It’s amazing how social networking diminishes the drive to blog. Which is fine – blogging is a pretty self-indulgent and obnoxious practice, and less is always more. But blogging does have a nifty byproduct – years and years of drivel that I can hopefully enjoy when I’m very, very old. And my kids might get a kick out of this stuff some day, too.
Lately I’ve been puzzling over Blewt!, and how to define it. The first project to wear the logo was a video I created called Silly Faces, probably about 10 years ago. It featured 30 people, each making silly faces for 120 seconds, set to nauseatingly obnoxious music. All sixty minutes of it can be watched in order on YouTube. A byproduct of this silly project – check out what improvisors looked like 10 years ago.
Silly Faces is awful, and impossible to watch. It takes silliness and beats you across the face with it in tedious 2-minute chunks. The point, obviously, was not to be a watchable film. It was the first crack at a common Blewt! objective – to create the “found footage” of tomorrow. Thirty years from now, someone will stumble upon someone’s old Silly Faces DVD and scratch their head… and hopefully continue to share it with others. The same way that things like this and this breathe second lives out of context.
Silly Faces was followed by Silly Dances, Silly Horse Whispering, and the never-quite-finished Silly Lickin’ Pickles. These are all worth a peek, but I wouldn’t spend more than thirty seconds on them. Especially if there are other people around.
Now in between these “Silly Sessions,” Blewt! launched several stage shows, and a handful of online video things (like this, and this, and oh yeah, this). And as the collective grew, that became our primary focus – creating comedy for people to watch in a theater, or sitting at their computer, that would both delight and confuse them.
Recently, Blewt! has gone through another evolution. In addition to our strange videos and ridiculous stage shows, we now sell things. Like stick figure cat drawings, T-shirts with two film titles printed on them, and soon, custom theme songs. For a while, I struggled to figure out how this all fit together. In a way, we’re using e-commerce as a performance art – trying to accomplish the same ends, head-scratching delight, through an unexpected means.
When I was a kid, I remember coming home from Trick or Treating with a bag full of crazy candy. Every piece was different. The wrappers were colorful. There were candies I had never heard of. Nowadays, every house hands out the same thing – special Halloween-sized versions of the same 10 candies, in their bland orange and brown wrappers.
Blewt!’s mission is to bring back the excitement of unpredictability to your daily life – to pepper your existence with unexpected discoveries. We want to be that crazy bag of random Halloween treats, that you couldn’t wait to tear into.
I think it’s an important mission. I’m struggling with the right words to explain why. Everyone feels weird or strange at certain points in life. Even normal people. When you stumble upon something weird or strange and can connect with it, it diminishes loneliness. So by scattering Blewt!’s artifacts, the hope is that we’ll diminish loneliness in others, the same way similar discoveries have diminished it in us.
We’ll do it on a stage, we’ll do it on YouTube, we’ll do it on TV, we’ll do it by selling you something stupid on an e-commerce website. And it’s a sure bet we’ll continue to find strange and new ways to get your attention, in ways that hopefully continue to surprise.