Thursday, October 19, 2006
YouTube Compared to Internet Porn
Yesterday, Troy Patterson wrote on the current phenomenon YouTube for Slate: "Click, Respond, Repeat." Here is his conclusion:

In this and so many other respects, watching YouTube is far closer to consuming Internet pornography than staring at the television. Like Internet porn, Web video promises something to gratify any appetite in an instant and for a moment. The two also share an illicit quality: You generally watch them alone and when you really should be doing something else. Each mixes the raw with the slick. Neither makes a fetish of too much internal narrative.

But then, all of media culture has an increasingly pornographic feel, doesn't it? Web video dovetails with both the show-me morals of MySpace and the spy-eyed ethos of reality TV and tabloid glossies. YouTube is the product of an America where every normal person knows he deserves to blow up and get paid, to be naked and famous; where you're not really consuming unless you're producing in kind and where your "production" can be your own banal self. Web video is the ideal medium for a world populated by instinctual exhibitionists who double as full-time voyeurs. To quote a performance artist who might have thrived on the Web, nothing succeeds like excess.

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