A cat video killed my chance at Internet fame

Last week on Conan O’Brien’s late night show he ran one of his semi-regular bits known as fan corrections, and it reminded me of a blog post I wrote a couple years ago. I started a blog under a pseudonym because I was concerned at the time about maintaining some shred of online professionalism as an aspiring educator and counselor. Somewhere along the way I said fuck it. No one’s reading this shit anyway, and if enough people start reading it that I become known for being some crazy blogger, then I’ve got you call “one of them good problems.” So this week I’ll reach into vast vault of two posts from my previous blog. Enjoy!

Whenever someone refers to the “power of the pussy,” chances are they don’t mean the way cat videos dominate the Internet. Wait. Depending on your definition of “cat videos,” and the fact that I used the word “dominate,” that could be exactly what they mean. Scratch that. Shit. I can’t seem to escape the double entendres. Let me try to clear this up: I am not talking about porn. Those of you who didn’t leave the page immediately after reading that last sentence know what I am talking about. It seems the most surefire non-sexual road to Internet popularity is driven by felines doing whimsical things. You know how many results pop up if you type cat videos into Google? It’s 716,000,000! That’s about 65 times the results of googling Cat Stevens (sorry, Yusuf, it’s a wild world). I won’t even attempt to save face and say I haven’t laughed and let loose a few “awwws” at kitties sneezing or playing peek-a-boo. I try not to judge how others choose to waste their time because one person’s string of cat videos is another person’s Texas Rangers pregame show. Truth is, I’ve never actively sought them out, but I’ve been content to allow what seems like the rest of the world enjoy the phenomenon free of my criticism.

Until now.

As regular viewers of Conan O’Brien know, the late night host welcomes fans to submit videos calling him out on mistakes he makes on air. A lot of them are posted on the website, and a select few get played during the show. Thanks to the modern miracles of DVR, on demand TV and the Internet, I literally never miss an episode. In all that viewing time, I’ve spotted my fair share of errors. The problem for me was finding the patience and mental energy to learn how to record and upload a video. I had left that Herculean task to the 15-year-olds until a few weeks ago when I finally decided to call in reinforcements in the form of my much more tech-savvy brother. We recorded the video on his iPad and uploaded it to www.teamcoco.com/hahaifoundanerror). A few days later …

Success!

The video had been approved for the website. I doubt that had much to do with the merit of our production and more to do with the fact that they determined it wasn’t porn or a snuff film. All we could do after that was wait for the announcement that the video would make it to air. The disappointment of each day passing without an e-mail was assuaged each night by the absence of a “Fan Corrections” segment. Every episode without one of those sketches meant I still might make it on national television. Maybe Conan would find my sketch so brilliant that he would invite me on his show as a guest the same night as Anna Kendrick and she would see how funny and sweet I am and she would fall madly in love with me and we would get married and divorced within two years and I would get some of that sweet Hollywood alimony. Guys get that too, right? A man’s gotta have a backup plan when he’s staring at a mountain of student loan debt. It’s either that or buy P90X and start moonlighting as a dick dancer.

During the most recent episode I got an ominous case of butterflies coming back from the first commercial break. Sure enough, Conan announced it was time for “Fan Corrections,” and because I had never received my congratulatory e-mail I knew my dreams were dashed. Crestfallen, I watched anyway to find that the work of genius written by and starring me and directed by my brother lost to A FUCKING CAT VIDEO! Yes, the cat jumped several feet in the air to remove a suction dart the fan had shot onto a picture of Conan’s face, but our short film had original humor with just a touch of heart. Because my posts here make me seem (seem?) a little crazy and I currently work in a field where that would be frowned upon, I can’t describe my video. Suffice it to say our Mom thought it was awesome and she’s totally unbiased. (Well, now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag – I’m so clever – here’s the video).

So why the hell did I bring this up? I wanted to bitch, but I also wanted to make a point about artistic integrity. If you’re an aspiring creative of any kind, try stretching your imagination before stooping to the lowest common denominator. You’ll sleep better at night. Unless, that is, you can mine gold from that schlock, become rich and famous and pay off your student loans without letting withered old prunes shove dollar bills into your G-string. Then, by all means, sell out. Until then, I’ll keep writing what’s really on my mind and hope that someday it’s interesting enough to enough people that I’ll never have to work for a living again. And the next time I spot an error on Conan I’m sure as shit gonna make another submission my way. That means no cat videos.

Unless I hear Anna likes them.

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