YouTube is a very strange place at times. I have spoken about off videos from the dark web in a previous article, but in all honesty, those videos pulled up from the depths can be found on YouTube along with all kinds of wondrous things that make the platform their permanent home. There are a lot of videos and channels that have cryptic names and seem to not really make a lick of sense. The channel I am going to talk about today though does exactly what it says on the tin.
Benjamin Bennet is a performance artist from Philadelphia who has been involved in stage shows and has recorded some rather strange tracks.
The music of Ben Bennett
The thing that has caught the attention of the YouTube viewers however, is his self-named channel. He currently has 281 videos on the channel and every video is titled "Sitting and Smiling." I hear you out there asking "What happens in these videos?" Well, as I said earlier, it does what it says. It's Benjamin sitting and smiling. Doesn't sound very interesting to start with does it? So what if I told you that every video is broadcast live to the channel and are all four hours long? Yep, he really does sit perfectly still and smile right at the camera for four hours on a regular basis.
The first video is dated July the 28, 2014 and he seems to have been switching on every couple of weeks ever since. And yes, he is still going. He has moved house but he just picked a new spot and kept right on doing his thing.
In that time he has had a couple of slight problems. In one episode he forgot to go pee before starting and found that part way through his sitting, he really needed to go. So he went to go pee right? Wrong! He wets himself! Viewers have pointed out the growing puddle you can see running from underneath him as he keeps that smile going. But the really crazy one is early on. Episode five has a special guest. He is sat there doing his thing when someone opens the door behind him and says hello. What does he do? He sits and smiles. He completely ignores the person behind him and keeps going. Was this one of his pals dropping in for a pot of tea? The postman trying to bring him a nice package? Nope, he later states in the video description that it was a break in. The home invader was poking around and went in the room, saw him sitting there and I'm guessing it freaked him the hell out so he shut the door and left. Some people thought this was a staged event but nothing else that eventful has ever happened since and he is clearly very committed to the bit so it's really not that far-fetched to think it was probably real. Other than that, some pointed out that he has also happily sat there with a bug or something crawling on his shirt and never flinched when a fly landed on his face and took a little stroll.
If you go and follow his channel you can turn on the notifications and you should get a bleep bleep when he goes live. I have watched him sit and smile a couple of times and there is something even more unsettling about it when it's actually live. Knowing he is sat there right now with that creepy smile and his eyes burning a hole in to my soul.
The internet is one hell of a diverse place and it's filled to the brim with all kids of artistic expression. While this one might not be the most complex of performances, you have to admire his dedication.