December 9, 2013 Leave a comment
It’s time again for our readers & listeners to cast their ballots, determining the best and the worst of the Internets in 2013.
UPDATE: The results have been tallied and revealed. Click here to listen to the epic rundown.
The list of 50 nominees was determined after a thorough review of a year’s worth of Fortnight on the Internets podcasts. They represent a cross-section of the year’s most notable viral items, controversial figures, and enjoyable podcast topics, encompassing everything from videos to Tumblrs to memes to movements. Scroll down, to refresh your memory — or to learn about these gems for the first time.
Voting will run through 5pm on Saturday, December 14th. The votes will be tallied and the results announced in our final podcast of the year a few days later. The upper echelon of vote-getters will join our 2012 inductees — Bad Lip Reading, Hot Cheetos & Takis, Daym Drops and Krispy Kreme — in the Hall of Internets Fame. (Plaques for our inaugural class will be unveiled soon!)
And now, the nominees in detail:
A depressing blog by a young woman whose boyfriend refuses to propose until she makes 300 delicious sandwiches to his liking. This twee-meets-traditional-values monstrosity carried its author to a go-round on the morning-show circuit, a book deal, and an incandescent takedown of said boyfriend courtesy of Alison. Discussed in episode 37.
40 Days of Dating
Two gifted NYC design professionals decide to date each other, recounting the experience in painstaking detail for all the Internet to see. Old patterns are repeated, lots of talented artists flash their skillz, nobody learns anything (also, the girl really could do a lot better). Discussed in episode 34.
Amy’s Baking Company Facebook Meltdown
Gordon Ramsey tries to fix the restaurant nightmare of a Scottsdale bistro, and discovers the real nightmare is the psychotic owner. Cue the restaurant’s complete brand meltdown on Facebook, as insults from Redditors inspired all-caps, obscenity-laden rants. Discussed in episode 29. (Then Amy Bouzaglo called one of our Likers a series of unprintables in front of her small child for saying “I heard about your restaurant on Reddit.” That story’s in episode 30.)
BatDad Vine Channel
A cool Atlanta dad entertains his kids (and torments his hot wife) by making Batman-themed Vines. His video-selfies-in-character evince not a small amount of technical skill, and his kids are pretty hilarious too. Discussed in episode 37.
The California chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation planned a small superhero fantasy in San Francisco for young Miles, who has beat back cancer into remission. But savvy use of social media by the organizers blew “Batkid” up into a spectacular city-wide event and one of the most heartwarming Internet moments of the year. Discussed in episode 41.
The Beach Boys Shred “I Get Around”
Also known as “Beach Boys Unplugged,” this masterpiece keeps dodging takedown notices like a whackamole due to the Internet’s love of its absurd charm. Discussed in episode 26.
Bear Stearns Bravo (@Horse_ebooks/Pronunciation Book)
THIS shit. In episode 36, we discussed the mysterious 77-day countdown of Youtube channel Pronunciation Book and speculated what it was leading to. We guessed right with “alternative reality game,” but what we DIDN’T know was that Weird Twitter icon @Horse_ebooks — and Susan Orlean! — were in on it too. Plus, a blogger kept the creators’ secret and was rewarded by being publicly humiliated. Confused? Discussed in exhausting detail in episode 37.
Brooklyn Rooftop Breakup, Livetweeted
Comedian Kyle Ayers was chilling on his Brooklyn apartment building rooftop when a couple appeared and started angrily arguing. Since it’s 2013 and we are all now sociopaths, he started livetweeting it and we all got a good laugh. (Or he just made it all up, but the verisimilitude is so on point that it really doesn’t matter.) Discussed on episode 41.
Charles Ramsey, Cleveland Hero
A Cleveland man realizes that his neighbor has been holding three women prisoner, helps rescue them, and gives genius-level interviews on local news. (Things went downhill from there for Charles, but la la la whatever.) Discussed on episode 29.
Conde Nast UK Konami Code
Some IT genius running the UK versions of the Conde Nast websites (Vogue, Wired, etc) programmed them such that entering the legendary Konami Code causes velociraptors in fancy hats and suchlike to march across the screen. What’s not to love? Discussed on episode 32.
