02 January 2009

New Year's Song: Singing the Praises of YouTube

This site was never intended as just an album-review-by-Chas site, and incorporating video has always been a part of the plan and will continue to add variety as time goes on (though I do admit that the “12 Songs of Christmas” idea was originally planned as a audio-only feature).

Thanks to services like YouTube and sites like it, however, video can easily be incorporated and shared on a scale undreamed of even quite recently, and of course YouTube (with some help from Comedy Central and Comedy Network) made this last few weeks' worth of entries way more interesting than it would have otherwise been. So I offer my unabashed appreciation to services like YouTube for existing, being free, and helping make my blog(s) more interesting.

YouTube sometimes gets a bad rap, or is at best taken for granted, but what I love most about it is the same thing I wax on about viz. podcasting -- it creates a level playing field and bypasses corporate control. Sure, a lot of what’s on YouTube comes from corporate sources, but a guy playing the Mario theme in Django Reinhart style in his bedroom has an equal chance at being seen by millions as does the finale of last season’s American Idol.

And while we're on that topic, another great facet of YouTube et al is that it has allowed television broadcasting of all sorts to become truly global. I can dip into clips from almost any country, see shows/acts/people/events I would have otherwise never witnessed. Without YouTube, I doubt that I would know -- as I now do -- that the Japanese are a very, very strange and disturbed people. :)

For example, today’s little video gem from the BBC: the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain performing “The Theme From Shaft.” This is not only a marvelous bit that few of us would otherwise have ever seen, but it’s also a perfect example of the British humour I find so enchanting. Particularly after the first minute, when the vocals (!) kick in, I think you’ll see a lot of my view of the world represented there. If nothing else, it’s a great reminder that we live in a post-surrealist, post-ironic world where this sort of behaviour is not only funny, but common. Enjoy.

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