Social media continues its unexpected emergence as (oh, sh-t, I can’t I terminate this sentence now?) as, um, oh alright: Something Quite Central to the Culture. I conceded defeat this morning as I rummaged through the comments of the infinitely engaged. You know: people are actually arguing about politics. And they’re not all frankly stupid.

As you’ve heard thanks to those top-of-the-meter observers down Rupert’s joint, Schmo generated wisdom is the order of the day. In fact, News Corp has even come up with a catchy term to describe Nation Web 2.0. And, no, it wasn’t anything as dreary as Nation Web 2.0. It was (and this is thrilling) “The YouTube Generation.”

If you don’t completely understand the reference, here’s a tip: they’re the ones who will be voting in The YouTube Election. This pithy term was coined to evoke a benign moment of Kevin Worship.

Apparently, a flock of Generation Tube gals could not contain their teenaged ids as Plonky rolled on by. They were screaming and, it seems, impelled to spell out the word KEVIN with their lissom young bodies. I know people who’d pay good money for that. (Although I do not count these people among my coterie.) News Corp concludes this reverence was the by-product of Kevin’s YouTube presence.

Terrified that I’d failed to report this important collision of the real with the virtual, I called an expert. My aunt, who is a school teacher, said that News Corp were probably wrong as teenaged girls scream about everything. And it is not uncommon to see them form words, far less cautious than KEVIN, with their bodies.

Much national ink of recent days has been spent on the YouTube election. Somehow, the broadsheets reason, the presence of made-for-TV ads on YouTube will decide the electorate’s fate. By my arithmetic, this is hardly the case. Yes, the intertubes is a force. But not one with which to be reckoned. It’s not the stuff that Kev and J Dogg are uploading that matters. It’s the wry, dumb and funny made-for-YouTube skits that count.

Items such as this cannot be contained without an army. Complete with Ginsberg Back Up Dancers, this reworked Subterranean Homesick Blues is a scream. Bob is on the pavement thinking about the government while user unalive concocts all kinds of wonderful mashup.

50,000 netizens bothered to view this idle silliness, which is, at last click, twice the number of people who viewed the ALP’s compelling vignette “John Howard Asleep on Climate Change.” Apparently, Fossil Fool John Howard with a fart track ranks best.

And even though videos such as these might be seen as nothing more than the cure for a workshy impulse, they’re actually attracting more comments than your average prominent blog.

In the post scripts to a farting John Howard, the voice of (ahem) Nation Web 2.0 can be felt. The new intertubes is a lot like its first successful business spawn, Reviews and links sell product. Not marketing mavens.

Although, of course, if you have seen suspicious commenting activity by barely concealed viral marketers, never fail to drop me a line [email protected]

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey