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Analyzing Analog Horror

Analog Horror refers to the genre of horror created with the aesthetic of Analog technology, that is to say shot on video, "found footage".

Within the subgenre there exists quite a number of breakthrough hits such as "Backrooms" "Local 58" and "The Mandela Catalogue"

What draws people to this genre and what can be said about the genre tropes and themes? What is the appeal and is there a lesson that can be garnered from the creation of these works?

  • Good start, but you might want to delve a bit more into what analog horror is, or how your examples achieve it. If you don't know what found footage is (and I, for one, only have a vague idea), you might be a bit confused. – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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  • I was just thinking of leading a topic for this subject too. I think the evolution of analog horror is fascinating, its origins (I think) layered from many concepts and ideas from YouTube. I think constantly about what makes this niche sub genre scary, and what draws people in. This would be a great topic, especially to see where it’s grown from. – eaonhurley 2 months ago
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Taken by eaonhurley (PM) 2 months ago.
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The Impact of Thug Notes

On June 3, 2013, comedian and actor Greg Edwards began a series of web videos called Thug Notes. Using the persona Sparky Sweets, Ph.D., Edwards summarized and analyzed classic novels using a mix of modern language and "street slang" (e.g., a character who is murdered is "iced" or "murked," a hard-working character is said to be "hustlin’.")

Thug Notes’ mix of humor, slang, and absolute respect for classic literature helped the series carve a unique niche in the world of web and educational videos. Each video has garnered a plethora of views, and the series’ popularity has encouraged viewers to read or reread books that might not have felt accessible before (many "newer" videos contain a promotion that begins, "Hey, get the book!" followed by a web address at which to do so).

Discuss the impact of Thug Notes, using any of these or other elements. You might choose to discuss favorite episodes, or compare and contrast certain episodes. Also, discuss whether Thug Notes, which has not posted new content in a while, would be an acceptable platform for discussions of more contemporary literature, particularly that which is currently under censorship. Discuss whether a series similar to Thug Notes would work for other subjects. For instance, could there be a Thug Notes-style series for math? History? Theatrical productions?

  • While I am not familiar with Thug Notes, I think it is worth mentioning that there have been other similar things for other subjects- while it's aimed at a slightly younger audience, Horrible Histories similarly aims to educate in a more 'accessible' and fun manner than, say, a more conventional history book. While Thug Notes may be the first internet example, and it a popular choice, it's been preceded by many other authors and creators attempting to do similar. – AnnieEM 4 months ago
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BreadTube and The Politics of Media Consumption

Youtube and Twitch have quite notable political niches respectively, but with regards to Leftist Thought, there was/is a loose subgroup of notable creators, Contrapoints, Philosophy Tube, Big Joel, Hasanabi, amongst others who all in someway were affiliated with the term, "Breadtube", taken from "The Conquest of Bread" by Kropotkin.

As universal marker there was a general tone of rebuttal to right-wing political talking points and media but as time has gone on and the subgroup more tenuous it can be asked what is/was "Breadtube" and why did/does it exist?

There has been a marked pushback against many of the creators for a variety of reasons such as their seemingly lacking political advocacy and poor racial representation.

It could argued that there was never a "Breadtube" and that fans of the creators were reading too much into various creators friendships.

There is also room for discussion of the idea of using vaguely Anti-Capitalist talking point a brand without delving into what the concepts actual mean.

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    The Cultural Return to Paris

    Paris has always been a hub of artists, intellectuals and wanderers from the surrealists to the Lost Generation. Recently, one can see a return to the city of love in influencers and vloggers such as Moya Mawhinney, Leah’s Fieldnotes and others. Why are social media personalities leaving places like LA and New York and once again gravitating to Paris?

    • Main reason people are leaving L.A is because the cost of living is high. Not only that but L.A has a high rate of of crime and homelessness. This combined with the an increased ability to work from home and upload your art work digitally (whether you're a writer, musician, or visual artist.) there is no longer a need to be on location for work. – Blackcat130 5 months ago
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    • Mild book recommendation for whoever chooses to write this article and/or is interested in the topic: We'll Never Have Paris, edited by Andrew Gallix (Watkins, 2019). It's a great recent collection of short stories and essays by contemporary authors meditating on their relationships to Paris. – ProtoCanon 5 months ago
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    • People seem to be getting more and more disillusioned by the concept of the American Dream by the day. In particular, I would imagine that those who can afford to live in LA are particularly prone to romanticizations of Paris, and want to make a pilgrimage to that heart of culture/intellectual life. I also think of the period after crisis-- WWII-- resulting in a huge flourishing of intellectual and artistic activity in Paris, I wonder if there is a similar phenomenon happening now with COVID (though it isn't "over" we are living in the aftermath of the initial shock of this disaster). – lilikleinberg 5 months ago
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    The Impact of the Princess Rap Battle

    Several years ago, YouTuber Whitney Avalon gave us a mashup not many people were expecting–Disney princesses competing against each other in rap battles. Some princesses, like Cinderella and Belle, competed alone, while others, like Rapunzel and Anna, competed as couples with their respective princes. Over time, Avalon expanded to Disney and non-Disney villains (Queen of Hearts vs. Wicked Witch of the West), and non-Disney heroines (Dorothy vs. Alice).

