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Given the ubiquity of cat videos on teh internets (which really means YT in this particular context), it seems inevitable that someone would come up with the idea of a festival devoted to cat videos.  The perpetrator in this instance was the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, back in 2012.  If one believes the write-ups and quotes from people at the Walker, they didn't expect it to be as big a hit as it was.  The Walker will be doing their 3rd version of the festival on August 14, and a touring version is here in town @ the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis tonight (no, 3CM isn't there; besides, all the tickets sold out anyway).  More, such as it is, below the flip.....

To read the condensed history of this festival from the Walker's page for this year's festival:

"In August 2012, the Walker Art Center planned a small experiment as part of its outdoor summer programming on Open Field, the green space adjacent to the building. What if there was an evening program dedicated to the Internet phenomenon of cat videos? Would anyone come to watch videos what they could easily view with a few clicks at home or work? How would this solo hobby translate to a public setting?"
In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this past weekend, Calvin Wilson had this article on the festival at CAMSTL this weekend, where he quoted the Walker's curator of public practice and director of education, Sarah Schultz, on what she thought the attendance would be at the time:
"In all seriousness, we really thought maybe a hundred people would come."
Well, she was off by 2 orders of magnitude, going back to the Walker's page:
"Word of the program quickly spread internationally via social media and the press, including coverage as varied as the New York Times, the BBC, Japanese television, Australian talk shows, Brazilian newspapers, CNN, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Cat Fancy, Slate, Time, CHEEZburger, and many more. The result was 10,000 people gathered on Open Field enjoying the first Internet Cat Video Festival - together."
In fact, it was such a hit that the 2013 installment took place at the Minnesota State Fair.  It is that video compilation from the 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival which will be featured at CAMST, per Wilson's P-D article:
"CAM will present last year’s program, which runs 73 minutes and is the same on both nights."
For those who care:

(a) Link to 2012 festival video playlist
(b) Link to 2013 festival video playlist

On the KWMU 90.7 (St. Louis Public Radio) arts show Cityscape yesterday, host Steve Potter had a segment on the cat video festival, where he admitted to his guests, from CAMSTL, more or less,  about cat videos:   "I don't get it".  In the P-D article, Wilson quotes Will Braden, who has a huge cat video following because of his "Henri" videos that spoof French films and existentialism, as giving an explanation of why people go for cat videos:

"“They try to be so stoic, and they try to be sort of graceful and agile - and they are, for the most part. But that just means that when they do something clumsy, or when they do something silly, we like it all the more. It’s funnier to see somebody trip and fall down in a tuxedo than to see them do it in overalls.”
One other way to look at it is that cats don't obviously express emotions on their faces the way that humans do, except irritation or hostility, perhaps.  In other words, as long as one doesn't put them in any sort of dangerous situation where they'd be expected to show irritation or hostility, cats will maintain what, in human terms, would be a "deadpan" expression.  It's the same reason that Monty Python is funny, where you have 5 Brits (with occasional appearances by an American) saying and doing completely silly things while maintaining a straight face, namely the sheer cognitive dissonance between the two phenomena.  Same with cats; animals with "straight faces" are being put in silly situations, and keeping those "straight faces" as they react.

Shows what depths 3CM has sunk to now, namely a pootie SNLC, especially given world craziness now.  (Having a series that must run at a particular time of week does limit the timeliness of pontificating, pointlessly, on current events of true importance in any case, when the current events are several days old.)  But there it is.  Plus, if nothing else, as the details on the CAMSTL tour date for the festival show, it's a great way for animal welfare groups to show their presence and advocate for pet adoption.

With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....

Originally posted to chingchongchinaman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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Comment Preferences

  •  so, from here.... (9+ / 0-)

    Rode my bike to an event recently.  Just before I got to said event, got a flat tire.  By luck, a friend was there who lived close by, and was nice enough to offer a ride home.  However, the loser aspect on self's part was:

    1.  This was my 2nd flat bike tire this year, and thus my 2nd tire tube replacement in the space of just a few months.
    2.  My friend helping out with a ride home negated the whole point of me biking to the event, i.e. not burning gas in a car, since the friend had to drive me back home.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:19:20 PM PDT

    •  Most flats are caused by (5+ / 0-)

      Low air pressure. Bike tires lose air faster then car tires.  I would start checking the tires at 100 miles or every week whichever comes first. If you're down by 25% or more, check them more often. Ideally you don't want to be down more then 10%

      It took me a long time to learn about pinch flats but they are far more common than actual punctures from running over something.


      •  fair point; however, in this case..... (4+ / 0-)

        ......the tire was quite full when I started.  I suddenly noticed the drop in tire pressure just as I was getting to my destination.  If it had to happen, I'm lucky (in a sense) that it was close to the destination, and not halfway there.  Later on, at home, I inflated the tire, and figured out where the leak was.  But later on further, after I went to the shop and they put in a new tube, the leak at that spot didn't happen.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:45:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  archie was my 'first' cat. (5+ / 0-)

    thanks, pop.

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 05:29:51 PM PDT

  •  Break it down? (5+ / 0-)

    Father claims to have known Charlie Schmidt.

  •  I may have to do a cat diary (4+ / 0-)

    ahead of time and prepare it for the week after my second knee is done when I am still not functioning normally.

    There are many cats in books.  :)

    I would have some funny cat videos if I had a recorder attached to my face...sigh.

    When my white kitty was a two inch kitten, he would run at the big yellow cat and bounce off him while the yellow dude kept on walking not even noticing.  

    My present pretty kitty will sit curled up in a tiny box on the piano and when I walk by and pet her she likes it so much that if I try to leave she puts her paw out and bats at me to come back.  Sometimes three times in a row.  

    She also likes to hide in a paper grocery bag so if we pick it up to fold it we find it very heavy.

    Years ago we had a cat who went over to the bedroom door to make sure it was open, then she swatted the dog who was in there and made her escape.  We watched her do it.

    But no camera, alas.

    Best wishes to all here!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 06:04:08 PM PDT

  •  P.S. I still hate cats. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Youffraita
  •  Cats experience embarrassment. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, chingchongchinaman

    I know that sounds like anthropomorphism, but I've seen it.

    Whenever a cat does something really dumb, like run into a wall or something, they will suddenly stop and groom as in Not me. I didn't just do that. Here I sit, grooming.

    BTW, I remember reading about that first cat videofest, I think afterwards b/c I think I remember reading that they got a much huger audience than anticipated. I think it was in the NYT arts section.

    My loser story tonight is very minor: I had just got home & I came here, read one message and one diary, and the site went down.


    Glad it's back up. But that's why I'm so late tonight.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 10:42:35 PM PDT

    •  hence the late reply here as well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Crashed late last night, so called it an evening.  Actually, my one old cat did tend to take on a sheepish air after I got miffed at him for something annoying that he did.  However, I wouldn't say that he ran into walls or anything like that.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 10:16:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe not a wall, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a kitten of mine was running under the bed, and hit its head on the bedstead. Sat down and immediately started grooming.

        I know Kelsey was embarrassed. I knew that cat's moods like I've never known any other cat's. He was my first, in college, and he went everywhere with me, including classes, on the bus, in the car (when I eventually got one), hitchhiking (before said car)...he was the best cat EVER.

        They are ALL wonderful, but Kelsey was really special, even so.

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 11:30:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  granted, I've owned (or been owned by)..... (0+ / 0-)

          ......just 2 cats, but the one I have now is very much in that best cat ever mode.  I'm not going to do too well when her time comes.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 07:26:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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