outfitters several years ago that says “Support Local.” I mostly like it because it’s charcoal colored and super-soft, but I also like it because it’s confusing (especially to me) to wear to places like Target, Applebee’s, and the farmer’s market on Cherry Street.
Going to a big box store (or a Mom and Pop) wearing a shirt that says “Support Local” that was mass-produced for a national chain retailer and marketed toward wannabe artsy hipsters is pretty similar to how I feel about the Gangnam style video. To me, it’s like, the Inception of YouTube and pop culture.
Is it an earnest hit Korean music video, seen as cheesy and hilarious by Americans? Is it a parody video in Korea, seen as earnest by Americans, and therefore funny to us because of that? Is the dancing Korean man making fun of western culture for celebrating ridiculous videos? Do people (besides my cubicle neighbor who has “Gangnam Style” as her ringtone) genuinely think it’s a fun and good song? Do the back up dancers who awkwardly gyrate on Psy during interviews think they’re being sexy? Is it meant to be treated as a line dance, like the Macarena? Is everyone involved in the making and consumption of “Gangnam Style” doing so in a tongue-in-cheek manner–and if so, does this make it a higher art or lower art than if someone involved sincerely enjoyed it for what it was?
And the biggest question of all–will I ground, spank, or post a stupid video of my future child when he or she asks me if I went to any Psy concerts when I was young.
Follow Chelsea at @xCawoodstock