    The result was a series of memorable, humorous, and surprising videos that showed princesses and heroines in new lights and arguably made the rap battle and surrounding culture accessible to broader audiences. Until Whitney Avalon, it’s fairly unlikely that most of us, this writer included, ever pictured majority-white, extremely feminine princesses and heroines spitting clever, deep-cutting hip-hop lyrics.

    Discuss the impact and influence of the Princess Rap Battles, especially when compared to other battles of their type (ex.: Epic Rap Battles of History). Do you think these battles make rap and hip-hop more accessible to women, Disney fans, and other such audience, or does the term Princess Rap Battle pigeonhole them? It’s been awhile since the last Princess Rap Battle; what might Whitney Avalon do to improve on the content and bring new audiences in? What do these battles say about the structure and poetry of rap, hip-hop, and battles in general?

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      Critic vs. Chick: Who Does Nostalgia Better?

      Circa 2008, YouTube gained a new channel and star in Nostalgia Critic, AKA Doug Walker. Going by that name and the hfaandle ThatGuyWiththeGlasses, Doug Walker gave viewers scathing, humorous reviews of nostalgic movies, shows, and commercials from the ’80s-’90s. "I remember it so you don’t have to," he begins almost all of his (early) videos.

      A while after the Nostalgia Critic came to fame, he held a contest to find a female counterpart. The result was the stardom of Lindsey Ellis, Nostalgia Chick. As her name implies, Nostalgia Chick covers content the Critic doesn’t, mostly content aimed at a female base. She tends to focus her reviews on feminist criticism and the portrayal of female characters.

      However, both critics’ reams of views indicate their fans are not necessarily divided by sex or gender. Both sexes can enjoy both critics, so what, other than feminist or non-feminist content, distinguishes the two? Is one critic inherently "better" than the other, and if yes, why? Have changes in the videos’ formats, such as Critic and Chick appearing together or with other characters, changed the conversation about their content? What kind of viewers do Chick and Critic cater to, regardless of gender (i.e., would you recommend a new viewer go to one person or the other for a certain type or "tone" of content)?

      • Interesting topic. While a part of me can appreciate the time capsule-esque approach of comparing Walker and Ellis's work as if it were still 2013 and they were both still affiliated with Channel Awesome -- there may be a nostalgic impulse at play here (so meta!) -- I cannot help but feeling that it would be a grave omission to disregard the career trajectories of both figures since Ellis's departure in 2014. Though his channel is still active, Walker has arguably experienced a slight fall from public grace based on reports of his mistreatment of former employees (including Ellis), and one need only look at the reception of his recent video on Pink Floyd's The Wall to see what little respect his industry peers still have for his critical prowess. Ellis, on the other hand, now independently runs one of the leading video essay channels on the site (nearly eclipsing Channel Awesome in terms of subscribers), works for PBS, and has become a New York Times Bestselling novelist. The complexities of their parallel career arc goes far beyond the simple male vs. female paradigm suggested by your prompt. This is not to say that that paradigm is not, itself, worth exploring, but it may be more generative as only the first act of an ongoing story. Just my two cents. – ProtoCanon 1 year ago
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      On Cancel Culture

      Oftentimes, a book or poem will be criticized for having racial or otherwise derogatory slurs. Most of these books will be from less modern times, when the usage of such slurs were still acceptable. Other times (though much less often), a book will use slurs in order to emulate language used in a particular time period (ex. the n-word for pieces set during the Civil War era). These books may be ‘cancelled’ because it is deemed inappropriate to use slurs during modern times.

      However, as mentioned above, it is also common for books that are considered classical literature to be cancelled as well for using slurs. Where does ‘cancel culture’ draw the line when it comes to classical literature? Should classical literature be ‘cancelled’ for liberally using slurs when it was common in that time period? What about pieces meant to specifically emulate language from an olden time period? Is it acceptable to read literature (and specifically, make movies) that use slurs?

