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Web Civ: Alison Gold’s ‘Chinese Food’

It’s been well over a week since Alison Gold’s “Chinese Food,” the latest from Ark Music Factory—the one-man brain trust behind such staples as “Friday” and “It’s Thanksgiving“—dropped on YouTube, and the odds are not low that you’ve seen it by now. Over the course of its brief existence, the video has amassed 10 million views and a whopping 4:1 dislike-to-like ratio. Media response has been swift: Bon Appetit spoke with a grammatically challenged Gold via instant-message for its website last week, and Yahoo OMG! Insider followed with this cringe-inducing interview segment tackling the “alleged” racism in the video.

Of course, saying the racism in “Chinese Food” is “alleged” is kind of like saying Charles Manson is “allegedly” a bad dude. From fairly harmless Chinese imagery (a dancing Panda bear, pervasive and improper use of chopsticks) to more troubling conflations of pan-Asian life (dancers in kimonos, a Monopoly piece landing on Oriental Avenue), “Chinese Food” deals primarily in stereotypes. But before you head over to YouTube to jump into the spirited viewer debate (and believe me, an analysis of the comment section would make for a riveting post of its own), ask yourself: “Am I not doing exactly what they—being Ark—want me to?”

And the answer is, of course you are. Ark videos are much like Westboro Baptist Church pickets—by responding with outrage or disbelief, you’re merely fanning the flames. These people live for negative feedback. (Which then begs the perennial question, who the hell are the parents that continue to send their kids to Ark’s Patrice Wilson? Obviously, they are has-beens or never-weres living in the greater Los Angeles area, where dreams are eviscerated and hearts ripped from souls… but even for that demographic, isn’t this a little much?) In any case: just don’t bother reacting, and you’ll save your precious time and energy.

And I believe in that stance. Truly, I do. The best way to watch an Ark video is to not watch it at all. But, the next best way to watch an Ark video is to laugh, indulge in the low-hanging fruit that it offers, and pick it apart for every single one of its moronic frames. Which I have done, after the jump:

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Web Civ: Turkey! Mashed Potatoes! Breaking down “It’s Thanksgiving”

So apparently, despite the death threats and a pronounced lack of talent, Patrice Wilson–better known as the producer/musical genius behind Rebecca Black’s “Friday”–is still in the game, with his new production “It’s Thanksgiving” now rocketing around the interweb. In it, Nicole Westbrook–Rebecca aspirations in hand–whines her way through 3:43 of particularly uninspired Thanksgiving-themed lyrics, punctuated by a typically humiliating mandatory guest appearance by Wilson. Now, let’s be clear here–at this point, these people are aiming for an “any publicity is good publicity” policy and are intentionally gunning for the negative feedback they’re getting, something we shouldn’t stoop to provide. But damn, they’re so good at being bad! Here’s a couch companion to the near-four minutes of terribleness.

0:15: OK, first of all, Thanksgiving hasn’t fallen on the 28th since 2002. Maybe it’s a 2013 calendar? As in, please let me forget about 2012 and this terrible video I made as soon as possible? Also, she’s for some reason already crossing out Thanksgiving Day. I feel like that should be something you do when the day ends. It’s like, wake up, ALRIGHT FUCK THANKSGIVING LET’S CROSS THAT SHIT OUT. Mixed messaging for sure.

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Time-waster of the day: April 5, 2012

As tempting as it was to list the Brown Marketplace as time-waster of the day (too soon?), we wanted to reward all you wretched souls who forced yourselves awake at an ungodly hour with a little laughter and good ol’ fashioned tomfoolery. That’s where these two chicks come in. Armed with a rigged Polaroid camera and a predatory eye for unsuspecting bystanders, these lovely ladies (and their accomplices) execute one of the more bizarrely hilarious pranks ever to be captured on second-rate cable TV.


Time-waster of the day: October 10, 2011

We’ve heard for a while now that British children consistently outshine their American counterparts — they get higher test scores, show better literacy rates, all that jazz. We’re afraid to report that American children have now fallen even further behind in a variety of other areas, including macking dudes up, backing coupes up and chucking the deuce up.


Study Break of the Day: May 12, 2011

This may be a classic YouTube video from 2007 that’s accumulated over 60 million views, but sometimes you just need to return to nature. If you haven’t seen it, “Battle at Kruger” is the completely true, spontaneous footage of a fight between some buffalo, a pride of lions and a crocodile at a wildlife reserve in South Africa (this is a gross understatement of the footage’s brilliance). Running over 8 minutes, this video is the perfect study break- exhilerating, but not too long. Moreover, it’s a metaphor for group study: showing that with friends, one can triumph over the predator that is ECON1110.


“Midd Kid” Vid: Stereotypes? Maybe. Addictive? Hell yeah.

While some of us have spent the last few days enamored by Out of Bounds’ ode to the SciLi, our northern neighbors have shown us up with a seriously professional and delightfully addicting video about their own campus culture.

Since late February, Middlebury kids have been rocking out to the viral anthem celebrating campus stereotypes. “Midd Kid” applauds plaid, flannel, lax bros, Nalgenes, granola and Vermont cheddar, all to the tune of the catchiest song you’ve ever heard.

The video incited some controversy for its depiction of the campus as a party school — though it did pay homage to the campus Quidditch league and “lib”in it up.

The video has spread to the rest of the college scene, infecting productivity in libraries throughout the northeast. As one Bates student wrote:

The past few weeks have found me inhabiting a cubicle on the third floor of Ladd Library, with a dripping coffee mug in hand and headphones plugged in, oblivious to anything but the screen in front of me. Thesis, you may guess. But under this guise of productivity, I am really just watching the “Midd Kid” music video on YouTube over, and over, and over again.

Watch it on repeat. Learn the words. You won’t regret it.