For over a month now, a YouTube channel has been broadcasting the live activity at the central intersection in the quaint mountain town of Jackson Hole, Wyo. And for several days now, the livestream has garnered thousands of concurrent viewers, actively commenting on the quotidian reality they see onscreen.
The live video is being shared by “See Jackson Hole,” which also offers continuous webcam footage of the picturesque surrounding Tetons, the town in the midst of winter storms and scenes of the local golf club. There’s even a timelapse video of a Christmas “buffalo meat market,” if that’s your thing. In this livestream of the town square, though, the main activity is just the movement of… cars. And trucks. Lots of trucks. (Also, some pedestrians as they make their way over the crosswalk.) In the background, leafy trees sway in a slight breeze. There’s no sight of the ski town’s surrounding dramatic rocky peaks, but that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent.
The chat section is rabidly active, with most commentators pointing out the vehicles sliding by in real-time. In particular, the appearance of a red truck has captured viewers’ attention, spawning a meme and Twitter hashtag of its own. No one really can put their finger on the obsession, though.
The mystery of the livestream’s addictive quality remains. But as Norway has taught us, slow television is its own sleeper pleasure.