      • "cancel culture" is very rarely actually applied to literature. To Kill a Mockingbird is still taught in schools worldwide, let alone the united states. most of the time "cancel culture" is only invoked when celebrities are held accountable for their actions – Bombatwombat 1 year ago
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      • Interesting topic. I believe "cancel culture" is different from the book bans you're referring to that often impact the ability for classic literature to be taught in schools. This is a difference that's definitely worth examining, though! – Sophia 1 year ago
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      • From reams of fairytale retellings, to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, from Meg and Jo to Circe, the literary world bursts with retellings of classic novels. – asmaaphilip 1 year ago
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      • This is a really interesting topic! It’s especially common right now with celebrities on social media. You could definitely tie this topic into the idea of classic literature and it’s importance in school systems for learning purposes. – paytonphillips 1 year ago
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      • I believe emulation of a previous time is fine - when it is done in a fictional capacity that is simply there to create a sense of realism. What ISN'T okay is using language, ideas, or ideologies from "less than modern times" in contemporary times. That is what cancel culture usually targets; actors, actresses, stores, brands etc that continue to adopt racist or otherwise offensive behaviors or language. 'Cancel culture' encouraged the rejection of Nivea products when they - in the modern age - reportedly said that "Nivea doesn't do gay", and J K Rowling has faced the rejection of her fanbase when she came out with derogatory comments about transsexual women. And yes, books may be criticized when they seemingly encourage or unnecessarily include derogatory language or behaviours; but that is different from cancel culture. – TheGrandDuck 1 year ago
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      Celebrity & Pandemic: Is Celebrity Culture Dying?

      During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen celebrities and high profile people use social media in a way that has roused both negative and positive response. However, a quick internet search of celebrities and the pandemic leads to overwhelmingly negative titles: A headline for the NY Times says "Celebrity Culture is Burning" and BBC asks, "Is the age of celebrity over?" Think of images of celebrities on their private islands, flaunting their wealth, and hosting parties — all while preaching "we’re all in this together!"

      To think more specifically, some examples that comes to mind include: the celebrity-sung "Imagine" video, or John Krasinski’s web-series "Some Good News," or even the host of sourdough videos made by celebrities on their Instagram stories.

      How is celebrity changing/how has it changed during the coronavirus pandemic? Are there any examples or sources of joy and positive affect coming from celebrity culture? Or are the overwhelmingly negative headlines right to say that celebrity culture is burning?

      • Very interesting. I cannot say that I've seen any of these other articles you've mentioned, but I'd be curious to read them now, and see what arguments they make in defense of that thesis. I suspect one death knell for celebrity culture was that much maligned celebrities-singing-"Imagine" video, with its palpable chasm between its authors' expected reception and its actual audience's kneejerk cringe. However, on the other side of the coin, I would argue that Covid has presented new templates of celebrity that did not exist prior. Anthony Fauci and (our Canadian counterpart) Theresa Tam have long been well-known in medical and epidemiological circles, but the pandemic turned them into household names. On a different corner of the same side of the coin, I wonder if Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin would have ascended to celebrity status they way they did if not for the pandemic. Lastly, if celebrity culture is in fact declining, I wonder how much of that is necessarily a direct result of the pandemic -- correlation not being synonymous with causation. One significant (non-Covid) factor that I can see as being responsible for this decline is the rise of so-called "Cancel Culture" (which is a complicated subject, too big to unpack here), in which celebrities are being held accountable for their problematic actions/statements/views, and being stripped of their power as a result. In addition to dispossessing existing celebrities of their cultural capital, this trend may also prove to make acquisition fame a less desirable goal for others, who might be dissuaded by overwhelming public scrutiny, social media's acceleration of the process, and the knowledge that very minor transgressions can fuel Twitter-mobs just as much legitimate sexual assault and/or bigotry. Just some food for thought. – ProtoCanon 2 years ago
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      • Interesting. If you ask me, celebrity culture can take a hike. It turned my stomach to hear them preaching about empathy and togetherness when as you said, they weren't losing anything or making sacrifices. You could also talk about how some celebrities *attempted* to spread joy but actually exploited certain groups (e.g., celebrities or news anchors using feel-good stories of people with disabilities doing everyday things as "hope in these uncertain times," so to speak). – Stephanie M. 1 year ago
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      • I actually think that celebrity culture is, in many respects, the same as it ever was. Celebrities have always attempted to champion whatever causes were relevant to the day, even if they had no bearing on their actual lives. Furthermore, just as there have always been people willing to lavish attention and love on celebrities (and always will be) so too have there always been people willing to write them off as narcissistic, shallow and-out-of-touch. What's changed, I think, is that with the pandemic people have fewer things to distract them from the activities and sanctimony of the celebrities. Additionally, it does seem to me that the type of celebrities that people flock to are different. In other words, while people used to lionize movie stars and singers, now they are more likely to focus on the lives and actions of political figures instead. For instance, I notice lately that a lot of people have been treating the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, as if he were a god. On the opposite side are those who are doing the same thing to Dr. Fauci. At the same time, both of these people have as many utter detractors as fans, just as with any other celebrity. – Debs 1 year ago
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      • This is an interesting topic. The pandemic has truly changed how we view celebrities because we have been able to view them on a day-to-day basis and see that they aren't so different from us after all. We have always had this idolization of celebrities without really considering their flaws and true nature. This pandemic has been interesting in being able to strip everyone down to who they really are and show that celebrities aren't exactly something to be idolized. Or even just showing how out of touch they really are with the rest of the world. While people are struggling to pay rent or find food, and they are lavishing in multimillion dollar homes, complaining about the pandemic. It has truly stripped away the glamour and revealed the wide disparity that I believe we have been willfully blind to before. – SSartor 1 year ago
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