The Most Important Video I Could Ever Watch

And maybe you too:

Day 1, May 14th, 2014.
First reaction: I’m going to watch this every day until the lesson sinks in. My wife fully supports me in this.

Initial thought… the smart Zebu should have told the dumb Zebu to jump up and down on the log to prove it was just a log rather than doing so himself. The dumb Zebu, being as lethargic physically as he was mentally, wouldn’t think it was worth the effort, which is why the smart Zebu, being as active physically as s/he is mentally, did jump out there to prove it. Smart Zebu needs to learn to shame the dumb Zebu into providing proof to purge the gene pool of dumb Zebus, performing a valuable service to Zebumanity.

What we are seeing here is the inception of the current political system.

Day 2
Still surprised by the alligator.

Day 3
Still a mild twinge of shock by the appearance of the alligator.

Day 4
Less surprised by the appearance of the alligator, but wondering what will happen next. I still can’t see Zebu #2 making the effort to prove he’s right that Zebu #1 did. I realize I really don’t like any of the Zebus in this video, but if I had to take one with me somewhere, I’d still pick Zebu #1.

Day 5
Today’s viewing was primarily an aesthetic experience. I found myself engrossed in the twitching of the Zebus’ ears, feeling that it added a certain visual depth to the viewing experience. The Zebus are drawn with a high degree of realistic detail, but only in two dimensions. When the one turns a bit as it is eaten by the alligator, it flattens out. No investment in the water splashes, which are merely two-dimensional white fields of color — all shape but no texture or detail.

Must… focus… on… message.

Days 6-9
How did I miss so many days in a row? Now I must watch the video four consecutive times to make up for my oversight.

Viewing 1: there is hope for the passive Zebu. When the third Zebu arrived on the scene and grunted “log,” the second Zebu didn’t even look at him. He seems content in his knowledge that what he thought was a log was not, in fact, a log but an alligator.

He is a Zen Zebu.

Viewing 2: Zen Zebu isn’t particularly admirable. He’s just lazy and doesn’t care. He’s not a Zen Zebu. He’s a blank Zebu. He’s the Napoleon Dynamite of Zebus. The first Zebu is the Monica Geller (Bing) of Zebus. The third Zebu is the Joey Tribbiani of Zebus, but with less charm and good looks. In fact, I’m unsure why he’s the Joey Tribbiani of Zebus at all.

Viewing 3: Trying to focus on the alligator this time. In fact, I’m just trying to really consider the alligator for the first time. I think that, through all these viewings, I’ve had a slight impression that the alligator is smiling a bit as he clamps down on the first Zebu. I “rewound” the video (scrolled back — I’m showing my age here) and then quickly hit pause/play to get still shots of the alligator opening his (or her?) mouth and clamping down. I think it is slightly smiling. I also think that impression may only be my slightly sadistic sense of humor coming out.

Viewing 4: I only just now registered that the Zen Zebu vigorously shook his head “no” (as in, “No, it’s not an alligator, it’s a log”) upon his first response to Geller-Bing Zebu. After that, he affirmed his position a couple of times, but largely reverted to being a passive observer.

Die, Zen Zebu, die!

Days 10-11: Painful… no, that’s too strong… “annoying” reminder that I have not learned this lesson.

Day 12: Watched it with my eight year old daughter Grace.
Me: So what did you learn from this video?
Grace: Never step on anything that looks like an alligator.
Me: Good. What about the alligator trying to prove himself right?
Grace: Don’t try to prove yourself right. It’s just stupid.
Me [deep inside]: BUT HE WAS WRONG.

Published by James Rovira

Dr. James Rovira is higher education professional with twenty years experience in the field in teaching, administration, and advising roles. He is also an interdisciplinary scholar and writer whose works include fiction, poetry, and scholarship exploring the intersections of literature and philosophy, literature and psychology, literary theory, and music and literature.. His books include Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge, 2023); David Bowie and Romanticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022); Writing for College and Beyond (a first-year composition textbook (Lulu 2019)); Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History (Lexington Books 2019); Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018); Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2010). See his website at for details.

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