I just lost 10 minutes and 55 seconds of my life and I want it back.
After watching the dOvetastic Microwave Theater's latest YouTube creation, I now not only fear this chunk of time has been lost forever, but I also have this overwhelming urge to punch someone in the face. In this video, the creator, Kenny Irwin, puts a brand new 3G 64GB iPad into a microwave. In full HD widescreen, you can watch the iPad slowly (and I mean slowly) smoke up. Finally, at six and a half minutes, the device catches on fire. Oh, and did I mention there are replays? Ah, yes, just in case you missed anything. As for the host, who delivers his narrative in a smarmy and incredibly annoying voice, he makes you want to scratch out your eyeballs. Take a listen (and keep your hands away from your face).
iPad sales hit the one million mark just as the 3G version went on sale in the U.S. While there have been several YouTube videos of the earlier iPad models being smacked around with a baseball bat or mulched in a blender, I suppose it was only a matter of time before a video of this newest version being destroyed surfaced.
It's a trend that's been around for years -- YouTubers line up to get their hands on the hottest new tech toys and abuse them. It seems there is no end to the cult of destruction online.
When it's just teenagers wrecking stuff, I suppose I was somewhat more understanding. After all, they haven't yet reached the age when they can (all) think for themselves, but now companies and, gasp, yes, adults are in on the game. What's most hurtful in this recent video is that the YouTube destroyer calls himself an artist. As his profile says, "Welcome to dOvetastic Microwave Theatre, the original home of ongoing microwaving entertainment & art." To date, the Theatre has filmed 365 microwaving episodes (as per their profile, fans donate money to help keep the show going). Kenny did his first "performance" at age six, when he microwaved a lightbulb (I don't know about dear Kenny's mom, but if my son ever tries to do something like this I will encourage him to a visit to a therapist).
Now, this destruction isn't just upsetting because I'm an Apple user. In fact, I'm not even a huge fan of the iPad (yet). What is most discouraging is that these devices aren't cheap. Starting at $500, it seems to me that destroying them is a monumental waste of money. Also, and this is the Mom in me talking, there are so many kids in our communities who would die for the opportunity to get their hands on their very own iPad (let alone thousands of Canadian adults still waiting for the late May release in this country), for learning and entertainment opportunities, and they'd treat a new device like this with a whole lot more respect than Kenny and his destroyer friends (or destroyer enemies is probably more accurate since I suspect these YouTubers are in direct competition for the most views).
You might be thinking, Hey, MacArthur, lighten up!, but you probably haven't yet sat through the entire 10 minutes and 55 seconds of depressing footage. While I am a huge fan of many Internet memes, online phenomena that spreads virally, this is one trend that I can only hope goes away. In other words, bring back the Keyboard Cat and the Numa Numa kid, and let's pray together that a new light bulb goes off in Kenny's life and he discovers a different form of art.
Update: This issue bugs me so much, I sent Kenny Irwin some questions asking him to explain his so-called art. Kenny calls his show the original and longest running microwave entertainment show on the web
Amber Mac: How do you afford to microwave so many things (and pay for so many microwaves)?
Kenny Irwin: Most items are donated to the show worldwide but a few items I buy with the proceeds from show & artwork.
I have been microwaving for over thirty years, which started with microwaving a light bulb when I was six years old. I first thought of the idea of a microwave show to entertain in 1988 but there was no viable means to implement the concept at the time do to insufficient technology. In 1991 Sony introduced the first 8mm Sony Camcorder. I bought one from JCPenney and that is how it all began. I filmed 22 episodes of microwaving various objects for a school project and called it dOve's Fantastic Microwave Theater which received a very positive response. In early 2003 I aired some of my first microwaving episodes on my art website where it became officially known as dOvetastic Microwave Theater. Very shortly after Youtube was established moved I my show there to great success with over a million hits within the first year in early 2006.