Why do we stare at car wrecks? Or watch Tosh.0? Or that MTV rip-off of Tosh.0… what’s it called… Ridiculousness? Anyway, whatever. I don’t know why we watch that stuff, but whatever the reason is, it’s the same reason that I’ve spent four hours over the last couple days watching BoooTube.1
No, that’s not a misprint, it’s a website that collects and re-posts the worst videos on YouTube – videos that receive the most thumbs down clicks by viewers. Basically its a dump receptacle for “the best of the worst,” a site where we can watch the best of the worst YouTube videos – all in one terrible, terrible place.2
I will understand if you don’t want to check it out for yourself. But even if not, stick with me for just a second. (After all, I’m never getting those four hours of my life back.) So just what does one find on BoooTube?
Basically there are five types of videos that people have booed enough that they’ve earned their place on BoooTube:
1) Cheesy Music Videos: Thought Rebecca Black’s Friday video was bad, these videos achieve the rare combination of nauseating lyrics and redundant sexual cliches (like, say, from a 1990s Sir Mix-a-Lot Video). My favorite is of a young woman who seems like she’s dressed to go clubbing. Which would be fine, except that she’s chair-dancing while sitting on a Pontoon in the Ozarks while repeatedly singing the phrase “Don’t Put it On Me, Girl”. Oh, and did I mention she’s holding a dog with dyed-pink ears while doing this? Because she is. I have no idea why. Interestingly, she reminds of my childhood in southern Indiana.
2) Hate-speech videos: My favorite includes a 12 year old Belieber fan who asks all Bieber-haters that they show the same respect that he shows to “metal rock $#^%” and a woman who gets angry at atheists who ‘preach’ against Christian preachers for preaching. I’m not a philosophy student (oh wait…yes, I am) but it seems like screwy logic to me.
3) Video Content different than Video Title: Here’s a sure fire way to get the video you’re currently brainstorming as you read this on to BoooTube (I know that’s why you’re still reading). Give it a title that has nothing to do with the content. On BoooTube Democracy has spoken, and it has told us that people hate (really, hate) it when they’re the victims of the old bait and switch. Want to make people angry? Show videos of people tripping while running on a treadmill but title it “Twerk Fails.” (I have just given you a BoooTube goldmine. And, no, I didn’t ask for this gift.)
4) Gross Videos: Apparently, people really hate watching videos of people doing disgusting things. (I know, I was surprised too!) The grossest of the vids I let myself watch was of someone popping an enormous neck-pimple. And it was gross, but I was willing to sacrifice for you all… I wonder what the excuse of the few thousand other people who watched it is? Ahhh, life, you are so mysterious.
5) Attention: Some of the burgeoning Stephen Spielberg’s on BoooTube actually seem to want you to unlike the video, going so far as to ask the viewer to do so because it drives up traffic and attention. At first I was confused about this, but then I thought back to how much we human beings like to criticize really bad things (isn’t this why we all loved Mystery Science Theater 3000).
Okay, so what’s going on with all this? Why watch any of these five kinds of videos at all?
Well, sometimes we shouldn’t. And there is something about BoooTube that is genuinely weird and disconcerting – like it’s crowdsourcing the Evil Spirit, or locating all the darkness of the Internet in one exceptionally vicious and critical corner. Don’t we do that enough? Yes we do. And it’s one of the worst things about the Internet (or humans, I guess).
But there is one good thing in the midst of all this, sometimes the BoooTube community unearths a video that is actually worth more Hurrah’s than Boo’s – and they know it. One video I watched, in fact, was relegated to BoooTube with a huge number of unlikes before the BoooTube community realized how great it was and started voting it back up the polls. It now has more Likes than Unlikes. Just like George Costanza, sometimes BoooTube finds a perfectly good video eclair hovering at the top of the e-trash receptacle.
And no, you don’t have to go to BoooTube to watch it. Here it is, my friends, right here, the best of the worst become the best of the best again thanks to BoooTube:
1950s Modern Addiction image courtesy Flickr user Clapagare ! (Los chiquitos)
– — // — –