>>> The YouTube Critic
By staff writer Harold Longfellow, Ph.D.
March 11, 2007

Well, here we are again—though don’t take that “we” to mean that I somehow categorize myself with you people. I write, you read, and if I’m lucky, the oh-so-charming Mr. Court Sullivan pays me enough that I can buy the brandy and prescription drugs that get me through this column every week.

This week I shall examine for you some of what I have found to be the strangest videos on YouTube. This may be the first and only time you have a greater understanding of these videos than I, for it is apparent that they stem from a mind-numbing overuse of the psychoactive poor man’s drugs that a man of my refinement would never deign to touch.

It is as if this video is just mocking its audience with a series of ridiculous unanswered questions. Why the ridiculous body suit? Is this supposed to be a serious exercise video? Seriously though, what do poodles have to do with anything? These leave even me mystified. The director, however, in what is obviously a meaningless misdirection, masks these questions by putting the whole thing in the guise of an aerobics video. This video manages to accomplish absolutely nothing, yet somehow that fact manages to make it all the more intriguing. It carries an absolute lack of purpose but seems to fulfill its purpose nonetheless. Frankly, I have trouble rating this because it has a complete lack of any standard film conventions, but perhaps that makes it revolutionary. Only time will tell.

Acid blotters: 3 (of 4)

Unlike the last film, this one does maintain some conventions of film. That being said, it abuses them in ways I could never have previously imagined. There seems to be some semblance of a plot, but I hesitate to use that word, as a man with Down syndrome questing through strange, multicolored dimensions to get a trucker hat (whoops, I’ve spoiled the ending, and yet somehow I feel like no one is worse off for it) hardly qualifies as plot. Characters, like plot, are present, but only if a whale that speaks in textures qualifies as a character. Also, the fact that I just typed the phrase “a whale that speaks in textures” is a depressing reminder of the lows to which I have fallen in my writing. The mere existence of this video is a blow not only to cinema, but music. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Acid blotters: 1.5 (of 4)

It takes years of training and practice to become an expert computer animator, and the very best will go on to be involved in revolutionary projects like Toy Story and Shrek. That being said, now you can see the kinds of projects to which the ones who never quite make it to the top are relegated. While, needless to say, everything about this video strains my will to continue doing this job (and living), it is hard not to feel some sympathy for its creator. The animation is skillfully done, and it is apparent that he, like me, has been exiled to some wretched corner of the internet to create entertainment for plebians who will never have a scintilla of appreciation for his talent. Such are the fates of prodigious talents left by the wayside by a society of mongrels and ingrates.

Acid blotters: 2.5 (of 4)

The last video featured a talented animator clearly forced to work below his skill level, while this one, on the other hand, features a poor animator, a talentless hack of a writer, and a strange fetish for math. Nonetheless, there is something inherently fascinating about animation that combines a magical, sexually desperate 28-year-old dog, Abraham Lincoln, and the phrase “your mind has been transported back in time… and to Mars.” Frankly, I am completely torn as to my judgment. While on the one hand it is completely ridiculous, on the other hand, for some reason, it made me laugh. While I hesitate to support comedy that is not of my usual high-brow standard, I suppose every once in a while even I must appreciate rain acorns and giant, lost fire elementals.

Acid blotters: 3 (of 4)

That being said, I’m going to stop now before you all think I’ve gone soft. I assure you

I still maintain my intellectual superiority and frown upon all of you for reasons you could not even begin to comprehend. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to count the paycheck and see if this will be another week of wretched, wretched sobriety.