Three Types of YouTube Channels I Can’t Stand

“WHY WOULD YOU PUT THIS ON ME!”
Source: The Daily Dot

I’ve expressed my deep love for YouTube content creators of all types in the past. The fact that there exists a platform for young creative minds to get their ideas out in a fun and entertaining way (and get paid for it if they play their cards right) is an absolute positive. Even when we complain about policy or interface changes, we still keep coming back because – at the end of the day – it’s the producers creating informative and amusing shows that are the real heroes.

That said, there are some types of channels that just shouldn’t exist; the ones that garner millions of followers despite how horrid they are.

So today, let’s talk about how to sacrifice talent for fame on YouTube and examine a few channel archetypes that frustrate me with their poor quality and paradoxical success.

Commentary Videos

I may have mentioned in the past how I dislike Commentary videos, but for those who haven’t heard, let me fill you in.

Commentary Videos are essentially VERY low tech Vlogs that replace the man/woman talking into a camera in their living room with a backdrop of video game footage with their commentary dubbed over it; hence the title.

I actually understand the existence of this genre; setting up a YouTube career is a pricey investment and you need to cut corners sometimes. But if you’re just going to talk into a mic for half-an-hour, why not just do a podcast instead of wasting the potential of a visual medium? Even musicians on YouTube are kind enough to display lyrics on screen if they can’t make a video.

Also, most Commentary Video creators have a bad habit not editing their audio. The result is a lot of dead air and pauses that infuriates people like me who crave information-dense material.

And why is it always video games that serve as the backdrop? Why not shoot a walk through the park on your smartphone or play some royalty-free/fair use compliant stock video clips that relate to the topic? At least throw some spiffy images on the screen for visual humor from time to time.

Again, I get the need for this kind of video on a technical and budgetary level, but there’s a certain level of success one reaches when you need to start stepping up your game and put more effort into your craft.

Reaction Videos

Okay, not all Reaction channels are bad. In fact, the good ones provide a sort of psychosocial service by simulating the sense of community you get while laughing at stupid videos with friends.

But you want to know what the worst reaction videos often forget to do? REACT.

It’s shocking how many videos there are that just have the host/hostess in the corner saying or doing nothing while the video they “react” to runs uninterrupted. At that point, you aren’t adding anything to the original content. and what do we call it when you use someone’s work without adding to it in any way? That’s right, kids; PLAGIARISM.

This is another case where the judicious use of editing could save a video; Simply cut out the dead air and remember to emote to what’s happening on screen. You’ll be far more entertaining and people will be encouraged to seek out the full video – thus supporting the original creators.

Basically, if you must be a Reactor, try to be more like Chadtronic.

ASMR Videos

What’s that; You never heard of ASMR? Well, it’s short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s that tingling sensation you get when you hear certain sounds. Some people apparently find it soothing and relaxing.

We had ASMR stuff back in my day… back when we called it WHITE NOISE.

This is another example an audio-centric medium that wastes the potential of being hosted on a visual platform. But that’s not the worst part; That would be the CREEPY AS F*** whispering that people often do while making these things. There’s a video of a guy whispering into the microphone while running a knife across his beard and it seriously feels like I’m being seduced by a serial killer.

I’m not sure if this is a problem for other people, but ASMR isn’t soothing for me; it’s a fear response. It’s the chills down my spine when I hear leaves crunching in the woods or the dull roar of a crowded room that prevents me from hearing what’s behind me. It’s my sign that some funky S*** is going down and I need to get the F*** out of there.

I hope to start a YouTube career myself some day and if I make a video like the ones I described here, I give you all full permission to demand I pay you for a round trip ticket to Manchester, New Hampshire just to give me one of those little tiny flicks to the crotch that barely makes contact but hurts twice as much than if you just kicked me in the nuts.

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The New Face of Evil: Revising The Deadly Sins

While having one of my philosophical chats at work, (you tend to find a surprising number of fascinating minds at a rest stop/welcome center) I came to a realization that the most famous list of what-not-to-do’s on earth – the seven deadly sins – is in dire need of an update.

The current deadly sins were conceived of back in the 4th century and our understanding of things has changed a great deal since then. So, like a tech geek scanning his software vulnerabilities, I’ll be going through and updating the sins to make a more modernized list of things you shouldn’t be doing if you want to avoid being an a-hole.

Lust

This one is just plain vanilla stupid…

You’re going to notice a pattern with most of these sins; that they attempt to curb bad behavior, but are defined too broadly to be practical. Lust is no different.

