This week Bliss of 1st Mate introduced us to two very funny videos. They are doubly funny for those of us who are struggling with Spanish and who have watched those over-the-top Latin American music videos to expand our vocabularies -- and to improve our pickup lines.
I realize the irony of juxtaposing these videos with yesterday's Chavela Vargas post. Truly trekking from the sublime to the ridiculous. But give a quick look at both of these.
Apparently these videos have been huge hits on YouTube. And that means that in the age of talent democracy, every teenager with a video cam is convinced he embodies the production skills of Kevin Spacey and the musical talent of Billy Joel -- well, they may believe that they are more talented than that.
I picked out only one example of adolescent hubris. Now, it is possible that these budding Justin Timberlakes intended to produce an ironic comment on postmodern deconstructionism. But I doubt it. They just are not very good. But we will discuss it after the performance.
OK. This is the point where I was going to do an analysis of what made the first two videos funny and why the third failed to hit the same mark. But I could hear Babs chiding me for analyzing rather than enjoying. And Beth criticizing me for being -- critical.
Several years ago, I was at a libertarian function. A long-time friend of mine, who ran for vice-president in the 70s, asked me: "Steve, do you know how many libertarians it takes to change a light bulb?" Responded, I: "How many?" "None. The market will take care of it." I politely chuckled. She then launched into a 5-minute explanation, beginning with: "You see, Steve, the joke includes the basic market principle that ... ."
I relate that tale because it popped to mind just as I started to write several paragraphs about how humor works. And then I recalled the first rule of humor: A joke explained is a joke strangled.
So, I thank Bliss for sharing the first two videos. And, as for the third, those two guys have more nerve than I.
With apologies to Oscar Wilde for mangling his aphorism, I will simply remind myself: A critic is a person who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.