Adult 641, Reflection nine

Watching Wesch. I can’t hide my J. Crew obsession.

I did really enjoy the Michael Wesch video about You Tube. It was well edited (not just a video of a lecture), which I really appreciated.

I loved his passion for the joy that Gary brought to the world with his “Numa Numa” lip synch. That was a beautiful thing. You know what’s not a beautiful thing? Insta-celebrities that clog up the bookings on The Today Show. There is so much wonderful content to be found on You Tube and the Internet, I wish people would stop becoming obsessed with people like Antoine Dodson.

It is crazy that so many of the videos on You Tube are meant to be seen by less than 100 people. You Tube is a fantastic way to express yourself, celebrate yourself and people like you, or create wonderful art that is instantly visible to everyone in the world

One thing that I couldn’t stop thinking about during the video is how few minorities were represented, even though You Tube is for everyone and there are people of all backgrounds using it. To me, that is strictly a problem with the researchers in the class who found the videos and Wesch himself, who, as an anthropologist, should have said or done something.


When Jeff asked us in class if we were big You Tube people, I said no. I hate the meme culture and Internet celebrities. However, I love music (and reality singing competitions in Europe), so I actually do spend an hour or two a week watching (or listening to, rather) You Tube music videos, from live concerts of my favorite bands to clever new videos.

One of the great things I’ve found is that there are so many bloggers and amateur videographers that record musicians as a series. La Blogotheque’s “Take Away Shows,” based in Paris, is one of the most famous. They have a playlist called “The Very Best,” curated from their best shows. The first one on the list, Grizzly Bear singing “The Knife” on the streets of Paris, is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. This style of documentation has become very iconic in the indie music community because of You Tube users like La Blogotheque.

Grizzly Bear on the streets of Paris. This video makes me want pastries.

I wanted to research La Blogotheque, so I started on Wikipedia, where I found that the series was created by independent filmmaker Vincent Moon. To me, the fact that he no longer wants to make films for profit and he’d prefer to collaborate with young talent all over the world is a direct result of web 2.0 and the places it can take its strongest artists. Obviously, La Blogotheque is bigger than Vincent Moon and it has morphed into something that has spawned a thousand You Tube imitators.

This interview with La Blogotheque filmmaker Derrick Belcham is really interesting. This quote relates to the anthropolgical study of You Tube:

There’s so much amazing video content out there, and you know, the style- pioneered as a music style by La Blogotheque. It doesn’t matter what the source is and who’s saying what about it, if the filmmaker is good and does their job – it doesn’t matter.

The high quality level of art produced and put onto You Tube (and Vimeo, where a lot of my favorite comedy things live) is insane. That is why I keep returning to video streaming sites.

BestieXBestie! You might recognize Jenny’s voice from the excellent viral video “Marcel the Shell.”


Joanne’s post, mentioning The Office, made me realize how much YouTube is embedded in our popular culture. The Office also did a lip dub video one season. That could be a blog entry in itself, I think. Or a criticism of YouTube culture from a feminist perspective, which I wish I had more time to do (would have made a great project).


I made a playlist of videos for my project. They are primarily about GawkerMedia (an hour of Nick Denton talking about the commenting system which I now HAVE to watch), with one Community fan video thrown in (I swear this makes sense, and yes, I will be talking about Community in my project).

3 thoughts on “Adult 641, Reflection nine

  1. Very interesting observation… Huh! I honestly didn’t pick up on that when I watched Wesch’s video. I thought it was really well done, but it could definitely have used some more diverse representation. Good eye! Your comment about not being able to believe that most YouTube videos are intended for less than 100 people made me think of something I read from Shirky recently. He essentially says that the vast majority of folks putting social content out there on the web (i.e. blogs, FB, YouTube, etc.) are (quote) “NOT TALKING TO YOU”. But most people don’t understand that– if it’s out there, they assume it’s for them. And folks are very quick to judge when content doesn’t meet their own personal standards (think: internet speak and trite ramblings about one’s day at the mall). Really interesting stuff!

    I just love how fun your blogs are. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s