Lust seeks to control unbridled sexual desires and force sexual responsibility. However, sexual desire is also what promotes procreation and ensures the continuation of a species. It’s perfectly natural; let it do its job.

That said, the idea of responsibility – in regards to sex and in general practice – is a good idea. So perhaps what needs to be done here is just change the language around a bit to provide more focus on the real problem. The issue isn’t lust; it’s irresponsibility.

Gluttony and Greed

In the interest of logic and simplicity, I’m going to bundle these two together.

Gluttony and Greed, overconsumption and coveting material goods, are practices that seem good to avoid. But if you ever looked closely at the list, it seems far too strict.

Gluttony is the worst offender in this regard. Eating too expensively, eating too daintily, eating too much, eating too soon, and eating too eagerly are all considered gluttonous acts.

But in all honesty, shouldn’t you be allowed to enjoy the things you’ve earned? You bought the cool toys, you bought/raise the great food, and should be yours to enjoy.

Where gluttony and greed become a problem is when you have so much, but refuse to let others that are clearly in much more need than you partake in your excess. Hell, even five-year-olds know the importance of sharing.

So, let’s simplify and focus the list by combining these two into a new paradigm I call ‘uncharitably’.

Sloth and Envy

I’ll be combining both of these as well for reasons that will be made more obvious later on.

Sloth is a great big pain in the tailpipe to define as it covers several ‘bad behaviors’ from antiquity. Generally speaking these days, we liken it to laziness. And while I’d argue that a few days of rest should be allowed (no one can keep running at full steam forever), it’s actually pretty good as a sin and something to keep in mind.

Envy, on the other hand, is less forgivable.

Envy covers great desire – much like lust, gluttony, and greed – but subtracts the actual possession of the thing you desire. Already, this seems redundant and needs to be stricken. Not to mention, that the desire for something is often a driving force that pushes you to work for it.

However, when you stop to think about what happens when envy is allowed to grow IN THE PRESENCE of sloth, then you get a bunch of lazy MFers that want it all while everyone else does all the hard work (the ‘one-percent’ as we call them today).

So, once again, let’s create a new sin from these two and we shall call it ‘hedonism.’

Wrath

Okay, back to the singular sins…

At first glance, wrath DOES seem wholly bad. People tend to do stupid things when they’re angry after all.

But excluding anger from your life entirely is just as detrimental if not more so. I’ve gone on record saying that anger is what motivates people to fight against a system that’s hurting them and the ones they love.

So when is wrath a bad thing? When it causes you to harm innocent people. When your wrath becomes so great and goes untempered by compassion for so long that you are motivated to destroy property or unjustly harm lives – when you are moved to violence – that is when wrath does its worst.

Pride

And finally, we come to MY sin. I call it my sin because it is the one that I and, in my humble opinion, most creative personalities are ‘guilty’ of.

This is the one that started me on this philosophical track and all because I spoke one line; “Whoever called pride a deadly sin has never known the joy of creating something beautiful.”

There is nothing wrong with having pride in your work and what you do. It’s a feeling of accomplishment after a successful venture. No one should be robbed of that feeling.

Pride is only an issue when you allow it blind you to the truth; when you are so convinced that what you’re doing is right that you continue to push forward at the cost of yourself and others.

Of course, that’s not pride; that’s delusion – the presence of pride and blind faith without the guiding hands of insight and skepticism… and it is possibly the deadliest sin of all. One need look no further than the Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church, and Donald Trump supporters to see the dangers of delusion.

So, after all going through the entire list and making the necessary changes, I present you with my simplified and modernized list of…

The Five Deadly Sins

  • Irresponsibility – The act of seeking pleasure at the cost of self and others
  • Uncharitably – The refusal to give to those in need when your needs are more than adequately met
  • Hedonism – The desire for pleasure without the drive to earn it
  • Violence – The act of destroying property and/or life in cold blood
  • Delusion – The act of remaining willfully ignorant and unquestioning of the world

Now that’s a list, people! Simple, honest, and direct. Dante and Virgil could have made it through purgatory in time for the Red Sox game with a list like that. Plus, five is just a more psychologically pleasing number than seven.

Why Katie Ka-boom Was The Worst Thing To Happen To Animaniacs

Don’t look at me with that cutesy smile, you conniving trollop. I know your evil thoughts are brewing…
Source: legion1979.tumblr.com

Last night, my friends and I celebrated the arrival of Animaniacs on Netflix by binge-watching over tacos. It was nice to see how most of the show still holds up after over two decades.

That said, nothing is without sin. And the biggest sin in this show’s record, at least in my mind, is the teenage terror that is Katie Ka-Boom.

