Idol Chatter

It’s been a tough year. if you had any doubt about it, look at what the world watched on YouTube. If future historians want to know what recession, terrorist threats, environmental worries and partisan strife did to the public mood in 2009, they might want to consult the list of YouTube’s most-watched videos of the year–the first such ranking the video sharing site has released.With more than 120 million views worldwide, Susan Boyle‘s jaw-dropping performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” topped the list, followed distantly by “David After Dentist,” “JK Wedding Entrance Dance,” the trailer for the new Twilight flick and the babies-on-roller skates Evian commercial. The Guardian has compiled them all on one easy-to-view page. All we wanted, in other words, was a little inspiration and a few laughs. Like moviegoers in the Depression, who forgot their worries while watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers trip elegantly across glittering sets, today’s weary, wary and broke Internetters gathered around our virtual hearths and dreamed along with Susan Boyle. (For their part, Jill and Kevin, the couple whose goofily choreographed wedding march, were inspired by their sudden fame to turn it into an opportunity for charitable giving.)You’ll pardon me then if I end here with a heartwarming thought. For all our fears about the frantic pace of technology, the fact that two of the top five vids were made by a dad shooting from the front seat of his car and a wedding guest shooting from the front pew fulfills some of the web’s early promise that it would democratize our media. Better yet, it’s a reminder that some of the biggest stories are the most human moments.

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