Have you seen Keyboard Cat?
The creator of this video has taken Rickrolling to a new extreme. Here’s the concept: Someone goofs on tape, and the footage of that goof immediately cuts to a cat playing a keyboard.
For instance, a guest on the Glenn Beck show passes out on screen and then suddenly we see the ivory-slapping cat.
But have you seen the original video that launched this latest craze? A man in a wheel chair falls down an escalator.
I was horrified.
And that emotion was strange, because I’m among the top 75 or 100 most desensitized Web users. I spent my college years eagerly stealing music on Napster and waiting 30-minutes for a video to download (a lifetime today, a mere instant then) so we could watch two people—well, you can probably imagine (but you probably don’t want to).
The result: Show me something gross, disturbing, insulting—whatever—and I’ll greet it with a “meh.” So it was strange when I saw Keyboard Cat and felt—shocked.
But who cares? Why write about it? Just don’t pay attention to Keyboard Cat—or blog about it. That’s true, and I did dismiss the video when I first saw it. And then on Friday, I caught an AP story on the New York Times Web site about the video.
Here’s how the AP described it:
A clip is played of a pratfall or some unfortunate, self-inflicted accident. This is immediately followed by (always the same) old clip of a cat playing an upbeat tune on a keyboard.
The keyboard cat is, in a way, the smiling face of fate, perpetually making light of silly human failures. It's not stupid pet tricks, it's stupid people tricks. Like the old vaudeville hook, the keyboard cat will play you off the stage.
A pratfall? Really? A pratfall is Dick Van Dyke stumbling over an ottoman or Inspector Clouseau being Inspector Clouseau. But a man in a wheelchair falling down an escalator, a pratfall?
We’re only a few steps away from watching an execution and then seeing a clip of dramatic lemur.
And what does this mean for communicators creating Web videos? Anything goes apparently. How about a food maker shows someone choking on their beef jerky and then—Keyboard Cat. An automaker shows a family in a fiery car crash and then—you guessed it—Keyboard Cat.
This is ending badly for all of us.
Or maybe I just need to lighten up. College Michael would be very disappointed in adult Michael's take on this video. Plus, Stephen Colbert’s use of it was pretty funny.
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|Daily/Colbert - Keyboard Cat|