Written by Ben Parafina
If anything I adore this new age of media, the inherent lawlessness of the internet fades into the hollywood sunset and we come upon a new era of moderation, however Youtube still persists as a sort of new media zone where people are constantly changing.
As much as I could turn this into a screed about my own personal feeling about each of the aforementioned stars, in the end I am cowed by their existence.
The fact that these people exist outside the normal machinations of media because of the internet leaves me with a paralytic hope for the new generation.
As Youtube has become more prevalent as a repository for information, scategorical truth and idiocy it has offered a new venue for advertising, media, and participation within the media. I love the new breed of hero we have created from the masses, a sort of veneration of the village idiot, who in fact is no idiot at all.
With Youtube stars we see the lowest common denominator appeased, with the simultaneous cultural reach that only the internet can offer. Despite his ridiculous histrionics I found myself empathizing with Chris Crocker, if only because the treble on my speakers maxed out and the flat noise of a dying animal left me a bit flabbergasted.
Youtube Celebrities offer us all a new aspiration. Even if there is no American Dream we can thrust ourselves into the public spotlight if we wish – the venue is already present, the means available and the only thing keeping us from it is our own will to have it as such.
There never exists a moment when I am unsure of precisely what I am going to get. I expect and even desire the histrionic fits that will occur on screen. Youtube has invented a new media, where anyone can participate, and accordingly that media has its darlings.
Just like the previous forms of showbiz, Youtube is all about the pageview, the rating. The stars consist of the same volatile personalities that we expect, but without the veneer of wealth and power.
One of the many critics of this new cult of the amateur, to use his nomenclature, is Andrew Keen.
Keen argues, a sentiment voiced by many staring into the gaping maw of idiocy that encompasses almost any social experiment, that this new media, the media of participation, is cultural degradation.
As if by allowing the masses to entertain themselves rather than the film, literature or news industries we will see the death of culture as we know it. That through user created media we lessen all other forms of expression behind us.
Rather I see the rise of Youtube and Youtube celebrities as this the next wave of media. In which we venerate and subscribe to that which truly appeases the masses, instead of having focus groups decide what is truly funny we can allow that section of the world that can afford internet to decide the next evolution in media.
If anything, Youtube stars have allowed us to reconnect with the forms of media stamped out by the rise of corporate culture.
While the local venue may be dead, youtube allows us to see the ridiculousness in 640×480 at our leisure.