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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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In the course of preparing this entry for Found on the Web, I came across this video by aleprechaun AKA Emily. I'm hooked!

I'm still trying to decide what about her, the dancing, and the video is the most endearing. Young woman dancing in front of her computer to some music is a YouTube archetype, but I normally just shake my head in disgust at most of the examples I've come across. This one has me watching over and over—something I haven't done with YouTube since the DJ Format videos. So I had to introspect to see what I was responding to.

My first thought, naturally, was that I found her attractive. She's quite pretty and reminds me a lot of Tina Fey. Furthermore, she's got a gangliness that I like. But that's not it.

Next I thought about the choreography, such as it is. I enjoyed that aspect but in the end it's not all that compelling. It's mostly just pantomiming the song's lyrics, which is quite uninspired. In a similar fashion, I dismissed my love for that song, which is considerable, as a rationale.

Then it hit me. The setting is such an integral part of her videos: it's so obviously a college dorm room. When I went to college, I lived and worked off-campus. Plus, I was married. So I never got to experience the collegial aspect of dorm living. In my mind, I always pictured college life like that video—just goofing off and unwinding after a long day of studying. I bet that sort of thing goes on all the time in an average dormitory. Maybe it's not the case, but that's what it's like in my imagination.

It also speaks to youth, to joyful exuberance, to feeling like you "gotta dance." There are times in my own life, when I'm alone, where I just get down because I can't keep it in any longer. I'm a horrible dancer, which is why I can't do it in front of people, but the feeling's there all the same. Anyone that knows me is probably agape right now—it's not a side of me that anyone but my immediate family has ever seen.

And maybe that's exactly what aleprechaun was doing, except that she recorded it and made it available to the world.