by Alex Juhasz — Pitzer College
September 02, 2009 – 12:30
So the internet/web 2.0 allows you and I to meet, talk, and learn together, creating new communions and opportunities for weirdness (YouTube shares but does not OWN this). Hi and thanks. It’s really great to meet you. Your response is really provocative and I am loathe to try to sum up my thoughts quickly, but here goes:
Undoubtedly and wonderfully, YouTube allows participants (viewers and makers) hitherto unimagined opportunities to see themselves and the world. But as rpdc80 comments on your blog, that does not mean they are doing so critically. This is not to say everyone needs a Ph.D., but rather, if we don’t also grow other opportunities for radical expression/inquiry (education, literacy, theories of media and politics, queer theory, etc.) along with access to mediamaking tools what is mostly produced occurs without the power of histories and theories of art, politics, the body, sexuality, etc. and it tends then, to primarily refer to what people already know, dominant media, which is most often paltry, mediocre, and ungiving.
I love your idea that the muddle can produce clarity and introspection. That does make sense to me. When I watched Footballbob’s video for my class, and he told me on later discussion that it was actually REAL, that rocked my world. Again, given that we now watch so quickly, and with such callous disregard, I would ask what else is needed within (or around) a video to push the viewer to this moment of introspection. Is it the dialogue you have with your friend Ryan, for example. I find that sort of communion impossible on YouTube (but possible on blogs and in real life), I have written in other places about why conversation is so purile on YouTube, and here I blame the corporation that denies us community on the site to keep us searching, moving eyeballs to advertisements…
Doom-and-gloom? I suppose. I’m sorry. I do love Miranda, and the pregnant girls too, but in another article about queer rep on YouTube I suggest that movements (and people) need more than isolated blips of feeling. We need things to be connected through shared ideas and goals. It is hard for me to understand either of these stand alone videos in that light. Now, on your blog, that’s another matter. They are linked, re-purposed, focused, and used towards your (personal and political) ends.