Timeline of a global hype we escaped by the blink of an eye
According to an LA Times/Bloomberg poll, the majority of American teens and young adults is bored by mainstream media. Due to this fact more and more youngsters not only in the US take matters into their own hands and start creating their own media, often with unforeseeable results. The following timeline of a global hype we escaped by the blink of an eye illustrates that sometimes it's better to surrender to boredom than to fight it by any means.
April 1, 2006
Uppsala, Sweden. Because he is bored, high school kid Lars Nyquist sticks a ballpen into his left ear. He films the procedure with his webcam, and uploads the blurry 15 second clip to the internet.
April 4, 2006
Jindrich Hurnik, a bored student from Prague, links to Nyquist's clip in his blog and adds a ;-). On deli.cio.us he tags the link: "cool".
April 6/7, 2006
The Berlin DJ Ikkenüscht finds the link on deli.cio.us in the morning of April 6, he loops the clip and adds a self-sampled soundtrack. Late at night, he uploads the result, a 3 minute-video titled stick_it_into_me.avi to MySpace.
April 12, 2006
Berlin based left wing daily "die tageszeitung" reports about the video of Ikkenüscht and adds a commentary on how German underdog rappers fight the machinations of the evil record industry by the means of open source sampling programs.
April 22, 2006
In a report about the blogosphere the BBC links to the video of Ikkenüscht. Millions of bored employees and students waste bandwidth of their companies and universities in order to see the video. Attention seeking children and students all over Europe start sticking pens into their ears and film the results with their mobile phone cams.
Mai 1, 2006
Tel Aviv. After a self organized code camp three Israeli schoolboys found the internet portal Koogelschreibr.com solely dedicated to videos of people who stick pens into their ears.
Pushed by mainstream media reports about the dangers of sticking pens into one's ears, MTV jumps on the bandwagon. Jimmy Knoxville and a moronic blonde with a head bandage present the real live show: Pimp my pen, sponsored by Phonak hearing aids and ball pen producer BIC, presents a virtually endless video stream of pen-sticking American college kids, with a vocabulary restricted to the words "Oh my god". The sequence of grainy clips is frequently interrupted by the warning: "Don't do that at home", uttered by a Monty Pythonesque off-voice.
July 14-16, 2006
The Columbia Halle in Berlin is overcrowded with attendees of the "Deaf con 2.0". The founders of Koogelschreibr.com lecture in turn with chief technologists of Deutsche Telekom and nerdy linux gurus about "wisdom of the masses", "the return of push" and "disruptive technologies". At the get togethers in the evenings guests stick pretzel sticks into each others ears while listening to resamples of the Roxy Music classic "Let's stick together".
July 17, 2006
London. The Daily Mirror's lead story is: "H-E-L-L-O?! Why our kids are not listening any more." The story is illustrated with a center fold photo of lighly clad Kylie Minogue riding an 80 inch mock-up ballpen. In London it is de rigueur to show up at vernissages and parties with a pen clamped behind the ear.
July 20, 2006
Some kids from the outskirts of Moscow decide that sticking pens into one's ears is not cool enough anymore. A small group of so called "hardstickers" begins sticking bigger calibers like Stabilo Boss textmarkers into ears and other orifices. The corresponding videos circulate in P2P-networks and on video iPods in Russian schoolyards. Moscow ambulances run out of castor oil.
July 30, 2006
Meanwhile Google outbids Yahoo with a $117 million offer for koogelschreibr.com. Domaingrabbers try to secure the domains googleschreibr.com, .org, and .net. The founders of kugelschreibrr.com appear on the front page of business week. PC
World abandons the long planned lead story "How to speed up Windows XP" for an exclusive report on : "How to secure your computer against sticker videos".
August 7, 2006
Microsoft postpones the start of their operating system Vista for another 6 months in order not to to miss again one of the latest trends. At a Mac developer conference in San Francisco Steve Jobs pulls the new iStick out of his ear applauded by a fanatic crowd of 4000 developers. The device is made from wipeable white polycarbonate, contains 20 minutes of AAC-coded silence and is powered by a non replacable battery.
August 12, 2006
Wired.com lists than more than 20 Web 2.0 platforms based on the koogelschreibr.com API. Main functionality of all websites is a Google map, showing where and when who sticked which pen into which ear and a sidebar linking to the according photos on Flickr, videos on Youtube and blogs on Blogger.
Thank goodness it never came so far: Just when Lars Nyquist started to feel bored, a nice white cumulus cloud floated across the sky in front of his window. Lars blinked. He looked at the cloud, and his mind began to get lost in thought. Under his idle comtemplation the cloud transmuted into a snow-white, fluffy sheep that started to graze some smaller clouds from the sky. Under the mild turbulence of ascending warm air the sheep morphed first in to a gigantic cauliflower and then into the profile of Lars' grandmother. It came into Lars' mind that he should visit his grandma sometime, instead of just writing emails to her. He switched off his computer, grabbed his MP3-player and his cycle clips and set off.