So I was up late on Sunday night. And I guess this isn’t much of a surprise. I suppose I’m up late a lot.
But on this night, I was doing some work, and some reading, and some general procrastinating.
And then I saw this:
So this, as you may have guessed from the video, is “Guy On A Buffalo.”
And before I proceed, I must admit that the internet is a pretty weird place — if it’s even a place.
But one of the best things about the internet, I think, is the feeling of discovery. It saturates everything.
“Hey. Look here. Read some news. Now here. Sports. Now click here. New music. It’s pretty great. Isn’t it great? It’s all here. Every day. Any time. Always. Forever. And it’s on a pretty nice screen. And… OH MY GOD. THIS GUY IS RIDING A FREAKING BUFFALO!
So I once heard a story about Twitter on NPR. This was probably about two years ago, maybe less. And the story was about why we love Twitter. And at its heart, at least as I recall, it tried to answer this question:
Why do we scroll through dozens and dozens of tweets that basically amount to a pile of pointless mind crap? Why are we hooked to following along, keeping up on things that may have nothing to do with anything we are doing at that moment?
The answer — and I’m sure the research has been updated or modified by now — had something to do with some neurotoxins in the brain — endorphins mostly.
The point was this: There is something about the discovery.
When we stumble upon a tweet that is worthwhile, that makes us laugh; that makes us feel like we just accomplished or learned something, a few toxins fire up in the brain* and you feel a rush.
*I’m sure this is not exactly how it works. But you get the point.
And the expert on the show — I can’t remember if it was a scientist or a researcher or a reporter — relayed the obvious: We want that feeling again.
In some ways, I suppose this is not unlike nicotine or crack or sugar.
And now, so many of us are digital junkies – to a point, at least. And devices like Twitter are simply our middle man, our “guy”, so to speak.
And when the internet experience includes old footage of a man riding a freaking buffalo, there’s really nothing you can do.
So there’s a story here. Michael Humphrey, a contributor at Forbes.com, recently caught up with Jomo Edwards, the man behind the “Guy on a Buffalo” series.
*If you want to know how obscure “Buffalo Rider” is… best I can tell, it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page.
As you might expect, Edwards, decided to write some music to accompany the ridiculous clips — mostly about how the guy rode around on a buffalo and did stuff like fight indians and save orphans.
The first video was posted on Sept. 10. And now they are four episodes.* And I saw it for the first time on Sunday night, more than six weeks after it hit YouTube.
The video wasn’t new or unseen or unnoticed. The first episode has been watched more than 900,000 times.
But for me, it was a discovery. And I guess that’s all that mattered.
Ride on, Buffalo Guy. Ride on.