The streaming video reading of the full length novel by the author satirizes media's tightening grip on public consciousness with a dark, funny odyssey through the conundrums of sex, violence, race, wealth, guilt, and responsibility in a post Internet world devoid of privacy.
In his dreams video game designer, Vinny Vanilla is skinned alive. Awake, sales of his over-the-hill action game, Hammerman, are tanking, his connection to the virtual economy is flakey, and his ability to support his hapless parents and sister is coming to an end. A solipsistic hypochondriac, Vinny seeks solace from Ice, the perverse love of his life, and confesses his phobias of credit cancer, acquired skin disease, and BID poison. He begs her to be the one he can count on in the end, even though they both know she can never count on him.
Look, you can disregard what I'm telling you, but do so at your risk, because, believe me, the chips are in everything. Smaller than flyspecks. Beyond taken for granted. Chips inside you, that know you, help you, tell on you. Chips that talk to you, talk to everyone, right through your InVision.
It's all there. Every detail of every deed you've ever done. Every video, photo, chat, email, comment, scribble, letter, contract, confession, slander, rant, speech, plan, your prescriptions, drugs, and drug tests. It's all there. All public.
Do you doubt it? I'll show you. Pick up anything, there's a chip inside. Take that sock over there. Yes, that one, the one hanging out of the dumpster. Pick it up. Go on. It won't bite you. It's only a sock. Yes. There you go. Now, scan it and there you have it: price, style, size, maker, seller. It even has your consumer ID, your consumer preferences, favorite music, politics, your sexual preference, sex partners, even your sexual performance. It's all right there. You got it. In fact, everyone's got it. Right there on InVision. Everything, down to your last heartbeat. There's a life story in the chip in that sock. Are you curious? Yes? Well, just press continue.
'You Bet Your Skin' First Full-length Internet Video Novel
(sub-title) Viral Novel Turns Internet in on Itself
Long Beach, CA, February 2, 2009 -- We're all aware of the escalating intrusion of in-your-face media in our lives. In the first full-length Internet video novel, URL youbetyourskin.com, published on Google Video, Floyd Flanagan satirizes the media's tightening grip on public consciousness with a darkly funny odyssey through the conundrums of sex, violence, race, wealth, guilt, and responsibility in a world devoid of privacy.
Flanagan's novel lampoons new media and he thought it would be appropriate to use state of the art technology for publication. He considered books on CD, which are now mainstream, but he wanted to do something different. Considering the popularity of YouTube, a video reading of the novel seemed like a natural, using the Internet to parody itself.
Researching the subject of book publication in video format, Flanagan was surprised when he was unable to find a single video novel on the Internet. Thousands of people tell stories on YouTube, but these vignettes are limited by YouTube's ten-minute maximum length, clearly inadequate for a full-length novel. Google Video enabled Flanagan to get around that limitation. His approach was simple. He used inexpensive EvoCam video software and the built-in camera on his MacBook to recorded the eleven-hour, serialized reading of the novel.
The website, URL youbetyourskin.com, provides viewers with an easy to navigate interface. Viewing the novel is as easy as listening to a book on CD. In addition to streaming Internet viewing, chapters can be downloaded from Google Video in .mp4 for portable replay on iPod and PlayStation.
Flanagan says, "I've always been interested in the pressures that rapidly evolving technologies place on individuals. Today, the amount of publicly accessible, personal information is exploding. Radio frequency ID chips placed under the skin can tell a scanner your medical information and track your whereabouts on the fly. You're on the verge of becoming a scannable, walking charge card, ripe for the picking. Before you know it there will be no such thing as privacy. Begin this story and step into that world."
About the Author:
Floyd Flanagan and his wife are longtime residents of Long Beach, California. In addition to writing, Flanagan's professional career includes media producer, instructional designer, and systems engineer on satellite systems with Raytheon. His interest in futurist media began with the electronic publication of 'Mylar's Warp,' the first online novel in text format, published on The Source computer network in 1981. His other writing includes 'MacCats -- 99 Ways to Paint a Cat with MacPaint' and 'Maggie and the Moneysuckle Tree -- a Young Person's Guide to Building Wealth.' Mr. Flanagan is currently working on a sequel to 'You Bet Your Skin' and other projects.