Conversations w/ My 2 Year Old
Actual convos with a small child, reenacted with a grown man in the role of the child. The barrettes are a nice touch. Discussed in episode 30.
Crazy Bitch Wedding March
Has to be seen to be believed. A bride sloots her way down the nave to her own cover version of a lewd Buckcherry ode. Out of town relatives are horrified. The groom has awesome dance moves. Discussed on episode 35.
Crazy Rhubarb Lady
The one nominee we did NOT discuss on the show, this still made the cut because it’s so amusingly bizarre. Although image memes seem SO 2011, Doge has a unique charm all its own. Try not to giggle as you peruse this gallery.
“The Fox” by Ylvis
Probably the single most popular viral video of 2013 (usually referred to as “What Does the Fox Say?”), this song by Scando duo Ylvis needs no introduction. Discussed in episode 36.
I Got a Boy by Girls’ Generation
We know most of you are saying “WTF?!” but this was recently named Video of the Year at the Youtube Music Awards, so who are we to veto? This is a five-minute journey into a deeply strange pop culture and I’m pretty sure it’s mostly America’s fault. Discussed in episode 40.
The viral phenomenon that went global. The one above, from the UGA Swim & Dive Team, is my personal favorite, but there are hundreds more for your perusal. As discussed in episode 23 — not coincidentally, our most popular episode ever.
I Quit! by Marina Shifrin
The actual title of this is “An Interpretive Dance for My Boss Set to Kanye West’s ‘Gone.'” The most stereotypically Millennial thing ever. She did throw Kanye up the charts, though — props for that. Discussed in episode 38.
IKEA or Death?
My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter
Innovator Tiffany Beveridge figured out how to use Pinterest as a comedy vehicle by relating the adventures of her imaginary well-dressed toddler daughter, “Quinoa.” Coming soon to bookstores, obvs.Discussed in episode 31.
Insane Sorority Letter
University of Maryland twerp Rebecca Martinson (above) went super viral with a ranting email to her sorority sisters that made “cunt punt” a household expression. Many re-enactments followed, including this one from Michael Shannon. Representing the best of the Greek system with her abundant class, Martinson’s gone on to regale the world with surprisingly dull beejtales. Discussed in episode 28.
Jimmy Kimmel Twerk Prank
The late night host trolled the world with a “Worst Twerk Fail EVER” video that went viral, then pulled the rug out from under everyone by revealing that it was a charade. That’ll teach those teens to emulate urban culture! Discussed in episode 36.
Kai the Hitchhiker
A wandering hobo gains fame for attacking a crazy person with a hatchet in defense of innocents. He then goes on to murder an elderly man. Hooray for the Internet! Discussed (pre-murder charges) in episode 23.
KDOC NYE Live Show
Anaheim TV station KDOC decided to launch its first-ever New Year’s Eve live show with host Jamie Kennedy and an assortment of C-list celebrity guests. What ensued was a complete clusterfuck of dropped cues, bad direction, on-air cursing and Bone Thugs N Harmony. KDOC kept trying to keep this off the Internet, but eventually gave up. Discussed in episode 20.
“The Key” featuring Neil & John
Our podcast’s favorite comedy duo star in this short film from Sherwin Shilati, in which John unzips a secret that has the potential to change their lives forever. Discussed in episode 42.
Kung Fu Grandpa in the Food Lion Parking Lot
The inspirational video that shows it’s never too late to become a ninja. Discussed in episode 26.
“Like A Rolling Stone” interactive video
At this late date, Bob Dylan unveiled a music video for his classic “Like A Rolling Stone,” and this bad boy was worth the wait. It’s not your usual VEVO noise — it’s basically a cable provider complete with news shows, sports, reality shows, movies, and weather, except the catch is that every channel has people lipsynching to Dylan’s famous lyric. The video starring rapper Danny Brown (above) mowing every variety of fast food is well worth watching in its entirety. Discussed in episode 41.
