August 10th, 2007

Tom Lehrer is Smug

livin in the Amuh Nation

Is there any way you can disable the display of YouTube comments? Or at least filter them by the poster's IQ? Seriously. I want nothing but triple digits, please.

Actually, no, I don't want to see any comments at all. I don't care what anybody has to say about the video I'm watching. Yeah, thanks, redface201, I'm glad to know you felt so much about the content to post "omg wtf" or that you, coolmaanz3, firmly believed that "this sux" and that fortehhorde is of the opinion that this is "FAKE."

Honestly, what does this contribute to the user experience?


Absolutely nothing.

Nothing but brain-dead newbies taking typing lessons.

This is why the "total user interactivity of Web2.0!!!!!1" is, like Communism, a great idea in theory but an absolute failure in practice. Where's the point of failure? In the people -- though in Communism, it was the people in charge what couldn't handle stuff, but here, it's the idiots, and there sure are lot of them, who ruin the entire thing for the rest of us. YouTube, IMDB, GameFAQs, each site would be so much better if you didn't have to endure the rampaging torrent of idiocy and trolls. If you want to let them have their padded playground, ok, go ahead, let them have it, but please give me an Ignore feature.

Anyway. hermitgeecko and I saw a collection of Swedish animation at the Brattle last night. The pieces ranged from amusing to slapstick to depresso to so avant-garde it hurt (you'll learn Swedes love three things: horses, ticking clocks, and soul-crushing ennui.) The animation styles were all different; some clay, some photomanipulation, and one haunting piece that was drawn entirely in ballpoint pen. The program was short so there was an additional package of recent animated music videos, which were fun. I checked YouTube and found the three or four we especially liked:
  • Gnarls Barkley covering the Violent Femmes as computer-animated bugs. May not want to watch at work cause there's a Breakfast Club like crotch shot or two, but hey, you shouldn't be watching YouTube at work anyway, you slacker. The entire piece is bizarre and grotesque and whimsical and there are some great silly parts to it. And it's a decent cover of "Gone, Daddy, Gone" besides.

  • Young Folks by Peter, Bjorn & John, a song you've probably heard in passing and then whistled the tune for a while afterwards. The animation here is of the cheap repeated paperdoll motion variety, but in pure hipster fashion, it looks like a Partridge Family comic book or something. I'll also note that the lead singer of the group sounds way too much like John Lennon for anybody's good.

  • The Owl by "I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness" (an unwieldy but bleakly humorous name, you must admit.) Holy shit. This one manages to capture so much emotion and tension and darkness with black, white, and a bit of yellow and orange, playing off the positive-negative spaces and the imagery of a plucked string and then WHOA. I have never seen so much desperation in a closeup of a single eye before, and I've never seen so much menace in an abstract closeup. Wow. hermitgeecko was really affected by this one. It's borderline emo but it's on the "oh my god" side of that line.

  • Kid Koala's Basin Street Blues, which was the one that got me the most. It's an amazingly haunting animated bit of surrealism and a New Orleans jazz funeral set to Kid Koala's unsettlingly delirious turntable take on the song, which does not keep to the "rules" of standard songs and as such lurches you around and you either hate it for its eccentricity or you appreciate it for that. Kid Koala's playing the instruments on the turntables -- or rather, he's playing the turntable as an instrument. And that's incredibly awesome. Check out how he does Moon River live, and watch around the 2:15 mark. That's some skill there. (Ok, there's one bit of good knowledge in one of the comments; he's using a sample of Paul Varjak's typewriter at the beginning of the song. But the OMG UVE RUIEND A CLASSIC idjit can go pound sand.)
All pretty interesting pieces, love 'em or hate 'em, but I don't need to read what the mouthbreathers have to say. Just let me enjoy the pikturznmuzik on my own, thanks.