Thursday, January 25, 2007
Roll the videotape (created by Terryfic):
One of the current remaining mysteries of Lonelygirl15 has been whether Nikki Bower (myspace | youtube) is "canon" (or official character of the series), fan fiction, or something inbetween. Nikki's uncanny ability to discover clues that no other fan could hope to determine, such as filming locations, and even the Watcher symbol, only raised more suspicions.
Well, Nikki B is definitely connected to the Creators of Lonelygirl15. She is LA based actress Alli Danziger.
With some shrewd sleuthing late last night conducted by Anchor Cove members uncovered the identity of "Nikki Bower" as belonging to actress Alli Danziger. Alli, at the very least, is a good friend of Lisa Goodfried, sister of Lonelygirl15 creator Greg Goodfried.
The search began when the sleuthers received a picture from Greg Goodfried's 2006 wedding to Amanda ne Solomon, plainly showing "Nikki B" as a member of the audience.
With the direct connection to the Goodfrieds established, it was quickly determined that "Nikki B" also appeared in the viewable picture from the private myspace of Lisa Goodfried.
Yet, Lisa's myspace has no google cache, so that was a dead end. However, more searching found that Greg Goodfried's brother's fiance (nice chain, huh?) was friends with an "Alli D" that also looked like Nikki B.
From there, a chain led through Alli's boyfriend Matt Seigel (the guy in her myspace profile pic), that tipped off her last name, which finally yielded GoogleGold:
Amazingly, on this website, she also has a video you can watch where she does a reporting schtick just like Nikki B, but as Alli D. Here it is:
So, there you go. I know most people figured out Nikki B was an actress, but the direct connection to the Creators had not been confirmed.
So is that the end of the road? Not quite. We still don't know who was behind Cassieiswatching or OpAphid do we? But on the other hand, Matt Seigel's myspace had an interesting comment posted on it the day after cassieiswatching's first video:
Could it be that Matt and Alli are among those behind CIW? OpAphid? Is the promise of real fan interaction only realized for those who know the Creators well? Only time, and myspace, will tell.
Sleuthing credits to: Terryfic, JayHank, Smashing, Hyemew, and Milowent. Video montage of Alli D. by Terryfic.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Most blogs refer to newspapers as "MSM", mostly because bloggers like cryptic anagrams. Or is that acronym? Whatever. I don't know what MSM means, actually.
Well, some rag called The New York Times published an excellent article today about the state of Lonelygirl15 today, by Virginia Heffernan, on page 1 of the Arts section:
As Her World Turns, Lonelygirl15 Seeks New Thrills
As always, Ms. Heffernan makes some insightful comments:
The “Lonelygirl15” phenomenon that initially teased viewers with its pseudo-reality has evolved into a vaguely supernatural thriller with hints of “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.” It’s inventive, with highs and lows. On balance, it’s entertaining. But devoted fans love to complain that it’s not as good as it used to be, or as it could be.
Keeping together a rollicking plot with murder, a cult, imposture and teenage romance — making it exciting but not ludicrous — isn’t easy. Striving for continuity while relaying plot information in short bytes is an especially tall order. Viewers are standing by on fan sites official and unofficial to play gotcha anytime they decide Bree and company wouldn’t have had enough time while on the lam, say, to make it to an Internet cafe for video editing and uploading between chase scenes. They’re a tough crowd. And this policing still goes on, even though fans know the series is fiction.
All very true. Longtime lg15 fans tend to romanticize the early Bree videos. In the forums, the dominant posters are rabid fans who tend to work over every possible inconsistency, or ruminate about plot theories that include just everything under the sun, froms Aliens to Zombies.
But Ms. Heffernan's respect for Jessica Rose continues to grow:
“Lonelygirl15” has kept its first unbeatable asset, the one that has nothing to do with new technology. It’s the girl: Jessica Lee Rose. As the series goes on, Ms. Rose continues to mix moodiness, charm and precociousness, and her witchcraft casts a serious spell.The New York Times print circulation on Wednesdays is approximately 1.08 million copies. Great article, give it a read. Her sources are pretty good.
Monday, January 22, 2007
A couple months ago, Milo_Went suggested that I read exgfproject.blogspot.com. I’m not a big blog reader, especially not the let-me-lay-out-my-heart-in-HTML variety.
