In the wake of some Miley Cyrus performance blah blah blah, 9 million people and several major news outlets watched a youtube video of a woman twerking upside down, falling onto a candle, and combusting. The video turns out to be a hoax created by Jimmy Kimmel. I’m proud to say I’ve never watched a twerking video. In fact it was only a week ago when I finally googled “define: twerking” to find out what it means. [yeah dude, you only indulge high-brow memes like Guile’s Theme Goes with Everything]
If he’s teaching us to be wary of what we find online, then his lesson comes 20 years too late, and it’s also self-defeating: A hoax like this doesn’t point to lapses in transparency, it clouds our view of everything. YouTube shows the world in all its weirdness, and gives a window on the geek sublime. When liars spread their hoggish propaganda, they mist the landscape with distrust. Think of all the other twerk fails—real ones, I mean—that have been strip-mined of their life and humor by Kimmel’s toxic hoax.
[seriously did that guy actually write geek sublime and mean it?!?!?]
Engber goes on to wonder, rhetorically, what differentiates Kimmel from “Stephen Glass and the father of the Balloon Boy, Richard Heene?” Well, perhaps because journalists and fathers are entrusted with a public a private trust, respectively. Whereas Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian and late night host and his job is to fuck with us. [when you say “perhaps because” you mean “obviously this is exactly the difference, you fool” right?]
I’m delighted with Kimmel’s hoax for exactly the reason Engber is displeased: it makes people less likely to be interested in stupid crap on the web. Between this hoax and the corporate-sponsored Harlem Shake meme maybe we can all find better things to beam into our brains via the interwebs, like this: