You may have missed one of this week’s hottest downloads on YouTube: A Bartonville, Illinois elementary school production of Brian DePalma’s Cuban gangster campfest Scarface. Sadly, the two-minute clip turns out to be a fraud. It didn’t originate from Illinois, but from a couple of music video directors who cast professional child actors in El Lay to recreate Tony Montana’s laughably deranged death scene in creaky grade school pageant style.
Some people are complaining that this is one more example of pop culture killing childhood, that real children were exploited here. I tend to believe that adults are desperate to romanticize childhood – they easily discount how much fun it is to be a kid who plays imaginary games based on the forbidden adult world. The real victim here may be YouTube. Slick and cynical Hollywood pro’s are using the viral video platform to advance their careers. Have you seen the godawful HBO show version of Ferrell-McKay’s website ”Funny or Die?” The answer to that ultimatum turns out to be: “Die.”