Manti Te’o Dead GF Hoax Exposed
When Notre Dame star football player Manti Te’o began peddling a story about how his girlfriend Lennay Kekua had tragically died young, the national media ate it up like Lucky Charms. The sad tale of the dead young woman was even used as an argument why Te’o should win the Heisman Trophy. It was left up to muckraking sports blog Deadspin to point out: Hey everyone, Lennay Kekua never existed! Easily one of the best and most startling pieces of sports journalism of the year, and for bonus points it made all the major sports outlets look like dolts. Discussed in episode 21.
Minnesota All Hair Hockey Team
This delightfully odd video from Pulltab Productions is the third annual review of the best hockey hair on display at the Minnesota state tournament. Discussed in episode 27.
The Most Popular Girls in School
We discovered this Youtube series in February and our love affair with the mean girls of Overland Park, KS began immediately. Co-creator Carlo Moss appeared on episode 25, and producer/co-star Lily Vonnegut joined us on episode 34. Our original discussion was in episode 22.
“OCD” by Neil Hilborn
The first slam poem to thaw my frozen heart since…ever. Discussed in episode 34.
Pretty Girls, Ugly Faces
This outstanding meme turned the self-promotional art of selfies on its head, as a parade of beautiful ladies competed to see who could come up with the most hilarious ugface. Discussed on episode 23.
Real Estate Agent Headshots
This tumblr compiles headshots of real estate agents. A simple enough concept that leads to a lot of giggles. Mentioned in episode 20.
Reasons My Son Is Crying
Sweet, sweet controversy! This blog of photos of the author’s child in full blown meltdown mode with a wry description of what reasonable restriction set him off caused great consternation (and a fair bit of amusement) among our Likers. We broke it down in episode 27.
Red Equal Sign
The political meme that inspired a million take-offs and galvanized support for a good cause. Now get out there and bring respectable gaylove to a liberal church or courthouse near you with the power of your vote! Discussed in episode 26.
Sam Horowitz Bar Mitzvah
This delightful boy became a man before our eyes as he delivered the finest performance in “Burlesque” since Stanley Tucci stole that movie — or so I have heard. Discussed in episode 34.
Shea Allen, Braless Reporter
A wonderful guy who does a cappella renditions of classic video game themes with a Brady Bunch splitscreen and a black cat. Absolutely mesmerizing. Discussed in episode 27.
Spring Break Anthem / Between Two Ferns
The most devastating indictment of straight people ever. Discussed in episode 29.
Stand With Wendy
In an obscure special session of the Texas legislature, a nationally-unknown Texas state senator stood for hours to filibuster a bill to shut down abortion clinics with exhaustive on-topic testimony. Although the national news networks failed to notice at first, the hashtag #StandWithWendy blew up Wendy Davis’ action across the country. Someone even edited her Wikipedia page to state her occupation as “the LeBron James of filibustering.” Discussed in episode 31.
A male model, after unsuccessfully courting a female model, sent her this ridiculous video as a kiss-off. She forwarded it to all her friends, it became an Instagram phenomenon, and the Internet was the big winner. Discussed in episode 38.
“Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.”
Just, wow. Massive troll by an NTSB intern who just didn’t give a fuck. I really expected better than this from San Francisco news, though. Discussed in episode 32.
Taylor Swift f. Goats, Nic Cage, Etc.
There are millions of these out there, but this compilation has my favorites. Youtube hit “Goats Yelling Like Humans” spawned a Taylor Swift remix, which then spawned an ORGY of Taylor Swift remixes. This segment of episode 24 was easily the most fun I’ve had editing the podcast all year.
Real talk, the most inspiring and on-point food blog of the year. Respect. Discussed on episode 27.
USA Dialect Maps
The sociological masterwork that taught us the meaning of “the devil is beating his wife.” (The website is iffy, so this link works too.) If this didn’t pop up on your Facebook newsfeed at some point in 2013, maybe you should make some friends? Discussed in episode 31.
We Are Brothers
The unquestioned champions of Wedding Season 2013. I will fight anyone who says this isn’t a masterpiece. Hailed in episode 37.
The Women of LA
This DJ Lubel video, featuring 90s TV star cameos aplenty, caused so much controversy that we needed a whole “Is It Sexist?” discussion in episode 23 to unpack it all. Spoiler alert: it totally is. But the Rent parody was a little funny.