Folklore 2.0: Charlie Sheen Auto Tune


California State University Fullerton


Colorist for Cartoon Network’s Regular Show

English, Spanish, Japanese

Los Angeles, CA

20 April 2011

Folklore 2.0 -Auto tune of Charlie Sheen

“I’m sure you’ve seen the auto tune of Charlie Sheen. It’s pretty funny. A friend sent it to me through Facebook. The premise of the whole auto tune thing I that you take a song or someone speaking, and you run it through an auto tune program. By adding a beat, splicing clips, and slowing down or speeding up the words, you can make sorta a rap song. The only reason it’s gone really viral is the fact that the makers actually did a pretty good job and the whole controversy with Charlie Sheen right now in the media. The people who made it, also like to auto tune the news a lot.” AT mentioned that the explosion of auto tuning is really an evolution of media and the Internet. As she explains, the sheer amount of information and the ease of accessibility allow people to really play around with the notion of music. Now anyone can make music using a program, or alter another person’s work and post it on the Internet. When asked about the right of copyrights, AT gave a pretty liberal answer. “I mean its not like the person is making definite money off of it. Mostly people are just doing it for entertainment purposes and the chance to create things given a skill set. Now people don’t have to be artists or singers, they can work with programs that do most of the work for them.” She goes on to mention that she still considers auto tuning a creative process and is largely benign.”

Considering that AT works for Cartoon Network, a well-known television network and studio, her answers are pretty telling. She has mentioned that she doesn’t feel cheated when people post the show she works on onto the Internet. If anything she’s happy that people without cable or television can enjoy things she helped create. The whole auto tuning process that has appeared on the Internet in the last couple years is an example of folklore 2.0. It has multiplicity and variation; as people often auto tune the same things differently. It is also very unofficial, to the point that it borders on copyright infringement. The Internet has allowed people to share vast quantities of information that is as diverse as any form of language. The Charlie Sheen video is also interesting because it brings up the notion of “Win.” Win is an idea that started out on the Internet that has crossed over to everyday speech. Now, because of the Charlie Sheen auto tune, I have heard individuals use the term “Wining” in speech. It’s used to imply that something is awesome or going good for you. I.e., ” my parents bought me a brand new car. Winning!”