Reverse engineer. Blogger.

I like to think that this little number by Fred Astaire, if performed today in a random living room in an unassuming midwestern city using a song from the weekly Top 40, would have been a smash hit on YouTube and gone viral.

Then, today, he’d have been a guest on Ellen. Then, tomorrow, he would have booked a few interviews and performances on a bunch of local TV and radio stations. Then, in a month or two, would have been featured in a commercial for a company that is trying to re-brand itself as cool among today’s youth by using YouTube stars in their marketing. Then, a few months later, he’d produce a few more viral videos – perhaps even including some traditional celebrities that contacted him on Twitter – earning him a fair monthly sum in advertising revenue for a few months.

Then, about a year or year and a half after he made this first video, he’d have spent all of his earnings from his “overnight” success, gone back to work at the local saw mill, and we’d never hear from him again.

I’m glad Fred lived when he lived.