I did some research (which consisted of mentioning YouTube in Shakespeare class when we had some time to kill and then trying to follow the ensuing allusion laden conversation about various clips) and I have determined that high school kids are watching YouTube. A lot of YouTube. In fact, if I mentioned something from YouTube, whether it was a particular clip (news reporter who turned ghetto after swallowing a fly, hip hop guy who gets whipped off a treadmill, Chad Vader) or a genre (guitar lessons, soccer ball tricks, fake injuries) everyone in class had seen it.
Here are a few of the clips they've been watching.
This one was particularly disheartening, because I've been meaning to do a fake injury video for YouTube for years now, but I've never gotten around to it (my pesky children always seem to need bathing and feeding), but apparently lots of other people have found the time to perfect the art of feigning an atrocious and bloody accident. I want to do one where I'm pretending to give a guitar lesson and I electrocute myself. Perhaps I still will, as my fake injury acting is pretty damn good.
I don't think this one is fake, but the young folks still love it.
They are also watching a show called Glee, which I have not seen, but I hear it's pretty funny-- from kids and adults alike-- and it features the big funny lesbian from Best in Show.
And they are also watching a show called Skins, which I have seen and highly recommend: it's sort of a British post-modern version of Saved by the Bell, if everyone who was on Saved by the Bell and all the writers of Saved by the Bell did a lot of acid. This clip is even trippier than the show-- all the regular trailers disallowed embedding.
Now here's what the adults are watching-- my high school buddies just sent me these clips, and they were well worth the forty seconds I invested in them.
I will refrain from my usual elitist rambling about aesthetics, art, and literature, and instead take great pleasure in the modern populist democracy of entertainment. Though we lose a few newspapers and the art of poetry and short-fiction, look at what we have gained. I will now go and work on my fake screams for my very own fake injury video-- hopefully the final cut will be ready before the end of Movie Month.