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January 21, 2007 2:56 PM   Subscribe

www.Wherethehellismatt.com Mostly, he's dancing :)
posted by dash_slot- (85 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Views: 4,399,787 Comments: 10440 Favorited: 30435 times

It's worth it for the simple joy of it all.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:57 PM on January 21, 2007


previously. Still, a fun idea!
posted by ktoad at 2:58 PM on January 21, 2007


I saw this the first time it was posted, but I don't know if I commented at the time that it's the greatest thing in the history of the interwebs, so I'll say it now.

(Also, excellent tags.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:01 PM on January 21, 2007


It's an update! It's an update!! Mercy me, administrators!
posted by dash_slot- at 3:06 PM on January 21, 2007


Awww, that's lovely.
posted by goo at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2007


hah, The first time I saw this, I thought of posting it to metafilter too.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on January 21, 2007


I'd not seen it before- but now I'm bound and determined everyone I know will see it by tomorrow. That is fantastic. Except the lodged rock in the chasm in Norway, which made me extremely nervous.
posted by Meredith at 3:20 PM on January 21, 2007


Impossibe to watch that and not smile. The Deep Forest soundtrack is a nice touch.
posted by vronsky at 3:23 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


"We are not afraid of Matt. He is stupid and condemned. Matt thinks we are retarded – but he is retarded!"
- Former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf
posted by dash_slot- at 3:25 PM on January 21, 2007


Actually it is impossible to watch that and not want to get your ass on the road.
posted by vronsky at 3:25 PM on January 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


yay the dp sountrack seems made for that video !
posted by elpapacito at 3:26 PM on January 21, 2007


I want my ass at home in a nice bed. But does anybody film my special little jig? No.
posted by hal9k at 3:28 PM on January 21, 2007


I loved this two years ago and I love it now; in fact, hardassed as I normally am about double posts, I can't bring myself to flag it. It's just so damn joyous, and those kids dancing along crank up the joy a few dozen notches... and that transition from New York to Ephesus, the NYC of the ancient world, still gives me a little shiver (especially since I've been on the Brooklyn Bridge and in front of the Library of Hadrian myself).
posted by languagehat at 3:29 PM on January 21, 2007


One suggestion, he ought to go to Central Africa and dance with the Baka pygmies singing on the soundtrack.
posted by vronsky at 3:34 PM on January 21, 2007


Oh man, I never get tired of that. I remember reading about him getting arrested for dancing in front of the Parthenon some time ago.
posted by bob sarabia at 3:38 PM on January 21, 2007


i hate this video. wow an overweight yuppie guy bragging about all the places hes been by doing his little smug self-concious white-persons-idea-of-dancing. i hate him. i might just be jealous tho
posted by petsounds at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


What a neat video. I particularly liked the Rwanda bit.

And that has to be the best use of Deepforest ever.
posted by Malor at 3:55 PM on January 21, 2007


It made me laff---and that's a damn great thing!
posted by birdhaus at 4:06 PM on January 21, 2007


petsounds: "i hate this video. wow an overweight yuppie guy bragging about all the places hes been by doing his little smug self-concious white-persons-idea-of-dancing. i hate him. i might just be jealous tho"

Heh. That was my response as well. Who is this fucker? Why isn't he at work? How does he have enough money to go to all those places. Bastard must be a TRUSTAFARIAN!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:08 PM on January 21, 2007


He could have gotten killed by those elephants. Lucky bastard.
posted by RGarraud at 4:17 PM on January 21, 2007


That's the newest vid. The old one is at his site. The FAQ are suitably amusing at times. But yeah, I couldn't help but smile watching it either. Thanks dash_slot-.
posted by peacay at 4:23 PM on January 21, 2007


Actually, besides being a lucky guy & a mediocre dancer, he's a brilliant opportunist. After seeing his video the first time, I checked his journal and he kept going on about a "secret travel project"... Stride Gum (never heard of them) sponsored his second video after seeing the first one. So he didn't have to pay for much of anything.

