It is only a matter of hours until the first inaugural YouTube Music Awards will be broadcast worldwide over the internet and Creative Director Spike Jonze promises that the live event will be massy fun. The first ever music awards program will be getting life feeds from five different locations and will be part of the main ceremony produced at Pier 36 New York City.
Anyone who’s read my blog (or conversely, watched myYouTube channel) will know that I am about as obsessed with YouTube as your average young person. And yes before you point it out, I’m not that young. But having a daughter who has a fairly successful channel on the old “Tube” introduced me to another world of entertainment.
I won’t be climbing on my YouTube soapbox here, but it was through them that I discovered Funny or Die. A channel that hails from Los Angeles; Hollywood specifically, and they are brilliantly funny.
These guys are consistent, witty masters of the tongue in cheek delivery of some very humorous short films, videos, and skits. They use “real” actors (versus folks that just want to be actors) and they have great production values on all they produce.
iSteve is their latest effort and it is 78 minute film that is a “Bio” of the late Steve Jobs and his rise, fall and rise in the world of commercial computing. It is a combination satire/parody with a good bit of imaginative “reworking” of real events to give it a comedic edge.
Although, not everyone , it seems, can get the joke.
But this particular nay-sayer need not feel alone. There were more than a few people who just “didn’t get it.” The same type of people who would never watch Saturday Night Live (SNL) or say a Chevy Chase film. In the case of humour and the sense of, not everyone is created equal or as I like to say, “Did it hurt when they removed your funny bone?”
Justin Long plays Steve Jobs, resplendent in fake hair colour and beard. He also sports a very trendy pair of rimless eye-glasses and a turtle neck top that completes his Steve costume. He is, of course, excellent as the faux Steve Jobs. I mean after all this is Justin Long we’re talking about here. How could he be anything but perfect in any role?
Actor Jorge Garcia (Lost, all seasons) plays Jobs’ best friend Steve Wozniak, a long-suffering fellow computer nerd. Garcia makes this brilliantly touching and funny. All the actors do great jobs (get it!) in this film. Like all projects these guys do, it looks professional (hell, it is professional) and streamlined. If you’ve not seen anything they’ve done before, check out their American Psycho with Huey Lewis and Weird Al:
This video doesn’t exist
I’m going to give this YouTube masterpiece of humour a 5 out of 5 stars.
Well, for one thing, it’s got Justin Long in it and I’ve been a fan since DodgeBall. In addition, these guys (Funny or Die) are damned funny.
I first started blogging on a semi-regular basis on the 11th of November 2011 over on Blogger.com. I did my first ever blog post a year before that. I have changed my blog site twice and now I call WordPress.com my blogging home.
I also started my first YouTube Channel way back in 2007 mainly so I could leave comments on videos I’d seen that I found comment worthy. I uploaded my first video in March 2010. It was of a Tonka toy commercial I had done back in 1989. I didn’t upload a “proper video” until October 2010, it was a tour of my new apartment that signalled the start of my new life.
I’ve been tweeting since 2009 and I was a very late convert to Facebook. Twitter became a solace when my marriage was crumbling to dust and Facebook gave me a chance to see how a few friends and family were getting on.
I was, for better or worse, now part of the social network. Since my internet debut things have never been the same.
Since I started “YouTubing” and blogging I’ve had a chance to interact with folks from all over the globe. Most have been nice. A large amount have been funny, erudite and interesting. Very few have been tacky or unpleasant or rude. The folks who have been unsocial (0r just plain weird) are always unceremoniously blocked.
I have the privilege of 355 subscribers on my first YouTube channel, 114 on my second joint channel (with my daughter) and a combined 150 or so followers on my blog. I am still amazed and surprised that so many kind folks like tuning in to see what I’ve written or filmed (unfortunately I’ve not done a lot of filming lately but that is due to change very soon).
I also appreciate the folks who take the time to ‘click’ that like button or to leave a comment on any of my social sites. I find it hard finding time to do much more than click that like button, though I like to leave a comment or two if at all possible.
I will admit that I suffered from a huge amount of naivety when I first started blogging. I didn’t realise that it was required to respond back to someone who left comments on your blog. I had a sort of “old-fashioned” view about blogging. I felt like I was writing an editorial article or amusing (hopefully) essay or the odd film review that would be sent out into the cyber-world for anyone to read…or not.
I was pleased to see that someone had commented, but, I had written my piece and had moved on. I did not think about the article after it was posted. As I began doing more regular blog posts (or articles, I still think of them that way) I began getting more comments and I felt rude about not answering back even if it was to thank the commenter.
I had always thanked the people who commented on my YouTube channels. I don’t know why it took me so long to realise that I needed to do the same for my blog. To be honest, if I hadn’t read a “How to be a Successful Blogger” article, I probably still wouldn’t be interacting. I can’t remember who wrote that little “how-to” blurb, but I’m grateful that I found and read it.
The point that I am slowly getting to (aka going the long way around the barn) is that the world is now an ever-increasing Cyber-world. It is becoming increasingly easier for “normal” folks to hop onto the net and broadcast themselves or their thoughts to the entire Cyber-world.
I have written a couple of posts about YouTube. I have had a fascination with it since my daughter Meg introduced me to it in 2007. I will also admit that I am slightly addicted to it. I talk about it quite a lot at work and I was amazed to find that my co-workers were not as ‘offay’ with YouTube as I was.
I was a bit shocked. I was one of the older chaps at work and I knew more about YouTube than a lot of my younger co-workers. I don’t mean that they weren’t aware of its existence, but they didn’t know how it worked. Talking to other people outside of work I found that my colleagues weren’t alone.
