Friday, March 07, 2008

Personal YouTube Night. Vol. 5.

It's been awhile since I posted a batch of favorite YouTube clips. We're almost through the roughest month of winter, but we still have a few weeks of being stuck inside the house. Why not invite a little bit of entertainment into these dreary days?

1. Growing up in the 70's and 80's was a blast, as we were often the recipients of trippy and surreal television programming. Mine was the last generation to grow up without hi-tech CGI and other effects that seem to mostly mediate the effects of creativity on the modern product. Back then imagination was often articulated by (rather crude) animation. But it was very fun, and a lot of these PSA spots still stick out in my mind a quarter of a century later. Here are a couple examples:

Time for breakfast! What the hell was "Timer", anyway? A classy, talking meatball??

Play the Video

Sometimes adults need to be reminded of essentially timeless truths. Perhaps this one should be pulled out of the old vault for a new generation of parents...

Play the Video

This one dates from a later period. It too seems especially appropriate for our contemporary age. What is a kid likely to get out of his folks' medicine cabinet nowadays? Anyway, these little guys are disarmingly cute. Maybe they should have creepier voices or something.

Play the Video

2. Truth-be-told... there are some advantages to using computer effects. It's just that they have t0 be done right to be effective. This video is from New Zealand. Like so many other PSA's, it intends to keep people from drugs. The message here is quite clear, and rather gory. Perhaps if anti-drug spots stopped pulling punches (like this one) people wouldn't be so enamored with abusing controlled substances. Warning: This is Gross.

Play the Video

3. Ok, after that little piece of hell, we'll go back to the kiddie stuff again. Here's one from Canada. I wonder if the subtext of this little ditty is the same in the Great North as it is here. I also wonder what wave of incidents they are confronting with this clip. Sure, it works pretty well as an anti-drug song... but it can also be interpreted as a caution against that extra-friendly great uncle that's always nosing about... except maybe you think he loves you, and that kind of defeats the purpose of the whole exercise.

Play the Video

4. It's important to teach our children about the nastier, messier realities of life. All it takes is a little class, and every kid can learn to be responsible. This is a great way to introduce your little ones to the joys of parenting. Look how nice potty-training can be. Is it just me, or does this look like JonBenet Ramsey's last commercial gig?

Play the Video

5. And then (of course) there's the Brits. They've always had a way of depicting the youngest generation as exceptionally charming. Who can resist this cute, sloganeering, little mascot? Sure as hell makes me curious about what's inside the overgrown pill casing. If you can get through this without craving chocolate... well then boy, you're a better man than I.

Play the Video

6. We should be used to our cartoon favorites selling us everything from fast food to action figures. And we know that deep down they have our best interests in mind. How could they not? I think there are several important lessons to learn here. Note the casual acceptance with which our heroes accept the feminist imperatives of the mid-late Twentieth Century. Obviously these guys serve as great examples in more than just one way.

Play the Video

7. The earliest home video games were often quite rudimentary. Somehow manufacturers needed to convince kids it was exciting to maneuver a blue box through a bunch of red boxes, and the best way to do that evidently involved misrepresenting the product. This particular narrator seems like he's been snorting crank. But his disdain for the sell-out suburban parents must have appealed to a whole cross-section of snotty kids. If the game only delivered half of what it promised, it would be worth the $49.95 it retailed for in 1982.

Play the Video


That's all for now... but never fear, my list is always growing.

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