Alt Wire is a morning digest of links and information collected and explained by a different guest blogger every weekday. Today's guest is Davy Rothbart, creator and editor of Found magazine and frequent contributor to This American Life. We asked him for five links and he came up with 13. No complaints.
These days I spend about 87 hours a day on YouTube, usually hopping from found snippets (someone blowing out the candles at their birthday party or singing sadly alone in a car) to 80's rap videos (Nice & Smooth; EPMD) to the kind of classic sports moments that set my nostalgiac streak a-tremblin' (think Elvis Grbac's touchdown pass to Desmond Howard). Whatever emotional buttons you want to press on yourself, with YouTube you're only a couple of clicks away. (I've been having trouble, though, locating a clip of Jeff Van Gundy hanging on for dear life to Alonzo Mourning's leg—any leads appreciated.)
I can still remember my first visit to YouTube way back in 2007: A friend had sent me a link to Stephen Colbert roasting President Bush at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. It was love at first sight—not with Colbert, but with YouTube. Here are five favorites from my favorite web planet:
Creep, Kansas City: This video, to me, represents the magic of the found bits available on YouTube. This is one of the most raw, sad and beautiful videos I can imagine, and I don't think a filmmaker could craft something quite this rich and pure. This girl has a ton of other similar, strangely affecting videos.
Wet Pets: As a longtime fan of local cable commercials, I've seen some dandies (Puffer Reds, anyone?) but this one outshines them all.
V. Count Macula's "Smooth Wizardz": When people ask me what it's like to live in Michigan, I share with them this visionary song and video from Detroit's next legend, V. Count Macula. The best shot's gotta be of Shark wielding the nunchucks while he's on his cellie.
Bakopoulos/Okopski Holiday Card 2008: Novelist/professional bad-ass Dean Bakopoulos sent over my favorite holiday card of 2008.
Baron Davis, It's Time to Come Home: How could B.D. not have been swayed?
Frosting: Another found snippet, this one of a happy family; oddly, I recognize my brother Peter's Poem Adept CD playing in the background. "YouTube, where are you now?"
Gasoline Addiction: Speaking of Peter, when he first moved to Seattle, he was offered lead guitar in this band; apparently, they often play shows on the motocross circuit. I'll never forgive him for turning the opportunity down.
Bio: Davy Rothbart is the creator and editor of Found magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life, and author of the story collection "The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas." He's also the subject of an upcoming documentary film, My Heart Is An Idiot. Davy and Peter Rothbart are about to hit the road on a 57-city FOUND Tour; please check local listings.
EDITOR'S NOTE: We couldn't resist turning Rothbart's post into a YouTube playlist. Here are his picks, make it a lunch-at-your-desk date:
Previous Alt Wire Guests:
Roger White, Dan Sinker, Phil Yu, Matt Novak, Jason Marsh, David LaBounty, Jen Angel, Will Braun, Regan Hofmann, Josh Breitbart, Andrew Lam, Jessica Valenti, Jessica Hoffmann, Noah Scalin, Rinku Sen, Paddy Johnson, Melissa Mcewan, Fatemeh Fakhraie , Joe Biel, Anne Elizabeth Moore