Question: What’s Your All-Time Favorite YouTube Clip?


No pressure, right? Favorite YouTube clip? That’s like asking what’s my favorite orgasm (answer: all of them) or best bourbon on the rocks I’ve ever savored (answer: most of them, at least once I could afford good bourbon), my favorite Beatles song…you get the picture. The Internet is like the universe: vast, impenetrable, intimidating. Only it has Google and YouTube.

Want to know how much the world has changed in less than a decade? Ask someone under age 20 to imagine the world without Google or YouTube. Then ask yourself. YouTube is perhaps the best metaphor for democracy anyone could imagine: it’s messy, often ugly, occasionally brilliant. It is by the people, for the people. How many miraculous moments (in song, sport, celebration, comeuppance) has it captured? Too many to count, and it has single-handedly helped stave off quiet desperation for countless uninspired cube-dwellers.

If pushed, I’d have to pick a real feel-good moment, one that flies in the face of all those naysayers who insist the Internet is a forum that obviates connection and soul. On the contrary, at its best, the Internet (in general) and YouTube (in particular) connect us across cultures and languages and showcases our barbaric yawps, our joyful noises, celebrations and defeats. My choice ostensibly goes against all my natural impulses (hint of jingoism, the notion that it’s merely a sporting event, albeit a world event and perhaps the world event, and it features the good ole USA in a role we’re not remotely accustomed to (and likely will remain for the foreseeable future): underdog. In this regard it’s at once humbling and hopeful).

Not a soccer fan? Don’t care. Not interested in sports, period? Doesn’t matter. How many times are you going to hear anyone this excited about anything? For anyone who is unaware, Andrés Cantor is the sine qua non of sportscasters: his enthusiasm, knowledge and passion are unsurpassed, period. For anyone who is understandably cynical about the cynicism of our…everything these days, particularly as it plays out in politics, the media and yes, the Internet (where Irony died but was resurrected by itself, making it a kind of secular Holy Trinity), this clip is an antidote for apathy, a free adrenaline burst and a reminder that we are on earth for two reasons: to bear witness and sing the song of ourselves.

(Incidentally: my choice, which I stand by a month or so later, was somewhat ironically submitted days before news broke that Donovan, the primary face and hero of the U.S. team, was being left of the 2014 Olympic squad. This post should receive neither praise nor blame for that decision.)

This post originally appeared as part of a larger feature, with all the editors at The Weeklings submitting their choices for all-time favorite YouTube video. Check it out!