I’ve had a marvellous time with my Gay
Boyfriend this week. I’ve had also had quite a lot of fun with
My Ding Ding Dong. In fact, a whole new world of stuff
and nonsense has been opened up to me thanks to our wonderful
British Telecom who, after long and frustrating years of
waiting, finally managed to flip the switch to bring broadband
to my remote country hovel here in the wilds of North Devon.
I had always assumed that once I got broadband I would
waste no time in doing lots of serious stuff such as downloading
software APIs and PDF manuals. On the contrary, I have
wasted no time at all in getting down to the serious business
of… wasting time.
want a love who'll never stray. When he sees other girls,
he looks away…” - so sing The
Hazzards in their video, Gay Boyfriend. Here we see one
Hazzard with her dream date.
Let me start with the Gay Boyfriend of which I spoke
earlier. A couple of weeks ago, when I was still on dial-up,
I wouldn’t even have thought of watching this. A
Quicktime video weighing in at 25.1 MB for the high
or 9.2 MB for the medium
resolution version ,
it would have taken most of the afternoon to download.
Now I can just point, click, watch and swoon. Ah, what
a gem this videos is! Written and performed by the female
ukulele duo, The
directed by the talented Ryan
this alone makes broadband worthwhile… (oh, and
while you are there, be sure to watch the ‘making
of’ movie too).
be a great romance. We'll go shopping and buy tight pants…” -
to think that, if it hadn’t
been for broadband, I may never have found this fabulous
Now, while The Hazzards are new to me, I must admit that
I had already encountered Günther and The Sunshine
Girls. It was late at night (well, early in the morning
as matter of fact) and I was channel surfing, trying to
avoid cheap reality TV shows when, by great good fortune
I chanced upon a cheap pop music show. And there he was
in all his glory: Günther. With his dark glasses,
white suit and a moustache that looks like a caterpillar
fallen on hard times, this man could only be either a double-glazing
salesman of disreputable character or a Euro-disco star.
As far as I am aware, only the latter description is applicable,
though for all I know he may sell windows in his spare
Having seen the video once, I had given up the hopes
of ever seeing it again. And then I found Günther’s
web site. To my enormous joy
the video (warning: possibly not work-friendly) was there
in all its glory. If you haven’t seen it before,
prepare yourself for… well, anyway, prepare yourself.
“The four main things in Günther's life are
Champagne, Glamour, Love and Respect….” so
says Günther. And who am I to argue?
Both Günther’s Ding Dong Song (subtitled ‘You
Touch My Tra-la-la’) and The Hazzards’ Gay
Boyfriend could lay a reasonable claim to cult status.
However, while those two videos are professionally produced,
one of the biggest cult video successes on the Internet
could hardly be more amateur. The Numa Numa Dance is just
a grainy video of a New Jersey teenager, Gary Brolsma,
sitting in front of his webcam miming to a Romanian pop
song! In the unlikely circumstance that you have not yet
seen this you may ‘treat’ yourself by logging
on to http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/numa.php.
With who knows how many millions of views by now, this
video has also appeared on various TV shows and at least
eighty different web sites. As if that wasn’t bad
enough, it’s spawned a whole load of copycat videos
including one with a dancing
Hitler and an American
Idle (sic) parody . It has to be said that
many of the Numa copycats are, in some ways, far, far better
than the original. Some of them have skilful and inventive
animations and many of them have superior video or sound
quality. But what they don’t have is whatever it
takes to be a cult. Only Gary Brolsma’s original
has it (whatever ‘it’ is; if I knew that
I’d be selling it by the bottle).
boy, a webcam and a Romanian pop song. Not an obvious recipe
for success - but then cults are rarely obvious….
Numa Numa is a classic example of so-called ‘viral
video’ - that is, a video clip which achieves huge
popularity due to word of mouth (or, rather ‘word
of email’) as people pass on the link to the video
from one person to another. If you want to waste your time
watching viral videos, a good place to start would be IFilm.
The only problem with this site is that it is plagued by
the worst kind of irritating adverts including ones that
fly around the screen and others that sing at you. Ugh!
There are plenty of alternative sources of viral videos
such as Camp
Chaos - the official site for a movie called
The War Effort (and therefore, possibly, to be regarded
as a ‘viral web site’?) this has a number of
videos with a political angle plus a few others including
the most famous viral video ever,
the so-called ‘Star
a sublime love
duet between Mr Blair and Mr Bush ,
and rather frightening video of Steve
the Microsoft troops
(and if you still aren’t scared, try the remix).
If you have plenty of time to waste, try out BoreMe.
This comprises a huge collection of Candid Camera
and You’ve Been Framed type
videos: stunts, pranks, cute animals doing not-so-cute
things plus the inevitable Numa Numa Dance.
Broadband has also opened up the wonderful world of Flash
to me. Up to now I’ve had mixed feelings about Macromedia
Flash. As it is responsible for many of the most irritating
online adverts (of the flying and singing variety), I have
tended to take a rather negative view of it. However, Flash
is also the medium of choice of some of the most creative
online artists. Take a look, for example, at ‘Modern
Living / Neurotica Series’,
a collection of sometimes funny, sometimes violent and
always vaguely disturbing Flash animations by Han Hoogerbrugge.
Wonderful stuff. For an even more ambitious work, take
a look at Hoogerbrugge’s Hotel - a long and complex interactive story about a man who
volunteers to crash a car as part of a series of tests
conducting by a doctor investigating freak accidents. This
is a bizarre tale told in eight episodes. If you enjoyed
Twin Peaks or Donnie Darko, you may enjoy this too. If
you prefer I Love Lucy, maybe you should give it a miss….
Hoogerbrugge’s Hotel - strange, disturbing
and really rather wonderful
One of the most entertaining collections of Flash animations
has to be Weebls
Stuff . Probably
best known for the addictive Badger
this also has some other great singalong cartoons such
as Kenya, the
equally fabulous Kenya
Live and (one
of my favourites) Magical
You're never alone with a Badger - ah, if only all Flash
were this good!
Badger enthusiasts might also want to take a look at
Lord Of The Rings, The
Special Edition (all badger scenes
There are, in fact, quite a few Lord of The Rings videos
on the Web. You might want to try out two videos with added
Taking The Hobbits To Isengard and
features Sam on vocals.
Ah, yes, all these years I’ve been waiting for
broadband, certain in the knowledge that it would save
me so much time. And now I have it I’ve discovered
that all the time I’ve saved is being taken up with
wasting it. This is such a worrying thought that I feel
I may need to relax with a little light distraction. What
shall it be this time? Taters? Badgers? Günther?
Or Gay Boyfriend….?