If you don’t remember Katie, good for you – you were able to blank her out of your mind and ignore her while waiting for more Slappy Squirrel segments like my younger self. But now, looking back, there is just so much wrong with her as a character and I understand why she never took off as a staple of the show or was accepted by the fans. For instance…

She’s not funny

The entire premise of the Katie Ka-Boom segments is that Katie is a teenage girl who loses her mind with every minor social misstep or foible. The twist in this cliché is that she transforms into a series of grotesque monsters based on the stressor of the day which ultimately result in the terrorization of her family and destruction of the house – usually through a massive explosion; hence her name.

There is a germ of a good idea here that could have been made into a passable laugh, but there is no variation to the theme. They even reuse the same lines and gags. It’s just incredibly lazy writing.

And, of course, when I’m not laughing at the show, I’m asking plot-hole exposing questions that further pull me out of the experience like, “Why does Katie transform like that? Is she related to Bruce Banner” or, “How does she even HAVE a social life to fret over? Wouldn’t the other kids at school be too afraid to talk to her knowing she demolishes her home on a daily basis?”

There are many sins one can commit in entertainment, but not being funny in a comedy (or not entertaining in any regard) is the worst because it can only bring the other problems into clearer view.

She’s a living middle finger to teens and women

There are two things we praise Animaniacs for consistently; it’s desire to treat it’s younger audience as intelligent, critical people and it’s progressive depiction of women.

On the youth end, the show was known for surprisingly informative segments shipped as comedy as well as respecting their maturity with some more *ahem* ‘adult humor.’

As for the women of Animaniacs, they had a knack for independence and proving their capableness in hard times. Even blatantly sexualized characters like Hello Nurse and Minerva Mink demonstrated amazing intellect and cunning; proving they had the brain to complement their beauty.

So, imagine how much of a kick in the head it is to see a character like Katie who basically says that all teens – especially teen women – are irrational, emotionally unstable, sub-humans.

… Yeah. kinda makes you angry, doesn’t it? But not as angry as when you realize that…

She is demonstrably and radically evil

Let’s cut through the crap and get to the big point; this is the story of a spoiled rotten child oppressing and controlling her family through violence in order to get everything she wants. You know what we call that in the real world? DOMESTIC ABUSE.

Yes, in a world of whimsy and cartoon antics, there exist abuse victims. There was one episode in particular (the clip of which I sadly can’t find online) that demonstrated this shockingly well when, for a brief moment after being corrected by Katie, her mother quickly recoils back in fear with arms raised saying, “my mistake.” Speaking as someone with a minor background in psychology, such actions and hyper-awareness in social situations are clear symptoms of an abuse victim.

If the show just had a passable exaggeration beyond the supernatural powers, it could have played itself off as a dark comedy. But, as we have established, Katie Ka-Boom is NOT funny; she’s evil. Like, the ‘monster-that we-need-The-Avengers-to-fight’ kind of evil.

4 Kinds of Halloween Costumes That I Absolutely Don’t Want To See Anymore

All Hallows Eve is nearly upon us. I likely won’t writing next week as I’m part of a wedding party in on Halloween night (though, with the bride and groom’s blessing, I’ll post pictures like my vacation in Maine).

So instead, for this week, I’ll present to you a very quick and very simple (like most good ideas are) list of something that bothers me every year – the one and only thing I consistently hate about the Halloween season. It’s time to talk about the types of costumes that need to DIE.

I’m going to be a part of the happiest day of someone’s life that night and I may go to another party after that to meet with friends I haven’t met since I finished college. To that end, I will never forgive the ignorant soul that ruins that by making me see the red mist just by wearing…

The Lazy Movie/T.V. Show Tie-In Costume You Clearly Bought Less Than A Week Ago

Nothing says, “I stopped by the Rite Aid on my way to the party,” like a flimsy plastic mask.
Source: Alibaba.com

As a study in the field of psychology, I know how easy it can be to get an idea implanted in your head from some recent big budget production you were right to fall in love with. But that’s no excuse for laziness.

Granted that not everyone has or knows someone that has costuming skills, but a light search will reveal some pretty awesome costumes for a fair price. And if neither of those are an option, maybe you need to scale down your ambitions and accept that Ant-Man is an unrealistic goal for you to set.

Even if the end product comes out less impressive than you imagined while crafting it yourself, at least you had the heart to care enough to put effort into it. Quality isn’t the issue here; it’s lack of love.

Of course, quality can be a factor for a costume if it winds up being…

The “Ironically” Cheap Costume

The simple fact that I found this photo on Buzzfeed should be all the proof you need of this costume’s lack of quality and effort.
Source: Buzzfeed

Anyone who’s a fan of Homestar Runner knows these monstrosities – The kind of costumes that are just bags/boxes/regular street clothes that people try to pass as legit costumes.

