Quick, name a place where you can order a pizza, masturbate, donate to charity, deeply insult a stranger, bet on the US Presidential election, read a piece on the New York Yankees, masturbate again, find a good recipe for homemade ribs and look at some pictures of dogs all in the span of three minutes.
If you said any thoroughbred racing simulcast room ever, then you are close, but wrong. You won’t find a donation booth in those hell-dark holes.
The correct answer is the Internet.
It’s a strange place, this web. Strange and diverse. It boasts all the aforementioned things and so much more. So much weirder too. For example: earlier today, Brazilian pro surfer Victor Bernardo live streamed himself getting cornrows — right here on the Internet.
The broadcast lasted for over an hour and it didn’t exactly have the best viewership. For the short period of time that I indulged, the feed claimed I was accompanied by about 38 others. Which, according to the WSL formula (add two 0s and a Mick Fanning quote) translates to 3900 viewers and “a really great event.”
The entire thing felt weird and pointless. Here’s why it mattered.
Media is changing, and it ain’t gonna settle down anytime soon. Old ways are dying. New ways are being born. Victor’s live stream today would’ve been a month-old postage stamp in some lonely corner of a magazine ten years ago. Maybe you’re not the biggest fan of cornrows — I personally thought the hairstyle peaked when I was in second grade and my female peers would return from Bahamian vacations with some sweet fucking beads — but Victor’s experiment was a step in the right direction. It was a step in your direction. Because, at the core of it, it’s all about getting you closer to the personalities that interest you. There’s something very cool about that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I got a race to catch.