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Germany has latched onto the Lonelygirl15 phenomenon and the debates over whether she's a hoax, scam, fake, authentic, real, or any other adjective one might use to bump up search results. The Frankfurt General Sunday paper had this to say about what has clearly become an obsession for those of us at EW: (translation courtesy the Babelfish [Edit: Babelfish sucked at translating this, I ended up doing it myself])
Frankfurt general Sunday newspaper
COLUMN: Politics (Politics? Leave it to the Germans to make Internet fads political); At present; S. 10
LENGTH: 1097 words
HEADING: Fair of the privacies; The generation Webcam has a new star: "lonelygirl15". Only: Is it also authentic?
TEXT: OF BERTRAM EISENHAUER FRANKFURT.
Thus. Either we hang it high, then we must talk about the French Poststructuralist Michel Foucault and about what he called "technologies of the self". Or we hang the thing substantially lower, which makes it about a girl and a boy, a matter out of America and around it, which the two make in the room of the girl. What darf's its? - imagined I.
Bree thus, the girl, announces herself every three, four days. Sh chats little over homework and books, which it read. At other times the sixteen-year-old girl, shows a a rather melancholischen tendency; first she doesn't want to talk about it, then confesses a controversy with her parents. Those parents had already forbidden, for example, going on a trip going with a certain Daniel, to the boy already mentioned; she had prepared for it, even Eiersalat [Egg Salad?] Sandwiches in such a way, but for one while it looked in such a way, as if Daniel was not allowed to go any further. If now sounds, as if Bree and I would be close to us.
Bree divides their small mostly privacies -- irrelevant for most of the world -- by video message with up to 500,000 further users of the Web Site "YouTube" (in German "DuGlotze"); here she goes by the name "lonelygirl15". "Broadcast Yourself" is the ambiguous slogan of this so-called video Community: "Make your own promo" - and at the same time "Make you to the promo [?]". Daily, then YouTube enumerates, places 35,000 new videos of at the most ten minutes duration. in spring 2005 they started the InterNet platform; between 40 and 100 million downloadeds a day for day one the Filmchen. It is a gigantic video chip bazaar of the global village, on which newscasts appear, likewise, like experimental home productions of sometimes amazing quality, puzzling Japanese television shows just like Stefan Raab and Harald Schmidt, regular music clips just like their Parodies. Two young Asians in basketball shirts about were with their extravaganten Playback version of the Backstreet Boys song "I want It That Way", with simplest means provided, for weeks the heroes of the Web and the photographs of the Rueckenmassage, with the George W. Bush Angela Merkel recently with the G-8-Treffen surprised - troubled, like some mean -, are with YouTube in nearly 50 versions; of it reached more than 340,000 clicks.
Particularly the literally very easy digital technology stimulated the confession urge of the generation Webcam. "lonelygirl15" does not find obviously nothing at all to place a video in the net in that she, with effectively struck down view from her large haselnussdunklen eyes, from a "strange" moment with Daniel - as likewise on-line "danielbeast" - reported. He helps to see her with the cut and in the background of their films had been magazine-reading often; now it had included a video arranged, in which Bree - a beauty of nature with a favourable bone structure anyway - looked owing to numerous slow motion pictures like the expenditure for the rodent [no idea -- but i love it] of "Friends" star Jennifer Anniston, the kokette the hair out the front capers. And because so many of their spectators would have addressed it on it, told "lonelygirl15" further, asked it Daniel simply whether he has her perhaps, well, at the end gladly; it answered, well, actually already and so. "and which also a little is strange at the thing: that Daniel probably watches now." An easy smile into the lens: "good one, Daniel."
Little surprising that this video with well 568,000 Klicks achieved the highest ratingses of all past episodes around the "lonely girl". The fusion of Naivite and authority, from Intimacy and spectator participation: simply irresistible. (Michel Foucault would say, the user there a witness of one of those practices, "with those humans from its life a work to make would seek, which carries certain aesthetic values and corresponds to certain style criteria", but of it you wanted to hear nothing.) Naturally there are such, which grumble her a "weinerliche cow" and worse beside those, which find "lonelygirl15" nice and visit its small continuation dramas again and again. Also they have it quite simply: With its own Web camera and little software can be provided in the hand turning a video comment to the newest Kapriolen of "lonelygirl15" - or also a satire, as those of the user "fortey", who made itself merry over their small girl clay/tone, including their over-clear sad Ausatmer.
Particularly to meet the Webcam Girl must meanwhile a suspicion: It is not a Schwindlerin, older, than it indicates, Amateur, but a professional one, an actress on the hunt for a television appearance possibly. It would not be the first talent, that would have been recommended with YouTube for larger; also the "New York Times" reminded already halfironically: "does someone give its own transmission to lonelygirl15 in broadband Hollywood, ' finally?" One the "lonelygirl15"-Kritiks- "gohepcat" steps themselves with verspiegelter sun glasses and straw cowboy hat before the own camera - feels it also as charming, but "a little too perfectly". The "dramatic elbow" of history around Bree and Daniel is, their allegedly spontaneous comments would sound "almost shakespearehaft" as after film script, it is too well illuminated. Why have, he asks, someone one month before Brees first appearance with YouTube register the address lonelygirl15.com for a fan Web Site? In addition, in summary finds "gohepcat": "if it is completely falsified, is brilliant." Another YouTube user commentated: "it is no matter whether it is falsified or not. It is maintenance, like television." Perhaps also "lonelygirl15" suspects and "danielbeast", how virtual its fame could be. After they the first public crisis of their relationship - which is in all other respects not yet clearly certain - behind itself had brought, placed it a video on-line, which showed Bree at the telephone. Faded in among them the wording of the discussion, which caused allegedly desired clarifying of the situation: - which you make afterwards? - Nix special. - desire to turn a video? - about what? - white not. This telephone call? - wouldn't that be boring? - Oh. Yes.
Well. There you go. Michel Foucault, everyone, and I'd like to thank the city of Frankfurt for doing my forthcoming article in Journal of Popular Culture for me.
The debate rages at Wikipedia over whether or not Lonelygirl15 should have an entry in the online encyclopedia. If you have an account, please go to the Deletion Review and chime in (preferably supporting Undelete) about the matter. It blows my mind how many Wikipedia editors think this is a non-issue, despite the fact that GERMANS ARE WRITING ABOUT IT AND SENDING IT THROUGH THE MICHEL FOUCAULT WRINGER.
Meanwhile, the kids over in the Lonelygirl15.com forums are trying to locate where in the world Carmen Webdiego might actually be -- I asked for closet botanists and horticulturists to give me a hand with that in my last post. Certainly, finding a place that has deer, gophers, and hummingbirds can't be that difficult. So far, it looks like West Texas or southern Oklahoma are the best bets.
Ben Werdmuller says this is the beginning of a long trend of viral marketing.
Matthew Ingram draws the Alice in Wonderland allusion.
On a final note, I want to express some amusement at the developing aspects of this story. The kiddos at the lg15.com forum have been wondering, as have many of us, how the identities of Bree and Daniel have remained so clouded for so long. Clearly, some clever kids are more apt at concealing identities than the CIA. Take note, Bush Administration.
And finally -- finally -- I think some of you are taking this too seriously. Yes, there's something strange afoot, but you all are so anxious to posit identities that you're getting way ahead of yourself. As one poster, named "skinkles," in Jon Fine's article thread (which, incidentally, has driven the majority of traffic here in the past twelve hours) has proposed, Bree is none other than actress Annie Kehoe. Let's look at the evidence.
Have a good day, kiddos! Happy first day of school! Auf Wiedersehen!