Monday, August 6, 2012

Pittsburgh Dad

This may come off as an inside joke involving millions of people, and I guess it is in a way. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I heard my dad say things that made me laugh right before he slid the leather belt from its loops. Most of us have memories of our parents saying something so stupid that we laugh about it with our siblings right up until the time we hear it come out of our own mouth. Then it ain’t so funny.  Unless you’re watching Pittsburgh Dad. I know, yinz don’t know what I’m talkin’ baht. Here’s some info from da Wikipedia en’at.

“Pittsburgh Dad is an online series of short films featuring the observations of a "blue-collar Everyman" father from Pittsburgh who speaks with a thick Pittsburghese dialect…The Internet show was created by Chris Preksta and Curt Wootton. Preksta, a native of Munhall and a graduate of Point Park University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, serves as director. Wootton, a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania who graduated from West Virginia University and now lives in Los Angeles, plays the "Pittsburgh Dad"…The first several episodes were recorded "just for fun" on an iPhone, with the intended audience only the two men's families and friends. It quickly became an Internet hit, generating 3 million YouTube views within 6 months…The idiosyncrasies of Pittsburghese plays a large role in the show, including such regional words as "yinz," which means "you all"; nebby, which means a nosy person; and redd up, which means to clean up.”

If you’re not from Western Pennsylvania, you’ll probably find this series only slightly amusing if not downright stupid. It doesn’t matter, because another three million viewers would disagree. This is the magic of the new media and why I’m glad to see major record labels, the “Big 6” book publishers, and TV networks heading for the shitter. They are no longer the gatekeepers of entertainment, telling us what we should watch and what we should like. Sure, for every Pittsburgh Dad there are thousands of internet film producers that won’t register five views. That isn’t any different than it’s ever been as not everyone can be a superstar. But now, We the People get to decide if Pittsburgh Dad is a hit. And apparently, he is.

This is happening across the entertainment landscape. I was fortunate enough to interviewed for a new book on independent publishing (shameless self-promotion alert) along with a host of fantastic authors, one of which is Hugh Howey. Howey came out of nowhere with WOOL, a futuristic novelette that slayed the Amazon best seller lists, all without an agent or publisher.

Get out there and become the next Baby Hughy, or Pittsburgh Howey.  Ah. You know what I mean.

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