Monthly Archives: November 2006

Reasons YouTube Rocks!

I’d always intended to do a companion piece to my recent “Reasons YouTube Sucks” post and I’ve been prompted to do it now because somebody has linked to it from a forum somewhere which has sent a bunch of new readers here.  I think it’s only fair that while the negative article is generating some interest I take the time to highlight the positives.

There is no getting around the fact that the number one benefit of YouTube is that it’s free.  I’ve said this before but it really is astonishing that this service is available for free.  The second best feature of YouTube is that they’ve made it so damn easy to upload videos.  Once your account is set up, you upload videos with a few clicks.  No special software requirement.  You’re not made to jump through hoops.  You just get your videos up with a minimum of fuss.

Then there’s the audience.  The number of views enjoyed by the highest performers make it clear the potential audience offered by YouTube is well into the hundreds of thousands if not millions.  No other online platform offers this potential audience.  Nobody.  I’m open to being shown otherwise but I’m not aware of any podcasts that are being downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.  I’m not aware of any personal websites or blogs being viewed hundreds of thousands of times a day.

Another one of YouTube’s great advantages is that it’s the world’s biggest test lab – for amateurs and professionals alike.  Some professional producers are starting to work this aspect of YouTube out.  The opportunity to test what works and what doesn’t has never existed on this scale before.  This can work for TV, movies, music and advertising.  Forget test screenings and focus groups – that’s the past.  This is the future.

For me as an amateur (with greater aspirations) it’s an amazing platform for developing something that works.  The constant feedback loop is the best way to improve.  Stand-up comedians crave stage time because doing performances is the only way to get better.  But it’s fucking hard to get stage time!  YouTube gives you all the screen time you want and the potential for an incredibly broad cross-section of people to provide feedback.  Actually, the contradictions in the feedback provide me with quite a bit of amusement and I’m not talking about the “you suck/you’re great” contradictions.  I don’t know if the commenters notice that other people are saying the opposite but I’m always seeing “Do longer bits/do shorter bits”, “Do more like this/do less like this”, “Take your mask off/leave your mask on.”

And while I’d love to have the tens of thousands of subscribers that the top performers have, now that YouTube is the site on everybody’s lips I don’t have to reach everyone, I just have to reach the right people.  Case in point is the guys from “The Fizz”.  Like everyone else in the media, they’re trying to work out if this massive activity on YouTube can be turned into something they can sell.  So they’ve built a show around online videos and they’ve paid me actual currency to be part of their show.  So eat that shit sandwich all you haters!  Achieving you goals is definitely an awesome way to get revenge against fucked-up losers who try to drag you down. 

YouTube has also been incredibly good for simply providing an opportunity to interact with great people that I never would have come into contact with otherwise.  I’m not saying this just because this is the positive post to balance the negative one – the positive interactions outnumber and overpower the negative ones by a massive margin.  And not just for me, the number of marginalised people I have seen gain some positive interaction is fantastic.  Older people, isolated people, people with disabilities and people who were simply shy are finding this window onto the big wide world.  And that fucking rocks!

And let’s not forget the catharsis!  Lots of people comment to me that my anger is a great outlet for them – I get angry so they don’t have to or I inspire them to release their own anger positively.  How do you think it feels for me?  It is SO MUCH FUN to simply let loose and scream occasionally.  Admittedly, I don’t go crazy most of the time (I think it would get old if I did) but the creative outlet helps me be way more balanced and happy in my day to day life. 

That’s just a few of the reasons I spend about 40 hours a week doing this stuff.  Yes, that’s right 40 hours on top of my 40 hour a week day job.  When you combine the work I do on this blog with the videos it’s easily 40 hours in an average week.  This figure tends to space a lot of people out, they can’t fathom why I would spend so much time doing it.  My simple response is because I’m having so much fun.  Are they suggesting I should use that time doing something I enjoy less?

The shortcomings of YouTube haven’t stopped making me angry (the fucked-up commenting system drives me abso-fucking-lutely crazy!) but there’s no two ways about it.  Despite all its failings, YouTube rocks!

