It’s all Elly‘s fault. A couple of weeks ago, I was going nuts trying to figure out what to write in my column. I didn’t want to do another rant about network neutrality, and I was also leery of giving in to my urge to write something about a fantasy novel I was reading. That’s when Elly walked into Ritual, and told me about Brookers.
“She’s this big star on YouTube,” Elly said, “And she just got a giant development deal with NBC because of her vodcast.” She made Brookers sound kind of cool and geeky, like a regular Web dork who happened to get lucky. But when I watched Brookers’ videos, I was really unimpressed. Really. It was like watching a teenager make faces at herself in the mirror — sort of cute, but mostly just annoying. The video that earned Brookers her big development deal had gotten 1.5 million downloads, and it was the only watchable thing she’s made. Unfortunately, however, it was just a response to an Internet meme known as the “Numa Numa Dance.” She was imitating an imitation of an imitation that had been going around the Web for 3 years. Jean Baudrillard is probably writing an essay about Brookers right now.
The more I investigated the Numa Numa Dance, however, the more intrigued I became. I spent the whole afternoon in Ritual drinking coffee and watching video after video of fans all over the world dancing to Moldavian pop music. And I wrote a column about the tangled origins of the Numa Numa Dance.
Then, later that week, I got to go on another episode of the Web’s surliest TV show, Cranky Geeks — and host John Dvorak let me rant about Brookers some more. When you get two rants out of one meme, I think that’s a good score.