It’s Labor Day, meaning summer is symbolically if not officially drawing to a close, meaning whatever fun you’re having is probably tinged with a little wistfulness for days gone by, meaning you’re especially primed for nostalgic feelings this week, internet-induced or otherwise. With that in mind, here are some videos of ordinary people riding the same roller coaster of jubilation and sadness you’re riding today, only 15 or 20 years ago.
YouTube, in addition to being a renowned cesspool of virulently racist and misspelled comments, hosts videos. Many of these videos seek to shed light on the many secrets that the sheeple of the world would keep locked behind closed doors. And almost every single one of them is absolutely, phenomenally, mind-numbingly insane.
For about the first 15 seconds of Bob and Bev Holwager’s rendition of “Blank Space,” you figure you’re watching a pretty ordinary fan-made Taylor Swift video. The background graphics are pretty trippy, yes, but you’ve seen weirder. Then the squished-up sports car drives past the ancient ruins and a rose-hued mushroom cloud rises on the horizon.
Happy Memorial Day. For some reason, instead of having fun outside with your friends, you are alone in front of your computer, reading a blog post. Maybe you didn’t get the day off work, or maybe you’re hung over. That’s OK. You can celebrate the Memorial Days of 1983, 1986, 1988, and 1992—all thanks to YouTube’s bountiful archives of perfect, vintage, unwatched home video.
In YouTube, anyone with an internet connection, a camera, and an idea has a potentially enormous platform for expressing themselves to the world. Consequently, most YouTube videos—like most ideas—are boring and bad. But for the long and monotonous videos below, tedium is a virtue. Like paintings by Rothko or music by Steve Reich, these YouTubes are boring and good—transcendentally, addictively, narcotically good.
YouTube is, for the most part, the place where everything Right and Good goes to die. But move those lifeless cat and listicle corpses aside, and you’ll find a dark, fascinating world that’s all too easy to get lost in for hours. So instead of losing part of your own life to YouTube’s depths, we’ve brought the underbelly to you.