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David Knows What’s Up: YouTube Will Turn You Into Spartacus

February 3, 2010

You ever wonder why you love watching people’s worst moments on YouTube? David Tells Us…

David Knows What’s Up | YouTube Will Turn You Into Spartacus

By David Marchese

The other day someone sent me a video where a newscaster stands under a tree and then a bird craps in his mouth. It was pretty funny. A couple hours later, a different person sent me a video of a rollerblader skating down a handrail, then biting it and busting his nards. I laughed, but not as hard as I did when the bird dropped a deuce in the dude’s mouth. I didn’t laugh at all when someone sent me a video of a rabbit running onto a racetrack and then getting turned to goo by a fast car. I can only take so much of that stuff. It’s bad for your soul – not Bumfights or Faces of Death bad, but still pretty bad.
But check this out: If you do the math, then the world will never get tired of watching videos where bad things happen to regular people. I’m only one person, right? There are, I assume, forty million videos of funny violence on YouTube. The population of the Earth is somewhere in the range of seven billion. Divide seven billion by forty million and you’ve got more videos than any one person could ever watch in their lifetime.
Sounds pretty far out right? If you’d told your grandfather when he was a kid that you’d be able to watch a million different videos of people popping pimples and brawling in the back of autobody stores, his corncob pipe-smoking head probably would’ve exploded.
Or would it’ve?
I’ve been thinking about it lately, and YouTube is really just a version of the Ancient Roman gladiator battles where slaves like Spartacus and Russell Crowe would have to try and kill tigers before the tigers killed them. Thumbs up/Thumbs down = staying on a YouTube video/navigating away. The common denominator is that we, humans, as a whole, get a kick out the very same things that we always have.
So next time you’re sitting in your hands-free La-Z-Boy massage chair, downloading UFC’s ultimate knockouts onto your Apple iTablet, you might want to look up at the moon – because it’s the same moon that Spartacus looked at. And what’s the most famous line from that movie? “I’m Spartacus.” Wrong. We all are. We are all Spartacii.
Are you not entertained?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anthony Boylan permalink
    February 3, 2010 2:38 pm

    7 billion people / 40 million videos = the number of people per video, not the number of videos per person. Not that this really matters because multiple people can watch the same video. The division just wasn’t really germane to your article.

    I liked the corn-cob smoking bit. Nice characterization.

  2. February 3, 2010 4:38 pm

    But dude, even ten people couldn’t watch a million videos.

  3. Anthony Boylan permalink
    February 3, 2010 4:58 pm

    What if those ten people were immortal? Then they could. Or if the videos were really short, like a nanosecond in length? Then it would work quite well.

    Also, 7 billion people / 40 million videos = 175 people / video.

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