Over 30 and Web 2.0 Test: Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” video

Watch this video — Weezer‘s “Pork and Beans.” How many YouTube celebrities can you identify? And what do you think this video is trying to say? I’m thinking in particular of the scene where the band member seems to be just munching on cereal, idly watching the NumaNuma guy — but right inside his apartment.

My question: What do you think is the (tongue in cheek) point of this video?

Here’s why I’m asking: a few months back, I was at a WebGuild event at Google featuring Jia Shen of RockYou, Jonathan Abrams, a co-founder of Friendster, and another Google developer.

Someone asked, mildly, their thoughts on the future for Web 2.0 in the enterprise.

I thought they’d make some comment about the Enterprise catching up with the tools its workers were bringing in, at least. That’s a big “duh” — from Cisco to BEA, the enterprise has been figuring out how to make social networks and the interactive web work for them.

But to my surprise, Jia Shen said, “No. I don’t see it. I mean, web 2.0 is about ‘hot or not,’ right? I don’t see older people getting into it.”

Glancing around the room, fully half the people there were over 40. Just because Jia Shen can’t imagine that anyone over 40 would have a life, let alone a SecondLife, or be using Web 2.0 mashups behind the firewall — doesn’t mean that we don’t get it. Leaving “Hot or Not” aside for the moment, the technology behind that site is simple voting; several present and former clients use similar code to rate the content inside their companies (for usefulness, among other things).

I live in the Web 2.0 world fairly constantly. And what’s more, I have teenagers. My hip factor increases exponentially just because I knew all about the Numa Numa guy two years ago; I rolled my eyes at “These Shoes Rule! These shoes SUCK!,” and watched Chris Crocker’s tearful pleading on behalf of Britney, and the witty Evolution of Dance, all at my kids’ behest.

So when I saw Weezer’s “Pork and Beans,” I cracked up. Thought it was really clever — a nod to this generation’s celebrities, as well as a wink (or maybe a jab in the ribs) to our inertia-bound scrutiny of other people’s Web moments.

Then I shared the video with a few friends and colleagues.

No giggles. No guffaws of recognition. Nada. They gave me those understanding smiles you reserve for people who are just a little bit crazy.

Most of my peers hadn’t seen the videos to which “Pork & Beans” refers. Made me wonder whether a) I have no life — but not in the way JiaShen imagined; b) I had slipped into the ranks of the very, very immature; c) whether there might be any truth to this Web 2.0 generation thing. Like, by having teenagers I’d essentially slipped past the bouncer — but it’s all over as soon as they’re out of the house. Suddenly, I won’t be able to tolerate anything newer than Fleetwood Mac or maybe MC Hammer, pre-Dance Jam.

What do you think? Is Web 2.0 a “generational thing?” Can anyone partake? Or will they have to make a YouTube specifically for people who were born before 1979?



Filed under Web 2.0

6 responses to “Over 30 and Web 2.0 Test: Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” video

  1. I am over 40 and know almost all of the web celebs in the Weezer video. People over 40 people DO get social media… some just “get it” better than others. đŸ˜‰

    You have a life. Just a much richer and different life. Keep the faith. The world will catch up to you.

  2. Ali

    I like your blog, Merredith! I like the Weezer video, too, but not as much as the one they did for their song “Buddy Holly” a few years back.

    You should post a link to that video as you have to be over a certain age to “get it” (or at the very least, you had to have watched reruns of “Happy Days” on Nick at Nite.) đŸ˜‰

    Keep up the fun blog posts!

  3. Kenn

    I think that Web 2.0 is in no way age specific. In the years since our parents were rebelling against the norms of society in the 60s and 70s and setting the stage for Gen X’ers and Y’ers, I think that most professionals have become an amalgam of the past and present.

    If anything I think we are at a time of regurgitation of what is “hip” and what was “hip.” And the only thing that is evolving is our ways to communicate that things are back in style – via YouTube, Facebook and so on and so forth…

    For instance, Van’s shoes, popular in the 80s have been back for a while now.

    Many kids are now wearing hats last worn by the lounge crowd of the Rat Pack like fedoras and panamas.

    And much to my horror, Member’s Only jackets (an early 80s trend) appear to be trickling into the mainstream. Perez Hilton (not that he is a fashion plate by any means) was wearing one in a photo on his blog last week.

    I think that more and more Baby Boomers are becoming aware of using Web 2.0 for communications then ever before. You even see grandparents getting into the Wii craze.

    We are truly in the time of amalgamation.

  4. The Numa Numa guy had me arm dancing at my desk in childish delight. It brought back memories of many silly Austrian apres-ski parties, where this song featured heavily and got everyone jumping about in their boots while downing schnapps. I actually think children of the 60s (68 in my case) are wackier than most and might appreciate the irony of YouTube and memes more than the younger generation.

  5. mamajama

    Ummmm…I’m over 50….what’s Web 2.0? Enterprise?
    In my defense, I get (almost) all my news from Huffpost.

    Nice writing, alittleclarity. By the way, I couldn’t load the video, said it’s “no longer available.”


  6. Erin Collopy

    Great video. I’m not sure what it says that I, too, knew more references than not. A litte too much time on YouTube perhaps.

    The altoids/diet coke viral videos were classic, the Leave Brittney Alone one hard to escape, the crazy staring squirrel just plain weird, the shoes video a bit disturbing, but entertaining still and the evolution of dance guy just plain amazing.

    You know what was missing, though… a spoof on the Ok Go treadmill video, now THAT is one of the best ones out there.

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