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Opinion

Rhett and Link can still bring out the mythical best in us all

Lauren A. Simenson

October 11, 2017

During the years 2008-2010 there was a global recession, Captain Richard Phillips was rescued from Somali pirates by the Navy SEAL team and the iPhone 4 was released by Apple. The years of 2008, 2009 and 2010 were not only a time of great change and trauma for the world but for me as well.

Those three years marked my last year of middle school and the start of my freshman year of high school. I tend not to let myself recall memories about this period of my life. I had to research what even happened back then as I had apparently also blocked that out. Not enough time has passed for the memories to not seem painfully awkward and embarrassing yet. Until a time comes when I can look back on my past without cringing, I will keep everything locked away.

One of few clearest memories from this formative time of my life came via YouTube. Back then it was just a few years old and not quite a cool part of the internet yet. I remember becoming hooked onto this new video-sharing site pretty quickly. YouTube combined some of my favorite things: creative visual entertainment and people sharing their lives. One day, as I was once again spiraling down the YouTube rabbit hole, I happened upon these two guys sitting at a little folding table in a bright green room. One had a beard, the other wore glasses, and they both had southern accents. I had found Rhett and Link.

Every week day I watched the latest video in their internet show, ‘Good Mythical Morning’. I watched as these two guys talked about anything and everything, ate some really gross food, played games, laughed, danced and sang and then shared it all online. Pretty soon I felt like I actually knew these guys, and I felt even more invested in the show as the years passed. Rhett and Link and I changed and evolved right along side each other.

Since I started watching GMM, the duo has moved out of a shed in Rhett’s backyard in North Carolina to bigger and bigger spaces in Los Angeles. They added employees, worked on bigger videos and projects, formed a media company, made podcasts, created their own shoes, have been on television shows and will soon be embarking on a nationwide tour of live shows.

This week, they released their first physical work, a book called, ‘Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality.’ Being a super fan, I had this book, the first YouTube book I have ever wanted to read, preordered and waiting for me in my mailbox. Their new book’s theme revolves around one of Rhett and Link’s guiding tenets – their concept of having mythicality and of being your mythical best. This term of mythicality refers to having “a desire to learn and do new things, an appreciation of originality and a tendency to not take yourself too seriously. A person who is willing to risk pursuing these values – for the purpose of making the world a better place”.

Over the past 10 years, I have spent time watching all of their videos (seriously, all of them) and absorbing every fact. I’ve been repping their merch and embodying this quality of mythicality. From that I can see how far I have come in life too. I may not have moved to LA, but I made the big and also successful move from high school to college. Through their videos I have laughed more and connected to people I may not have ever met before. I remind myself to not be so serious, and like Rhett and Link I am always working to see what I can do to make the world a better place.

I was lucky enough to discover Rhett and Link at a time when I probably needed them the most. They have been the best part of my daily routine and have kept me laughing, informed and entertained. Rhett and Link and have set the perfect example of the kind of best friend and human being I want to be. Now through this book they have ensured that when the internet is eventually rendered useless in the inevitable apocalypse and I no longer have YouTube to rely on, I will always have this book with which to reconnect with how I can continue to be my mythical best.

Lauren Simenson is a student at UW-River Falls.

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