In May of 2008, a man by the username of Leftventricle did a rather noble thing. He uploaded a video of an old but memorable commercial to YouTube. The commercial was the first in the series that would become the long running "Got Milk?" campaign. It was the one with the guy in the museum who fails to win $10,000 on a radio trivia contest because he lacked the proper amount of milk to wash out from his mouth the peanut butter sandwich he had been so enthusiastically eating. You remember it...
It is a classic commercial, one that should no doubt be available on the internet so that it might be played for one's enjoyment upon his or her random recollection of it. Its upload to YouTube represents all that is good in our open source culture. And, in the infancy of the story that is about to unfold, Leftventricle can only be seen as a positive force in our world. The comments that were posted beneath this video over the next three years, however, would lead to the eventual downfall of our protagonist. Fucking guy went looney tunes.
For reasons that will later become clear, much of the official record is missing. But from what remains, we can synthesize a rough estimate of what occurred.
Immediately after Leftventricle uploaded the video, people began posting under it nonsensical comments with countless misspellings and grammatical errors. Though this is the norm for nearly every YouTube video with a significant view count, it seemed to hit a nerve with Leftventricle. He had probably always been annoyed by carelessly written internet comments, but in this particular instance he felt compelled to take action.
Leftventricle wasn't setting out to make moderating the "Got Milk?" YouTube comments the focus of his life. He just wanted to lay down some basic ground rules, to put forth a fair effort towards making just this one comment section a safe place for semi-decent writing mechanics. He took to his own comment section to address the issue and lay out a workable policy (click to enlarge):
It is clear that Leftventricle did, in fact, follow through on his promise to delete "retard comments," as there is no trace of the specific comment to which Leftventricle is referring within his quotation marks. What is up for debate, though, is whether or not Leftventricle's decree influenced future commenters to actually check their work, or if he simply continued deleting faulty comments himself. The latter is more likely, but either way, the comment posting continued.
Over the course of this new comment moderation era, two main themes emerged. Many people were shown this commercial by a teacher in history class. The guy in the commercial should have just spit out the sandwich LOL.
The following couplet of comments was typical of the time:
It was the repetition of comments like these that would become the complete undoing of Leftventricle.
Of course, there were other topics of conversation that would arise as well. It so happens that the "Got Milk?" commercial had actually been directed by Michael Bay early on in his career, and often times commenters would remark about about the differences between the ad and Bay's current work. This, too, came to upset Leftventricle. Keeping the comment section clear of sloppy writing must have surely turned into a daily task. And, as Leftventricle saw the comment page each day, the entirety of it became imprinted in his mind without him even realizing it. It became so ingrained in him that the idea that someone else might not know the full history of the "Got Milk?" commercial comment section ceased to occur to him. So, by the time Neworder1868 wrote, "If Michael Bay directed this, then why aren't there any explosions?" it seemed perfectly reasonable in Leftventricle's brain to respond accordingly:
By this point, it was clear that Leftventicle had lost his mind, but it was actually long before the "derp derp" incident that he had been driven completely insane by the "our teacher showed this" and "he should just spit it out" comments.
It was summer of 2009 when the repetition of "teacher" and "spit" mentions led Leftventricle to announce an even more stringent deletion policy. In the description section for the video, Leftventricle wrote "READ THIS READ THIS READ THIS," insisting that the readers click the drop down box to read a disclaimer before they even thought about commenting.
Signed, "Aaron Burr." Leftventricle had begun conflating himself with the man from the commercial who had shot someone to death.
The story of Leftventricle does not end happily. Next week, it will be exactly three years since Leftventricle first uploaded the famous "Got Milk?" commercial to YouTube and started down his path toward insanity. Day in and day out he has been reading comment after comment, making sure they all fit his specifications. And, after over 700 days of obsessive moderating, the "Top Comments" section for his most prized YouTube upload contains only these two heartbreaking observances.
It seems unlikely that Leftventricle will ever find peace.
Republished with permission from noahgarfinkel.com. Noah Garfinkel is a comedian and writer who has appeared on VH1 a couple of times. He bought a vegetable steamer yesterday and is pretty pumped about it.