I I love the internet and it loves me back. Ours is a pure and sacred bond. We are celebrating our 15th anniversary after meeting on my old family PC in Canberra in 2006, where I discovered Club Penguin and Habbo Hotel. Here are 10 things I’ve found that have enriched my life. I hope they will also enrich yours.
I understand Brits take a masochistic, self-martyrious glee in queuing for hours to catch a glimpse of the covered corpse of a woman who never paid her fair share of tax, but there has to be a way more efficient to mourn the “chief parasite in his idiot hat” (as Christopher Eccleston, the dreamiest modern doctor, once called him). For some reason, the coffin mounted on a robotic arm reminds me of the simulator Questacon roller coaster in Canberra, circa 2007. I like to think that even after kicking the bucket, the queen might get one last chill in her pretty box.
2. Guided meditation
The perfect guided meditation for manifesting the kind of life where you’re cool, dewy, effervescent, rich (but tasteful) and put together enough for you to use the salad leaves before they rot and go slimy in the fridge.
3. Domino Man
Throughout this video, I felt my mirror neurons fire up as I experienced the exact same feelings as the wax-skinned man in the left frame. I have never felt so emotionally in tune with another person before. I think I’m in love.
4. James Gandolfini in Sesame Street
This is less of a fun video (SUE ME!!!!) and more of more essential healthy viewing. During a vicious heatwave in Melbourne in 2015, I was staying at my ex-girlfriend’s house while waiting for the semester to start. It was a glorified cabin at Carlton – with no insulation or air conditioning.
Each day, her quiet, bouncy roommate and I would sit in the kitchen, the only shady spot in the house, taking turns cooling off with a rotating list of frozen vegetables. From time to time, we braved the scorching heat to smoke a durry. What kept us sane was an endless stream of old episodes of Sesame Street, including this one with Zoe and James Gandolfini, which exudes the sweetness and gentle majesty of an Ikea Djungelskog bear .
5. Jake Novak: Part One
Lin-Manuel Miranda has a lot to answer for (the biting lip, the Renaissance of Disney children’s energy, his eerie, strained voice in the original Hamilton cast recording). This Jake Novak video is a Glee/Camp Rock fever dream shot on an expensive camera with a plinky-plonk synthesizer backing track. It’s totally soulless but filled with manic rhymes. It’s pure excitement, real courage.
I’ve never seen anyone on screen as gritty as Novak, a man whose artificial shyness bristles against his right. He can speak quickly and he can sing passably in a sequined red coat, but he’s not quite sure what to do with either of those specific skills. Twenty years ago, he would have languished in an airport lounge. But today, he relentlessly aims for viral success…
6. Jake Novak: Part Two
…which he kind of got, in a way, with this video. I watch this whenever I think I screwed up professionally or personally because – whatever gig I bombed or naked I accidentally passed on to a group chat – I can proudly say that I didn’t write, record, film and edit a little singsong rap about gun violence.
Novak was absolutely roasted and grilled for this video but, to his credit (?), he never took it down even after it was reported by a comment saying “Did I wake up in 2013? “. Part of me hopes that Novak is actually a main character comedian playing us all. But another part of me knows he’s sincere. Either way, this video is a memento mori, a powerful reminder that death (literal and internet-based) is coming for all of us.
7. All gas without brakes
All Gas No Brakes is like Louis Theroux’s pimply online cousin. Andrew Callaghan manages to infiltrate strange communities (flat Earthers, Bigfoot hunters, SneakerCon) and gives ordinary people the microphone to share their ideas, without judgement. It is one of his first and biggest expeditions on the Talladega Superspeedway.
It opens with the rallying cry “Show me your asshole!” — and doesn’t back down throughout its five-minute supercut of early ’20s white Ricans reveling in the sheer speed of cars and the relentless stream of cheap beer. It’s Woodstock redneck, baby, and this goofy East Coast bean in a suit is perfectly placed to capture his glory.
8. The Sigma Males
The alpha/beta/gamma/sigma male classifications are just astrology for men who can’t get a root. The characteristics of the sigma (or “lone wolf”) male are a tendency to be aloof, hot, manly, popular, and sexually competent, while yearning and caring about none of these things. He is an outsider, someone who has managed to escape and resist the cultural conditioning that has infected his alpha, beta and gamma cohort.
I hope that by clicking on this video your algorithm will start feeding you more and more sigma male content because this is an absolute rabbit hole that I love to dive into at least once a fortnight. It’s classic sigma male video, in that it’s a clumsy mix of stock footage, an automated voice reading a script, and stock music: almost purely a clickbait and incredibly vague. Like the sigma male, I have an “insatiable intellectual curiosity” and am so thankful that the internet is free.
9. Gibi ASMR
Going through a YouTube algorithm is like a medical examiner going through a corpse’s stomach to determine the cause of death. My digital wasteland is 70% ASMR (I crave peace). Gibi ASMR is one of the goats of the genre, streaming steadily for the past six years and managing to consistently capitalize on an ever-changing landscape of whisper ramblings, personal attention POVs, and object tapping. She’s also one of the most playful ASMRtists out there, and this Sims-themed RPG is one of the most absurd and delightful videos I’ve come across in my quest for a good night’s sleep.
10. Shipping from Belfast
I am an incredibly gullible person. I was once convinced that a penis had a curved column of tiny interlocking bones inside like a spine and that when it becomes erect all of these bones line up into a single straight pillar.
Anyway, when I first saw this video I really thought it was a British journalist’s dispatch from Belfast until I found the original footage and voiceover. This satire is so perfectly pitched and so much funnier if you suspend your disbelief and let it be real. I have incorporated the apparently Ulster-Scots phrase “Ah, gee! Scundered, mate” into everyday lingo and strongly recommend that you do the same.