Jul 05 2012
Last weekend, I was forced to watch a rerun of America’s Got Talent. Well, I wasn’t forced per se, but each bike at my gym has a TV attached to it, and the only one open at the time was stuck on NBC. On mute. With closed captions. It was awful. And I’d love to share the whole experience with Unreality, but Paul keeps my hatred of reality TV on a very short leash. Let’s just say it was the most uncomfortable 25 minutes of cardiovascular activity I’ve ever experienced, and for once this had nothing to do with chafing.
Anyway, I normally leave the gym feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to launch myself into the day. (Thanks, endocannabinoids.) But after nearly a half hour of AGT-infused cardio, I was mentally drained. If I wanted to salvage the morning’s productivity, I’d need a different kind of boost. One that reminded me there was a hell of a lot more to mass media than manufactured drama and the remorseless exploitation of people who don’t know any better.
Luckily (and ironically?), there are plenty of reminders on the Internet that our species doesn’t totally suck. Feeling cynical yourself? Because I’ve found a few YouTube videos to help me out whenever I start losing my faith in…
Humanity in general
This video’s called “The Greatest Speech Ever Made,” and the monologue itself—taken from a 1940 film called The Great Dictator—is old news. While it was produced in a vastly different era, the messages within it are very much applicable today. Charlie Chaplin’s rising cadence combine with a haunting musical score and well-edited video clips to elicit many emotions, and I’m pretty sure one of them is hope.
This video’s a hell of a lot more upbeat, and the name says it all: awesome people doing awesome things all over this awesome world.
Love and/or the institution of marriage
When I see commercials for shows like Bridezillas, Bridalplasty, or any other competition with the word “bride” in it, I usually get a heart palpitation or two. Same thing for celebrity weddings that nobody in their right mind should give a shit about. Thankfully, in the real world, my generation still knows how to pull off a wedding ceremony in style.
That goes for proposals too. Who said romance was dead? As a movie buff, it’s hard to disagree with the video’s title here.
What you can personally accomplish
Some sports movies are just better than others, and this video pieces together the most powerful speeches they have to offer. Try playing this in the background as you brush your teeth in the morning.
Life is a perpetual series of challenges, and sometimes you have to start from scratch. You don’t have to end there, though.
I caught most of these pictures on Buzzfeed the other week, and it looks like somebody made a pretty sweet YouTube video out of them. Random acts of kindness seem like a rare thing these days, but it’s nice to know they’re not completely extinct.
Context: “Matt has spastic cerebral palsy, but opted to run in Field Day at Colonial Hills Elementary School despite being given the option to sit it out, and despite the incredible challenge of his disability.”
Kids can be pretty terrible to each other. Roughly 5.7 million American teens are involved in bullying each year, and one news story after another only confirms my belief that we’re raising a generation of fat, half-literate troll monkeys. But watch what happens around 2:30. When I see stuff like that, I can’t help but think some of them might be OK after all.
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