Damn him.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:30 PM on January 21, 2007


The blog is worth reading too:
"This is it. All but done. My laptop is crammed full of dancing footage. I have but to dust it off and assemble it into something presentable.

I'm right at this moment transitioning from unwashed, penny-scraping backpacker to pampered media anomaly.

A flight attendant just gave me a relaxation kit with a sleeping mask, toothbrush, and socks.

19 days ago I was being kicked awake by a port officer on the floor of a Greek ferryboat.

My seat has a built-in inflatable back cushion and folds into a bed.

27 days ago I was watching Iraqis fire Kalashnikovs in a secured training facility.

I just ordered a spring herb salad with Scottish loch fyne salmon, smoke roasted in a hot kiln and then lightly chilled to give an oak-smoked flavor.

39 days ago I was stranded in the Namib desert with a broken down Isuzu, a spare tire, and a family of nine....."

posted by dash_slot- at 4:31 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, Matt. You haven't just danced your way around the world. You've danced your way into my heart.
posted by aparrish at 4:48 PM on January 21, 2007


I think the whole damn thing is charming, and my only complaint is that I didn't think of it first.
posted by Space Kitty at 4:58 PM on January 21, 2007


The 2003 original is neat too. It became a viral phenomenon long before there was a YouTube.

On his YT channel, he has a three-part "lecture" he did at a college about the whole thing. Parts are interesting, other parts are him playing bits of his videos without the music, but it changed my opinion of him a lot.

He does all his travel on a shoestring in between freelance coding gigs. Stride sponsored him for travel costs for a year, but not all expenses. The bit in Rwanda was deliberate -- it's the best story, really -- because he wanted people to have an apposite image of the country.

The song by Deepforest is in a dying Solomon Islands language; the original recording sampled was over 20 years ago, by one of the last fluent speakers of the dialect.
posted by dhartung at 5:00 PM on January 21, 2007


Every kind of awesome.
posted by zennie at 5:10 PM on January 21, 2007


It's funny -- I love this guy, and I used to have goofy rituals and celebrations including my own little Arrival Dance of Joy when I did my decade of backpacking around the planet, back (mostly) in the days before the internet. I wonder still, if my life (or at least my job) would be different today if I'd been able to upload fun stuff into the cloud rather than downloading it by writing in journals and letters, most of which eventually got lost. Anway, good on 'im, again.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:18 PM on January 21, 2007


sorry to negatize this thread, but I honestly found this video lame. mostly, i'm just jealous that i haven't travelled as well as he has, but he also really can't dance.
posted by localhuman at 5:32 PM on January 21, 2007


i'd rather see video footage of all those places minus the dancing white man.
posted by localhuman at 5:33 PM on January 21, 2007


Goofy dancing but oddly sweet nonetheless. Plus it reminded me of that stay-in-your-head-for-weeks tune that is Deep Forests Sweet Lullaby. My son the music nut will love that one.
posted by Zinger at 5:37 PM on January 21, 2007


I first learned about this site when visiting AMERICAblog this afternoon. I considered making a post of it on MeFi, but found the earlier one.

Nonetheless, IMHO, this post is worthy of being a double that stays.
posted by ericb at 5:38 PM on January 21, 2007


I had never heard of this before, and I have to say that the production and execution is nothing short of fucking admirable. The choice of backgrounds and scenery, the excellent soundtrack (what is this piece of music again? I had never heard a rock version, and it's good).

At the risk of sounding schmaltzy, watching this video makes me laugh and at the same time love this crazy little planet; and for all the snark in the world that can't be a bad thing. Dance on, Matt! Dance on!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:38 PM on January 21, 2007


That song always kills me.

What a dancin' fool.

/snif
posted by Skygazer at 5:38 PM on January 21, 2007


That's the most scenic part of Guam, is it?
posted by Addlepated at 5:40 PM on January 21, 2007


I thought this video response was cute, if just a bit lame.

Hey the world needs more cute 'n' lame.