But Milo_Went is a famous blogger for a reason. [ed. note: my time in prison.] When he recommends a site, something interesting is going on, so I swallowed my trepidation and started reading.
The basic outline is this: guy in his mid-30s looks back at an assortment of failed relationships and tries to figure out why he’s become a “bitter, damaged and pretty lonely guy.” Sounds sort of like that High Fidelity book/movie, right? Fair enough so far. But instead of the four past relationships of High Fidelity, the exbf, as he comes to call himself, juggles 8 relationships, that weave in and out for his entire romantic life, and to keep it all straight, each girl has her section written in a different color.
It all starts with a story about a typical 16-year-old’s first romance. Boy-likes-girl more than girl-likes-boy and she ends up hooking-up with one of his best friends. And… yawn.
But then, Kara and her medium-slate-blue letters, tango onto the screen:
“Standing there, looking at her leaning up against that car with the sun streaming through the trees behind her and her black hair blowing against her face, I instantly found out what my type was. It was like God had written me a prescription.”
After meeting Kara, I read the whole blog, (and it’s long, I’d say equivalent to a 300-page novel), in one sitting. Judging from the comments section, I’m one of many, many readers who have done the same. And throughout, I’m wondering, “Why is this so engrossing? Why is this so… good?”
(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read it, I’m about to ruin it. But, if you’ve got the time, go and read it. Then come back here, and I’ll presume to tell you why the last 8 hours of your life were, from a literary standpoint, well spent.)
The exbf, without any particular pretensions to do so, has written something of an early “post-paper” literary masterpiece. Now, on one hand, exbf is not the first person to tell a good-story using the internet, and on the other hand, nobody’s ever going to write a dissertation comparing the exbfproject to the Great Gatsby, but nevertheless the potential is obvious.
It’s worth bearing in mind that X (Kara always called him by his first initial) seems to be a real person, who has gone to some length to guard his, and the girls’, privacy. To do this, he never fills in a lot of the details a normal author would. The effect is that, with only vague descriptions, the reader pictures the faces of people he knows — it’s a technique Graham Greene used in “The End of the Affair” when describing the female protagonist, Sarah Miles. Greene declines to list a single physical feature of Sarah (except, I think he may have said her forehead was too big) and implores the reader to imagine the face of that girl. I’m no Graham Greene, he said it more prosaically, but I think most men know who I’m talking about. Every man has that girl. Kara is that girl.
So almost instantly, X sets a stage of anygirls and fairly prototypical relationships — there’s that failed, first high school romance (Andi); the girl that’s way more into you, but you go along with it (Gloria); that really great girl who, for whatever reason, is just not right, and that’s okay (Maria); the psycho that won’t go away (Veronica) — and chances are, any guy has been in a handful of relationships that roughly fall into some of the above categories. Chances are, you’re already picturing their faces, those eyes or that smile that you like to imagine nobody else ever really saw, the way you thought about their bare skin for weeks after the first time you saw it. That tender stuff that you’re mostly ashamed of and never really talk about. Powerful stuff.
But what makes exgfproject great is something else entirely — it’s misdirection. X doesn’t tell the story that you think he’s going to tell. X says he’s going to look back at 8 failed relationships, and figure out why he screwed them up. A reader might not realize sometimes until the very end that, actually, the whole blog is about Kara.
Over the course of four furious months of his real life, X lays down 58 chapters, every other day, a blinding pace (and incidentally, they’re often filled with great prose, like I’ll highlight below and humorous asides, “the Joliet Jake,” “So, I guess we can go back to Chili’s now, huh?” and “Tony Banks”). Kara dominates the first 25 chapters, then disappears, and you don’t even realize she’s coming back in a big way. You don’t realize that nearly every post will mention her or tie back to her. You don’t realize the last 15 chapters will be about her too. And you don’t realize that once he’s done writing about Kara, he’s going to lose all his momentum, and never contribute much more.
The reason he messed up his relationship with Roxanne and basically everyone else is:
That I wondered for years & years if today was going to be the day I would run I into[Kara] somewhere, or finally get that phone call?
Sounds vaguely familiar? It sets up Roxanne as another great prototype (the girl you should have been with, but you never gave her the time of day, because you were holding out for that girl). And you could write a lot more about each of these prototypes of girls, but that’s not my thesis.