4 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Shopping for stage make-up, masks and costumes in Melbourne

Nobody in Australia knows how to use the fucking internet! I know this because every time I try to find something I want online I can’t fucking find it! Case in point: recently, I was doing exactly as the topic of this post says, shopping for stage makeup, costumes and masks here in Melbourne. I had this crazy idea that if I plugged those terms into Google, I’d find what I was looking for. No such fucking luck.

I had a bastard of a time finding what I was looking for. I did find one place that had bought the appropriate adsense keywords, so they at least knew how to pay to show up at the right time on Google. But the free listings (search results) were fucking useless. I’m desperately trying to give someone my money and they don’t know how to take it!

I eventually found a few places that weren’t too far away but it was a hard slog. I’m willing to bet that within a week I’ll be one of the top search results for this sort of thing. And I won’t have paid a cent to get there. I should get these stores to sponsor me. The good ones are REALLY good – they’re like Aladdin’s cave to me. So many possibilities with props, make-up and costumes. I’m thinking of taking a video just walking around one of these shops showing the various things and asking for suggestions on which ones I should use.

So when you see me occasionally introduce a new character in a video, it’s because I’ve been shopping and found a mask I like. Usually I find a mask and have no clear idea of how I’m going to use it – I just like it and so I get it. Then I spends some time (sometimes a long time) working out what sort of character suits the mask. I did this again on the weekend, I found a silver, almost featureless mask. It looked very android-y and I decided almost straight away I had to have it. It was so devoid of expression it was almost the anti-Mr Angry.

The initial idea I had was that this character would send back videos “from the future”. Quite a few people do this on YouTube to varying degrees of jokiness and success. Why should I be any different? I shot a video on Sunday but didn’t put it up until Tuesday night because I honestly thought it was kind of dorky. I have been surprised by the reception yet again – he seems insanely popular on YouTube. That surprise happens to me often – I’ll post something here or on YouTube thinking “people really aren’t going to like this” and everyone thinks it’s great.

Without further ado, I present the Blogging Bot with an important message from the future:

14 Comments

Filed under Internet, Video Blogging

Looking forward to a live review from Gruntski

I’ve just been talking to Gruntski on the phone and he’s bringing along a few people to the open mic night I’ll be performing at tonight.  This will be a first for me – one of my blog regulars coming along to a live performance.  On the off chance anyone else from Melbourne reads this it’s at the All Nations Backpackers, 2 Spencer Street, Melbourne at about 8.30pm.

Performing to drunk backpacker should be… an experience.  I’d actually prefer a large crowd of hostile drunks to a small, indifferent crowd.  Like Gruntski said, it will be a good introduction to Australian “culture” for the backpackers.  I’m thinking of opening the piece by saying “Welcome to Australia, motherfuckers!  If you think vegemite’s bitter, wait until you taste this.” 

I’m using this opportunity to refine the routine that I’m submitting to The Comedy Channel for their competition to get a spot on air.  I have the rest of the week to work on it so every chance to try something out is worth it.  Here are the first two iterations of my “Agile Comedy” experiment that have been posted to YouTube:

Version 0.1

The URL for this video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uph6uYz5kTE

Version 0.2

The URL for this video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIomX1lK1Lw

Just to expand the nerd talk, tonight’s performance will be beta release 1.

3 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Video Blogging

How to lose an argument

I continue to be a fuckwit magnet on YouTube.  Lucky, lucky me.  I’m glad I was already a cynical misanthrope because exposure to these cretins surely would have destroyed any sunny disposition I may have had.  The majority of inbred freaks still flock around my anti-nazi videos but they crop up all over the place from time to time.

The only thing that keeps me sane is treating them all like the pathetic jokes they are.  If I thought these freaks were really representative of humanity I’d have to take drastic action.  As it is, insulting them and taunting them is enough fun for me.  It’s flattering their bleating to call it an argument but they do fall into some of the classic “bad argument” traps.

