The media hierarchy: who is borrowing from who?

Parody is, apparently, the sincerest form of flattery. But exactly who is parodying who says a lot about power and hierarchy. Once upon a time, if you logged into YouTube, you could have been sure of finding a host of parodies of plays, TV programmes, films and pieces of music, all put together by a group of amateurs. 

However, I was watching the Simpson's the other week (we are a bit behind anyone in the US - I suspect you would have got this a few months back), and I saw something interesting - the relationship has started to go the other way. In other words, old media forms (in this case, TV) have started to parody YouTube and particularly famous films stored there. This is interesting, as it shows the extent that YouTube has become embedded in our culture. It's not just that the Simpsons' writers use it, but that they know their audience will get the gag. What is most astonishing is the speed at which this has happened. Here's the original film and the Simpons clip.



PS. Oh, and a happy new year to everyone!