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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
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Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs YouTube has changed Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #581 New July 11th, 2019 04:06 PM
When I first cruised over to YouTube it had an eclectic collection of videos. The topics were various. No one dominated. There were no influences from major media companies of any sorts. But now everytime I go there, logged out that is, all of the videos are presenting media figures and promoting major media properties.

I don't recognize any of the names, but they're actors or people who were grabbed off the street to get shoved into some reality show or some other media property, and presented as having something emotionally important to say. Actor or media figure X responds to actor or media figure Y I guess the idea is that people wrapped up in so called "star power" tune in or click on said link to see so and so present some emotion to such and such.

I remember years back there was some guy on that show "Big Brother", who got kicked out of the house and then tried to confront whoever had voted him out of the home. No, I didn't watch the show, but I caught the promo clip with the narrative soundbite describing what was happening. And then some time later some female producer was being interviewed about the guy and why she was pushing to "make him a star", and her response was "He's just got this energy." Well, read that as a male who could show to the audience how to stand up to people, or give off negative vibes and retain an audience. And, when I was shopping I saw his face on the cover of TV Guide in some ridiculous pose with his name plastered underneath.

That's kind of all of what's on YouTube's homepage now. I tend to stay logged in, so I don't see it that often, but this never used to be the case when I first went there, maybe a year or two after the site first got started. How the net has changed.

Further, most of the homepage videos have people staring at the screen with their eyes wide and mouths open. Pretty annoying stuff. I remember way back in middle school my photography instructor stated that you wanted to catch people in action poses. So, as a result, from the mid to late 60s onward you see a lot of progressively more active subjects for photography. Personally, I happen to be of the school of catching people at their most comported moment. When they're most dignified. Catching people when they're excited or startled doesn't really catch the essence of anything, just the moment when they were startled.

What on Earth does this have to do with Traveller? Eh, not a whole lot as such, but Traveller strikes me as being middle of the road normal in terms of media presentation. We don't see too many figures or subjects emotionally responding to some other popular figure for the sake of exposition for the camera. You see images of stories. In the Mega Traveller Referee's Book and Players' Guide we see snippits of action sequences, or scenes from a space opera. We don't see people staring at "the lens" with their mouths open and eyes wide. We don't see exposition for the sake of it. Partially because RPGers tend to be … not above media manipulation, but aware and otherwise somewhat better alert, even if subconsciously, or media manipulation and stimulation for the sake of it, or to meet some sociological agenda.

That's pretty much true with all games. I remember Dietrick's cover art for a variety of games. The Starter Traveller box cover being essentially my absolute all time favorite next to his Trailblazer game cover. Those images are media manipulation, but are designed to spark the imagination. With pictures of public figures you typically get a photo that reflects the emotional mood of the headline. Say something like "George Bush contends with Iraq", and you see a photo of him look off and away from the camera as if in a kind of contemplative forlorn stupor, as if worried, sad and otherwise emotionally concerned or distressed about when our invasion of Iraq was in its second stage of quelling Saddam Hussein loyalists. That verse a photo of him addressing the legislature or fielding questions at a press conference. but even there you would see him with his mouth partially open as he spoke, probably in a posture with his hand raised to point or otherwise gesture.

And that's the state of media. To me way of thinking, we're in another sensationalistic period of public manipulation by expository media. There's no real sense of giving what is proper, but catching action for the sake of catching action for its own sake.

And the content of YouTube videos has changed drastically. It used to be "Dad and I fishing in the local river." Stuff like that is still uploaded, but now it's more or less major media company promos in every single category.

Everything from Kids and Teenagers react to Video-X or Thing-Y to Beyonc้'s latest thing to why or what Taylor Swift thinks of thing-Z. Avengers cast reunion (the movie just came out this year I believe), to what no-name high-profile untrained actor media figure C is doing when they go shopping.

What a cesspool. Truly. So, I tend to stay logged into YouTube. But it's the other "political" or "moral" reason I favor games over media. Games, warsims and RPGs, are an extension of the story tradition. They don't offer anything that isn't so. Eh, Traveller, as per previous log entries, had that "tease and lead" marketing strategy with the LBBs; i.e. give a piece of equipment in this supp, then offer another in the next and so on", but like its contemporaries it didn't try to sell you on an emotional message and concept for the sake of media hype. Oh sure, the OTU took over what was supposed to be a GURPS like game, but that game more as a result of the games evolution, not a bait and switch by people who felt that society needed a vent and to be manipulated for the sake of emotional and psychological health.

In a sense YouTube is now a blessing and a curse, and a victim of its own success in that it is now a defacto major network, if not the dominant network above and beyond anything the old three (ABC, CBS and NBC) could have ever hoped to achieve during their hay day. I'm glad of that. I really am. I'm glad science and technology have helped democratize media and bring other voices to the realm of media so that people can more easily digest ideas. The down shot is that there's just an inordinate amount of pure garbage on YouTube, and a lot of it comes from major media companies. The upshot is that unlike TV, where if there was nothing on then you chose the least offense thing to tune into, with YouTube and other online media you can go find whatever it is you want to see. Or go frag on some game server.

Even so, I'm sorry to say that the home page for YouTube now has all the mainstream bullshit that I and others were trying to avoid in the first place by going to online media like YouTube. I mean this morning I saw absolute junk about some young woman spending a fortune at Walmart … I think on cosmetics. I saw another about the hype in the NFL, what teams are hyped and what teams aren't … even if you're a fan of the NFL you don't follow the hype, you follow player statistics and win loss records. Or some other thing about … checking here … what minority media figure A, things about minority singer B, in major media property C. It's just pure nonsense and idiocy. Real moronic topics that, were it not for YouTube, wouldn't get the time of day.

So, like I say, YouTube is a victim of its own success. And on that note it actually is kind of harder to find stuff that you like that isn't mass media related, but it's still possible. the other down side is that there were thousands (probably millions) of YouTube users who didn't understand copyright laws, and kept uploading movies and TV shows that they had no part of and clearly did not own. I mean I confess to seeing a few movies that I otherwise would not have paid for to see in the theatre, but I'd blow a fuse if I saw someone doing that to anything I shot.

I imagine there are YouTube like sites in the 3I on freer worlds. I imagine there's as much BS being uploaded in the OTU as there is here in the real world. Oh well. Even so I'm sure there's stuff like "Repair your own jumdrive" or "these starship hacks will make your life easier" kind of stuff too. For the more mercenary there's probably several videos comparing ACRs or High Energy Weapons … "So, I tried the Ling Standard's M118 long barrel plasma "rifle" with my suit out on the Efate moon shooting range, and what I found was that the power to damage ratio wasn't nearly as much as …" That kind of thing.

Anyway, I'm going to go back topside of my scout ship, and lounge in the ocean as she takes in more unrefined fuel. A side note, as per the "Behind the Claw" podcast I did not know that scout ships were designed to work with unrefined fuel, and didn't suffer misjumps. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Prepare to lounge around with a tall cool drink in my hand... LOUNGE!
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