Yesterday a young teacher colleague at our middle school recommended a video for me to check out online, jokingly reffering to it as “Shift Happens”. I logged onto YouTube during my lunch break and enjoyed the five minute + presentation of slick graphics composed of various demographic factoids related to geo-political issues and their impact on education nationally and worldwide. etc. It’s all pushed along nicely by the musical accompaniment of the Fatboy Slim “Right Here, Right Now”, music track. At certain points, some of the flashing, flickering facts, figures and statistics cause the viewer to raise eyebrows regarding accuracy and relevancy. For example, in an age of Facebook and Twitter it cites comparison between numbers for Myspace users vs. the entire US population. However, though the viewer might forget most of the “number crunching” by the time it’s all over, the general conclusion of Did You Know/Shift Happens is unmistakeable, even undeniable: that is, we train and educate and ready ourselves to live, work, and play in a world that will be completely different than the one we prepared ourselves for!
As with many things existing in the virulent, shared, copied, shredded, carelessly unattributed, and reshared world of cyberspace, I found myself wondering about the specific origins of this video. Indeed, YouTube carries manyy versions of this video, many of them presented with a different musical track or even different visual content but with the same basic conclusion and focus. I Google-searched the title and found a slideshow version with no music and even a wiki devoted to the core philosophy presented in the video.
I truly wanted to know if the version I first saw was THE, or, A, definitive version, as I am a big fan of Fat Boy Slim’s work. In the absence of any specific explanation on YouTube, my searching eventually led to Karl Fisch and his blog, The Fisch Bowl. His blog describes the history and development of the video and provides links to versions previous, and, after the one discussed here. At present the fully documented version is available soley as a direct download under Creative Commons. Karl Fisch’s entry explaining the origin of this video and the involvement of Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s involvement is here. On that same blog entry page he provides a download link here for “version 3.0”, including the Fatboy Slim soundtrack. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.