Greg Veis, YouTube Hunter: YouTube Turnip

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Today's other mental_floss blog column, the delightful Tuesday Turnip, inspired this jet-lagged and sleep-deprived entry. You know the idea: type a word into a search engine and see what "turns up." Well, as you might expect, this leads to some rather strange results in YouTube Land. People be nuts, like Almond Joy. (That was my attempt to write a rapper-like simile. Day job: keeping it.)

Anyway, as proof of people's being a wee bit touched, typing in "Harold and Kumar" yields 175 returns. Do we really need that many bootlegged snippets of two guys on a drug-fueled hero's quest for tiny burgers? Ah, screw it, why not...

Here's another one, slightly less surprising. The word "parody" gets you 37,719 results, including this one, which isn't a parody at all but is spelled like it in a foreign country:

Okay, okay, this is more conventional and pretty clever (although it's hard to watch videos like this without wondering where whoever produced it found the time):

Punching in the name of YouTube's corporate overlord Google returns 6,166 hits. This one using some Dust Brothers music from "Fight Club" is worth your 30 seconds, though not much more:

"Anarchy" ...1,904 results, with some truly sick ones in the bunch. So let's stick to John Hughes, huh.

And for the big finale, a side-by-side comparison...

"Marcel Proust:" 8 results
"Hardcore Monkey Love:" 282 results

I'm no cultural doomsdayist, so you won't see me crying into my madeleine. YouTube's not for the faint of heart, or, it seems, the self-absorbed and French (redundant?). Go figure. Anyway, here's some Proust and "Hardcore Monkey Love" -- neither as tantalizing as it sounds:

Okay, before I sign off. let me give you a reading assignment for next week. There's an article in this month's Atlantic about the future of newspapers that talks about a video called EPIC 2014 that's enjoyed some insider cache on YouTube and elsewhere. Read the article, and next week I'll show you the video -- and then we'll talk about its merits and false predictions and generally what lies ahead for ink-stained wretches like myself. Let the navel-gazing begin!

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November 28, 2006 - 11:10am
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