Monday, October 23, 2006

REAL YouTube

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." - Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Finally, something really amazing got featured, good job YouTube staff! This beautiful-n-bittersweet video by Chris166 does a pretty good job at explaining YouTube's worldwide popularity.

YouTube is, quite simply, a home for a bunch of sad, lonely, weird, happy, young, old, confused, bitter, angry, creative, bored people who are trying to connect with each other and feel like they are a part of something...anything, as long as it feels real...

"Give me my Bunny!" he said. "You mustn't say that. He isn't a toy. He's REAL!"

When the little Rabbit heard that he was happy, for he knew that what the Skin Horse had said was true at last. The nursery magic had happened to him, and he was a toy no longer. He was Real. The Boy himself had said it.

That night he was almost too happy to sleep, and so much love stirred in his little sawdust heart that it almost burst. And into his boot-button eyes, that had long ago lost their polish, there came a look of wisdom and beauty, so that even Nana noticed it next morning when she picked him up, and said, "I declare if that old Bunny hasn't got quite a knowing expression!" - Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

You would think that, in this world of cells, email, IMing and texting, connecting with people would not be such a problem - it is easier than ever before, right? Apparently, real connections are hard to find, despite our easy access to one another. All over the world, people are reaching out and trying to connect with each other in some human way, and in doing so, just like the Velveteen Rabbit, they feel themselves becoming real.

The strange rabbit stopped dancing, and came quite close. He came so close this time that his long whiskers brushed the Velveteen Rabbit's ear, and then he wrinkled his nose suddenly and flattened his ears and jumped backwards.

"He doesn't smell right!" he exclaimed. "He isn't a rabbit at all! He isn't real!"

"I am Real!" said the little Rabbit. "I am Real! The Boy said so!" And he nearly began to cry.

Just then there was a sound of footsteps, and the Boy ran past near them, and with a stamp of feet and a flash of white tails the two strange rabbits disappeared.

"Come back and play with me!" called the little Rabbit. "Oh, do come back! I know I am Real!" - Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Touching and sweet, this video makes me feel a bit better about the world. It isn't just me who yearns for this realness and this closeness, it is a need felt in every kid's bedroom, adult's living room and computer rooms across the world by every person who wants to be less of a toy and more of a real rabbit.

YouTube is still navigating how to stay real as they begin to make deals with large corporate entities and start to sell stuff. But the YouTube celebs/watch dogs do their best to call the bullshit when they smell it (I am talking to you Paris Hilton and Diddy, yes, your shit stinks). Still, it remains to be seen if this realness can last or if it will adapt into a new form.

Whether the creators of YouTube intended to be this meeting place that brings people to life or not, good on ya YouTube, also known as the nursery magic Fairy...

"Little Rabbit," she said, "don't you know who I am?"

The Rabbit looked up at her, and it seemed to him that he had seen her face before, but he couldn't think where.

"I am the nursery magic Fairy," she said. "I take care of all the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don't need them any more, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real."

"Wasn't I Real before?" asked the little Rabbit.

"You were Real to the Boy," the Fairy said, "because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to every one." - Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams


Suzanne said...

There is a section in Bridget Jone's Diary: The Edge of Reason where she compares Darby to the Velveteen Rabbit. She realizes that even though his stuffing is falling out (perhaps his belly or his hair being all ruffled), that she loves him very much. It was touching and made me cry. boo hoo. what a cheeseball i am.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

boo hoo, moi aussi. this story about the velveteen rabbit made me cry even though there is a happy ending!...sigh...