Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"Oh my god, I wanna give him a hug!"

YouTubers React to Fine Bros Trademarking REACT 

I've got to start this piece off by stating that until I saw the video above, "YouTubers React to Fine Bros Trademarking REACT" I never heard of the Fine Brothers, nor of their hyper-successful YouTube video "brand" called REACT. And this, no doubt, makes me a YouTuber wannabee, a naive, a Johnny Come Lately to the world of YouTube. I confess!

This video is actually a bit of commentary about some recently dropped news bombshell that clearly matters to some YouTube insider cognoscenti: news that involves the Fine Bros overstepping some kind of boundary - a boundary that I think they had made in an unspoken way with their very large audience. And  thanks to this video, I think I'm caught up on what obviously was years of videos and millions of views... videos that conformed to and exploited a format that the Fine Bros came up with: provide a prompt, a YouTube prompt, and make a video that shows how a certain group of viewers, reacts to it. So maybe, after all, I didn't have to be there to witness (as it happened) all of that video posting  and  other peoples' entertaining reactions to things on the REACT videos just to get the all important context.  That's good because I didn't really much care about whatever this flap is all about. I just wanted to find some of these guys' videos to watch and enjoy.

I generally feel obliged to do my due diligence about things I investigate. And so I used the YouTube search function to find a few examples of these guys' REACT videos. I mean, I just had to know. Many were offered to me by the search engine, but choosing one was simple, I just HAD to see what kids would say as they reacted to The Beatles. And you know what? I got hooked on this whole meshugenah idea immediately. This is some great stuff. Who woulda' thought that in this hyper-sophisticated, hipster dominated age of high tech media nonchalance, that something as basic as watching other people react to something they are unfamiliar with – their being so human in their opinionated, un-self conscious way, would be so enchanting? What did I know? It turns out this stuff really grabs me!

And, I've got to hand it to those Fine Bros. I mean, what a great set up. Gather a few smart and camera friendly kids of various ages and have  them react to The Fab Four by, you guessed it, showing them YouTube videos of old footage of them. There's their appearance way back when I was still in high school, a mere gazillion years ago, on The Ed Sullivan Show. And there's one of their groundbreaking music videos from the Psychedelic 60s. Remember them? And by now I must have heard a thousand times already how The Beatles anticipated MTV and music videos by decades, and it's true, they did.

But man, let me tell you, watching this video of the kids watching The Beatles is psychologically loaded. Honestly, it's difficult for me to reminisce about and confront this stuff from the perspective of my advancing age. These are things I cared about and that resonated for me deeply back in the day. And it’s difficult to acknowledge how naive I was, we all were, back then when we were young. It's agonizingly wonderful to relive how much The Beatles moved us, how much we loved their music and loved them and how hurt we were when they broke up, had petty squabbles, moved on to do other things, when John was shot and George died of cancer. Bittersweet memories of good and bad times gone... all gone, now! Never to be relived! Youth and fond feelings lost!

 And here we have these Fine Bros rubbing salt in those sentimental wounds by asking kids to react to John, George, Paul, and Ringo. And what do you expect them to say, guys? That The Beatles are cool like Justin Bieber? That their costumes rival today's Hip Hop fashions? That their music sounds better than Thrash Metal?

But actually, some of the kids’ reactions came as pleasant surprises. They didn't dismiss the Beatles completely and out of hand. They had heard some of the songs before, if even only second hand from their parents - and I wouldn't doubt that their parents, themselves, heard it second hand from older siblings, at that. But some of it clearly, they just couldn't appreciate on any level and sad to say, I have to admit that I can't imagine any reason why they would. It's just, too....... you had to be there when it WAS cool to think it cool now. And while I'm reluctantly admitting things that I'd rather not, YES, these kids are right, "I Am The Walrus" just plain doesn't make any sense at all, even though John and Paul, I guess, end up being ‘one up’ on the kids because they understood, as the kids can't, that it wasn't supposed to be understandable, and the fact that it doesn't make sense, is part of its appeal and value... I think! :)

But then again, it really is fun and charming for a croaking old Hippie like me to see the smiles and pleasure on these kids' faces as they sing along with Hey Jude - and it's clear that they know and enjoy that song... kind of. It gets better, though; these kids actually brag about knowing who The Beatles were and explain to those of us who are ignorant about them that they are "Classic"... "Legendary" And they approve of them, too... "my kind of guy"... "pretty cool cat"... "Oh my god, I wanna give him a hug!"... "I LIKE Ringo" Hey, they even have favorites. Yeah!

Why do I care about this so much? I don't know, but I feel relieved that this turned out in a way that will let me face myself and the world, still. And please... indulge me - let me say it one more time... Thank you Paul and Ringo... Thank you! And if, after some years, you two see your fallen band mates, John and George, again, please tell 'em that I thank them, too...



No comments:

Post a Comment