My favourite is when they tell you what you HAVE to think in response to them or what you HAVE to do because of how they perceive you.  Most people (myself included) at least occasionally fall into the trap of saying to someone “You have to admit that…”  Usually this is just lazy misuse of language (the intended meaning is more like “do you see my point?”) but some of these freaks get really insistent.  They really really think I HAVE TO CONFORM to what they say.  They get well miffed when my response is to laugh at them.

The other frequent habit of the nazis that cracks me up is their apparent view that I should care what they think.  They tell me they hate me in a way that suggests I should be upset by this.  They really don’t seem to understand that being respected by such contemptible low-life would actually be a bad thing.  I’d know I was doing something wrong if I actually had nazis on my side. 

Then there are the common or garden variety haters.  I don’t know what it is about the internet that makes people act like utter fucking morons but people’s character flaws seem to magnify online.  I actually think the root cause is the feeling that people won’t have to answer for what they do.  In many cases, people are absolutely wrong when they think this way about their online “exploits” but this illusion of invulnerability is doubtless a big part of what makes people act in such an anti-social way.  Their behaviour is ten times more aggressive than anything they’d dare in real life because they think they’ll never have to answer for what they do.

I’ll indulge in a little armchair psychology here and put forward the theory that a lot of these people really aren’t very happy in their lives.  It seems as though they’ll feel better about themselves if they drag someone else down so their attacks tend to be rather arbitrary and nonsensical.  They don’t want to actually reach anyone in any meaningful way, they simply want to hurt for the sake of hurting.  God help you if you have anything that makes you different, any apparent disability or exhibit any sign of weakness or frailty.  Because I’ve seen these evil fuckers really rip into some vulnerable people.

Which leads me to wonder why the fuck they waste this effort on me.  They launch really pointless attacks on me (“you’re not funny,” “that mask is stupid,” “all Australians are dumb,”) and they seem to genuinely believe they’re going to upset me.  Sometimes I point out to them the obvious flaw in their approach.  Look at my videos, listen to the way I talk, read what I write.

What is there in all of that that leads you to believe you could possibly get to me you pathetic fucking loser?

7 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

The best job in the world

No, I’m not talking about my job.  Now, if I was being paid to blog and vlog that would be the best job in the world for me and what I want to do.  Actually, as a side note, I thing “vlog” is the wrong term for video blogs.  Blog was coined as a contraction for weblog so for the truly obsessive it would be spelled ‘blog to indicate some letters had been taken from the start of the word.  Following this convention, the currently broadly accepted terminology for video blogs would be punctuated as v’log because the contraction is in the middle.

I think for the sake of consistency olog would be better.  And it would be easier to say.  I don’t know about you, but I pronounce v’log as “vee-log”.  So we’re not even getting the efficiency of a single syllable contraction.  And don’t go telling me you pronounce it as a single syllable “vlog” because that sounds too much like blog and nobody will ever know what you’re talking about.  I know my readers aren’t that silly.

But “olog” sounds a bit crap.  I think is sounds better if you claim the entire sound from the last syllable of video so it becomes “yolog”.  That’s it!  I hereby embark on the pointless (and probably ultimately fruitless) quest to have video blogs known as yologs.  None of which has anything to do with what I was going to write today. 

I have decided the best job in the world must be to write for one of those tabloid gossip magazines.  If you can look past the fact you have to be a soul-less life-hating scumbag to work at one.  Look at the upside: you are paid to make shit up.  People give you money to vilify famous people who have lives much better than your own will ever be.  Everyone hates people with privileged lives.  Gossip mags are the ultimate revenge.

We’ve all seen them.  On the newsagent shelf or next to the supermarket register.  Colourful glossy mags screaming out “this person is too fat”, “that person is too skinny”, “so-and-so is on drugs”, “guess who’s gay?”  Always with the exclusive gossip regarding the collapse of a celebrity’s life “according to sources close to the star.”  I know I’d feel much happier if I could start each day by thinking “what celebrity do I want to fuck with today?”

Yeah, Tom Cruise… what has that fucker done for me lately?  Here’s a flash photo of Lindsay Lohan that makes her look a bit weird.  She’d probably look like that if she was on drugs!  Hey, check it out!  This photo has a shadow on that star’s face that could be a bruise if you use your imagination.  Let’s say they’re in an abusive relationship!