Maybe Kara resonates here, because she fits so snugly into that defining Jay Gatsby moment (see, I mentioned Gatsby earlier for a reason) :
“I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” Nick says, “you can’t repeat the past.”
“Can’t repeat the past?” Gatsby cries out, “why of course you can!”
X suffers the same affliction. And X’s final post about Kara is truly a heart-wrenching read. The prose from this whole post is worth re-reading. First the man Kara ends up married to:
A guy that used to get stoned & eat dog food, and whose mother had her makeup permanently tattooed onto her face. A really smelly, unwashed, borderline-retarded, ignorant redneck shit-kicker who was the spitting image of her father, the father that she had resented & rebelled against her whole life.
And yet after all that Kara put him through — and we’re talking a lot of pain, a lot of cheating, a lot of heartache — and after all this time — his relationship with Kara began 17 years prior, and ended 12 years prior — he still has in his heart:
I've always thought that she sold herself short... For all her faults, I really thought, just for a minute, that she could have really done something with her life. … I don't know if she could have been a rock star, or a doctor, or an actress, or what...but I just always thought that she could have had something more, somehow ... maybe I just never could understand why the whole world wasn't as fascinated with her as I was...
From many guys, it’d just be an insincere stab. But Kara, whoever she is out there, will never read this. 12-years-later and this guy is still a little heartbroken that this girl that he loved so much didn’t live the life she could have. In a novel, it’d just be prose, but in real life, when a person doesn’t have the life they should have, they don’t get another chance, there’s no eraser and no rewrite.
And how funny is it that, now, after all the time & effort it took me to even start writing all this, and how quickly I wanted to be done with it...now, I don't want to quit writing about her. It's not that I don't want to be done with it, and it's not that I'm not over her...it's just that I still don't feel like I've found the right words to do it all justice yet.
There’s no proper term in literature for this sort of surprise ending. In a novel, this could never work. When reading, say, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” which has a similar sort of and-now-I-don’t-want-to-quit-writing ending, the reader knows there are 350 pages in the left hand, and only the back cover in the right. A 600 page book, can’t have the story end on page 350.
When X stops writing about Kara, you think he’s got 10 years of story left. And though he tells a couple more tales, the spark is out, and it just comes crashing down that this is it. This was his life. He messed up more than a decade because he believed in love a little too much, or simply with the wrong person.
If that medium-slate-blue has started to take on the contours of the reader’s personal “Kara,” the surprise ending is like accidentally striking an anvil with a hammer, the shock reverberates through the entire body.
Kara isn’t supposed to end up with the ignorant redneck shitkicker, X isn’t supposed to end up lonely. It’s a lesson too mundane for literature (even with a closing line like “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” Gatsby still had to die for his story to work), a lesson too painful and too personal for much cinema, and frankly too lofty for television. It’s a story that could only be told in a blog.
As a happy aside, two days ago, X made another post. After finishing Kara’s story a little over a year ago, and posting only a handful of times in the last 9 months, X says
“I never thought I would say this, but with any luck at all, there will be no more ex-girlfriends. I think I might have finally run out of colors....”
Below it, is the cover of the Superman Wedding Album, the famous comic book where after 60 years of false starts, Clark Kent marries Lois Lane. Maybe some people never really stop pining for Lana Lang, but in the end, everyone knows Lois is the one that’s meant to be.
[Thanks to JayHank for that excellent blogpost! - Milo]
Traitors or Not.. Smosh, Geriatric1927, Boh3m3, DIGITILsOuL?
Well, not surprisingly, renetto has really pissed some people off. His video already has 155 approved video responses. 155!!!!!
Among them is this brutal smackdown from geriatric1927:
Geriatric1927: Response to Renetto's insult
I'm sure there are some vids in this vortex supporting youtube and Renetto. One I noted is from DanielGardner (aka Tunafish, who used to frequent the Lonelygirl15 forums in the mystery days), who suggests that the original of something is always better than the replica (ummm... maybe that's true of store brand raisin bran, but does anybody still use altavista over google these days?). Daniel holds out hope that youtube will improve:
DanielGarner: I believe in YouTube
Meanwhile, YouTuber PeteMatrix has done a brief video questioned Is YouTube under threat from LiveVideo or Revver?. Not surprisingly, it shows that YouTube's Alexa internet ratings far outstrip livevideo or revver.
