Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Has it Changed?

I watch many Youtube videos in preparation for my course "How to be a Youtube millionaire."

One genre that I'm addicted to is the "fail" video. These are like America's Funniest Home Videos or the videos Rob Dyrdek shows on Ridiculousness with a couple of exceptions. One, these are videos from around the world, with a heavy dose of Russian car crash videos. Two, many of these videos feature young women exposing parts of their bodies that probably shouldn't be shown to the whole world. There's a heavy emphasis upon the female buttocks. This is a sample that will serve as well as any other:

What's been puzzling about these videos are the number of shots featuring ordinary people, often in vehicles, attempting to do extra ordinary tricks. There are plenty of parkour failures among the videos, but an amazing number of young adults seem to believe themselves the next Evel Kneivel. Or maybe the next Johnny Knoxville. Or the next Travas Pastrana.

I realize that on the way to the extreme you have to take your share of falls, scrapes, bruises and probably broken bones. But I find myself watching thinking "Well, he got what he deserved." Or "how could anyone be that dumb?" On a more serious level I'm wondering, "Are we seeing a rise in stupid risk taking behavior, or just a rise in capturing stupidity on video?" 

I suspect it is both. People are taking more risks with motorized and non-motorized vehicles because they're seeing others taking more risks with motorized and non-motorized vehicles. That and the smart phone is now ubiquitous so everyone can take video of their friends crashing, lying still and moaning. Of course the videographer has to ask "You alright?" What does it look like?

I hate to say that it is just a rise in stupidity. That makes me sound like I'm yelling at kids to get off my lawn, and I don't care about the kids on my lawn.

P.S. Did a little bit of research and guess what I found: my observations are not unfounded. The Times ran an article 2 years ago about the dangers of extreme sports without supervision or proper safety equipment. Six years ago Xtreme Sport ran an analysis of the growing popularity of extreme events. I guess I'm not just an old yelling about the stupidity of the young! Good to know.

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