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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

watch it: “Hamster On A Piano (Eating Popcorn)”

Continuing today’s rodential theme:

This could be the embodiment of Web video right here: adorable, pointless, and complete with a horribly catchy tune that wants you to get up and dance and, at the same time, claw your eardrums out.https://www.flickfilosopher.com/MT336-static/images/formatting-icons/field-smaller.gif

And yet, there’s something weirdly special about it. Someone had to have the idea to put the hamster on the piano, and then the idea to give the hamster on the piano a piece of popcorn to eat. And then someone had to have the idea to video this. That video could have gotten posted to YouTube at that point, with just its original soundtrack of ambient sound (which, we can imagine, features the camera operator and maybe someone else in the room giggling and, perhaps, talking to the hamster to encourage it to be even more cute and round and fluffy than it already is).

But the owner/manager/agent of this hamster was not content with that. That would have been the easy way out. No: the ingenious brainstorm was to cause to be composed a song commemorating this highwater mark of endearing small-burrowing-mammalian sweetness. And then the further ingenuity was to cause said song to be so on-the-nose — “hamster on a piano / eating popcorn / on a piano” — that the only possible response to it is to feel the depth and profundity of its obviousness. It’s as if the song is suggesting that it could not possibly be merely extolling the virtues of a hamster on a piano, eating popcorn on a piano that it must, perforce, be about something metaphoric and meaningful.

I am still pondering what this deep meaning could be.

(FYI, this is ranked No. 4 on Time magazine’s list of the Top 10 Viral Videos of 2008. I don’t put much store in that, however, because Time ranked that Super Mario video by Seth MacFarlane at No. 6, above “Star Wars According to 3 Year Old,” ranked at No. 8.)

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