Loved the original though.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:42 PM on January 21, 2007


I hate fuckers who have fun in exotic places while I have to work week after week ....
posted by pmbuko at 5:43 PM on January 21, 2007


Oh, and totally eponysteronical. Yes, eponysteronical.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:44 PM on January 21, 2007


"Bastard must be a TRUSTAFARIAN!"

Not really, you used to be able to get amazingly cheap bucket tickets for around the world travel that were good for a year. And third world countries are ridiculously cheap compared to us. Probably could have done it all for under 2 grand depending.
posted by vronsky at 5:47 PM on January 21, 2007


Oh yes and the song is “Sweet Lullaby Dancing Remix” by Deep Forest, as per the FAQ.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:48 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, wherever he goes, there he is.

But what if he fell of that rock in Norway.
posted by washburn at 5:52 PM on January 21, 2007


"...but he also really can't dance."

Haha, yes, you insightful bastard, you realised the video was really about the dancing, and not the travel. A gold star for you.
posted by tehloki at 5:58 PM on January 21, 2007


But what if he fell of that rock in Norway.

Then we would have a video of Matt hanging in traction at various landmarks of the world.
posted by horsewithnoname at 6:03 PM on January 21, 2007


Fun, It would be great if the crowd kept growing in each shot--I'd like to teach the world to sing (dance) sort of thing.
posted by BillyElmore at 6:15 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just had my stomach kicked in watching Children of Men. This was just the lift I needed, thanks.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:24 PM on January 21, 2007


Big deal, Phil Collins beat him by 20 years.

(I keed, I love that crazy dancin' guy!)

(20 years? Good god, I am so old!)

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:26 PM on January 21, 2007


One of my all-time favorite internet things. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt a few years ago and he's truly a wonderful person. I know it sounds a little silly, but I actually consider him to be one of my personal heroes.
posted by dhammond at 6:34 PM on January 21, 2007


Really lovely. I loved that jellyfish shot in Palau, and the double-take he got from the German dog.
posted by maryh at 6:39 PM on January 21, 2007


Beautiful!
posted by LeeJay at 6:41 PM on January 21, 2007


How could anyone like this more that Children of Men.
posted by CaptMcalister at 7:15 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought that both videos were so sweet and moving, and I couldn't believe that I had never heard of the guy before, so I called my wife down to show them to her. Literally as soon as the dancing starts, she says, "Oh yeah, the guy who dances all over the world - I saw him on Ellen about a year ago. I think his name's "Matt". You internet people are really behind the times on this one".
posted by yhbc at 8:26 PM on January 21, 2007


That just rocks on so many levels.
posted by gomichild at 8:26 PM on January 21, 2007


"There are these communities where groups of nerds on the internet post crap and laugh at it... somethingawful, boingboing, metafilter" - Matt
posted by phrontist at 8:42 PM on January 21, 2007


The girl you hear singing is named Afunakwa. She comes from a place named Fataleka in the Solomon Islands. The song she is singing is a traditional lullaby named “Rorogwela.” The recording was made in 1970 by a UNESCO ethnomusicologist named Hugo Zemp.
posted by event at 8:51 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Old but so gold.
posted by davebushe at 9:01 PM on January 21, 2007


Full, sordid story behind the song: "Sweet Lullaby for World Music" (Steven Feld, Public Culture Bulletin 12, 2000).

The music group (Deep Forest), who profited greatly off of the improperly credited music of others, now offers a copy of Feld's damning article on their website in another probable copyright violation. (BTW, they have since fixed the credit to Afunakwa - at least on their website.)
posted by imposster at 9:14 PM on January 21, 2007


mostly, i'm just jealous that i haven't travelled as well as he has, but he also really can't dance.

Part of the reason he keeps doing it is that he thinks everyone should travel more. It broadens the mind, as they say.

As for the dancing, before he ever did a video it used to be the way he annoyed his co-workers into going to lunch.

But what if he fell of that rock in Norway.

It's easier to get onto than it looks -- there's a path around back. But he says it's the most subdued dancing he's ever done ....

Why isn't he at work? How does he have enough money to go to all those places. Bastard must be a TRUSTAFARIAN!

