Being a huge fan of YouTube (i.e someone with plenty of time on their hands), I thought last week that instead of clicking on the most viewed videos and those sent to me in emails and tweets, I would trawl through some of the hundreds of unseen little films on the site and see if I could discover hidden treasure.
I was quite pleased with myself when I clicked on a video imaginatively titled "Blind Lorry Driver" and saw that I was the first viewer. The CCTV footage showed a grain truck, it's driver unaware that his trailer was raised high above the cab, travelling at speed along a foreign motorway and demolishing a large glass enclosed pedestrian footbridge. It was what might be termed an "Epic Fail" and I embedded it on the blog to share with my enormous readership and see if it would become viral. A couple of minutes later I clicked on the link to check that it worked OK and watched in horror as I realised that there were at least two pedestrians on the bridge as the collision happened and at least one of them fell from a great height with the bridge then falling on top of him. Not wishing to be responsible for posting links to what might effectively be a snuff movie on my blog, I took the link down and added a hasty apology to those who might have seen it (about four people according to the statistics).
I did some research and found to my relief that the pedestrian was not killed (very lucky) and that the clip, showing a Turkish bridge being demolished, had been uploaded to YouTube last year and been seen by a couple of hundred thousand people ....Phew.
Taking this as a salutary lesson, I decided to repeat the exercise today with care and I can report that there is a hell of a lot of rubbish out there. I limited my browsing to clips under 60 seconds long in the comedy category and must say that the brief dictionary definition of comedy as "funny entertainment" has been wildly misinterpreted by most of those doing the uploading. Cats and dogs and babies are uploaded at the rate of about five every minute and, whilst some of YouTube's all time classics have featured these subjects I can't really say that the films I saw of dogs barking, cats looking at the camera and babies dancing (kicking their legs involuntarily once in 30 seconds whilst music happens to be playing in the background) are ever going to be willingly shared on line.
I've seen school ground videos, on the way to school videos and on the school bus videos and yes, today's kids are just as unfunny as they were when I was a kid but unfortunately they now have the cameras to prove it. I've endured the unsavory sights of a bloke peeing into the snow from a cable car, a "ghost" dancing to the shoop shoop song and a lad and his disabled companion in a video with the unbelievable title of "Tickling a Spastic".
I've come to the conclusion that in future I'll wait for others to send me links to funny stuff. I did my utmost to find something worth a look but the only vaguely remarkable one that I found in over an hour's worth of uploads was another traffic accident Here's a young man with remarkable reflexes (and absolutely no casualties this time).
I'll stick to longer films in future. It's Orange Wednesday so we're off to see Black Swan followed by the Orange two for one offer at Pizza Express this afternoon.