Thursday, May 9, 2013

15 Minutes of Fame for a Lifetime of Shame

I'm having an internal struggle lately with all the YouTube auto-tunes out there lately.  On one hand, the clever turn of an at best shoddy news segment is turned into an international sensation (maybe Canada watches it?) overnight.  And then if you don't scour YouTube on a daily basis, you'll see it everywhere on TV, whether it's on Tosh.lame0, a dentist commercial, or a spoof of it on South Park.  It all seems so innocent.  Harmless poking at the less than brilliant people (usually in Alabama), which we justify by saying, "but their lives are better too, cos they went on the Today show and said how it's just been crazy the last few weeks..."

But is it so harmless?  Sure, "Ain't nobody got time for that" is a regular part of my vocabulary now, and the Antoine Dodson song is still one of the catchiest, most fun songs to sing along to.  But is it right that the song itself is better known than the story of an attempted rape in a small town in Alabama, where the "hero" of the story says the cop presence is so poor, that everybody could be a victim? 

I don't know the answer, and I promise I'm not on some crusade to stop people from auto-tuning the news, but it just seems like, as with most things, we take things too far and well beyond their normal course of life (ref:  9 seasons of The Office.)  The latest is with of course Mr. Ramsey, the hero in the Amanda Berry rescue.  His heroism is real.  He was able to blow through the barrier of American indifference and put himself in a dangerous situation to respond to the cries of a young girl trapped in a house.  Unfortunately for Mr. Ramsey, he is not the most educated man, and when interviewed by the local news media, he did not censor his thoughts and spoke his mind.  What came from that was a slightly amusing anecdote of what he was thinking when rescuing the girl.  and what came of that?  Well you know of course.  The auto-tuning of a most gruesome story.

I can't decide how to feel about it.  I still laugh anytime I hear the words "double rainbow, oh my god!" and I won't lie; the minute I saw the Kai video, I searched for a good auto-tune version of it for 10 minutes.  I'm as culpable as the rest, and by the end of this post, I'm even going to post a video of another great remix.

I guess all we can hope for is that, if autotune is the new normal, people will use tact in the type of stories they put to song, and give us something creative to enjoy...

Of course, I thought the same thing about reality TV.......

As promised.... 

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