Just this past weekend, as a matter of fact, I was talking to someone about Los Angeles and they said the city made them uncomfortable because whenever they came to visit and drove down the city’s endless streets of ramshackle air conditioning repair shops and Dutch furniture refurbishers, they couldn’t help but imagine all of the secret nightmare sex dungeons hidden in every basement. To which I replied that there are secret nightmare sex dungeons hidden in every basement in ALL of the cities, not just Los Angeles. We were joking around, but it is also true, and it is a fucking nightmare. Which makes today’s news about the horrific ordeal surrounding Amanda Berry and two other women who have been discovered in a Cleveland, Ohio home after being missing and considered dead for more than 10 years, and were rescued by a neighbor, all the more disturbing. This is one of those stories that is just so traumatizing and awful, not just because of the insanely upsetting details, but because of the suggestion hidden in its details that there are hundreds more stories like it that just don’t get told because the rescue never comes. GUHHHHH, I CANNOT EVEN HANDLE IT.

Naturally, with a story like this, the Internet is all over it. You’ve got everything you need for a great blog: scary details, a car crash rubberneck ambiance, not to mention an Antoine Dodson-caliber local news interview with Charles Ramsey, the hero neighbor who rescued the girls. OK! Sure! But considering the genuinely painful and distressing nature of the story we are dealing with, DO WE REALLY NEED AN AUTO-TUNED REMIX OF CHARLES RAMSEY’S INTERVIEW? We do? More than one even?

Good lord, Internet. What is your deal, even?! Do you ever even stop for two seconds to think about what you are doing, like for example that even if the fundamental idea is that you appreciate what Charles Ramsey has done and consider him to be an exceptional human being, that maybe considering the circumstances an auto-tune remix of his interview doesn’t even really make sense much less provide any kind of meaningful tribute and is kind of weird and gross and off-base, or is it just pedal to the metal 100% of the time JK that was a rhetorical question to which I already know the answer. GOD SPEED, YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT. (Via EntertainmentWeekly.)

Comments (38)
  1. They autotunin’ e’rybody up here.

  2. I don’t see how taking the trouble to autotune the interview is that much different or “worse” than laughing at (with?) the interview in the first place. The Ramsey interview is impossible not to enjoy and therefore it is impossible not to enjoy a part of something that is incomprehensibly terrifying. There isn’t a way around it, so we might as well have fun with the happy ending.

    My issue, shared by many, is that autotune is not funny and cut it out, you kids.

  3. This is absolutely awful. Have you no shame, internet!?

  4. I’m very surprised as I had come to expect a certain level of integrity and respectfulness in the content produced by NDNSwag music.

  5. I’m pretty sure “the internet” loses for “worst piece of shit” in this story to “the guy who kept people prisoner for 10 years”

  6. On the one hand, I understand the need to react to horrific situations with humor or jokes, whether the jokes land or not, as a coping mechanism for dealing with the fact that this can be a terrifying, unjust, unfair nightmare world for so many people and that as we type terrible things are happening. Sometimes it seems one can either try to laugh or just curl up in a ball of tears and hope for a swift, painless death.

    On the other hand, can’t we have a waiting period before making auto tune videos to terrible tragedy? Is three days too much?

    • No because then someone else will have done it first. And if there’s anything people on the internet need to be, it’s FIRST!!!!

      • And sadly, the (comparatively) respectful folks who held their auto-tuning fingers have all lost out on the great prize of FIRST status. UGH.

    • I think establishing a standard wait period is not important. I think any decent person would have at least waited to find out if the women and children imprisoned were alright before being the first to post an auto-tune video. Also, maybe this is the new racist internet thing: Any time a black person is on the news in a bad neighborhood and says a few funny or inane things, that the internet will ignore the story behind it and auto-tune it.

      Which is maybe not racist but assumptive. I can tell you one thing, I don’t know the story behind Sweet Brown but I know the auto-tune YouTube video quite well.

      • You make good points.

        I don’t know. I’m going to get a bottle of gin and go to bed.

      • I’m not convinced the auto-tuning is racist (I didn’t watch it, which might help me decide, but oof) however I definitely love the reporter’s obvious panic when race comes up, and then I cringe when he calls the the guy “man” and slaps his chest. Oof, this reporter has no Elvis in him.

    • I can almost guarantee that whoever made these videos were not trying to cope with anything other than the fact that their page hits were down this month.

  7. Remember, you guys. The internet isn’t all bad.

  8. Emergency puppy time!

  9. Word to new Angelenos: Our houses and ramshackleries don’t have basements. There is literally ONE house with a basement.

    It’s in Venice.

  10. How long should I wait before complaining about not being able to upvote? A couple hours? I’ll give it a couple hours.

  11. Did the internet fail so badly that we lost our ability to upvote?

  12. I may be way off base here but I wonder if we are looking at this from the wrong perspective. We keep calling it a tragedy, and don’t get me wrong I definitely think being held prisoner in a guy’s basement for 10 years is a tragedy and that is probably and understatement, but how do the people involved feel right now? 3 young women were just rescued from a living nightmare (reports I have seen say they are all in pretty good health), their families are probably pretty happy that they are even still alive after some of them probably gave up on that years ago, and some really bad people are most likely going to spend the rest of their lives in prison. I get that all of this doesn’t erase the horror of the past 10 years and a lot of those people have a long road toward feeling even remotely healed, but I also think that maybe celebrating a somewhat comical hero in a silly way might not be the worst thing. Again, I could be speaking out of my ass here but I was just curious what other people thought about this.

    • I didn’t listen to the autotune, but it’s pretty distasteful given that it’s out less than 24 hours than the women and child were rescued.

      • Someone already kind of touched on this but is it any more distasteful than the people who have been passing around the original video as kind of a funny clip since it came out anyway? Especially considering that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to celebrate the hero in this story (even if your way of celebrating is kind of stupid).

      • I had the same opinion, and then I actually listened to the “remixes.” And then my distaste grew to proportions unfathomable.

    • Yeah, I read the linked article and agreed, they are okay. But c’mon, clearly Ms. Berry had a kid with one of these men, and if I remember the article I read not 30 minutes ago, the other woman had a kid too. So these kidnappers literally had sex with these imprisoned women, one of which was 14 years old.

      I get that we should be happy for the families who are now reunited with their missing daughters and sisters and grandchildren and nieces, but I think the insensitivity behind the auto-tune bullshit is so thick I can’t even attempt to watch them without being disgusted with the notion that I may add to their view-count on YouTube.

      It’s all very terrible, distasteful garbage internet fads. And I don’t want any part of it. But at least the women and children involved weren’t harmed physically. Just probably psychologically, to an extent I can’t even fathom.

  13. I dunno, the autotuned version of the Nuremberg Trials is pretty fantastic.

  14. Sometimes I feel like the internet is sort of a reverse “Monsters Are Due On Maple Street”. Like aliens with the intent of taking over earth gave us the internet knowing full well that we’ll just destroy ourselves in time.

  15. I found about the Ohio stuff this morning on twitter when Gabe asked if anything good has ever happened in a basement and I replied with ‘Wayne’s World.’

    Then I figured out something with a basement had happened in the news, and I watched the Charles Ramsey interview, which I thought was very good just as an interview with a hero recounting the ordeal in his own words.

    The article with the video that I was on briefly laid out the facts, then went on to talk about Ramsey’s rising internet star and LOOK! He ALREADY has autotune videos! I played one for about :20 before I thought two things, 1) This sounds rushed and shitty and compromises the integrity of Ramsey’s story, and 2) This is fucking stupid and I hate it.

    Then I moved on faster than the internet.

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