Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ubran Camping, Boondocking, and RV Life

RV Nightlife & Desert Boondocking 

How did I get hooked on this guy's videos? Why did I even start watching them? Who cares? Nomadic Fanatic is a YouTube superstar phenomenon. But to understand it you have to embrace the knowledge that YouTube offers everyone the potential to publish, distribute, and "monetize" self-create videos - and that there is a group of folks who've risen to that challenge and done quite well for themselves . Also, that for millions of others, the promise of doing this themselves is a very appealing daydream. Further, for gazillions of YouTube viewers (I think I'm one of them) YouTube provides the material needed for some seemingly innocent escapist viewing.

This guy's YouTube "Channel", his ongoing series of videos, one that is supplemented with fresh videos for fans hungry for their next fix of someone else's life and commonplace adventures, is currently one of the most popular. As of this writing he's posted some 400+ videos over the past few years. Nomadic Fanatic ‘s opening credits state "Eric & Jax - Urban Camping, Boondocking, and RV Life.” Jax, by the way, is Eric’s side-kick, his traveling companion and roomie; his chubby, but ever so appealing cat.

Talk about a 'just beyond the average man's reach' fantasy/day dream, Eric offers us wonderful tales of derring-do on the order of "Will he get kicked out of Walmart's parking lot by security or the town police and have to find another place to park for the night?" - "Will he make enough money by selling stickers bearing his logo to help pay for a new transmission?"- "What will he make for himself for Thanksgiving Dinner in his RV's little kitchen?" - "Will Jax, his cat, be difficult at the vet's office?" You get the picture, Eric IS having an adventure, but it's the sort of adventure any and all of us could hope to have, if only... And it is very appealing.
But there's more to it. Apparently, at least the way one is lead to infer by gleaning bits and pieces of information provided over the course of many, many different videos, Eric supports himself in having his adventure, in traveling the U.S. unencumbered by a job and home to pay for (I mean a permanently rooted, brick and mortar home, not his modest RV home on wheels) largely by the money he earns through YouTube. As a content poster he has opted for one of their plans to have advertising appear along with his videos and he appears to get a small fee every time someone like you or I play one of his videos. I noticed (and this information is in small print below all YouTube videos) he has over 65 thousand folks like me subscribing to his little 10 minute-ish epics and he has garnered a very, very significant number of views so far.

One of the very refreshing dimensions to Nomadic Fanatic, and his digital peers who make similar videos on all manner of subjects,  is the understanding that here we have a guy who makes little movies about how he is a nomadic adventurer, free as a bird and loving every minute of it, and viewers, to whom this idea and the unfolding details of it in each subsequent video appeal so greatly, are, in effect, supporting him in actually living this way as his reality :) But then again, it's also clear that maybe he's not totally free. In the end, this clever soul, who, if I recall correctly from one of  his long past episodes was a bonafide film student, is probably living his life in a way that is calculated to produce interesting videos. Seen from a certain angle, he appears to simply be a purveyor of entertainment, one who seemingly must live out the life he portrays so that he can continue living it. In this, YouTube has presented us with a fresh and fascinating variety of existential complexity. 

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