Online video has long provided a novel way of ordinary people to find a bigger audience, deservedly so or not. But the latest YouTube phenomenon, the JK Wedding Video, is a step too far for me, because it signals that people are now playing the system to seek fame and fortune.
There was a time when people became famous for doing something noteworthy and deserving of attention by a bigger audience than just their friends and family. Like being a famous writer, philosopher, artist, or politician. Then it became actors and musicians. Then porn stars and reality TV contestants. And now? Now we have people who do something slightly funny and upload the video of it to YouTube.
JK Wedding Video
You’ve probably all seen the JK Wedding Video by now. If not, head on over to WebTVHub and do just that. The video shows the procession down the aisle at the wedding of Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz. They and all their guests dance their way into church to the accompaniment of Chris Brown, the guy who is alleged to have beaten up his ex-girlfriend Rihanna not so long ago.
There’s no doubt that the video is a lot of fun. It turns a local wedding in Minnesota, which could have been dull, boring, and very conservative, into an event which clearly gives everyone present a good laugh, and has also entertained millions of people on the Web who have seen it since. So why do I hate the video and everything it stands for?
Why The Hatred?
The JK Wedding Video is just the latest in a long line of YouTube clips to break out from the online video niche and enter the mainstream. But this feels different, like it was staged, like it was performed, videoed, and uploaded to YouTube with the express intention of finding fame and fortune for its makers.
My hatred for it doesn’t spring from a desire to keep the sanctity of marriage pure or anything. In fact, I wish weddings were less formal and less traditional, although I’m not sure dancing down the aisle to crappy pop music is quite the way to achieve this. My hatred springs instead from the way the couple have had fame foisted upon them as a result of uploading a mildly amusing video to YouTube.
It’s pretty clear to me that Jill and Kevin saw the fame and fortune afforded to other stars of other online video phenomenons and decided they wanted a piece of the action. The most obvious video to point the blame at is the Baby Got Back first dance video from 2007. The couple behind that little video went on to appear on chat shows and perform their little skit all around the world.
Now, the same is happening to Jill and Kevin, although I fear they had planned that route to stardom all along. I don’t mind the video on its own merit but even on the first viewing I smelt a bit of a rat. The fact that the couple have since appeared on The Today Show bears out my fear that this was all done as a way of getting famous. Which sucks, in my opinion.