So I'm standing at the information desk the other day, trying to help a woman, when her young son runs up to the desk and interrupts us.
"How do you spell 'tube'"? he asks, bouncing with impatience.
The woman is not a native English speaker and she seems confused by this odd request. I, however, immediately understand her son's pressing desire to spell this word.
"You're looking for YouTube, aren't you?" I say. "Type in y-o-u-t-u-b-e-dot-com."
The boy runs off, leaving his mother to stare at me in consternation. "He wants to watch anime," I explain. I know this because the boy had been looking for manga earlier. She just shakes her head as if to say "oh-these-kids-these-days-and-their-anime-and-their-tubes-or-whatever" and we get back to business.
But it got me thinking--not just about the fact that kids watch anime on youtube, or that this is so common I was dead certain that's what the boy wanted to do, or even that it's not, strictly speaking, legal, but about how youtube, something I wasn't even aware of two years ago, has become such a huge part of my daily life that it's the first thing to pop into my mind when someone says tube, instead of say, hampsters.
Anyway. I had reason to think about this again when my mom and I were watching the Colbert Report the other day. Angry at a bear for eating a copy of his book (don't ask), Stephen decides to throw a copy of a Berenstain Bears book into a blender.
"That'll never blend," says my mother. And it doesn't, really. But it reminds me of the infamous series of videos "Will it Blend?" in which various unlikely items are thrown into a super-blender and, against all odds, blended. These videos have all been put on YouTube, of course.
Here's some choice episodes:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=KdEVTqINi0s (tiki torch)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=NdD54rG9oQA (Chuck Norris)
And there are many, many more. Youtube will gladly find them for you with its "related" feature. Ah, Youtube. Is there anything you can't do?
Edit: Apparently, now there is. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are no longer available on YouTube. Guess Vaicom finally won their lawsuit...