Funny. As. Hell. Auto tune based on rescue of young women goes viral. Why are we laughing?

May 10, 2013

“Dead Giveaway” Auto Tune of Charles Ramsey

As horrifying details continue to unfold regarding Amanda Berry’s abduction by lowlife, Ariel Castro many of us are also laughing our asses off at the Auto Tune version of rescuer, Charles Ramsey’s now famous interview with a local reporter. For those unawares, Ramsey is the charismatic black man who helped rescue Amanda from the house where she and two other girls (now women) had been held captive, raped and abused for ten years. (PS: I mention Ramsey’s race because, well, he brings it up in one of his interview’s more entertaining moments.)

While the content Ramsey told the reporter was understandably dramatic, his accounting of it was also sensational ripe with provocative statements, great delivery and killer sound bites. The man is a natural. No one should be surprised to see him on Letterman or touting McDonald’s (a brand he name-drops numerous times during the interview). Straight up, the video is highly compelling. When converted to Auto Tune by nefarious online maestros it’s freaking hilarious. No way around it, the aptly titled song, Dead Giveaway created from interview footage is super entertaining. Frankly, I found it better arranged and cleverer than a fair amount of legitimate popular music. But that’s another story…

My wonderment is about creating content like this at all (much less being entertained by it) given the terrifying and extremely current circumstances. What are we to make of that? And it’s not just snarky young men finding amusement here. In my office even women were guffawing to the video. I would have thought rape and torture off limits for them.

So much for “too soon” even being a question. The parody song came out within 24 hours of the interview. I remember after 9/11 our nation required a fair amount of time before any sort of entertainment related to those events could be appreciated let alone made. Hell, comedy in general was put on hold for a period.

That was then. Online pranksters have multiplied like algae in the last 15 years. From the high-end producers (Funny or Die) to the entities making videos such as this one, it has become impossible to allow a grace period or time of mourning for anything at all. Assassinations. Terrorism. Rape. Suicide. Subject doesn’t matter and likely never will again. Competition for eyeballs is too fierce. If you don’t do the bit someone else will. And it will get shared and liked and followed until even your grandmother in Topeka has seen it.

That’s the world we live in. Have a nice day.

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