Tom Cruise off the market got you crying in your Cheerios? Now there‘s an outlet to share your pain with the whole world, CryingWhileEating.com. You got to love the Internets.
WITT: One could conceivably draw the parallel to the early 20th century artistic movement Dadaism. A bunch of artists, despondent about a world war and raging against the homogeny surrounding them created works that were, well, slightly non-traditional. It was only months ago, in fact, that Marcel Duchamps‘s (ph) signed urinal was voted the most influential work of modern art. Yes, I said urinal.
Our number one story on the COUNTDOWN tonight: Your crash course in art history now complete, we present to you Cryingwhileeating. The site was created by two friends, Casimir Nozkowski and Dan Engber (ph), and features clips of people doing, what else, sobbing as they stuff their faces.
Nozkowski and Engber began by recruiting friends to appear in the 30-second vignettes, which are posted on the site by first name, what they‘re eating and why they are crying. Nate and Shawn (ph), lobster bisque and Sam Adams Summer Ale. They weep because they haven‘t lived up to each other‘s expectations. Some of the explanations, however, are slightly less esoteric. (INAUDIBLE) caption, “Not even a chocolate eclair could pacify his hysteria over a lack of positive news stories.”
I‘m sorry. Perhaps this will because we‘ve got one of the creators of Cryingwhileeating.com, Casimir Nozkowski. Thanks so much for joining us.
CASIMIR NOZKOWSKI, CRYINGWHILEEATING.COM: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
WITT: OK, so let me start really simply here. What the heck is this?
NOZKOWSKI: That is a really good question, and I just don‘t know. No, it‘s a Web site. It‘s our gesture to the Internet that you can make really weird stuff that‘s not derivative of anything. It‘s not a pop culture reference. It‘s just funny and uncomfortable and a little disturbing, and you can put it out there and lots of people can look at it.
WITT: Now, originally, you guys had friends and performers appear in these things, but now you‘re actually getting submissions, right? I mean, how do you decide what makes up it there?
NOZKOWSKI: It‘s—well, it‘s—first of all, the reaction has been bonkers. I mean, it‘s literally coming from all over the world. I think our first submission was, like, five minutes after we launched it, and it was coming from Australia.
Our basic policy is to include everything, get everything up there. You know, we don‘t want to censor. The few people that I think we‘ve cut out have been people who are either trying to advertise, let‘s say, a new play or a product, and they have, like, a logo up front, or people who, while I want to include everyone, were a little gross, and we had to draw the line. And you know, God bless them for being that brave and that ugly, but you know, we had to just—we had to put them aside.
WITT: OK. Here‘s a review of your site. Quote, “The scenes evoke the kind of unselfconscious, shame-free expresses of psychic pain,” yada, yada. You know, you get the idea. Did you guys mean to have these artistic parallels drawn, or did you just think this was just going to be downright hilarious?
NOZKOWSKI: Well, I think our main thought was it‘s got to be really funny. And then when we made it, we were, like, Hey, it‘s really funny, so let‘s put it out there. And it got out there, and the success was, like, just amazing and kind of overwhelming. And the minute that people keep telling you that you‘re—you‘ve got something that‘s kind of a phenomenon, you‘re, like, Yes, well, that was our plan. You see, we‘re trying to create this new genre. And I will wax pretentiously about it, but you know, it‘s exciting. It‘s a private moment being shared in a—like, that you never see, being shared in a really public form. And I think there‘s something arty there, and I hope we‘ve, you know, captured it, I guess.
WITT: You‘re talking about success. Are you guys making money off of this?
NOZKOWSKI: Absolutely not!
NOZKOWSKI: We—well, what happened—we‘ve been offered a couple things about—you know, putting banners and ads up there. And while I would love to do projects like this all the time and get—you know, I need a little cash to get that rolling, Dan and I, you know, we thought that it was best—we wanted to just present it without the ads. We don‘t want things getting in the way. It‘s a weird image. You don‘t want to be looking at an ad while you‘re watching someone cry into their salad, salad dressing, whatnot.
WITT: Do you have any plans to branch out to something else, or is this kind of crying genre all played out for you?
NOZKOWSKI: Well, I think—I think the next obvious step is the Cryingwhileeating movie, and we‘re totally—you know, we‘re ready to get some bids right away.
No, I think—I think—we want to take this as far as it‘ll go. We want to see what happens with it. I just love that people are sending stuff in. It‘s amazing. It‘s, like—I feel like we‘re tied into an Internet community, and I want to, you know, just see where it goes. I‘d love to make more stuff like this. I know Dan would. I know we—it‘s—you know, you want to take advantage of the Internet. You can literally show stuff to bazillions of people immediately, across all borders, you know?
WITT: Yes, it‘s pretty cool. And do you have one favorite?
NOZKOWSKI: One favorite clip? Besides my own because I eat some strawberries on there. It‘s pretty dynamic.
WITT: OK, you know what? Then that‘s it. That‘s the answer right there.
airs weeknights, 8 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. E-mail Keith at KOlbermann@MSNBC.com.