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Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

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cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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William Gibson

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

geriatric1927: The Next YouTube Superstar?

Posted by Bill Benzon on 08/16/06 at 10:23 AM

“I am a widower living alone in the county in the middle of England UK. My life has been very varied but my love of motorcycles has remained with me all of my life (no, I don’t have piercings or tattoos).”

His name is Peter. He joined YouTube about a week ago and he loves the blues. As of this moment he’s attracted 15,804 subscribers, making him second only to 20-year-old Brookers at 16,152. Brookers has been on YouTube 10 months and has recently signed a production deal (NYTimes) with Carson Daly Productions.

His first video was a 2:07 effort entitled “first try.” First you see “geriatric gripes and grumbles” flying on the screen, white on blue; and then the grumbler, some old guy wearing a neatly pressed blue shirt with white stripes, looking straight at the camera (light coming from his left), and wearing headphones. We cut to a shot where the old guy is to the left and we can see more of the wall behind him, pictures hung helter-skelter on a wall covered with some elaborately striped floral wall paper. Old guy says nothing, but you hear the wail of a blues harp and the strum of a guitar on the sound track: “Oh you can talk aboutcher mother . . .” Now, the old guy talks.

first try

“I got addicted to YouTube. And, ah, ‘ts’a fascinating place to go to see all the wonderful videos that you young people have produced. So I thought I’d have a go at doing one myself. But as you can see, if this ever does get loaded up I need a lot of help.” We’re off and rambling, “gripes and grumbles . . . been there done that . . . hope you respond . . . renetto must come back, Bye now.” Blues up on the sound track; we’re out.

In the past week this modest little video has attracted over a million viewers and been picked up in Spiegel Online and the Huffington Post, among others. The most astonishing thing to my mind, however, is that this one introductory video has attracted 233 video responses to date, two-hundred-and-thirty-three (probably more by the time you read this). That’s ten times more than I’ve seen for any other video. Most get no video responses; it’s not unusual to see two, three, or four responses; more than ten, very rare. But over one-hundred?

Since then Peter has posted nine more videos, the most recent one (Telling It All Part 5) only two hours ago. One has attracted almost 140K viewings, three have attracted between 100K and 110K viewings, and the rest below 90K.

Telling it all part 1
“. . . a whole new world . . .”


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