The Weekly Geek: The Friskies


There are award shows for many, many things in this world, but until now, there’s never been a ceremony specifically for the internet’s favorite pastime — hilarious cat videos. That just changed, with yesterday’s amazing first edition of The Friskies (yes, sponsored by the pet food company).

You can watch the whole, incredible thing here, but be warned, there is an insane amount of fluffiness (and hilarity) ahead.

There’s something special (and possibly ridiculous) about the fact that cat videos became so insanely popular that a major corporation has seen fit to host an award ceremony. In the pre-internet days, what did people do when they were having a bad day, anyway? Did they have to go and just find a real-life cat? Or did they simply have to make do with memories of small animals doing ridiculous things?

In my urge to discover the deeper psychological meaning behind the proliferation of cats on the internet, I stumbled across this phenomenal piece of writing by famed game journalist Leigh Alexander. It proposes a theory for why cats are so often the stars of the internet, even though dogs are actually more commonly preferred and more dominant throughout American culture (or, offline culture, if you will).

Given the overwhelming preference for dogs apparent in mainstream entertainment media and in statistical analysis among Americans, the cat’s election as unofficial ‘mascot of the Internet’ is a phenomenon worth noting. Certainly, some of this can be explained by facts such as “internet culture pioneers are not representative of the norm”; “the internet is a haven for subcultures to express preferences less welcome in mainstream society”; and “people who are dog people are probably doing things like throwing a Frisbee outside, painting a fence in suburbia, driving to a relevant chain restaurant or giving birth to children in a hospital setting , not going online creating Tumblrs.”

Thought is given to the typical extroversion vs introversion of “dog people” vs. “cat people” – it’s fascinating. And very geeky.

In any event, congratulations to you, Frisky winners. May you forever bring joy to bored officeworkers and everyone who’s ever posted an “OMG” to Facebook.

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