The internet is a lovely tool. First created as a way to send information in case of a nuclear attack, no one can go a day without something being connected to a web of computers. Videos are not new but the fact that you can watch entire movies on your cell phone is just one way that technology is meshing with entertainment faster than we can say Google Android.
Viral videos are ones that spread like wildfire and stay transfixed in the public consciousness. For various reasons these videos never seem to go away or lose their effectiveness in tugging at our heart strings or funny bones. Here are my selections for the best viral videos for their take on the contemporary human condition of living on planet Earth.
Battle at Kruger
Kruger National Park is in South Africa and is home to many of the savannah’s wildlife including lions, water buffalo, and everything in between. The video entitled Battle at Kruger was an instant hit on YouTube and to date has had more than 52 million views.
The video starts as a herd of water buffalo approach a watering hole. But the lead of the herd doesn’t see a pride of lionesses that are lying in wait for them. Before you know it, there are five lions attacking a buffalo calf. Wait until you see what happens after that. Suffice it to say the lions will think twice about going after these water buffalo.
When the election in Iran in June of 2009 was called into question the international media was blacked out of the country. Some videos did leak out of the country, taken on cell phones and small cameras. One such video was the horrifying death of Neda Agha-Soltan.
In this memorial video, you see a young woman’s life snuffed out instantaneously by an unseen bullet. Men try to revive her but the shot is too accurate and she bleeds to death in front of the camera man. Warning, this video depicts a graphic death, right in front of your eyes. Videos like these make us realize how precious human life really is because a life that took over two decades to make was snuffed out in a split second.
On April 21, 2010, Brian Kownacki of Forham University scores from first base on a hit up the middle. But the amazing thing is that he takes a head first leap over the catcher and touches home plate and is called safe. The opposing manager argues the call but even from the video standpoint from behind home plate you can see he was safe.
The reason Kownacki is safe is that despite the catcher having the ball in his mitt and being in full possession of the ball, the catcher merely tagged Kownacki with his elbow. Rules state that the player off a base must be tagged with the ball being held in a mitt or in a hand. Even a player having the ball in one hand and tagging a runner with his or her mitt won’t get an out because the mitt has to have the ball in it even though the player has the ball.
The umpire correctly called Kownacki safe because the catcher only tagged him with an elbow. The manager needs to go back and read his rule book. He was probably beside himself at the amazing play he just witnessed but the manager still shouldn’t have argued as vehemently as he did.