So everyone remembers America's Funniest Home Videos right? That delightful little clip show hosted by Bob Saget where people would send in their VHS tapes showing a kitty doing something cute or dad getting hit in the balls with a bat or 5 people on a bobsled crashing into the side of a house while Bob Saget did ridiculous voiceover's and even more ridiculous jokes to intro them in or extro them out. Well if you didn't know, it is still on TV. Of course it looks different and is now hosted by Tom Bergerson, but it is still on TV. Even with You Tube and Google videos and however many other file sharing video clip thing-a-mahooves are out there America's Funniest Home Videos is still on TV.
When the show was being conceived I would assume that the early meetings went something like "So I have this idea where people send us their VHS tapes of friends and family being really cute or getting hurt, and then we show them to everyone in America." "Well that's all well and good, but who in their right mind is going to send us embarrassing clips of themselves to be broadcast across America." "What if we offer cash prizes. The best/worst video each week gets $10,000 and entered into a grand prize contest for $100,000?" "Yeah, that might work. Cash rules everything around me. Cream get the money. Dolla dolla bill y'all." Now that is truly an American idea - embarrassing others for the sake of possibly winning money.
So now we have You Tube (I highlight You Tube as it is still the most popular video clip medium I know of). Thousands upon thousands of people around the world doing essentially the same thing that America's Funniest Home Video started. Only now there is no money involved - at least outside of the occasional sponsored contest or the occasional viral video that gets so popular people get a real commercial out of it. Some video clips you find are amazing or inspiring, but the ones we really want to see are the weirdos and/or idiots an/or unfortunates that are injuring or embarrassing the hell out of themselves. And a lot of these clips are uploaded by the weirdos and/or idiots an/or unfortunates themselves. No cash prizes, no chance at fame, no dignity. Just "Hey, look at me. I'm an idiot." "You are! *chuckle chuckle chuckle laugh* Let's watch you be an idiot again. Hey everyone, come look at this idiot!"
I know this blog entry isn't the most well thought out or written out piece, but it illustrates something - a slow decline. Every day we get closer to 'Ass' being the number one selling movie in America. If you don't know what I mean by that, check out the movie Idiocracy. Or just watch this You Tube clip: