New Craze with the Kids: YouTube DJing
This isn’t your grandpa’s disco: although it is just as much an earth-shattering step forward for the music and art worlds as classics like Disco Duck and the monumental DiscoDome. Young adults across the world have recently taken to using the website YouTube one step beyond merely watching and now are using it to create. It started with one precocious 20-something man by the name of Fenton Longfellow.
“No, the idea didn’t come to me in the usual fashions; I didn’t dream it, I didn’t get knocked on the head while attempting to hang something in my bathroom, I didn’t go on a mystical vision-quest, I didn’t see it spelled out in my Alphabet soup. It really was much more mundane than anything like that. My spirit was taken over by God Almighty Himself. Not much more than that to really tell.”
Despite Mr. Longfellow’s modesty, there is much more to this story than his simple proclamation of being touched by the divine. His claim has sparked controversy in many circles. Many counter that God would not condone the furthering of the Interwebs, which is viewed by many as blasphemy against God. These fundamentalist groups feel that if God wanted people to chat online, google and twitter to one another, and V-blog about their daily woes, then He would have created humans with an ethernet input on their person. Chadwick Tricklestein is the leader of one of the more vehement groups, known as TWERP, which stands for Theological World Enterprise for Retrograding the Planet. His followers can keep updated about rallies and demonstrations through Mr. Tricklestein’s blog, http://www.twerpworld.org/StoptheInterwebs.
Despite the protests, or perhaps because of them, YouTube DJing continues to be one of the most popular activities with today’s youth. The basic concept is at a typical get-together, or in the parlance of the adolescents, a “party,” instead of playing CDs or the radio, someone will instead sit with at least one computer in front of them for the entire time, playing whatever they find on YouTube. Often times, the more adventurous and talented TubeJockeys will have multiple videos playing at once, fading them up and down and repositioning the cursor to cause the videos to jump or repeat clips, creating a menagerie of music videos, famous sports meltdowns and various other elements that come together to form a beautiful tapestry of sound. I managed to talk with the creator about his thoughts on the success of this new and shocking artform.
“It basically boils down to two important factors: One, people who have grown up with the expansion of the Internet do not like to make the effort to actually learn how to play an instrument themselves, so they rely on other people with talent posting it online somewhere so they can then manipulate it with a minimum of effort on their part and still be lauded by their peers as the next Mozart, Bach, or Singleton. And two, people love being able to say they’re a TubeJockey, whether at the professional or amateur level.”
Whether or not this new craze is eating away at the foundations of our society and corrupting the youth, turning all the children into hooligans and whores remains to be seen. But we can be sure of one thing: YouTube DJing is a force that has the power to reshape our very definition of humankind. It’s a brave new world out there in TVland, er… I mean Interwebville. Godspeed in venturing onto the computer, and pray God may have mercy on all our souls.