So, what's your opinion? Is Geriatric1972 a traitor? Or has Renetto become a youtube lackey?
As for me, I'll just say that livevideo does appear to work very smoothly with few technical problems. It is much smaller right now, which allows all my adoring fans to post comments to me (or post videos insulting me!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
118!?! 118 videos is a LOT of videos for new Lonelygirl15 watchers to digest. So, with some inspiration from the article I blogged about last week, Terryfic (an early lg15 fan adored by all) has launched a series of recap videos summarizing the lonelygirl15 series to date.
The youtube channel is called LonelyGirl15Recaps. The first two vids are already up, and show the highlights from the series from its inception through the discovery of the sinister photograph of Aleister Crowley on Bree's wall (June 16 - Aug 6, 2007). Be sure to check them out (especially all new and curious lonelygirl15 watchers)!
Recaps Vid 1
Recaps Vid 2
Lastly, leaving Bree for a moment, for the endless stream of visitors who find my blog by searching google for "cara brimley" or "are the nohogirls fake" (see here and here if you can't figure it out!), I should mention that the nohogirls recently posted a official recap of their shenanigans to date. Anyone wanting to know more about the nohos (or bree) really should visit the forums at Anchor Cove. That's all for now, folks.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Why Don't More People Watch LonelyGirl15?
Cameos from teen idols are all well and good, but I don't believe it gets to the heart of LG15's viewership problem: the show is simply too intimidating for new viewers, and risks alienating current viewers as well.The article identifies the problems caused by the way Gemma and Jonas were introduced, as well as the confusion caused by the OpAphid ARG ("alternate reality game") that is supposed to be an independent project for the most part, but has become more intertwined with the LG15 plotline.
Ms. Dee concludes with some excellent recommendations for the Creators. But none of them deal with, unfortunately, introducing yours truly as a canon character. One step at a time, I guess.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
It came out in the press today that Katharine Phee, the runner up from last season's run of American Idol, will guest star in an episode of LG15 to be released on Friday January 19. It's an AP article, so its everywhere.
So is this a good or bad development for LG15? Well, first of all, she's not horrible to look at...
Second, some new publicity can't hurt the series. Increasing viewership is not a bad thing.
Is it possible the Creators will flub this one and make it incredibly painful? Will the characters be buying Katharine McPhee CDs in the episode? I think even the crazy plot of LG15 cannot withstand that. Personally, I'm hoping the next guest star is William Hung. Now, that guy is REALLY famous.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Could it possibly be due to this lawsuit in Brazil? It appears some model and celebrity in Brazil has a sex-on-the-beach (or more accurately, in the water) video show up on youtube, and they can't seem to keep it off. So a Brazillian Judge has ordered YouTube to be shut down. Seems to me very unlikely this can be the cause of the YouTube outage, because i don't see how a Brazil court's order would be enforced so quickly in the U.S.
Court orders YouTube shut
A BRAZILIAN court has ordered the popular video sharing service YouTube be shut down until it removes a celebrity sex video from its site.
Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of football great Ronaldo, sued YouTube after a video of her apparently having sex in shallow water on a beach with her boyfriend was posted to the site. For days it was the most viewed video in Brazil.
... Some copies of the video have been taken off the site but users reposted it.
.... legal experts said the ruling by the Brazilian court could be difficult to enforce in the United States, where YouTube is based.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
The Unthinkable Happened (Posted on Youtube Jan 1, 2007) is current showing up at #16 on the Most Viewed This Week chart (376K+ views). The most popular video from LG15 in over two months.
Let's look at what constitutes the cream of the crop this week, shall we? Well, among this week's top 20 is a lot of trash:
1. EastCoastBob JJ chokes on Live TV..MSNBC MisterClip Clip of an MSNBC anchor losing her voice while commenting on saddam. Not funny. (Posted Dec 29, 1.3million+ views)
2. saddam idam Arabic language newsclip on saddam hanging. (Posted Dec. 30, 1.3million+ views)
3. Saddam Hussein HangingA 3 second vid showing saddam in the noose, and fake tougue sticks out. (Posted 29, 1.1million+ views)
4. Dirt Premiere Party Footage from premiere party from this new FX network show, on the FX youtube channel. (Posted Dec. 28, 943K+ views). Clearly scammed, has almost 1 million views, but only 52 comments.
