Albert Brooks later parodied the Louds in his 1979 film, Real Life.
Not panicked, but simply aware." As you've probably guessed, I did not run into Calo on Chatroulette.According to a recent New Yorker article, is racking up a daily average of more than 1 million discrete users. Some online commentators are already sounding Chatroulette's death knell.(It has been around since last November, after all.) The claim is that the excessive level of exhibitionism is quickly wearing out its welcome.This ends up not helping much with the exhibitionists. While I've vowed never be the first to hit Next (regardless of camera angle), this sustained view of a stranger's nether regions is creepier than I expected. Finally, I type in a follow-up: "Can you type with one hand? Happily, we find people who are fully clothed and much more willing to chat. " He also complains about how rude most young people on Chatroulette are, but notes that he has encountered a few women from Sweden who were all very nice. "We have video sharing on the Internet and we have random interactions.I repeat the message: "Can I interview you for our paper? They include (1) a college sophomore who tells me a guy spent three hours trying to convince her to show her "girl bits," (2) an Austin, Texas teenager who earnestly types his answers while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers on headphones, and (3) a kid who looks like a more muscular version of Spike Lee telling us about his steroid use. "I surely don't want to see all these penises," he adds. But we didn't have both in real time." Calo tells me that Chatroulette combines some of the best and worst aspects of the Internet.And then there are the two Italian conceptual artists who've taken the performative aspect of Chatroulette about as far it can go.Eva and Franco Mattes (see "Dead Man chatting.") confronted users with the live image of a man suspended by a rope in a trashed living room, an all-too-convincing approximation of someone who's just hanged himself.In fact, he doesn't find going on there to be particularly interesting, apart from its connection to his profession."But, in fairness, I was not on the service long," he says.It's Saturday night and I'm watching a bunch of men masturbate.I've never met any of them before, and I'll never see any of them again. What's reassuring — but also maybe a little unsettling — is that, at this same moment, a ridiculous number of people are doing exactly the same thing: Going to chatroulette.com, clicking yes to their webcams being activated, and pressing a button to be connected face-to-face with the first in a series of complete strangers.