Well, the first one he did while he was blowing off steam after quitting his job in the computer game industry. He was already in Brisbane, and from there Vietnam and such are easy to get to -- he just sort of took the long way home to the US. And he really does manage the whole thing on just pennies a day somehow. You can tell from the videos that much of what he does is just get out there and poke around, rather than go on the standard (expensive) tourist-track activities, Rick Steves style. And again, he thinks everyone can and should do this. And that if we did, the world would be a better place. I think he might be right.
posted by dhartung at 9:15 PM on January 21, 2007


Unexpectedly awesome. Thank-you.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:25 PM on January 21, 2007


I only looked 'cuz y'all said it was so good, and it was Deep Forrest.

Sorry, you're all wrong. It's better than that.
posted by Goofyy at 9:27 PM on January 21, 2007


And yes, the group dancing with him should grow at each new location, like BillyEllmore said.
posted by Goofyy at 9:28 PM on January 21, 2007


I agree with him. It SHOCKS me that only 21% of Americans own passports. If it was mandatory for every American to live overseas for at least two months before they turned 25, I think this would be a far kinder & more peaceful world.
Case in point: if I recall, before he was elected President, George Bush had never stepped foot overseas...
posted by miss lynnster at 9:44 PM on January 21, 2007



How could anyone like this more that Children of Men.


Most amazing movie I've ever seen. Just doesn't leave you with a lot of, you know, faith. A silly dancing guy kind of made me forget about the bleakness of human existance for a three and half minutes.

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:50 PM on January 21, 2007


As I recall, I checked this out the first time because I thought wherethehellismatt referred to, you know, Matt. And I loved it; it's a terrific idea, simple in execution, and the people on the sidelines seem happy that he's there. I can't believe anyone would gripe that (this other) Matt had such a good time dancing (if that's the right word) his way around the world.

As for the expense, travel is expensive if you have to hurry up and do it on a schedule, say a two-week vacation. If you can take your time, grab your opportunities, and especially if you get into the great networks of the Ask Culture), it can be pretty cheap. And enjoyable, particularly if you can be a gracious guest, and contribute something by being there.

I traveled hundreds of thousands of miles in the 1980s and earned less than $20,000 for the entire decade; had a great time. Now that I'm not on the move anymore I've got water bills, sewer bills, electric bills, gas bills, phone bills, mortgage, property tax — it was a lot cheaper to be out in the world.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:27 PM on January 21, 2007


Miss lynnster, it's probably because many americans can't affort to travel internationally within the expiry time of a passport.
But it's true, most Americans seem to be of the impression that there's little the world outside of America can offer them, mainly because america takes the most obvious parts of all worldly cultures, sprinkles them into their melting pot, and serve it packaged in shrink wrap available at walmart.
In defense, it's also true that chinese food tastes way better downtown than it does in china, believe me [but then i'm canadian].
posted by wumpus at 10:29 PM on January 21, 2007


A silly dancing guy kind of made me forget about the bleakness of human existance for a three and half minutes.

You shouldn't have needed to explain that, Slarty, but it was remarkably patient of you to have done so.

it was a lot cheaper to be out in the world.

Indeed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:30 PM on January 21, 2007


First time I watched it I thought it was somehow fake. In Peru he looked to be in an impossible spot, and then in the next scene on the bridge in Venice he looked larger than all the passerby, so I watched the rest of it reading it all as another YouTube stunt cooked up in some guy's basement without thinking much about how they would have dropped him into all those scenes. Only after reading the comments here did I watch it again seeing him actually dancing across all those places.

And now I've watched the whole hour of his lecture to a group of students. He comes off as such a decent, open, easygoing person, mixing a genuine fascination with the world with the knowledge that the attention he's received is the result of simple goofiness. I loved his story about printing off photos of African children and distributing them through the village, and I like how he gathers all the students together after the lecture to go out and dance with him.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:54 PM on January 21, 2007


I always wondered, what makes Brunei so special? They've got the world's wealthiest man, even. It seems like a pretty small place.
posted by tehloki at 11:20 PM on January 21, 2007


These videos never fail to leave me with a feeling of hope for humanity.

