The Many Lessons of “Spiders on Drugs”

Curator's Note

If you own a computer and it’s connected to the Internet, then there’s a good chance you’ve already seen the clip I’ve selected to comment on. In January of this year, Andrew Struthers’s short-film “Spiders on Drugs” became an overnight Internet sensation, garnering over 750,000 hits on YouTube in its first week. My own interest in the clip is multifaceted. The first thing that struck me about it, aside from the fact that it’s ridiculously funny, is that it’s a spot on parody of 60s educational videos. Fan created parodies are, of course, far from unique. But while most ‘spoof’ a specific text, this one parodies a whole genre. It imitates a ‘style’; thus, demonstrating a uniquely sophisticated media literacy. Add to that the fact that the video was quickly co-opted, and it also raises important questions about digital piracy. The fascinating story of this video can be found at http://thetyee.ca/Life/2007/01/10/WoodSpider/.

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