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http://www.youtube.com/user/ikhveysnit

Monday, May 17, 2010

Most absurd Youtube films ever

Youtube provides a (relatively) unfiltered look at a great diversity of human experience. Through Youtube you can hear opinions which could never be aired in a mainstream forum. Or you can relive all of the major events of the past sixty years through news-coverage or follow breaking news from around the world. Youtube is a great vehicle for discovering literature, learning a language, making new friends or documenting history. But if you don’t have the energy for anything serious like that, why don’t you watch these five videos which I’ve collected and which are, in my humble opinion, the most absurd videos on Youtube. Enjoy.


1. Aleksey Vayner’s video resume became so notorious on Youtube that he successfully sued the site to have it taken down. Meanwhile, after nearly all the claims in his film had been exposed as lies and the video was seen by tens of millions, video resumes have become about as common in America as the buffalo. By that I mean hunted to near extinction as nobody can see a video resume without thinking of this gem. Dozens of claims made by Vayner in other media, many of which led to his acceptance at Yale (starting charities, companies, publishing books, working for the CIA, having saved someone from drowning) have all been disproven. The guy is simply full of it. He also changed his name while at Yale to avoid some of the negative publicity his constant lying was bringing. Among the more interesting lies from this period was his production of a paper allegedly from the Dali Lami (whom he also claimed wrote him a recommendation letter) which confirmed him as a Buddhist God. Vayner (formerly Garber) also claimed during his time at Yale to have worked for the Russian Mafia, as a personal tennis coach to dozens of celebrities, to have started Napster and to have grown up on a Buddhist Temple complex in Uzbekistan where he would later return to be declared “the second best fighter in the world.” Most upsetting to me is that the man literally profited off the Holocaust, publishing a completely plagiarized and made up of book which was a “gendered perspective on the Holocaust.” Impossible really is nothing if all you can do is lie.

2/3. Some newscasts are unintentionally hilarious in ways that the journalists who produced them certainly never intended. Here are two famous examples from Youtube. Whistles and leprechauns. The leprechauns incident has even sparked a scholarly article or two.



4. Sometimes simple homemade videos get put on Youtube and are seen by 28 million people. Such is the case with this adorable video of two strangely humanlike cats.


5 Much original content on Youtube was made for Youtube. A lot of material on Youtube is like the two news clips above, professionally made but immediately put on Youtube shortly thereafter. But many of the great Youtube films are long forgotten gems from the past which would have never been rediscovered without Youtube. This is one of my favorites “blasts” from the past.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Solidarity Forever: Woof!

I'll admit I haven't been following events in Greece as closely as I would like. But one story caught my attention this morning. Check out this mysterious dog that shows up at demonstrations. Note especially the photograph with the tear gas. There was a popular Socialist Yiddish children’s book by Chaver Paver (Gershon Einbinder) about a dog named Lazbik, a red dog, both in politics and in literal color who sided with the workers against the police during tense demonstrations. I wish I could name this dog Lazbik or turn the name into a Greek form but he's already been dubbed "Kanellos" by the media. In any case, that’s one tough dog. And as far as I can tell he’s on the right side of the fight.

And if anyone who reads Yiddish wants a good laugh and a time capsule of a socialist Yiddish speaking New York Brooklyn that existed seventy years ago, here's Chaver Paver's Lazbik. Note the phonetic spelling of Hebrew words, which was common in Socialist children's publications but for me is extremely difficult to read.