“Freedom” now over 640,000 views
More than a little peeved about the state of the world in 2006, I made this political video to express my frustrations about American policy, foreign and domestic. It was my first foray onto YouTube and I hoped to put a little something out into the world just days before the Congressional midterm elections. I thought the video might get 1,000 views. Instead, between the two versions I uploaded, “Freedom” was viewed over 500,000 times in a matter of days (currently at 645,000.) The video garnered all sorts of YouTube honors, was featured on all the major Liberal blogs (including Huffington Post, Andrew Sullivan, Talking Points Memo and Daily Kos) and eventually became Technorati’s #1 viral video on the internet for a two-day period—before it was unseated by a 4-second clip of a surprised chipmunk. The episode reached a climax when Rolling Stone included a brief mention of the video in its pages, triggering an email exchange with George Michael whose music I’d appropriated without permission. Essentially, he said “Nice video, wish you’d have asked me first.” Oh, and the Democrats swept Congress. I’m taking full credit for that.
The sequel to “Freedom” was not nearly as successful, but “Waterloo” managed to crack 80,000 views. I tried a different technique for this one and didn’t have the benefit of the election timing, but it was just as fun to sit back and watch thousands of people enter their comments calling me either a genius or a moron.