Sunday, 20 April 2008

How to .....

Seems to me that so many people live their lives against a little commentary in their head.  (I am not talking schizophrenia here. I mean that little self presentational narrative .... no? OK...)
 I confess. 
When I cook I often pretend to be on the telly.
I do. 

I cut the veggies and cook the pasta and explain to my imaginary audience what I am doing. I offer top tips as I go, giving of course, a sexy little smile every now and then. (To many of my viewers this may seem like a nervous twitch or manic mannerism.
 Buy hey. 
Who can account for taste?

Some people go further. Not only do they do commentaries all the time.... but they also actually film themselves (probably doing several 'takes') make the videos,  and then  upload them to YouTube... or VideoJug (etc.).  Take for example, 'How to shave your legs': 

love the way  the video 'How to remove permanent maker (sic) from walls', actually begins with the person putting permanent marker (aka 'maker') on the wall.

Check out the first comment though ... 'Why am I watching this?'  (And at the time of writing over 1,200 people HAVE watched this). 

Well indeed you may well ask.  It is a good question.
Why are people watching this? (Of course a lot of people are NOT watching, I concede, but .... I think a lot of people tune in to LOADS of these ... and also comment.) 

I think  it must be something to do with knowing that we are not bonkers and that actually everyone is ordinary and has a lot less in common with Sarah Jessica Parker and all other 'celebrities' than they do with all the ordinary people filming themselves and living ordinary lives. I think it is something about affirming our place in the world and getting a sense of who we are and how we fit (or not) with the rest of the world. There is also something marvellous about the immediate publication and sharing process that is alluring. And to watch it is to reject the shiny and saccharine feel of polished and professional film. Maybe we are sick of it. 

Others of these 'How to'  videos are spoofs. Some of them are very funny, comedy type things and this one really makes me laugh... How to give a great man-to-man hug....

There is a genre that has been popular on UK TV for a long time now that has this very 'underproduced' feel to it ... but which in fact is carefully choreographed. YouTube is clearly, for some, the nursery slope for 'real' paid film work and people are wanting to get 'spotted' I reckon.  This one has more that 23, 500 views. 

Then of course there are the slightly competitive how to films ... this one is a scream, with someone demonstrating how fast he can fold his 'bike Friday'.  (Others in this genre include how to's on  Moonwalking, hula hooping, and such like. Well loads of stuff really.  The 'how to' is a great formula for a little video. )

I am actually quite scared that TT might be putting a video up soon... he is so proud of his little foldaway bike...
. here it is all lit up....



Jackie Marsh said...

I for one vote for TT posting a video of him folding up his fold up bike. He needs to pick the soundtrack carefully though.

DrJoolz said...

I totally agree Jackie. This could be considered essential.