Denizens of the Floss,
Welcome to the first ever YouTube Tuesday. Let me just out and say it: this is a milestone. I don't feel as if I have to back that statement up with proof, so I won't. But I will say this: one of the great self-obvious truths of 2006 is that YouTube has grown from a place where amateur film geeks could post videos of their friend's gnarly skateboarding sessions to a massive cultural force. Some would even say a political one. That's not to say it's still not overrun with a mind-numbing library of whack skateboarding videos -- it clearly is (although I admit a fondness for the ones where a boarder takes it where it counts, like this one, which, reader beware!, has some naughty language -- but a truly superior, almost era-defining if you want to get all anthropological on it, title: "Scott racks his nutsack on a rail") -- but YouTube has undoubtedly tapped into something -- indeed, many things -- we crave: a sense of voyeurism or exhibitionism (depending on which side of the camera you're on), the desire to waste time, and the need to instantly retrieve whatever may be at the loudly blinking center of our cultural radar, whether it be a fake rap about white guys going to the movies on SNL (since removed by NBC's lawyers) or a pitch-perfect performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
It's not for nothing that YouTube is now one of the most visited sites on the Internet, with its viewer numbers up 297% in the first six months of 2006. So I'll be the guy to help you navigate through the muck. To tell you which clips are worth your time, which aren't, and which you should stop mass-emailing around like some sort of mannerless ape.
It's grizzly terrain, but Greg Veis: YouTube Hunter is what the mental_floss brain trust calls me, and I intend to execute my duties with all the Hemingway-ian flair that name carries with it. Greg Veis: YouTube Hunter. You heard that right, ladies; that's what they call me.
But I'll need your help. So if you have suggestions for videos I absolutely must see, or ones that I absolutely must not but probably can't help myself from, email them to YouTubeHunter@hotmail.com. Working together, we could even take this guy. I have no doubt.
Until next week...