Monday, July 28, 2008

Who the Hell is Matt?

So I can't seem to get the Where the Hell is Matt video out of my mind. It's fascinating. Here's a guy who gets sick of working, quits his job, and decides to travel the world for six months. Just for the sheer hell of it, he does a crazy little dance everywhere, one he used to do while waiting for his lunchmate to quit working.

He's a self-professed deadbeat.

He doesn't know what the heck he wants to do with his life.

He just traveled the world and did a little dance everywhere. He stuck them together just for fun, and before he knows it, it's all over the internet. Talk shows call him and all of a sudden everyone knows him.

What is the big deal? Why does this video touch us so much? What are we seeing? What are we feeling?

What calls to us? Is it the freedom? The unconstrained exploring? The ability to go to a village and connect with new people, just by doing an utterly bad dance? Is it his willingness to look like an idiot for the sake of connecting with people? What is it?

What is it for you?

22 bonus scribbles:

Zoe Winters 7/28/2008 03:29:00 PM  

That is so kick ass. All I can say is, he must be independently wealthy to be able to go so many places and dance around.

I think we'd all LIKE to do something like that, we just can't afford to.

I think it's a combination of things that make this video great, it's seeing someone break out of the mold and do something COMPLETELY different. Then there is the dancing, and the freedom, and the cross-cultural dropping of barriers that the goofy dancing causes, and all the smiling faces, and the song.

Mark Terry 7/28/2008 03:34:00 PM  

Don't forget his book deal.

And I love it. It's on my daily fix.

Melanie Avila 7/28/2008 05:07:00 PM  

I love it because he was able to get so many different people to join him. Young, old, modernized, tribal... you name it. It's the coming together of, basically, the entire world that chokes me up.

I heard he was sponsored by Stride gum, but I don't know if that was before or after the trip.

Robin 7/28/2008 05:46:00 PM  

Maybe it's just me, but I would rather listen to O Fortuna fifty times, and then give birth to the son of Satan, than watch that video for 5 minutes.

Susan Helene Gottfried 7/28/2008 07:20:00 PM  

It's the music. It has nothing to do with the dancing or the event. It's all about the music and the way it moves us.

Edie 7/28/2008 08:12:00 PM  

He's having fun and he's dancing. People dance with him. I would dance with him in a second. What's not to love?

Jules Viernes,  7/28/2008 08:35:00 PM  


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spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:32:00 PM  

Zoe, he worked in game software development, then used all his savings to travel the world for six months. After the first video, Stride Gum sponsored his travels.

I think you're right: the cross-cultural dropping of barriers is so heartening!

spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:32:00 PM  

Mark, right! I forgot!

spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:34:00 PM  

IMelanie, I think it was after the first trip, but before the other ones. :-)

Different people coming together: I really like that.

spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:34:00 PM  

Hah! Robin, you're hilarious!

spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:37:00 PM  

Susan, what a great point! I downloaded the track, and I was just thinking the other day how certain movie music instantly evokes the emotions of the movie. And then I was trying to decide whether the music or the movie came first.

Same thing with this video. I did see an older one where the music wasn't there, and was moved, too. And yet I'm listening to this music every time I want to feel happy. :-)

spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:38:00 PM  

So true, Edie! You know, I forgot to ask if you're going to RWA?

spyscribbler 7/28/2008 10:41:00 PM  

Why, Jules, thank you for your spam! I'm afraid I'm a very prejudiced person: the spelling of advertizing with a Z just automatically makes me mistrust a company. Last week, someone left a spam spelled with an S, and I think I'm going to have to go with them this time around.

Stephen Parrish 7/29/2008 12:56:00 AM  

My passion is words, but sometimes images, especially images accompanied by music, defy verbal description. This is one of those times for me. I love the Matt video and struggle to say why.

Edie 7/29/2008 12:59:00 AM  

Spy, no, I'm not going to RWA this year. Liz is going, but the rest of us at Magical are passing this year. I'm guessing you would have said something if you were going.

Erica Orloff 7/29/2008 08:26:00 AM  

Hi Spy:
I adore Matt. Ever since Stephen posted it on his blog, Oldest Daughter and I watch it over and over and LAUGH--real laughter, joyous laughter.

For me, it is the idea of joy. That adage "dance like nobody's watching." Just go do something dumb, joyous, foolish, happy, silly, and just embrace it. I guess it feels like this guy embraces life. And that's a good thing. :-)

spyscribbler 7/29/2008 08:50:00 AM  

Me, too, Stephen! That's exactly why I wrote this post. I couldn't figure it out.

spyscribbler 7/29/2008 08:50:00 AM  

LOL, Edie, I would've. :-) The expense of it, mostly.

spyscribbler 7/29/2008 08:53:00 AM  

Erica, I agree. I love that quote! I think it is something of all that.

I also think Susan has a point, too. Matt's been around, dancing, for at least two years, but there is a marked difference in the response with this this music.

StarvingWriteNow 7/29/2008 11:03:00 AM  

Well, I could get all philosophical and talk about how Matt is an iconic everyman symbol blah blah blah...

but really, he's just some guy who quit his job and decided to dance around on YouTube.

Kate S 8/03/2008 08:01:00 PM  

That's the first I've seen or heard of it, Spy. Thanks for sharing it here!

Like others, I think it was the coming together of so many people from different parts of the world and seeing them all act joyously the same in a dance of silliness that just brought tears to my eyes. I found I preferred the ones with others in the background to him dancing alone, and that was why.