The Wee Man
I am The Wee Man. You may know me from such online music videos as ‘Da Fleeto’, ‘Parliamo Glasgow’, ‘Banter’ or several rap battle sketches with Scottish rappers. You might even know me from seeing me doing stand-up or appearing with Scottish promotion Insane Championship Wrestling. However, it is more than likely that you only know me from one viral song entitled ‘Here You (That’ll Be Right)’.
This 2 minute novelty song hit YouTube nine years ago, before viral videos and online culture in general began to consume many elements of culture and people’s lives in general. You could say I am an O.M. (Original Meme). You could also say I am some sort of trailblazer for people who made their names and possibly fortunes from putting videos on the internet. Again, it is much more likely you’ll say: ‘I’m gonnae pump yer maw’ or ‘You lookin at ma burd?’ Do not be surprised if I stare at you dead-eyed upon hearing these words.
I don’t feel I am understating when I say online ‘sharing’ has consumed our culture. To see funny clips from around the world you no longer have to wait for Chris Tarrant to patronizingly present it to you from a bare ITV studio. You will see it being shared. To discover news you no longer have to look amongst the cleavages bursting out from newsagent’s shelves to decipher what the puns in large black letters mean. You will see the details and immediate public reaction on one of your screens within moments of the event. It is telling that newspapers now use tweets for a vast majority of ‘reaction quotes’. Print media seems like a confused old gent repeating what he heard the youngsters saying in the boozer. Bless ‘im. You are reading this because it was shared on a social media outlet. Thank you and please share or I will wither and die like a neglected houseplant.
I also think social media has altered the lifestyles of many, particularly the younger generation who have been brought up with it as a standard. I relatively recently started a ‘Wee Man’ FaceBook fanpage, admittedly years after I should have. The page is ‘verified,’ meaning the name bears a blue tick signifying the authenticity of the person or company. Don’t get me started on the existential puzzle of having a character that technically exists more than I do, at least according to FaceBook. As a result I’ve been inundated with a lot of questions about how I got ‘verified’, specifically from others who have created viral videos. When I’ve explained the verification is more a result of mainstream coverage, such as newspaper articles I either featured in or wrote, as well as there being fake ‘Wee Man’ pages; I am not sure if the information sinks in. I have asked why the need for the blue tick is so strong, and the reply normally centres on the desire to show ‘haters’ that they’ve made something of themselves. I’ve wanted to express that this is a kind of ‘cart before the horse’ mentality, but I can never find the right meme to explain it.
I could tell you about the peaks and pitfalls of this cultish internet ‘fame’ but I’d rather you came to my solo show on Friday to hear more about it. You can also see how I now use social media by following ‘The Wee Man’ page on FaceBook. It’s the one with the blue tick, which lets you know it’s the truly authentic, 100% bona fide, real deal totally fictional character that’s posting updates.
Neil Bratchpiece, 32, human vessel for that ned guy you had on your phone.
The Wee Man Syndrome
The Hug and Pint, Friday 25 March, 8.30pm
The Wee Man's Rap Battle Showdown 2016
The Hug and Pint, Saturday 26 March, 8:30pm