Monday, June 15, 2015
DEATH BY YOUTUBE
I'm addicted to YouTube. It has long been one of my major sources for free entertainment. Within its wealth of video treasures I've found every type of music, from Bessie Smith to Kiri Te Kanawa. I watch opera, ballets, concerts, documentaries, silent films. I even watch episodes from TV shows like Doc Martin and the old Alfred Hitchcock series (to name a few).
So, what's not to like about YouTube?
Despite the many positive aspects, there's one thing that irks the hell out of me: the comments.
Those vicious, vile, nasty, ignorant, abusive, negative, shocking, crude, rude, offensive, insulting, asinine, hateful, horrific comments that people leave about the videos.
They are written by some of the most angry, bitter people imaginable. If words could kill, the YouTube community would be the slaughterhouse of the world.
If you leave a comment on any video - - no matter how brief or innocent it is- - you'll inevitably get hateful replies from people who will not only disagree with you, but will also insult your integrity, your race, religion, gender, and sexual persuasion (not to mention your grandmother and your puppy Bowser).
YouTube has long had a notorious reputation for a caustic comment community. I've heard that several attempts were made to monitor public comments and clean up the negativity, but - from what I have personally observed - the attempts have failed miserably.
Fortunately, anyone who posts a video on YouTube has the option of disabling the comments (which is an incredibly good idea) but most people, for whatever reason, don't do it.
Incidentally, the videos on my YouTube channel have never received any negative comments, but that's only because very few people ever watch my videos. Just give it time......
A simple video - like a religious hymn - will generate comment attacks by anti-religious zealots, heathens, Satanists, and pagans of all denominations.
Hey, if you don't like hymns, what the frickin' hell are you doing seeking them out on YouTube?
The other night I was watching the opera Tristan und Isolde on YouTube (a formidable task, at best). I happened to glance at the comments and, sure enough, the majority were anti-Wagner and extremely negative.
I was miffed enough to leave my own comment, which concluded with:
"If you can't handle Wagner, go back to the minor leagues."
It's not profound, but it made my point.
Hey, are you still awake? Wanna hear more examples? I've got plenty.
I recently watched a documentary about Anne Frank. You guessed it. This encouraged the Nazis to come out of the woodwork. The comments were dripping with anti-semitic venom. Anne Frank didn't exist. The diary is a fraud. The holocaust never happened. Jews are evil.
Holy shit - the Third Reich is alive and well.
I can sense that you're getting restless, so this will be my final example.
About a year ago, one of the Hollywood documentary videos on YouTube prompted a discussion about Diana Dors (of all people) and Marilyn Monroe.
I innocently (and foolishly) left a worthless comment which, in essence, said that Diana Dors never projected a particularly appealing on-screen image. Marilyn Monroe's personality was much more likeable.
This benign observation - inexplicably - rubbed some guy the wrong way and he pounced on me like a cougar. After posting several comments berating my opinion - - he then proceeded to tear me apart with personal attacks. I was stupid, ugly, uninformed. I didn't know anything about Hollywood, or films, or anything else for that matter.
"You write like an old person", he said. "You must be very very old and senile." (those were his exact words).
Hey, I'll give him credit for uniqueness. Of all the many insults I received during my lifetime, nobody has ever told me that I write like someone very old.
A day later I received an email from him. He said: "I looked VERY carefully at your profile photo and you're not quite as old as I thought."
Thank God I had posted a photo that was taken 300 years ago.
He then proceeded to send more emails, all filled with his initial venom and negativity.
I finally sent a brief reply:
"Your unwholesome obsession with me indicates that you might have a crush. You're wasting your time. I'm not interested in idiots or assholes."
I never heard from him again.
I have more personal examples but I'll skip them because nobody likes to read a long blog post - - even when it's good (*sarcastic smile inserted here*)