Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WWW: Wonderful World of Webbiness; part the second

In olden days, all one needed to rally the crowd was a soapbox and a hearty set of lungs. A few decades ago, a Mister Microphone and a cheap reliable source of batteries were all that was required to annoy several hundred shoppers on a daily basis. But now, a new age has dawned. There is no end to the audience a creative malcontent can reach, because, thanks to the efficacy and the ready availability of webcams, you too can be a virtual Curmudgeon to the Millions.
Today, all any crackpot with a complaint needs is a modem and a motive, and he (or she)'s in business. Once dominated by the younger crowd, Youtube is seeing a surge of seniors upon whom, apparently, time weighs heavily. They seek not their own fifteen minutes of fame, but rather fifteen seconds, since most of the geriactic grumps are still clinging defiantly to dial-up.
Some examples from the web:

Job has nothing on this gal: One Woman's Story; I Can't Open It is the story of Millie and her sunny disposition despite an obvious life of constant frustration and impediments. (This editor wasted an entire hour the other morning watching videos of Millie's consumer product epiphanies, along with her ever-patient videographer, Steve.)

Big Daddy Malcontent:
Whose complete profile is "I am unhappy with the way things are". 'Nuff said.

Curmudgeons of the World, Unite! In a favorite post: "Then there is Lee Siegel’s “Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob,” which inveighs against the Internet for encouraging solipsism, debased discourse and arrant commercialization. Mr. Siegel, one might remember, was suspended by The New Republic for using a fake online persona in order to trash critics of his blog (“you couldn’t tie Siegel’s shoelaces”) and to praise himself (“brave, brilliant”)."

Send any new finds to the Penguin Hall Monitor for future reference; and remember: If you saw it on the web, it must be true!

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