Old hat videos for tiny brains

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
Last updated 00:51 17/06/2014

They reckon there's nothing new under the sun, but it's also starting to feel like there's nothing new on the big wide world of the inter-webs, either.

Just about every time I see a news item about the "latest" online phenomenon to go viral lately, I'm struck by the fact that it's been around for quite some time. Our love of sharing cat videos and the like means the video being reported online, in print or on the telly has probably already done the rounds of Facebook and we've all already seen it, giggled at it and moved on to the next big thing. I guess that just highlights the power (and speed) of social networking.

However, it goes beyond just the speed of online sharing: I'm regularly seeing videos popping up on internet news sites that are a year or more old. Sure, sometimes there are hidden gems that fester away on YouTube for months before they suddenly find an audience, but I'm not talking about those slow-to- get-started offerings, I'm talking about videos that have already had their moment in the sun, got the publicity that comes with internet fame and then pop back into the spotlight again a year or so down the track and get to go viral all over again. Sort of like a recurrent coldsore.

I know the current trend in fashion, music and entertainment in general is for everything retro, but this just feels like deja vu all over again.

The latest of the oldies is the video of the Boeing plane turned into a home by the dude in Oregon. In fact, this one is on its third ride on the internet fame merry-go-round: it's popped up in the news just this week with a story from the Reuters news agency about his novel home, linked to a year-old video from Los Angeles-based news outlet Incredible Features, but the first time I heard about this dude and his unusual digs was a couple of years ago via video from CNN. And all three times, it's been through online sharing that I've heard about it.

They say our attention spans are getting shorter so maybe that's why it's happening, or maybe our brains are just so full of cat videos we forget anything we see online that doesn't involve furry, four-legged critters.

Or Rick Astley (and if you don't understand that reference, Google "rickrolled". I wonder if a generation from now we'll be justinbieber-ing people?).

Speaking of small, fluffy things that should be neutered, "Dear Kitten" is a new video that forms part of an advertising campaign by the good people at Friskies. This one features an older and wiser cat offering some sage advice to the new kitten on the block, such as a description of the two types of food on offer: the dehydrated brown niblets ("I think they're training us to be astronauts) and wet food that is so special they keep it in little armoured metal casings.

Oh, and to keep the cat video quota up, and to prove that sometimes an oldie is also a goodie, check out this "human perch" video from 2008.

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