Gary Turk’s “Look Up” viral video makes me feel lonely, but not for the reasons described in the video. It makes me lonely because by now an estimated 100 percent of people I know have forwarded, posted, or retweeted Turk’s sprung-tetrameter rhyme, usually with notations about how it really speaks to our era or says it all or will be deeply moving to the viewer. And for me there’s something alienating in the feeling that everybody seems to be enchanted by something that only makes me say, “You like this garbage?”
Just to be clear: I didn’t say that at first. I don’t like to gainsay anybody’s bliss, and apparently Gary Turk’s anti-technology doggerel is meaningful to them. So when “Look Up” started pushing its way into my face last week, I held my peace.
But Gary Turk’s “Look Up” just keeps coming, like a workplace harasser refusing to take no for an answer, insisting it knows your inner emotional landscape better than you do. By now you may be among the more than 27 million people who have viewed it, but just in case you haven’t suffered yet:
I find a lot to hate in this video. I hate the guy’s tone-deaf spoken-word verse. I hate his simpering, purse-lipped look and his modest brown sweater. I hate his stupid accent. I hate his sanctimonious argument. I hate his moral superiority. I hate his presumption that he’s understanding life on some deeper level than the rest of us. I hate the meet-cute-for-a-lifetime storyline that’s already been used in a million commercials for toothpaste and pregnancy tests but here is supposed to be a profound statement on How We Live Today. I don’t wish bodily harm on anybody — so I don’t really wish this — but I do sort of think idly about what it would be like if Gary Turk looked up an instant too late and got run over by a truck. Excuse me: by a lorry.