5. Cutie Custom Maxim-type video of some japanese model. (Posted Jan 1, 815K+ views)
6. Saddam Hussein Execution Exclusive from Baghdad Another fake Saddam hanging vid. (Posted Dec 29, 682K+ views)
7. If You Had 15 Seconds A call from that late show talk host with the scottish accent (what's his name again)? For people to submit 15 sec videos, with a chance to be aired after the Superbowl. From the official CBS channel (Posted Dec. 29, 674K+ views)
8. Saddam Hussein Executed Live Hanging 30-12-2006 3:05 a.m/ Yet another fake saddam hanging video. (Dec. 29, 650K+ views)
9. Featured Video Intro (Updated Hourly). apparently a leftover 3 second intro segment to the new year's feature youtube did, sponsored by Chevy. (Posted Dec. 29, 547K+ views)
10. Saddam Hussein Hanging. It's not. (Posted Dec. 29, 561K+ views [will move to #9 at next chart ordering)
11. Tara Reid counts down to 2007 in Chicago with Efren Ramirez! Who actually counts all the way down from 60?!! I have no clue how it got this many views. (Posted Jan 2, 769K+ views -- will be moving up a few notches at next ordering)
12. Strange Faces and Noises I Can Make III. (Dec 29, 489K+ views) FINALLY! A real youtuber makes a video that is on the chart!!! But ... it is a stupid video of him making silly faces and noises to the webcam. So, of course Youtube featured it! The creator himself says: "P.S. - Thanks for the feature, Youtube. This video is a shining example of how one can be lauded for something that they put little or no effort into. This video took 20 minutes to make, edit, and post. ... Seriously, I totally agree with everyone who says this shouldn't have been featured. For those who put time and effort into making other videos (including myself), I sincerely apologize.
13. Happy New Year Beavers (Dec 31, 515K+ views) A totally ridiculous video of some animals (stills) saying stuff about a happy new years. But another authentic youtuber, who says: And before you all start slagging off my video... this was made for my group of friends, endearingly called the Beavers (hence the Happy New Year Beavers title). I created it to use on my blog to wish them all a Happy New Year.
As I don't have a video server the easiest way to share this video was to upload it to Youtube and I put it in the New Year catagory.... why it has been featured... I have no idea. ... No the video didn't take a long time to make, it was knocked up using multiple frames in WMM... Prefer not to receive insulting comments as I didn't make the video for anyone else but my friends....
14. Saddam's Execution footage (Real) (Dec 29, 419K+views) GUESS WHAT!! It's not the real footage!!!! What a surprise.
15. DZ Ozma (Dec 31, 515K+ views) The Japanese TV clip from their New Year's Eve show. What a silly song -- "bounce bounce bounce"? Anyhow, all the girl dancers go topless as it progresses, which was a big hubbub in japan (apparently they were wearing bodysuits).
16. The Unthinkable Happened. (Jan 1, 420K+ views). Yes, it truly is unthinkable. It is amazing that a video made specifically for internet viewers, one that people spent time on, actually made the most viewed list at youtube. And without being featured. This is from the most subscribed youtube channel of all time. Does anyone else really have a chance of making the most viewed lists (without being featured) these days with a legitimate video? Probably not.
17. MY 1ST PORNO - tell me what you think, sex, christina (Dec 7, 368K+ views). This uses the traditional scamming technique of inserting a hot chick at the center of video having nothing to do with it. Also, the comment sidebar is just a tremendous huge tagcloud meant to gather hits. The actual subject of the video is the alleged conspiracy around the collapse World Trade Center Building 7. Also completely scammed, as it has only 4 comments.
18. sonja kraus upskirt 2. (Dec 29, 362K+ views). A little bit of underwear goes far, i guess.
19. Happy New Year (Jan 1, 384K+ views). An authethic older vlogger. (nice comment: "why are there so many old people posting videos on YouTube?" yes, its forbidden, is it not?). How did it get this high? It got featured, of course.
20. UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz 2 - THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! (Dec 28, 350K+ views) From the official ultimate fighting championship channel. Thank god this sport can still make the top 20.
No, you don't need to thank me for enriching your life by sharing all these precious videos with you!