Friday, March 27, 2009

The Pre-YouTube Days

By Tony Mazur

Earlier this evening, while surfing the World Wide Web on my three-month old Toshiba laptop, I was pummeled with flashbacks. I was sent back to 1999. Everything I'm currently doing would be a foreign concept. Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? If I wanted to get a hold of a friend, I would pull out the White Pages and dial his home phone number.

Our lives have changed so much in ten years. Remember when we had to "be kind and please rewind"? Remember when we had to wait until the next morning to see what happened in sports if we couldn't stay up to watch the 11 O' clock newscast? Remember how long we had to wait for AOL to connect? Thankfully, those days are over.

Let me take you back to 1998. On a Sunday morning, I walked downstairs in my Bedford, Ohio home around 8:30 AM and turned on the TV. I was into CHR music at the time(thanks to Cleveland WZJM/92.3), so I flipped on MTV. Alanis Morissette, fresh off the success from her third album Jagged Little Pill, had come out with a song called "Thank U". The video featured a completely nude Alanis walking around, with her breasts and crotch cleverly concealed. As a ten year old boy, this was the hottest thing in the world. If I wanted to see it again, I would have to wait an hour or two for the video to be shown.

I'll give you two more examples, both set in 2002. The toe-tapping "Can't Get You out of My Head", performed by Kylie Minogue, featured the singer in odd yet erotic outfits throughout the video. Later in the year, the Russian lesbian duo t.A.T.u. released "All The Things She Said", a song that is a guilty pleasure of yours truly. Speaking of pleasure, the video caused controversy all over the world. The girls were outside in the pouring rain, dressed as Catholic school girls. As the rain fell, the girls decided it was a perfect time to have a makeout session.

Thanks to YouTube, the videos that were incredibly hot at the time and the not-too-distant future, seem dull in 2009. We're desensitized. The question here is, was our ignorance bliss, or are we better off?

I enjoy having the world at my fingertips. Multitasking has become a staple in our culture. Now if you will excuse me, I have to post an Tweet, while updating my Facebook, checking the Drudge Report and Wikipedia for vital information, all while listening to music and burning a CD.

In the meantime, here are the aforementioned videos, with the exception of "Thank U". I understand YouTube cracks down on nudity, but for goodness sake, this was on both MTV and VH1.

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