Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Look at Top YouTube Channels

I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos, mostly musical ones. Usually I wander around the site aimlessly, jumping from one recommendation to another, but today I got curious about what the great mass of the population is watching there. I got a list of the most popular YouTube channels from the Wikipedia and browsed through the top dozen of them, typing up my impressions.

1. PewDiePie

A Swedish guy plays computer games and tries to seem funny by making himself look pathetic. Sometimes he assumes an egomaniacal rapper-like persona, where the joke is supposed to be "look at this skinny White dude trying to be hardcore". That could be made to work, but doesn't in his case. I realize that he's very popular and I'm a random loser, but I can only report my own reactions, and I simply didn't find him funny.

2. HolaSoyGerman

I did not expect the second most popular YouTube channel in the world to be in Spanish, but I AM a language nerd and I do understand my Castellano. German (a first name) is a Chilean who tries to be funny in a more old-fashioned, less vulgar way than PewDiePie. He's better at it too, but not by very much.

3. YouTube Spotlight

Boring stuff like Top Uploads, Top Trending Videos of the Week, Animal Odd Couples, Life in 4K, The World's Most Dangerous Places and New Music This Week.

4. Smosh

American sketch comedy. If SNL is 1 and The Kids in the Hall were 10, then Smosh's Part Timers series is 0.5 and its Best [Blank] Ever series is 2. Snappy is the word that comes to mind in reference to the latter.

5. Justin Bieber VEVO

I've never seen a Bieber video before today. He seems like a nice guy. Frank Sinatra and the Beatles started their careers appealing to teenage girls, and they were great musically, both then and when they got older. Bieber isn't.

6. Rihanna VEVO

The only Rihanna song I've ever liked is the first one I ever heard of hers, SOS. There's a tiny sample there from Tainted Love, which is great itself. I've learned to hate most of Rihanna's repertoire while trying to work through the sound of co-workers' radios in the office.

7. One Direction VEVO

Feels creepy to say this, but I'm actually surprised by the quality. Almost no traces of R&B in the songs that I clicked on randomly - how did that happen? Melodies. I heard Auto-Tune in some of them though - that's never good.

8. Taylor Swift VEVO

In the words of the great Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "neither my heart nor my sense have ever been able to think of one without breasts as a woman." And look at all those bones. I used to think that most models and movie stars looked like that because they were picked by queers who fantasized about teenage boys. I've since learned that there are normal men who find that attractive too.

Her face is far above average, but still kind of goofy. For that kind of money they certainly could have found something better. The music and videos are blandly corporate.

9. Katy Perry VEVO

OK, old Jean-Jacques would probably have been satisfied here. And she's kind of smart, and the songs are a little better, but it's still not anything I'm likely to want to hear again.

10. Eminem VEVO

As bad as I thought it would be.

11. elrubiusOMG

More Español. Ruben Gundersen is a half-Spanish, half-Norwegian guy who films himself playing computer games. I'm not a gamer, but in contrast with PewDiePie, I at least understand why this guy became popular. He's funny and personable. The humor is entirely of the Mediterranean variety. Nordics like absurdity and laughing at pretentiousness. El Rubius is more into playful, winking machismo.

12. VanossGaming

Several guys joke and laugh while playing computer games. Most of the time I didn't understand what was supposed to be so funny.

And that concludes today's look into popular online tastes.