Many of you will have seen the YouTube clip of a seven year old boy, rather spaced out on his way back from the dentist:
It's amusing, and bound to get a lot of hits as it is the sort of thing that 'goes viral' easily. But what's really interesting is the way it has set off a host of remixes. We have:
- Chad Vader (Darth's brother) after the dentist
- A funky electro remix
- A mashup of Christian Bale's swearathon and David
- A parody with Josh after the Boozer
Following on from the previous posts, this is just like a virus – it spreads and, more importantly, it mutates. It is this mutatability that is key – simply forwarding or embedding it is one level of interest, but when people take it and adapt it in unpredictable ways, then it becomes interesting at an educational level. I don't believe it's possible to analyse this and isolate the elements that make it prone to this with the hope of recreating it, but here are some contributing factors:
- Quotable ("Is this real life?")
- Instant recognition (anyone who has seen it will instantly recognise a parody of someone sitting in the back of a car, which gives you an easy frame of reference)
- Popularity (it has to go through the more simple, pass it on phase first, as remixers are then 'cashing in' on its popularity)
I'm not sure there is much we can learn for education – maybe the lesson is 'don't fight it', ie if you want media students to learn about remixing then give them whatever is popular.
Oh, okay, it's just funny.