Some People Want to Fill The World
with silly love songs.
I think people are getting duped.
The majority of the videos on YouTube have no value except to a few people. Although not everyone wants to watch little Billy’s first steps taken from grainy cellphone footage, his grandparents probably do. Humanity at large can do without a Draco Loves Hermione picture montage set to Linkin Park music, but you know that a couple excited girls will watch it and love it incessantly. The existence of videos that the a majority of people would consider superfluous isn’t the issue. The issue is when bad videos by untalented people gain enough momentum in their popularity that they become a spectacle. They become a pop culture icon because of their “badness.”
Yet, people pass on only what interests or entertains them. If you consider a video boring or useless, you wouldn’t post it to your friend’s Facebook wall. In the case of all these bubblegum pop internet phenomenons, to share their work is to admit they have value, even if your qualifier is something like, “check this out, it’s the worst song ever made.” After all, society loves a laughingstock; a place to go for obvious, mediocre jokes that everyone will get, or even just a water cooler topic.
I say people are being fooled because those who get annoyed, for example, that Rebecca Black is enjoying such a massive financial pay-out from a song that was horrible, typically act in a way that feeds her success rather than quells it. They watch her video. They type a comment declaring that they hate it. They watch it again to remember how bad it is. They show it to a friend so that they may validate that it is indeed terrible. Through it all, her “views” count and notoriety go up. And who’s laughing at the end of the day? Rebecca Black, who spent $4,000 to create a terrible video and made $1,000,000 back from it.
There is but one bane, one way to stop bad performers: Ignore them completely. Teenagers auto-tuning to an empty room don’t auto-tune for very long. And even if they do, no one can hear them.
I’ve found myself thinking similarly of late- when we feed people who want attention, we only encourage them. It’s hard not too, when they provoke a reaction, but it’s better when we don’t.
Of course my context has been usually sportswriters (SPORTS), whose opinions really get in my grill, or sometimes examples like you mentioned. There was an article in the National Post today by Christie Blatchford about the death of NDP leader Jack Layton (RIP) that was obviously trolling for a reaction, and had spawned internet outrage. “How dare she besmirch his reputation?!” and all that.
But in provoking that reaction, she got what she wanted. She may have made some good points, but they were lost in her attempts to provoke. When you do something for attention’s sake, there’s no value to it, and it’s hard to take seriously.
It’s surprising how satisfying things can be when you ignore the spectacle, and go for the substance.