Video Mutants: Shirtless on YouTube - Page 2

Crocker vs. Cooper! The Passionistas take on the "Leave Britney alone!" star

We made sure to include lascivious and lurid tags in the video description, like twinks, shirtless, naked, burned, owchie, and sexy, so anyone searching with these words, or a combination thereof, would stumble upon our video. It reached about a thousand views in a little more than a week.

My rational mother somehow found out about the video and got very upset. She is a grade school teacher who lives in a pine tree–infested coastal art community. She made some really popular shabby-chic birdhouses in the 1990s. She's recently returned to watercolors and has always loved making smiling figures with clay. My mother had no idea why somebody would make something so awful and hurtful. She was not at all thrilled when I explained that this video was an experiment done in the name of art. I told her that one day she'd understand, and I reluctantly removed it from YouTube.

So, to get back at her, I asked Santa for a camcorder and staged a Passionistas video for our song "Wild West" in her hot tub. Following one of the rules of Internet video popularity, I was, of course, shirtless and in my underwear. To contrast with my forest-filled hot tub scenes, I filmed Aaron brushing his hair and teeth and smoking in San Francisco — shirtless, of course. My second attempt at a viral video is doing all right in terms of views at the moment, but its popularity is not comparable to that of Crocker's videos.

Crocker is more pathetic than me. Aaron and I had a chance to catch him in one of his first public appearances, in October 2007 at the Crib in San Francisco. It was that night that he proclaimed, "I don't have talent — I only have fans." There is a certain sexy courage we possess only when we are alone. Crocker is in the vanguard, the best of many new artists broadcasting from the bedroom.

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