Today I became aware that a certain YouTube “vlogger” banked a healthy $315,000 last year. Anytime you see six numbers standing behind that indicative little dollar sign, it always brings out the same curious nature in me that takes life #9 from our feline compadres . Unfortunately I don’t have the same luxury that cats do when it comes to second chances. But I carry forward by using my natural instinct for self disobedience instead of self control and decide to see what it takes to earn a heart surgeon’s pay grade with biweekly 3 minute video blogs. I search for the gifted young fellow and begin to view his latest video profoundly titled “SILLY BANDS ARE RACIST!!!!!”. Before I can reach for my first popcorn kernel, we open with the still image of a young preteen model, followed by the male commentator’s narrative for the posed adolescent subject, “(Sigh) I wish I could suck his dick.” After a grueling sixty seconds of mindless banter between the male and his female costar, we finally discover that the purpose behind today’s video is to unlock the racist conspiracy behind “Silly Bands”. Our conventionally sarcastic hero discovers that within the colorful array of Silly Bands there is not one single black rubber bracelet among them. The remaining minute of this two minute feature consists of the female sidekick picking toys off the shelf for her male counterpart to make inane comments on. It reminded me of the awkward trips to the mall I used to take with my friends in 8th grade. Only if I had documented those mindless experiences. But, if you had told me then that my juvenile observations on consumer products would be worth more than gold today, I would have said you were gay for a good laugh and some high fives from my pals.
I’m 24 years old and I didn’t think I’d reach this level of cynicism until I was in my fifties. But something is seriously fucked up here, and I’m not blaming youth. It’s this fucked up society, this disastrous thing that we call American culture. You can say that this rant is just a vent for jealous rage and I’m not denying that I’m envious of anyone that makes $300,000 for doing practically nothing. But that’s not what this is about. I’m sensing a pattern here that will only assist the world with it’s self destruction. If you’ve ever thought for even one moment “What the hell is wrong with these kids today?” Maybe you ask yourself that because our nation’s test scores are still declining, or maybe you see that the light of our future leaders becomes more dim with every new coming generation. So what is wrong with the youth of today? Maybe one of my biggest fears can answer that question. I dread the day when 20 year olds can reach celebrity status for voicing pointless opinions about racist rubber bands. I dread the day when millions upon millions of kids idolize these people. Why would any kid want to go through the financial mess and exertion of higher education when marketing your documented thoughts on meaningless endeavors becomes a more logical career choice. Think about it. When is it going to start bothering everybody when the president’s salary is comparable to guy that impersonates a gang banging version Justin Bieber, or when the loud mouth attempted rape victim from the projects enters a higher tax bracket than the police officers protecting them. There are at least 10 of these YouTubers making over $100,000 with silly videos featuring gimmicks like talking oranges and teenage news correspondents with chipmunk voices. The less popular kids make a pathetic $30,000 to $80,000 annually. Some might compare this to the ridiculous contracts actors and athletes get. But I can at least respect the dedication and hard work it took to develop their talent, which is what these treasured American icon’s most certainly lack. A number of these channels are categorized as “sketch comedy”, but the comedic structure is comparable to 10 year olds making prank phone calls, and the punch lines are no less expected as the beloved kick in the groin during America’s Funniest Videos.
So next time you find yourself asking “What’s wrong with these kids?” Consider the monster we created. The society that gives power to the morons of the world. A market that generously compensates those who so cleverly discovered the easily pulled heart strings of preteens. We gave them the medium for doing this without any buffer between them and the professionals. If the average pay for a rocket scientist is $150,000 a year than maybe one of these dear diary video makers will discover the cure for cancer with their $300,000. Or maybe these commentators are part of the cancer killing the world’s integrity.