One of the great joys that I take in life is the ability to seek out fresh and new (sometimes only “new to me”) art in all forms: music, film, literature, and so on. With the internet constantly at our fingertips, in our pockets, and on our desktops there is no real reason why independent, or atypical (or new [or fresh]), content isn’t at the forefront of every minds and on the tip of every tongue.
So why, dear readers, does everyone just watch reruns of reruns of reruns of reruns of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy on a/many streaming service(s), paying hand over fist in monthly fees to eighteen different old-media shogunate?
If I, foolish as I am, choose to unsheathe my good ol’ pal Occam’s razor to take hackish hacks at this phenomena I may come to the conclusion that this is what everybody wants. The free market is functioning fairly and an endless streaming void is the future. We all love spending eternities on horrific cross-bar menu hellscapes until our weary eyes fall on something familiar. The data tells us somewhat of the truth; Most people tend to be happy with their subscriptions (although they often do not realize how much they spend [oof] ).
What I’m speaking of, or rather to, is the effect the streaming service model on the way we elect to absorb content in brief moments of respite from our day-to-day. Streaming services do just that; they streamline the content absorption experience. The problem here is that the exploration of art and content should not be a process that can be reduced to a cross-menu system.
YouTube has been one of the shining bastions online for independent or atypical content creators and artists since its inception. YouTube continues to be an excellent tool when placed in the right hands. I, personally, consume most of my content from YouTube. This is not an advertisement.
One of the beautiful aspects of “YouTube” as a genre of new-media is the sharing of seemingly uncommon interests. A niche hobby or field of study can grow its own audience if the creator can manage the back-end. I have always had an interest in computing, and I often make the parallel between classic cars and retro computing when asked. The incredible wealth of information and real know-how that one can get from “””nobodies.”””
YouTube content creators have introduced me to many of (what became) my favorite pieces of art. Then, explorer as I am, I would begin digging on my own. Much of Heck’s content is derived from something bizarre or atypical that I, or any of my cohorts, find exciting or meaningful. The constant need to conduct amateur digital anthropological studies to find a diamond in the rough is thrilling. Making your friends sit down with you to watch the newest disasterpiece movie you unearthed is an experience that I hope everyone gets to enjoy. Get a strange record, or tape, and listen to it tip to tail. Then tell everyone you know.
But this won’t happen if you keep watching Friends.
But this won’t happen if you keep watching The Office.
But this won’t happen if you keep watching a copy.
But this won’t happen if you keep watching a copy of a copy of a copy.
However, this could happen if you did something about it.
Go out of your way to watch something you normally wouldn’t. Go out of your way to read something you normally wouldn’t. Go out of your way to bring some life to your existence. Then tell every single person you can.
And let me know when you do, because I want to check it out too.
-Brendan C. Bush, co-owner and contributor at Heck Media