Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Introducing a new world of entertainment: Cheddarvison

From Steve Forrest for N.Y times:

"WESTCOMBE, England, April 10 — The cruel randomness of celebrity became clear to Tom Calver in February, when the cheese got a romantic Valentine in the mail and he did not.

The Web site focuses on just one 44-pound round of cheddar. Not much happens, and yet the cheese has become hugely popular. But in common with other instant media sensations and members of the world’s ditzerati, the cheddar has not been impeded in its rise to fame by the modest nature of its accomplishments. As the star of Cheddar-vision TV, a Web site that carries live images of its life on a shelf (, the cheese has been viewed so far more than 900,000 times.

Mr. Lane helped set up the Webcam in December, when the cheese was made, beginning as milk from Mr. Calver’s herd of Friesian-Holstein cows and then progressing through the standard curds (and whey) phase on its path to becoming a hunk of cheddar. It is to remain on the shelf until December, when, fully mature, it is to be sold for charity.

As befits an inert object of obsession, the cheese has become a blank slate upon which admirers can express their passions and idiosyncrasies. Poems and songs have been written about it. It has been invited to a wedding. At Easter, it received an anonymous gift of chocolate and decorative chicks.

E-mail correspondents have engaged in a lively debate about the metaphysical significance of the cheese’s mold patterns. From the United States, a teacher announced that his class had set up a wall of cheese, where students could post photographs of the cheese “in various states of rotation.”

Other dull British sites, helpfully compiled by Oliver Burkeman in a recent article in The Guardian, include one that shows nothing happening on a side street of Neilston, a suburban village near Glasgow. Another one (now defunct) showed a pile of compost in Sussex.

As befitting a celebrity, the cheese has its own page on, where we learn that it is a Capricorn, that it is not interested in having children and that it has 521 friends...."

No comments: