The World Gets the YouTube Video Record It Deserves

For years, Justin Bieber’s “Baby” has been YouTube’s most watched video, clocking in around 803,732,000 views since its 2010 release. There’s no need to get into why that video has more views than, say, a Bob Dylan song or even a video about something useful, like how to tie different kinds of knots. You can complain about Bieber Fever, or you can just strap yourself in and hope for the best. Even so, “Baby” being the world’s most watched YouTube video always seemed a little ill-fitting. Justin Bieber’s a teen pop star. Surely, the world deserves a better YouTube viral record than a teen pop star. The world would be better served by, say, a portly, South Korean fellow given to vaguely hip-hop-inspired lyrics and opaquely horse-inspired dances who’s either completely self-aware or completely not self-aware. The world deserves a video that manages to be a self-parody that is also mildly impressive for its everything-and-the-kitchen-sink aesthetic. The world deserves PSY’s “Gangam Style” and, on November 25, the world got it, when it became YouTube’s most-watched video of all time …

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