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A heartfelt ode to the most insincere video on YouTube

Make new friends, but keep the old.


Luke Winkie

Internet Culture

Posted on May 5, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 8:13 pm CDT

This is my favorite YouTube video of all time.

I realize that’s a strange thing to say. YouTube videos aren’t really ranked in terms of “favorites”—they primarily serve a utilitarian purpose. Like, technically I could say that the music video for Kiss’ “Lick it Up” is my favorite YouTube video of all time (it’s definitely top five), but that doesn’t quite get to the spirit of the distinction, right?

But, still, hear me out. It’s called “Old friends,” and it’s amazing.

My god, where do we even start?

I showed this to my brother, and—after he got up on the floor—surmised that this was probably the result of some Tumblrcore debutante getting a new camera for Christmas. He took to his friendly neighborhood cul-de-sac with a loose collection of terrible models and let the overeager vamping begin. I’ve simply never seen a more painful, awkward, cynical attempt at innocent coyness. This is hell. This is actual hell. This is scratching-the-back-of-my-head-and-looking-down-and-away hell, and it’s incredible.

It makes me regret everything: 500 Days of Summer, American Apparel, Vampire Weekend, loose-hold pomades, Hipster Runoff, Bebe Zeva… everything. Nothing was worth it. Why did we let Edward Sharpe do this to America. This video is why people are voting for Donald Trump. I have never seen something so casually insincere in my entire life.

Look, I know I’m making a big deal about a 90 second clip of a bunch of chuckleheads doing nothing in a park, but I still can’t stop thinking about it. I guess I just can’t get over the fact that self-adulating fake modesty is something we’re aspiring to now. 

There’s this song I hate called “Little Lion Man” by this band I hate called Mumford & Sons. It’s about how some guy is shitty, and right before the drop my man sings, “I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear?” It’s like he’s expecting me to find his lily-white bullshit endearing. That’s what this video is to me—it’s the ultimate example of ordinary men thinking they’re broken and unique in a transcendent way. “Look at me girl, I know there’s been bad times, but at least they’ve been our bad times, right?” 

Fuck you, but also, thanks for the video—because I will be watching it and getting infuriated in the best way possible for the rest of my life.  

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*First Published: May 5, 2016, 3:06 pm CDT