*dances*
posted by rfbjames at 12:20 AM on January 22, 2007


How could anyone like this more that Children of Men.

It dosn't matter how you dress up Bexhill-on-Sea, these places are still far more interesting.
posted by vbfg at 12:21 AM on January 22, 2007


One of the better chewing gum ads.

/jealousy
posted by MrMustard at 12:22 AM on January 22, 2007


Hmmmmm....no sir, I don't like it.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:26 AM on January 22, 2007


Thanks, little dancing man, for reminding me that I've wasted my life.
posted by Optamystic at 2:43 AM on January 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


it's also true that chinese food tastes way better downtown than it does in china

That may be the silliest comment I've ever read on MeFi, but what the hell, this is a thread about the supreme wonderfulness of silliness, so carry on! I'll bet the Mexican food "downtown" is better than it is in Mexico, too!

I must say, it saddens me that a few people are too grumpy to enjoy Matt's compilation of joyous moments, but it gladdens me that there are so few. And event, thanks for linking to the original of Rorogwela—it was great to hear it by itself.
posted by languagehat at 5:20 AM on January 22, 2007


Made me smile, just like the last one. Hard to believe it's been two years already.
posted by teleskiving at 5:58 AM on January 22, 2007


This warmed the cynical cockels of my heart.

Now I just need the number of his choreographer. Dude's got moves.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:53 AM on January 22, 2007


It's a good update.
posted by jb at 9:33 AM on January 22, 2007


I feel like such an asshole for being annoyed by this. Yes, it's exceptionally cool that he's been so many places, and on a shoestring. But homes can't dance! I'd have filmed myself engaging in various acts of self-pleasure at these locales. I'm good at that.
Argh, whatever, ok, it's cool.
posted by ghastlyfop at 10:28 AM on January 22, 2007


Very cool, made me forget my deeply ingrained misanthropy for a bit. Ahhhhhhhh...
posted by everichon at 10:30 AM on January 22, 2007


Views: 4,436,049 Comments: 10500 Favorited: 30769 times

Viewed 36,262 times since yesterday...shit, YouTube's got some hefty pipes.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:04 PM on January 22, 2007


I always wondered, what makes Brunei so special?

Read Kalimantaan.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:04 PM on January 22, 2007


"He does all his travel on a shoestring in between freelance coding gigs."

He also writes (story, script) for video games. He used to work here at my employer for a while in 2005-2006; I liked him, he's a cool guy. You could kinda tell that he'd rather have been out traveling.

Hope you're having a blast, Matt! :)
posted by zoogleplex at 2:58 PM on January 22, 2007


Zoogleplex, you've probably got the real lowdown on this, but in the version I heard he was the original proposer of Destroy All Humans as a joke about the misanthropic, violent nature of the current games industry, and when the proposal was accepted he quit, cashed in his 401k and went dancing around the world.

Probably a myth, but it resonates for me.
posted by Durhey at 3:11 PM on January 22, 2007


If I got to travel to all those places in the world, and I got someone else to pay for it, I'd be dancing my ass off, too.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:46 PM on January 22, 2007


I don't have that particular lowdown at this time, but I know a bunch o' folks at the developer of Destroy All Humans, so I'll see what I can find out. I'm at a different company at which he worked on a different game. I do know he had some success in the game biz previous to working with us, but not a lot of details.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:10 PM on January 22, 2007


Durhey, Matt tells at least part of that story in one of the films from his class talk that I think dhartung linked back up the page.

The part about him coming up with (he was a bit amazed by it at the time) a completely outrageous 'kill all humans' game theme and it being essentially green lighted to move ahead was explained. He said it freaked him out and would have taken up 2 and 1/2 years of his life and that....I forget the rest of that bit of the story. It may have been the impetus to move to Brisbane or was it to take off on the trip? - sorry, can't quite remember - you'll have to watch it.
posted by peacay at 8:31 PM on January 22, 2007


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