WTF?

(Ethan Gates)– I promise to stop making posts about OK Go when they stop making videos that blow my mind. Dancing on treadmills, marching-band renditions of their singles, performing with the Muppets, warehouse-sized Rube Goldberg machines, trained dogs, trippy modern-dance HTML 5 experiments… I mean, seriously, there’s no way those guys could top themselves at this point, right? Right?

Well. Damn.

If you’re calling “bullshit” on that video, you’re probably not the only one: there’s no way you could navigate a driving course that precisely, right? Even if you were able to calculate the proper timing, you’d need some kind of fantastic professional driver – maybe they hired a ringer? There are some cuts in that video where you could swap shots of the band in the car with exterior shots of a stunt driver.

Nope. The band is actually in that car, and lead singer Damian Kulash is really driving. The man took stunt driving lessons for four months, just for this video. The band once known for their super low-production home-made dance videos has gone to the completely opposite extreme – “over-elaborate” is now the name of the game, though still not in the same  heavily produced manner of most pop videos. There’s still a home-grown creative feel to it, like all the band members are still 6 years old and playing around with their LEGOs. Only that little box of LEGOs has now expanded to unfathomable proportions.

Now, do I really believe that OK Go’s little musical experiment here worked THAT well? Probably not. It’s like the invisible cuts in the Rube Goldeberg “This Too Shall Pass” video:

I’m sure there was some behind-the-scenes manipulation on “Needing/Getting” to make sure that the sound turned out that well. But, as that guy who found the hidden cuts rightly points out, that doesn’t detract from the pure awesomeness of the video: you need a unique imagination just to attempt a project like this. But this video, along with the rest of OK Go’s growing oeuvre, in many ways demonstrates what is simultaneous great yet troubling about the Internet.

With such an incredible open platform for creative content, we now have a truly staggering amount of awesome, imaginative art and entertainment available to us. But the corresponding capacity for exaggeration and deceit has required us to view everything with at least a certain amount of cynicism. When we start to get bombarded with videos like THIS STUPID CRAP, the dominant reaction to anything we watch is going to become an indifferent “yeah, right.”

And the ultimate question to such Internet baubles is: to what end? OK Go spends literally months solely dedicated to creating a fun, four-minute video. Is that worth it? Would such energy be better spent elsewhere? Obviously Damian Kulash is not about to suddenly cure cancer if he stops making OK Go videos, but what about the engineers who must’ve helped him out with designing this video? I don’t know.

One thing’s for sure: making an over-elaborate video that entertains a lot of people is certainly better than making an over-elaborate video that doesn’t entertain anyone. So I suppose we might as well watch and enjoy.