As with many people, while I was watching Sunday’s “The Walking Dead – Better Angels”, I saw a scene of a zombie beatdown that looked an awful lot like the fax machine beatdown from Office Space.
I grabbed the episode from the DVR, grabbed “Still” by Geto Boys from iTunes, and fired up the old video editing software. Somewhere around 20 minutes later this popped out:
A few hours later I submitted the link to Fark which went red (as in “not approved”) a few hours after that. I went to bed and didn’t think twice about it as that sort of thing happens.
The following is not a correct timeline but how events unfolded to me.
When I woke up I had a lot of email in my Gmail account from YouTube. Seems that someone had submitted it to Reddit and it was spreading like mad. Some admin over at Fark had resurrected (pun intended) the dead thread and made it green (approved). The Reddit thing was especially weird seeing as how it was my Cake Day (anniversary) three years from when I signed up to my forgotten Reddit account.
From there it spread. I saw it being tweeted and favorited on YouTube. Geek blogs were picking it up as well as it being posted to Facebooks and Google+. (One Tumblr microblog had at least one hundred reposts when they shared it.) Homespun blogs were the first ones to post it but then tosh.0 got ahold of it. Eventually UPROXX got it, and another Fark thread (not mine) was born touting how a Farker made a video that seemed to be going viral.
Then, yesterday, my wife called me from work. A co-worker had to show her “this awesome Walking Dead+Office Space mashup video” he found. Yeah, it was mine.
I created the thing on a lark, knowing full well other people would be doing the same exact thing. Somehow, and I don’t know why, my version (according to UPROXX) “has been deemed the preferred choice of the internet”.
For this I humbly thank the internet. It’s all very strange to me and while I have commented across the web on various postings I’m not exactly looking for infamy or fame or anything as it was just a fun thing to do. I knew it was coming, you knew it was coming, everyone knew this video was coming. Somehow mine caught fire. Any of the other ones that were posted to YouTube could’ve been the ones to catch on. It didn’t have to be mine. I didn’t do anything special to make mine more powerful or popular. Like I said, initially Fark denied sharing it with the world and I forgot about it.
But this does illustrate the point that the internet is an amazing piece of democracy. The people, “netizens” as they were once called in the media, spoke with their clicks and their posts and their tweets and their shares to make that video as popular as it at the moment. You, the people who enjoyed it and shared it, are the ones who made the video. I’m just some guy who stitched a few pixels together and slapped some audio over it.
It’s been fun to watch the video spread. To see people talk (both positively and negatively) about its high points and its shortcomings, of which I am acutely aware of both. It’s been great to know that some little thing I did on a lark has made so many people’s days or brought them out of whatever funk they were in at the moment they watched the video.
That brought more of a smile to my face than the video itself could ever do. So go forth and watch, share, spread the video until it’s last week’s news.
I’ll be enjoying the ride with you.