There are a large number of folks who still view YouTube as a fad or something that the “young folks” are interested in. They haven’t yet realised that this Cyber-world is rapidly becoming the norm. South Korean rapper PSY used YouTube to promote his career and is now the proud owner of the most viral video ever. He also has the added bonus of being just a little bit world-famous right now.
Andy Warhol once said that, “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” It now seems that with the ever-increasing numbers of people who use YouTube and sites similar to it, that 15 minutes is not so unreachable. That Warhol quote has been bandied about for years and generally taken out of context, but in this instance, I think it fits.
Watching the Channel 4 news tonight I saw that their “feel good” piece at the end of the news was about English YouTubers who have earned a solid fan-base and steady income from their channels. I have asked the question before about YouTube becoming the new tv and the same question was asked tonight on the news.
I don’t know if that is the case or not. But I do know that with more homes having computers and camcorders and creative, talented occupants the odds are ever-increasing that you may be living next door to a Cyber-world celebrity.
Don’t laugh. My daughter has a small channel on YouTube. She started it aged 16 and only started uploading videos a few years ago. She has amassed a ‘hard-earned’ following of over 7,500 subscribers. I say hard earned because posting a regular video on the “Tube” is a lot of work. In case you haven’t seen it here’s a link: Meg Elisabeth Smith.
As more and more folks discover that they have the ability, talent, skills and tenacity to broadcast themselves or their thoughts or opinions to the world and that the world will not only pay attention but will come back to pay attention… Well, the possibilities are endless. This whole Cyber-world Celebrity thing sort of beats the “getting discovered in the local Schwab’s Drugstore” to pieces and it’s a lot more proactive.
So don’t just sit there!
Filmyourself sitting there.
You never know, you could be the next Cyber-world Celebrity!
I pretty much follow a routine with my blog. Before I even think of writing anything I read the blogs I follow (well skip read if truth be told, I follow a lot of blogs) and I always read the latest entries in the Freshly Pressed arena.
I will admit a certain puzzlement as to why some of the blogs that are ‘pressed’ have received the honour of being singled out (this includes my own blog which was freshly pressed not so long ago). But to be very brutally honest, I don’t really care. It is nice just to read other folks blogs and learn new things or learn old things presented in a different light.
I read the Freshly Pressed today and right at the top of the list was I Grew up Gangnam Style. Because of the thumbnail I realized that I had seen this chap before. In fact the most recent image of this fellow and his natty outfit was a Lego rendition of his music video.
Now the blog post that had been Freshly Pressed did not go into the music video or the chap who made it (PSY if you’re interested). It did give a brilliant parallel reveal of what life in South Korea was like living in the province where the video was shot. It’s a good read, if you didn’t follow the link before, have a look now. It’s in the first paragraph.
But on to the video. I had seen the odd reference to Gangnam Style here and there and it did not arouse enough curiosity for me to look it up. Then the article today appeared and I just had to look this phenomena up. I’m glad I did. It is brilliantly funny and vastly entertaining. Don’t believe me? Just have a look:
Until now, the only other musical artist from Korea who delivered so much humour with his videos was M C MONG. In case you’ve never heard of him, here’s a sample of his music video humour:
Not to your taste? Then have a look at the Korean filmThe Fox Family. Made in 2006, this supernatural fantasy musical (that’s right, I said musical) is funny, and the musical numbers are brilliant. Just look at the ‘Money’ song:
So you can see that Korea has been blending music and humour for a while now. It took PSY and his music video to make the fact known world-wide. At over 290 million views the video now holds the record for viral videos. It is interesting to read the blog post and the authors assertion that South Korea has just discovered irony. That may well be true, but, I think that South Korea has always had a sense of humour.
If you watch their TV shows, it appears that all the participants (especially those in the entertainment business) love to laugh and make fun of themselves. Not everyone of course, but a huge amount do appear to enjoy not taking themselves too seriously.
I review Asian horror films on YouTube and I’ve had a few people tell me that they don’t get ‘Korean humour’ citing it as being too slapstick in origination and ‘over the top.’ I did not then and still do not understand that statement. South KoreanHumour is more than ‘3 stooges slapstick’ it can be sly, surprisingly subtle and in the case of the PSY video, funny and ironic.
The message of the PSY video is that South Korean’s are incredibly concious of how they look when they intermingle with one another in a social setting. Clothing, hairstyle, fashion sense, body weight and plastic surgery are all important facets of Korean social life. I’ve watched a huge amount of YouTube videos (mostly Eat Your Kimchi – Simon and Martina Rule!) that explain what living in South Korea is like.
These informative videos made the Gangnam Style music video all the more humorous. The word on the street is that South Korean’s are well aware of their cultural foibles and this self awareness is what has made the video both ironic and just downright funny.
My daughter has been a fan of KPOP for years and has shown me just about every boy and girl band manufactured over the last ten years in Korea. I have also discovered, through my daughters influence, M C Mong and other solo artists. PSY I discovered via Freshly Pressed and Quartz’s fine post about growing up in that area of Seoul.
Humour is a world wide common meeting ground. Sure some places in the world practise a different sort of humour. A sort of ‘home-grown’ or topical humour that doesn’t always translate well into other countries or languages. But laughter and the ability to laugh at ones self crosses all language or topical restrictions.
It is amazing to think that a music video can become the worlds most viral video until you factor in that is was a funny music video. It’s a shame that the whole world and it’s leaders cannot learn a lesson from these humorous videos. Like the old saying goes, “Laugh and the world laughs with you.”