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The Lonelygirl15 phenomenon is steamrolling forward, with some more major-market journalists giving it attention and some curious insights from other bloggers.
The New York Times' Virginia Heffernan outlines the myriad possible identities and motivations for Bree's bizarre narrative line in a great article here. I particularly like her calling it the "Dreyfus Affair" of our generation. Most interesting is the fact she seems to have been in consistent email dialogue with Bree -- and the emails are "forthcoming." Of course, one of her responses brings me a bit down to earth:
There’s at least three wars on (Lebanon, Iraq, Sri Lanka), terrorists are running amok, the housing bubble is bursting, the country runneth over with debt, the polar ice caps are melting, New Orleans is rotting… and ‘YouTube’ (television) is somehow ‘Important’. Wake up people!
Quit being such a killjoy, "Steve."
Meanwhile, today's Chicago Tribune took on the Lonelygirl15 issue:
Everyone loves lonelygirl15. Well, almost everyone. The doe-eyed coquette has almost 10,000 subscribed fans who seemingly adore her every word and roll of the eye.
The wistful teen is one of the latest additions to youtube.com's A-list of self-made, pajama celebrities.
The YouTube pop star calls herself Bree and says she's a home-schooled high schooler confined to her castle by strict parents. Armed with a pink boa, purple monkey and sidekick danielbeast, a.k.a. Daniel, Bree's video posts have garnered as many as 500,000 page views on one short film.
Bree's series of videos has even generated thousands of spin-off parodies, commentary and conspiracy videos in a community of unlimited growth.
In the past month, in fact, Lazy Dork, a 28-year-old attorney from Miami, challenged lonelygirl's popularity in a video labeling her an uninnovative bore. Now, Lazy Dork, code-named rickyste, is one of the top 30 most subscribed users on the site.
The lawyer said he posted the video as part of his mission to encourage people to promote and support quality videos on YouTube. "It's incomprehensible that people get so much fame for not really doing anything," he said. He and Bree currently are trading video barbs on the site.
This girl recognized one of her brother's songs used in one of the videos. The music was released under a Creative Commons license, allowing it to be remixed but for non-commercial uses. Others have recognized an almost exclusive use of Creative Commons-licensed music in the montages. A clue to authenticity, or vice versa?
My roommate, Jenn, asked me what I thought the elaborate ruse was designed to promote. Considering the introduction of ad-based revenue to YouTube, I figured it was selling nothing more than YouTube itself. Yet this comment in a post at Stereogum might be the most telling. It would also be the baddest-ass of all possible outcomes. I hope to high hell that this is what Lonelygirl15 is all about:
I think the word "fake" is incorrect.
I think the proper term is "someone's grad school thesis project on meta-trends and media manipulation."
Posted by: Skatelip at August 23, 2006 2:14 PM
Please, please, please have something to do with academia :-)