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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Trend: User-Created: LonelyGirl15 Exposed (sort of)

Lonelygirl15 blahblahblah.



I am not big on soap operas (which her "content" essentially is at it's core). The interesting part, for me, is her construct and her mass effects. Needless to say LonelyGirl15 has been revealed as crafted by a group of filmmakers as an "art project". Here's the letter they wrote to their fans on the forum explaining LonelyGirl15.

Eh. Still not sure. Could be the conspiracy theorist in me that requires greater meaning behind world events, or it could be the iconoclast in me who likes the idea of pulling the world's biggest prank over on America's eyes. The positivist in me says, well, if this isn't that mass prank and it is simply what it is, then that trophy for biggest prank is still up for grabs!

If we are to believe these pseudo-confessors: "Our intention from the outset has been to tell a story-- A story that could only be told using the medium of video blogs and the distribution power of the internet. A story that is interactive and constantly evolving with the audience."

They could simply be extending the mystery on us to lower a bigger boom later and covering up the greater plot. Or this is just it.

Zephoria's commentary review:

"I like the idea that it is an art form but i also think it's part of what Henry Jenkins calls Convergence Culture. Regardless, it's super cool that people are using new media to create narratives. They are telling their story, truth or fiction. Of course, this makes many people very uncomfortable. They want blogs and YouTube and MySpace to be Real with a capital R. Or they want it to be complete play. Yet, what's happening is both and neither. People are certainly playing but even those who are creating "reality" are still engaged in an act of performance. They are writing themselves into being for others to interpret and the digital bodies that emerge often confound those who are doing the interpretation. In many ways, this reminds me of the Fakester drama during the height of Friendster. As one of the instigators behind the Fakester manifesto explained, "none of this is real." I won't get all existential on you so we'll leave it at that."



Again, blahblahblah on the girl's "content", I hardly have the patience to sit thru a whole episode of her damn rantings anyway.

So let's now take measure of the audience commentary right about now.

NOTE: The vitriolic tones like "Fake. Shut up", and "Fake ass ho", or "Ya wats the point of not watching it just cause it may be fake?", and the insightful "Yeah, have fun with all your actress/actor friends! Go drink cocktails! Fake, and its so obvious - right from the start."

The irony to these (perhaps few? yet loudest!) opinions is that the ratings are still at 300,00+viewings in one day. So...whose winning? Perhaps this guy sums it up best: "HOT (and entertaining) rules above fakery." Now that's the American audience I still invest my faith in.

NOTE: Despite the current audience heckling, I do give it up for the crew - THE CONTENT CARRIES ON LIKE A GOOD PRODUCTION SHOULD. The actors keep reciting their lines and never break character (perhaps they just have a backlog of pre-edited episodes and need to get thru them to get to the plot turn?). Because, remember, all audience sentiments shift. That is, in fact, a positive.

Scepticism signals that audiences are passionately engaged with your illusion. Any good improvist knows that audience sentiment could just as easily shift back after this very slight reveal behind the backstage curtain. Great illusionists don't panic at a bit of audience pushback - jeers, in fact, will make the magic that much bigger as the zealots out-cheer the jeers and the sceptics get shocked at the bigger successful trick. What I know of audiences, is they jeer not soley because they hate you, but because they simply demand more from you. They want "more meaning", "more bang" for their investment. They actually want you to win, they want you to win them. Afterall, they did stop on this corner to watch you do your trick. Audience jeers are simply an invitation, they are calling you out to amaze them. And they'll actually stand and wait for another minute to see if you give it to them, or not. I don't think the ratings will go down. Yet. These jeers don't mean the illusion has to be 'game over'. Yet. The keen illusionist needs to know to drop a big one quickly, and with great finesse. If this is truly it, and there is no banger coming - then you deserve the jeers off the stage.

So the question is there more trick coming? I assume yes. Or there should be. If they're smart illusionists. Hopefully, these filmmakers have one good one (or more) up their sleeve for these willing audiences. I suspect they do. Afterall, this "confession" of just being filmakers who embarked on an experiment is not much confession at all really - we still don't know the "meaning" of it all, it is not a big enough "point", people still want to see how your trick ends. These illusionists have (perhaps inadvertently) bought themselves a reprieve and a dramatic drumroll for a really big flourish. But without doubt the spotlights are officially on...

In these times of such social confusion, let us look to the puppets to give us guidance (Live from the LonelyGirl15 "Press Conference"):

3 comments:

andy said...

There was a story about lonelygirl15 on the 11pm news last night.

http://www.wusatv9.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=51970

tonyon27 said...

I've seen this once before. Way to polished to be authentic musings of a lonely girl. Also, her eye contact with the "webcam" is to perfect, more so indicative of a professional video camera and an theatrical performance. Just my .02.

tonyon27 said...

Revealed:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/12/technology/12cnd-lonely.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1158120000&en=a56f0e777a707f56&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin