On Confused of Calcutta, JP Rangaswami writes of an upcoming lecture on the anthropology of YouTube and muses on YouTube’s volume of programming having surpassed that of network television. JP’s words lead me to refer again to the work of my favorite YouTube contributors, the self-created “Internets Celebrities” Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam (for links to their blogs and their films go to the next-to-last paragraph of my post of May 25). The Internets Celebrities’s combination of humor and economic and social insight have created a new genre of commentary-meets-comedy-meets-NYC-street-sensibilities and of making young (and old — witness this writer) people aware of the workings of the systems and situations in which they live — this while bypassing television broadcasting and movie-houses. Via YouTube, each of the Internets Celebrities short videos have logged up to 1,000,000 views each. For insight into what they’ve done, how they do it, and the place of YouTube in the process, view this recent broadcast (“Ghetto Economics”) on New York’s Brian Lehrer Live.
Archive for June, 2008
Posted by Stephen Lewis on June 12, 2008
Posted by Stephen Lewis on June 2, 2008
I grew up in the intimidating shadows of great Lower East Side New Yorkers, from communist novelist Mike Gold (“Jews Without Money”) to comic actor Zero Mostel (“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”), from socialist congressman Meyer London to gangster and math-whiz Meyer Lansky. For a prose- and cartoon-sketch biography of Lansky and a cautionary tale about his motto of “keep your business under your hat,” see this recent piece from the New York Times (note: if you are not up to registering for the Times Online, you can view the piece without registration here).
Part of the Lower East Side side of me admires the toughness and invulnerability of those who keep their business under their hats; the side of me that is involved in debates on the nature of knowledge and the future of the internet, however, agrees with the moral of the last plate of the cartoon sketch, i.e. that, in the end, keeping your business under your hat gets you nowhere.
(Any present or ex-, real or fantasy shtarkers viewing this post might also want to click through to Six for Five).