Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PewDiePie Reflects on His Career

PewDiePie is one of the biggest examples of a society that is Hell bent on destroying itself and making the people who occupy it as stupid as possible.  While he is not the person who has single handedly destroyed serious video commentary, he has contributed to it's fall more than any other YouTuber I can think of.  I have no love for this talentless hack and believe he is a cancer of the internet.  So why am I embedding one of his videos?  Has he finally said something so stupid that I have no choice but to join in the haters?  No, I am not.  While I do find the man reprehensible, I largely do not hate for hates sake.  He's not hurting me personally and he doesn't appear to be a mean guy or anything like that.

While I am very concerned about how he is affecting the industry I work in, I believe that is another topic for another day (and, again, he's not the sole contributor to the current problem of video criticism).  Yesterday he uploaded a video where he looked back on old videos he uploaded.  He's been doing this for five years (God, has the world been blind to real entertainment that long?), and with anyone that has been doing something for a substantial period of time, he has fans who wish he would be more like his old self.  His videos have apparently changed throughout the years.  I have no idea how true this statement is, but apparently his videos have changed drastically, and people want him to go back to “the good old days.”  So how does the Pewds respond to this?  Why, by watching some of his old videos and commenting on them.  He laments over how young he used to look.  He jokes about how playing certain games helped catapult his career.

Then the video takes an interesting turn as he squirms over old jokes he used to make.  He gets uncomfortable every time he uses the words ‘retarded’ and ‘gay’ in the form of a joke.  He wishes he could go back and edit his videos.  He admits that he had no editing skills and believes it’s a miracle he got famous at all.  The video ends with him thanking people for the support, acknowledging that he understands where the fans are coming from when they want the old stuff back, but he stands firm and says that he has changed, he wants to believe he makes better stuff these days, and he wants to continue to make better videos.  This is not only a self-examination of his career up to this point; it is a bold statement from a man who doesn’t want to rely on his old tricks to make money.  He wants to perfect his craft and grow in this career he’s found himself in.

And you know what?  I 100% agree with him.  Not that his videos are that much better than his old ones (they still aren’t my thing to be honest), but I do agree that just because you find something that works doesn’t mean you have to stand still.  You have to experiment.  You have to grow.  Sometimes you have to look over previous works and groan at the mistakes you’ve made.  I make it a point to re-read old reviews every several months.  I read my old stuff not because I think highly of my writing, but because I want to see if I’m growing as a writer.  I want to go back to my old work, with some distance between myself and the time I wrote it, and see what works and what doesn’t.  Like the Pewds, I laugh at certain things I still like, I cringe at stuff that doesn’t work, and I wish I could do some things differently.

I thankfully don’t have to worry about using words like ‘retard’ and ‘gay’ in the form of jokes because I have always strived to make my sites as family friendly as possible (gets hard when you have to write about “Fifty Shades of Grey”), but there are spelling errors and sentence structures that are just…just embarrassing.  I mean, when I look at some of my older stuff I think “no wonder the Online Film Critics Association hasn’t accepted me as a member yet.”  Looking at the past is painful, but it is nessicary so that you can know where you used to be with your craft and give you ideas of where to go in the future.  So, for once, I think PewDiePie is absolutely right in his commentary.  I also need to mention that this is the first time I’ve watched one of his videos and felt like he was being genuine and sincere.

There was no outrageous commentary to be found, no forced jokes to be heard.  Just a guy looking at his past work frankly and honestly.  Admitting that he understands the appeal but that, ultimately, he has to do the stuff that makes him happy and work to improve on past mistakes.  This is something every critic must do.  Heck, it’s something you must always do regardless what career path you take.  I still don’t like PewDiePie’s videos, but for once I sort of admire the guy, and I’m curious to see where his career goes from here.  If Pewds is reading this blog post (and there’s a good chance he will because one of his fans will probably forward it to him) I want to assure him that I don’t hate him or his fans.  I don’t even hate what he does.  I hate what it has done to a craft and industry I take very seriously, but after this video I know that he is not malicious in his intent, and I look forward to him improving.

That said, I do believe he HAS contributed greatly to devaluation in YouTube commentary, and we’ll discuss why in my next post!


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