Tag Archives: the young turks

YouTube Love: My Favourite Channels

Between seemingly endless papers and exams as of late, there are a few things I can count on as sanity-restoring distractions.  The usual suspects feature – Twitter, music, Murder, She Wrote on Netflix – but one of my mainstays is my small collection of YouTube subscriptions.  I seldom actually subscribe to a channel – most of my 88 subscriptions are actually convenient bookmarks reminding me that someone has, say, footage of a concert I attended – but when I do, I am devout.  I don’t have time each day to stream content, so I do a quick check and add everything new that catches my eye to my Watch Later playlist and marathon it before bed a few times each week.

Here are the channels I seldom skip any content from – the ones that make me laugh ’til it hurts, keep me informed, or simply entertain me.  I’m pretty sure all of them are fairly well-known, but that doesn’t matter:  after all, Ray William Johnson is well-known despite his constant barrage of unfunny date rape ‘jokes’.  These are the YouTubers who shine brightest for me.

In no particular order…

TheFineBros
Companion Channels:  TheFineBros2; MyMusicShow

I stumbled onto The Fine Brothers (Benny and Rafi) while searching for videos bashing Rebecca Black’s horrid song Friday.  Their series Kids React showed up in suggested videos and I clicked it… and promptly marathoned the entire series to date.  I now also follow spin-off series Teens React, their other videos (spoilers; interactive “choose your own adventure” type games based on Saved By The Bell and Mad Men) and lately, I tap my foot impatiently, awaiting their new series, MyMusic.

The React shows are a simple concept:  show kids/teens viral videos and ask them questions about them.  The videos are usually silly, as many viral videos area, but the shows do move into serious territory at times (Kony 2012).  The stars are witty, insightful or as blunt as I am, and it is glorious.

Benny and Rafi bring the snark and hilarity of Joss Whedon and Veronica Mars coupled with an intense knowledge and appreciation of pop culture and social media to the table.  They’re warm, genuinely thankful for their fans, and they work hard to produce tons of content.  I feel like they deserve their own TV channel akin to Weird Al’s UHF – co-starring some of my other choices on this list.

They are also part of the glorious trio that is the All We Know podcast, and although I love Paramore, they must conquer them in the search results on iTunes.  With Soul rounding out the group, what ensues is a hilarious and yet insightful look at the news, based on the following premise:  AWK delivers, literally, all Benny, Rafi and Soul know about a story – which sometimes isn’t very much.  The subtler message – that even in this age of readily-accessible news, we can still be woefully uninformed – is clever and painfully accurate.  I laugh on public transit as I tune in, and squee when I get a shout out (I tweet the boys often).

I am serious about a dinner with you three, by the way.  I would die laughing, but what a way to go!

MyMusic is sure to take the internet by storm, and so it should:  Toby Turner as Satan?  That alone is reason to watch, but the brothers Fine have also managed to create a world that pop culture junkies like myself want to crawl through the screen and join, Poltergeist style.  I could ramble on about my affection for them, but instead, check out their far superior content.


Tobuscus

Companion Channels:  tobyturner (vlogs); tobygames

How to describe Toby?  Lemme see…  Ah!  Toby appears to be on a 24-7 Red Bull drip, and thus, he is awesome!  Like me, he makes up songs, parodies things, and enjoys cute kitty viral videos.  He uploads daily vlogs that are… well, awesome.  My favourite content however is his series Cute/Win/Fail, wherein he pits three viral videos (one of each type) against each other and allows viewers to vote on the most epic video of the three.  Unlike Ray William Johnson, Toby makes me laugh and doesn’t need to veer into offensive and sexist jokes to do so.

I also love Toby’s literal trailers and original songs (I’ve been playing Safety Torch and I Can Swing My Sword while writing), and Tobuscus Animated Adventures (check out the Dead Island one, and the Christmas one).  I have a feeling that we were separated at birth, because his humour is just as wild as my own.

Toby is so cheery and personable.  It’s no wonder to me that he’s popped up in a Fine Brothers show, because their affability and humour are similar.

There is no way to do Toby justice with a review.  He must be seen to be adored.  Voila!


sxephil

Companion channels:  Oh so many.

Phillip DeFranco has many projects and channels on YouTube, but I’m partial to the Philly D news show myself.  It’s the quickest way for me to grab a few news stories that Canadian sites may not care to mention or not go into detail on, plus Phil snarks and makes me giggle.  Granted. at times, Phil misses the mark and his white male privilege shows (example: reducing eating disorders to an issue of girls wanting to be skinny, when the true issue is a need for control stemming from complex psychological issues and usually trauma), but he’s open to and encourages viewer response and feedback.  He’s not afraid to use his rather powerful platform to speak his mind and engage audiences, without forcing his views down anyone’s throat.

He also loves our faces, which is very nice of him.  My face enjoys love.


