More Magic: In Defense of YouTube

Subcultures fascinate me – the niches we carve, not only for ourselves but to be with others.

What aspect defines the group? Their church? Their art? Their fandom? Their music? Their preoccupation with St. Bernard Instagram accounts?

The options run the gamut from life-defining to beautifully odd. Which is why I watch YouTube.

I am definitely what the young ‘uns call a ‘lurker’ – one who avidly watches but does not comment or so much ‘participate.’

This is due to my long-standing, deeply held belief that on the Interwebs, one should never read the comments. I’m thinking of getting it tattooed on my hand. Believe me, it’s not worth the increase in blood pressure to rage-argue through a machine with what is most likely a 12-year-old brat. [I learned the hard way…I’m still right about feminism, you little twat.]

Yet no matter the vitriol that gets flung semi-anonymously through Al Gore’s series of tubes and wires, the Internet is a pretty powerful, intricate, massive, strange tool for good.

One of the biggest YouTube channels is that of the Vlogbrothers, Hank and John. I was introduced by my friend Tessa back in late 2007, and I’ve been watching ever since. The channel combines the odd fascination (voyeurism?) we all have with those who share their conversations publicly, and the brothers’ passions for environmental science and literature (respectively).

In recent years, the channel has transformed into a public charity, record label, gigantic community forum of “Nerdfighters,” education effort and advocate/organizer for the performers who make YouTube their chosen outlet.

Recently, they’ve offered guest spots for a few unknown youtubers on their channel. The most recent video hit home for me and my drive to create.

To create is not just to be serious, insightful, striving for the best-most-smartest-gold-star; but to be silly. To allow and encourage our community to stretch toward the bizarre, to use the power of imagination to laugh, question and embrace our weird world with awe and wonder.

Plus, I love a good cat video.

“Now I love science and hard facts and knowledge as much as any Nerdfighter, but I think one of the best pleasures of, say, magicians is not knowing that they performed real magic, but knowing that they made something amazing happen in a world where magic is impossible.

And that’s what humans are good at, I think. We make amazing things happen in a world where magic is impossible.”

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One thought on “More Magic: In Defense of YouTube

  1. Pingback: Perspective | Manresa, Maine

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