If you've ever thought to yourself: "I wish people would take less responsibility," I have good news for you: pedestrians and murder victims are now using twitter and other social networking sites to broadcast messages of despair in lieu of simply calling 911. To be fair, I think the idea of creating a buzz about your imminent rape on facebook is much more entertaining than simply begging for help. I'm glad people are showing more self-control in their lives -- desperation is unsexy.
According to an article on CNN.com, here's how it works: A man witnesses a woman being assaulted on a street corner. Rather than break up the fight himself or call the police, he simply tweets: "Need police/ambulance on corner of Jefferson and Lincoln." Let's hope that he's following the local 911 dispatch on twitter or that someone chooses to retweet that message and not his thoughts on cheese sandwiches.
I see benefits to this new version of good samaritanism: 1) you can avoid confrontation and unpleasant conversations with rapists/muggers and 2) you can simply tweet about the problem and still make it on time to catch the 8PM showing of Arthur. By the time the movie ends, the woman who you witnessed being murdered may have received help, but if she didn't, you can't blame yourself -- you already tweeted about it. What more can be asked of you? Besides, you're too tired from laughing at Russell Brand's antics for two hours to even care.
If you're still confused, here's an example of social media-as-crime-fighter in action:
At least we can point to a moment in time when humanity began its downfall: The remake of Arthur
Your Highness -- 0 out of 7 Golden Slacks
Synopsis (from imdb.com): When Prince Fabious's bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her... accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous.
Joe's Take: I applaud all forms of comedy -- parody, satire, irony, and fat people tumbling down stairwells -- so I was willing to suspend my judgment of a film that parodied a non-existent genre. Then, I saw that Danny McBridge was involved and was willing to suspend disbelief when his Kenny Powers character inevitably cursed and masturbated his way through medieval situations. Then, I saw Natalie Portman and David Gordon Green were involved -- two filmmakers who lend gravitas to films -- and thought the movie could be hilarious and poignant. Then, I saw a clip of the movie in which Kenny Powers falls down the stairs in full armor and forces James Franco to suck his own "venom" and I spent the rest of the afternoon huddled underneath the table thinking of the sad conversations between crew members and their families about their work days. This movie feels like the result of a bad poker games between theses actors' and the director's agents. At least this should put a dent in James Franco's self-esteem.
Unexpected Scene: the gang happens upon an enchanted television that plays NBC's The Cape in perpetuity. Audience rejoices.
Soul Surfer - 2 out of 7 Golden Slacks
Synopsis (from imdb.com): A teenage surfer girl summons the courage to go back into the ocean after losing an arm in a shark attack.
Joe's Take: A lot of people will tell you this is a courageous story about overcoming obstacles but I see it as another tale of generational entitlement gone awry. I look at this from the shark's perspective. This girl is trespassing on its territory, updating her facebook statuses and sexting while it's trying to relax and find something to eat. So it bites off her arm to send her a message and what does the girl do? She goes back into the shark's property. This is disrespectful. When I do this to my neighbor, the courts tell me I'm to blame.
Unexpected Scene: During a scene in which the girl insists that everything happens for a reason, God appears and admitted that he was asleep at the wheel on this one -- he was catching up on episodes of Bones. When will they get together?
Arthur -- -5 billion out of 7 Golden Slacks
Synopsis (from IMDB.com): A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn't like.
Joe's Take: Here's a better synopsis: Go to the bathroom. Look down. Imagine less laughs. That's the movie.
Unexpected Scene: Halfway through the film, Helen Mirren's face falls off -- it turns out to be a disguise worn by the hilarious Danny McBride -- Mirren died three years ago. Then, he tries to get Arthur to suck his own "venom."
Please take a seat. Have a glass of Merlot -- it's from your favorite vineyard. Are you comfortable? Good. Great. I wanted to talk with you. You might not know this but a while back Pete and I decided to take a leave of absence from our jobs and spend untold dollars and hours crafting smart and hilarious videos for you to enjoy. We hired actors, secured locations, and even got an on-set tutor for Torio all for your benefit. And do you know how many views we have? Five (5). Five views. So I went to youtube looking for videos with the most hits and happened upon this:
If you're too busy retweeting Rebecca Black's latest legal troubles to check it out on YouTube (although you probably have already bookmarked it and played it at bar mitzvahs and funerals), I'll give you the gist: "comedian" Jeff Dunham has a puppet he calls Achmed the Dead Terrorist. The puppet says inappropriate and offensive things but since it comes from wood, you seem to love it. In the clip above, Dunham asks Achmed if he likes Bush (the President), but Achmed thinks Jeff is talking about a vagina. "I love bush... oh, you mean the president!" The crowd (and you) respond with uproarious laughter. Note the fat, bearded guy who is laughing so hard he temporarily forgets about the unrest in Libya.
I guess my question is this: America... what the F***?
Determined to give you what you want, I looked up the top three YouTube videos and found the following images. In an effort to give you what you want, I have crafted rebuttal videos that should ensure "viral" stature for Conan or Bust. You had better enjoy this.
# 1 YouTube viral video:
Cat Playing Piano
Description: A cat (or a puppet cat) plays piano
Joe's copy"cat" viral video:
Description: I strap two cats to my hands and play the piano with their heads.
# 2. YouTube viral video:
"Funniest Prank Ever"
Description: A creepy, middle-aged man straps a plastic skunk to a metal rod and sticks it underneath a park bench much to the surprise of people eating lunch/conducting drug deals on it.
Joe's Copycat viral video:
Description: I up the ante by strapping a real skunk to a metal rod and surprising funeral attendees and surgeries all to the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd's What's That Smell?
# 3. YouTube viral video:
Jennifer Aniston and Smart Water
Description: Just as we were about to film this skit, Jen Aniston took a break from making crappy movies to steal my viral video idea. Basically, she puts herself "into" famous viral videos to get hers to go viral. It was successful. She has over 8 million views.
Joe's Copycat viral video:
Description: I just project her commercial on to my screen while on stage. Then...
...I hit this guy in the groin with a football/nuclear weapon.
Give me my viral video, America. Or else...