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Watching

Video Digest: April 13, 2007

Videos compared to Patrick Swayze dancing: The worst CGI ever, Coldplay's Chris Martin talking about the mental state of racism with Ricky Gervais, ultimate beer pong, Philip Graham in Lisbon, creeply Heaven's Gate.

Each week, as I sift through online videos for this column, I kick one of my ballet slippers up onto my studio barre, bust out a few pliés, and and try to find an overarching theme to unite the week’s digest. Usually these themes come to me immediately, even before the first scissor-kick. But that’s probably because I’m really, really smart.

This week, however, I could not find a theme. I thought, and I step-ball-changed, and I thought some more. But I was too busy learning hot dance moves, as my sweet new VHS copy of Swayze Dancing, Patrick Swayze’s instructional dance video, arrived in the mail recently. (Yes, I really did buy it. Yes, I will upload it to YouTube. Yes, your mind is going to be freaking blown.) And so, I decided to link some videos that have been kicking around my desktop for months. You might say it’s a potpourri. You might say it’s a steaming bag of shit. Hell, call it whatever you want. What do I care? I’m Swayze Dancing.


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The YouTube title for this video is “Worst CGI Ever.” I think we can all safely say that this is, actually, the BEST CGI ever. I’ll take this over a bunch of hobbits running around New Zealand any day.


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What I want to know is: Did Ricky Gervais script this? Because if not, my admiration for Chris Martin just shot up to Swayze Dancing levels. Gervais’s show, Extras, is all about this kind of celebrity lampooning, but somehow this clip charms me more. I think because Chris Martin looks so genuinely horrified by the end.


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It was only about six months ago that I even found out what beer pong was, so of course it comes as a surprise that it’s been elevated to this kind of art. Very impressive, future leaders of America. I just hope this is happening on state-school dollars.


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TMN contributor Philip Graham is spending a year in Lisbon. I know: Screw him! How come nobody ever sends me to Lisbon? Whaa, whaa, whaa. Anyway, he’s been recording his adventures for Ninth Letter. They’re part exploration, part meditation, and they certainly blow those boring old postcards out of the water.


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This is so freaking creepy. It’s so creepy I don’t even know if I should include it. The really sick part is that it made me weirdly nostalgic for all those end-of-the-century cults. Ruby Ridge, David Koresh. Looking back, it was kind of exciting, wasn’t it?

But let’s be honest. It was no Swayze Dancing.

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