My girlfriend reminds me sometimes that this is the sort of shit I’m inviting upon myself by wanting to be famous.  That might be the definition of fame in the modern world – famous enough to be slandered by a gossip rag.  The thing is, I know I’m completely screwed if I ever attain any sort of fame under my own name.  I think you have to reach some sort of critical level of fame for the tabloids to start inventing lies of their own volition.  My problem is a psychotic revenge-oriented ex-girlfriend who would go to town if she ever saw my name in any media.

She hasn’t seen my name for a while because, in order to get away from her, after breaking up with her I changed jobs, moved address, changed phone number and changed email address.  Yes, she’s that fucking crazy.  I’ve thought of pre-empting any of her attacks on me by doing a series of yologs detailing her insane behaviour.  Then, if tabloids ever start quoting her, I can reply by saying “I’ve already documented what a psycho she is, if you want to hang your tissue-thin credibility on the ravings of an absolute lunatic, that’s up to you.”

I’m not all that worried.  The future for these shitty gossip rags is very limited.  One thing I would most definitely do if I got famous would be to maintain my blog.  I haven’t seen any celebrity taking effective advantage of blogging yet but it’s only a matter of time.  Why would anyone believe the bullshit gossip when they could communicate with the stars directly?  The only reason these gossipy tabloids (both print and broadcast) exists is because of the gap between stars and fans.  Take that away and you take away their power.

7 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Busy busy busy

Very busy weekend.  Kids parties, long drives, train rides.  Hardly even did any videos.  Here’s one; my take on the “Black Friday” sales:

2 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Public Dickheads

I’ve been touristy things today, taking the kids from rides on olde tyme steam trains.  So besides having toxic levels of soot in my system, I’m pissed off from having to deal with dickheads in public.  I don’t know if you’ve had the experience but for me, whenever I’m at a tourist attraction there’ll be some wanker who shoves their way past you to take the advantageous spot you’ve scored for yourself.

They don’t do anything extremely physically violent, you know, nothing you can have them arrested for but they’re really fucking obnoxious.  Basically, they do something beyond the normal bounds of decency and your only choices are to let the fuckers get away with it or call them on it which inevitably leads to an ugly confrontation.  These pricks don’t have the decency to be openly and honestly aggressive with their fuckwittery – they do their passive-aggressive shit and act like they’re doing nothing.

That’s what pisses me off the most – the type who acts like a really obnoxious prick but does it in a way that they think gives them “plausible deniability”.  When you call them on it, they act like it’s you who has a problem.  They go through life playing on the fact that the vast majority of human don’t want unnecessary trauma in their lives.  When some obnoxious fucker gives you static you’re more likely let them get away with it than invite even more shit upon yourself.  These bastards are in desperate need of a smackdown.

The funny thing is when two of them clash and inflict their stupid shit on each other.  This happened to me one time in the line at the supermarket.  The two fuckwads in question seemed really different; one was early twenties and the other was late fifties or early sixties.  But what they had in common was their identical fucked up personalities.  Basically they both realised they were going for the same spot in the same line from different directions and so they actually ran.  They raced each other for the spot in line.

They still ended up reaching the line at pretty much the same time.  So with no clear winner they both made it clear they were utter losers.  There was pushing and shoving (nothing aggressive enough to actually be called a fight) and some boisterous words.  Then one of them actually started trying to drag others in the line into their stupid shit, saying: “He’s an idiot isn’t her?”  At this point, I lost it and said in a rather direct and forceful tone (some wussies might have called it shouting):

“WHAT?  You want us to take sides?  You expect US to decide which of you is the bigger dickhead?  Because if that’s what you’re after, I can’t do it.  I’ve been watching the two of you in action and I can’t separate you.  Congratulations, you’re co-winners of the dickhead of the year award.  Now take this shit the fuck away from decent people you cretinous sacks of shit.”

Or at least that’s what I was thinking as I paid for my 40 litres of high-caffeine cola.

16 Comments

Filed under General Angriness