The compelling question, aside from which site could host the video longer than a day without getting it yanked, was whether or not it was a knowing spoof. In the age of irony, satire is rarely clear-cut. Just ask anyone who appeared in Borat, or their trial attorneys.
If viral video were a game show (and God, how my mind gambols like a happy foal with the possibility), its nailbiting dilemma would not be Deal or No Deal but this: Joke or No Joke? Consider this tribute to Laci Petersen. What do you think?
» Listen to Remembering Laci by John Strand
At first, I thought it was a joke. And then I noticed it was linked through the Modesto newspaper web site, presumably a straight-faced source for news about pregnant women tragically slain. And then I felt awful for thinking it was a joke. And then I felt awful it was being passed around the Internet. And then I realized I was hungry, so I ordered a bunch of delivery sushi, and tipped my courier mightily.
Maybe I prefer my satire further from the bone. Take this simple recutting of the Office Space trailer into a slasher film ad. At least I know harmless copyright infringement when I see it.
There’s no mistaking the following spoofof a man taking a photo of himself every dayfor anything but mockery. And I appreciate the gesture. If I saw one more time-elapsed YouTube flipbook, I was going to offer up a slow-motion shot of my middle finger craning upward.
But I have to admit: The fun often comes from not knowing whether or not the people involved are in on the joke. A good place to find such tension is public access TV. Enjoy queen of Florida public access, Tampa’s own Sondra PrillMs. Prill, if ya nasty.
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if a video is meant to be funny or notit’s just funny regardless. Here’s the video for a song called Tunak Tunak Tun by record-breaking Punjabi pop star Daler Mehndi. He’s having so much fun performing the song, and it’s so much fun watching himhow could anything be wrong with that?