We are more than poop.

November 27th, 2007 → Leave a comment

I’m in the San Diego area now. It’s just past midnight and I’m doing a presentation at Cal State San Marcos tomorrow morning at the ass crack of dawn. Professor Judy Bauerlein has invited me to speak to her Theater 101 Class about my work.

I was telling her about the “Two Girls One Cup” phenom and caught her reaction to it…

Here’s Judy’s surprisingly calm reaction to 2girls1cup.

There are so many things that intrigue me about “2girls1cup”– not the video itself (there are other words I have besides “intrigue” to describe how I feel about it.)

What is so interesting about this 2girls1cup phenom is this whole culture of people recording their reactions to such a disgusting video and people forcing their friends and family members to watch other people eat poop. It’s become a community of shared shock and reaction that I feel a part of. That I am in on some sort of secret, some collective experience.

2girls1cup is a community of shared trauma. We laugh because we are all in on it. We are horrified together. We share and enjoy watching each others reactions because we know what it is they saw too. There are so many parallels to the 2girls1cup community and how people came together after 9/11 or after any shared trauma in our history.

My questions are:

* Is that where we are as a culture. That it takes two girls eating poop to get us to be horrified? Is what is happening in the world already not horrific or interesting enough to react to?

* Now that so many people have witnessed poop eating, what is the next “2girls1cup”– what’s the next even more horrific thing for us to really react to?

* What collective trauma in our national history will it take for Americans to be horrified? What will shock us in 10 years? What will shock us next week?

* Are we so bored that we turn to “2girls1cup”? Or is this part of our healing? To distract ourselves with something that seems like a roller coaster ride? Like celebrity gossip, do we get involved so much with it because it’s a roller coaster we can get off? Because it’s like someone else’s fiction– it’s low stakes to us?

What I think is interesting is:
* How people are attempting to outdo each other in these reactions. The ones that get the most hits are when the viewer barfs, when the mother or father (people you typically would not want to share these videos with) are asked to watch. The reactions themselves have to be shocking for people to want to see them.

* The reactions are residual mirrors of the original which cannot be shown on Youtube. The reaction is only as good as the original. If the reaction isn’t good, then it perhaps reflects the original’s ability to create emotional impact.

* The reaction will never be as “good” or as “real” the second time around. The viewer has come to expect what they see. They have “rehearsed” the emotions. And slowly it becomes normal or anticipated. Much like what has happened in our world.

So here it goes. A series of videos Judy and I made tonight. We aren’t trying to “perform” but capture our real reactions of watching other stimulus, stories, and moments.

Yes, they are boring. Very boring. But unfortunately, we were already familiar with these stories already. No surprises.

Here we are reacting to the Writer’s Strike. I guess if the writers would eat some poop, we’d be more interesting to watch.

Here is a reaction video of us watching a news item on Dick Cheney’s heart condition. Surprisingly, Darth Cheney’s face alone isn’t enough to make us puke.

Here is a reaction video of us watching a amateur video taken of the twin towers going down on 9/11.

A reaction video of us watching archival footage from 2003 of the opening day of bombing (Shock and Awe) in Iraq as covered by CNN.

A reaction video of us watching “Otters Holding Hands” on Youtube. I had already seen it but Judy hadn’t.

If you’ve seen my newest piece, ‘The Years of Lying Dangerously” about dry humping, you will note a lot of parallels between this post and that show.

Category: america makes me numb, balance, chocolate rain, golden shower

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