Thursday, May 21, 2009

Internetainment: Rhett and Link

A couple of my good friends have found themselves becoming well-known web celebrities in recent years. Well, if you want to get technical, Rhett and Link are not really friends unless you count Facebook friends as being legitimate. But I am friends with a lot of people that do know them so I'll count them among my homies.

As talented writers, witty comedians and harmonious singers, Rhett and Link have made a name for themselves by posting funny videos that often include catchy songs. One of their most recent videos, a commercial for Red House Furniture in North Carolina, has gotten a million views in just a months time. The video has also gotten a fair amount of mainstream publicity due to the racial nature of the video. I'll let you watch it for yourself below. Click here if the video player doesn't show up.

Because this video refers to people's ethnicity some would perceive it as racist. But as Rhett so adequately explained in a follow-up video to the commercial, there is a difference between being "racist" and "racial." In order for the video to have been racist it would have needed to have demeaned or shown hatred towards a certain ethnicity or lifted a certain race as superior to others.

But just because the video made mention of individuals race doesn't make it racist. It seems absurd that a person's ethnicity would be mentioned when it comes to buying furniture. But that's the point! Not so long ago the color of a person's skin would have made a difference in whether they could have been a customer at that store.

Rhett and Link offer a comedic slant on a sensitive topic that is done in a humorous and appropriate manner. I love it! In fact, I'm not the only one. On a recent poll done at the Black Voices blog on (a forum geared towards African Americans), only 9% had a problem with the ad as of 5/21/09.

Rhett and Link, who describe themselves as "internetainers", do a marvelous job of offering good, clean comedy on an information super highway littered with junk. You can visit their website here or their YouTube channel here. My favorite videos of theirs are The Facebook Song, Fast Food Folk Song, the Buffet Song and the ShamWow Song. Check them out. It's fun for the whole family!

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