Friday, September 08, 2006

YouTube :: Fact or Fiction

OpinionJournal - Taste: "Meet Bree. Bree is a home-schooled teenage girl somewhere in America who makes videos in her bedroom--no, not that kind of video. Over the past few months, her video blogs--dealing with boy troubles, parent troubles and her peculiar intellectual preoccupations with Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman--have been watched nearly two million times on the Web site Oh, and then there's this--Bree may not exist.

In the last year, has come from nowhere to become one of the 10 most visited sites on the Web. For the most part, it is a collection of homemade videos uploaded by users. Last month, a man posted a video of himself eating Mentos and drinking Diet Coke at the same time, with unpleasant results. It was watched one million times in the 24 hours after it was published.

The man who made the video is, according to another one of his clips, a businessman and inventor who is married with children. To all appearances, he is both an intelligent and sensitive fellow, but he was best known on YouTube--before his Mentos catastrophe--as "renetto," a squeaky-voiced, intellectually challenged reviewer of others' YouTube videos. Paul Robinett, the man behind renetto, invented the character by sticking a toothpick behind his upper lip and acting dense on camera. His apparent stupidity made him an instant star, at least in YouTube-land."

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