The Young Turks

Companion channels: several

TYT has the distinction of being the first channel I subscribed to with the intention of following new uploads on the regular.  Introduced to it by an ex in 2007, I fell in love with the dynamic of Cenk and Ana, as well as their ability to call out anyone and everyone deserving.  It’s refreshing to see a liberal news show unafraid to skewer President Obama for his failings and letdowns as readily as it will tear Santorum a new one (snicker) for his idiotic thoughts on sexual assault.

Covering the full gamut from pop culture to politics to science, TYT examines the stories that matter and pulls them apart from the diverse perspectives and varying areas of expertise of the staff.  It’s a great way to stay informed with minimal bias.


therazorsedge28

I heart Razor.  Whenever I need a reality check on my own life, I take a wander through Razor’s extensive collection of Maury show clips and remember that my life is not like that.  One of the highlights is the wild and hilarious titles given to the clips, as well as the tags.  I shouldn’t have to explain more than this:  if you’re a Maury fan, go.  If you like reality trainwrecks, go.

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Censorship: An Open Letter To YouTube

Dear YouTube,

There are many things about you lately that I am unhappy about – the forced Google account login, for example, that boots me from my main Gmail account, since my secondary one is connected to my YouTube profile; the new layout continues to make basic activities harder (why can’t I X out videos I’m not interested in or see my subscription updates by channel!?); and the general manipulation of your content by greedy corporations is also annoying.  But today, I have a bigger problem,

You are blatantly targeting and discriminating against a single YouTube channel, FLuffeeTalks.

In a video uploaded this week, FLuffeeTalks (hereafter shortened to Fluffee) advised his fans that the reason he’d stopped uploading videos to the channel is that he is under personal attack by YouTube.  All of his honours have been inexplicably stripped (including his #5 Most Subscribed – Canada, which means a lot to him), with the explanation being that the channel is “too inappropriate” to have honours.

Anyone who regularly watches the big content producers on YouTube and knows Fluffee’s channel is rolling their eyes out of their head right now with me.  Too inappropriate?  Are you serious?  What precisely is too inappropriate about Fluffee’s channel that makes him unique from other honoured YouTubers? I feel as a user of YouTube, whose clicks earn the site revenue and in effect, makes me a paying customer, you owe us all an explanation.

For those who haven’t watched FLuffeeTalks, the premise is simple:  Fluffee takes a current news story, and then chats about it for a few minutes.  Being a comedian, his approach is one of dark humour.  The overall message is always a positive one (ie, killing is bad; pedophiles are evil; parents should watch their children).  I personally think FLuffee is one of the best comics out there, and that he and Joe Rogan should go on tour, but I digress.

Here’s an example of a FLuffeeTalks video:

So he swears – big deal!  He’s hardly the only YouTuber to do that.  Plenty of music artists put up uncensored versions of songs.  ItsKingsleyBitch, another of my favourite YouTubers (can he also be on this Rogan/Fluffee tour?) curses all the damn time and has honours – hell, he lists his Occupation as Professional Cunt.  Case in point:

So YouTube, it can’t be FLuffee’s language that’s the problem; a ton of the big YouTubers cuss all the time, and no one cares.

Then, I thought, “They have a problem with Fluffee talking about smoking marijuana.”  Now, plenty of YouTubers make comments about drug use, etc. for comedic effect, so if this is the case, it’s total BS. RayWilliamJohnson – who, for reasons I don’t understand, is HUGE on YouTube – talks about drugs and hey, even fake-smokes a bong in this video, but he still has honours.

So, it’s not the swearing, and it’s not the drug talk…  Is it the content?  How can it be?  Again, only FLuffee is being singled out.  No inappropriate images are shown.  His joke video titles are no worse than sxephil’s titles (now HE deserves to be on top, not RWJ, but again, I digress).  Also, like good ol’ PhillyD, FLuffeeTalks is a news-based show – wherein the YouTuber chats about the news that stuck out in a way that can be humorous.  If anything, between the lines, Fluffee is promoting decent behaviour – sure, he makes harsh jokes along the way, but in discussing pedophiles, his take-away message is, “Watch your children and protect them!”  How is that bad?

Contrast that with the endless date rape jokes Ray William Johnson makes in almost every goddamn show – the reason why I got fed up and unsubbed from him.  Hear that, YouTube?  As a date rape survivor, THAT is offensive and shouldn’t be on the honours page.  THAT bothers me.

TheYoungTurks also talk news, sometimes in a dark humour way.  So, with sxephil, that’s at least two larger channels putting out similar content to FLuffeeTalks, and their honours are intact.

YouTube, you’re busted.  You obviously have an agenda here, and are targeting people for unknown reasons you’re masking as “inappropriate content”.  YouTube, you have some serious explaining to do.  Rules must be uniformly applied, or they are not rules – just personal biases. Censorship sucks, YouTube, and will not be regarded lightly.

Waiting for an explanation,

Amber

(I have also complained over at YT itself; join the thread here.)

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