“What Toaster Did You Record This With?” Etymology Notes

This is not exactly an etymology, but just a note for any researchers looking this phrase up..

About 8 months ago, I got a YouTube comment on one of my videos asking if I had recorded the video with a toaster, implying that I hadn’t used a high enough quality recorder to make the video. This is similar to other such comments like “240p, we meet again” as an editorial on the low resolution of the video, now that YouTube is more capable of displaying very high quality video (since 240p is the lowest resolution YouTube recognizes, and appears fuzzier, as opposed to higher resolutions like 1080p or 720p which are much sharper and clearer recordings). A large number of my YouTube videos are low quality, from before YouTube really began to push HD uploads, and the typical video I uploaded was far lower quality that feasible for me, then. I still get similar comments even on my HD videos, though, like this one mostly from poor lighting conditions, or unusual situations like recording a monitor from a tripod-mounted camera instead by software.

I have since seen other variations of this type of remark, though the comment 8 months ago (~March 2012) was the first type I’d ever seen.

Mysterious and Intriguing “Surveillance Camera Man” Films People

Although some of the people seem like they’re acting (especially the first couple studying on a computer), each segment appears to be genuine.. A man enters an arbitrarily “personal” space of someone and films them, usually resulting in the person being upset that they’re being filmed — despite the fact that each of us are filmed every day and don’t have a problem with it. I am completely baffled by the irate responses of those wishing not to be filmed, for the plain fact that they’re being filmed constantly and have no problem with it, until there is an actual person holding the camera and suddenly it’s a huge injustice that warrants calling the police.

Particularly curious to me is the woman who steps out onto pavement and insists that it is per permission that dictates whether she may or may not be filmed (being out in public no less), rather than how the law actually protects the press instead. Also odd is how the woman from the Scientology building states that the filmer may write whatever he pleases, but filming or photographs aren’t permitted.

I would challenge those who find this offensive, to find any such law that states that permission is required to film in public places, of objects that are visible from a public position — such as other people, or private property visible from otherwise routinely public viewing locations such as through the windows. I would challenge anyone who would find this behavior offensive, to realize that the law instead protects the filmer, rather than the filmed. What are you afraid of? Do you not analyze your own reactions, or do you just invent things to justify your reactions?