… and fortunately it’s also the Internet Culture web series that we need right now.
Partially thanks to the giant New Deal-esque public works project that is the YouTube Creators Program, there are a number really outstanding educational web series out there right now (Crash Course and Vsauce come to mind.)
The one that’s had my attention all summer has been PBS IdeaChannel created by web video production veterans Kornhaber+Brown and memefactory’s Mike Rugnetta.
In this episode of IdeaChannel, Mike explains the web comic phenomenon that is Homestuck – MS Paint Adeventures by comparing it to James Joyce’s Ulysses. Yes you read that right. Homestuck ≥ Ulysses.
The content itself is intelligent yet approachable, it’s well paced, and it’s always funny.
Best of all is the last two minutes of every video which they use to reply to comments from the previous week’s episode. It’s a highly engaging feature and it helps make the whole thing awesome.
Imagine if Lithuania decided to make a Powerthirst commercial for mineral water. Yeah…this is pretty much exactly what that would look like.
Warning: occasional strong language in a Lithuanian accent.
Our love of My Drunk Kitchen’s Hannah Hart is well-documented. What’s also probably not as well-documented (but should be readily apparent by now) is our undying love of puns. However, had you told us that Hannah’s next move as a rising youtube star is would be to complete one-half of a puntastic song called “Show Me Where Ya Noms At,” we would have been…skeptical.
The good news is that there’s nothing to be skeptical of here – song and the video are both well-done, remarkably cute, surprisingly catchy, and actually laugh-out-loud funny at times. Songs To Wear Pants To provides the other half of the rhythm and rhyme, but what really stands out is how impressive Hannah’s vocal prowess actually is across a rather broad swath of musical styles. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing it to yourself later today.
The Rocketeer 20th anniversary from John Banana on Vimeo.
I saw The Rocketeer at a drive-in theater with my mom and my little brother when I was ten. It was the only place in Sacramento still showing it, and even though the picture was…well, shitty, and the sound came out of a single speaker hung from the driver’s side window, I loved it. I loved every second of it not because the art design was spot-on perfect, or the costumes would go on to influence a lifetime of steampunk cosplayers, or because it was a love letter to early sci-fi – all of those appreciations came from later viewings by an older Barrett.
I loved it because he could fly. With a jetpack. And I wanted to be him.
20 years later, I don’t know how or why (and frankly don’t care) but France’s Digital Banana has reinvigotated and rekindled that joy with a fanfilm that’s equal parts Rocketeer, Looney Toons, and Pixar. It’s different from the film, but because it comes from a more reverent, more nostalgic place. The true test though, is that like all things awesome, it leaves me wanting more.
So to whomever requires my prayers/phone calls/favors/money, please give me more of this. Because I will watch every moment of it.
Because he can fly. With a jetpack.
And I want to be him.