Let’s cut to the chase here; you’re not being funny when you do this. The only thing you’re doing is, once again, displaying astounding laziness. Take the time to put together some decent effects – preferably ones that require at least a passing knowledge of sewing and/or the proper use of a hot glue gun.

The “Sexy” Costume

Oddly, they all come from the same company for the most part. Ain’t that interesting?
Source: Yandy.com

You can’t hear me groaning in disgust and frustration right now, but I assure you that it’s happening.

I get it; It’s the one night of the year that you can dress provocatively without being judged negatively for it (which is an issue for a much more serious article further down the road). And while I personally find nothing “sexy” about someone flaunting what they have with no restraint, I have no personal qualms with someone wanting to let it all hang out and proudly display what they have.

No, my issue comes in two other forms. Firstly, why are only women allowed to have “sexy” costumes? Seriously, every “sexy” costume I find is marketed towards ladies. Can’t guys be sexy, too? I can think of a few girls that would appreciate seeing some of my male friends shirtless in the brisk autumn air.

Secondly, the industry that makes “sexy” costumes seem to be dedicated to making the ugliest, most baffling costumes I’ve ever seen. It’s like they have a gambling pool to see which moronic costume will manage to sell best to the nitwits that are only interested in showing skin.

Bottom line: if you’re going to do a sexy costume this year, there should be some guys to help balance things out. And failing that, you’d better have something better than a dress that looks like a Twizzlers bag.

The Politically Charged/Designed-To-Offend Costume

Oh, you stupid son of a …!
Source: The Blaze

Okay, NOW you can probably hear me groaning.

It seems like every year, I have to endure some jackass who thinks he’s SO clever for wearing a mask of a presidential candidate or who made a costume that was actively meant to offend at least one person. All this because they think they’re being witty, topical, or promoting thought though artistic expression.

Look here, you blinkering c**k slot. Everyone at the party is too busy trying to drunkenly bob for apples and flirting with the sorority sister that came dressed as Power Girl (yes, even the straight women) to give a damn about your politically incorrect,  hack job idea of “subversive and edgy” art. And if someone DOES care, they’re probably just blitzed enough on a near lethal cocktail of cheap beer, Jägermeister, and Sterno to slug you in jaw without a sign of the precious thought you so hoped to invoke. Just dress up as something fun and tasteful; that’s what we came for.

And so, to conclude, STOP F***ING UP MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY, YOU RAGING S**T HEELS.

Kriminal Kopys: 3 Terrible Mortal Kombat Knock-offs

Lately, it seems that many people, including my good friend on YouTube Owlflame, have been saying good things about the recently released Mortal Kombat X. Now, I’ve made my case before that I don’t care either way how gory a game is as long as it’s fun and functional.

But, do you know what I DO care about? Ending up with a quality product. It’s bad enough to hop on a trend just because it’s “the thing” at the time, but to copy a trend so superficially with no quality control is unacceptable.

I remember how, when the MK series first showed up in the 90’s, everyone was quick to ride on the game’s coattails to success. And while imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, PALE imitation is the quickest route to creative bankruptcy. As evidenced by…

Kasumi Ninja

Add this to the list of sights I neither expected nor wanted to see.
Source: Moby Games

As is tradition here at The Archive, let’s knock out the most obvious example first so we can get to the interesting stuff.

Every gamer knows that Kasumi Ninja is bad. Of course it’s bad; it has all of the warning signs.

As if it wasn’t bad enough being a shameless clone of Mortal Kombat with it’s focus on gore and digitized graphics – the now abandoned practice of recording real actors and using still photos as sprite art, the game suffers from bad sound design that fails to add weight to the action, uninspired finishing moves, and even mild to extreme racism (two of the playable characters include a Scotsman that shoots fire from his kilt and a Native American that finishes matches by scalping his opponent).

But the biggest kiss-of-death for Kasumi Ninja was the fact that you could only play it on the Atari Jaguar, a platform often ranked by the gaming community among some of the worst consoles ever made and such a commercial failure that it forced Atari out of the home console market.

Tattoo Assassins

… How does he even move?
Source: Wikipedia

I debated putting this one in for a number of reasons.

For one, this game was technically never released. Developed by Data East as their answer to Mortal Kombat‘s Success, the only reason we know about it today is because a few prototype arcade cabinets found their way out to the public.

Secondly, it’s often hard to tell who was ripping off who. While it’s obvious that Data East wanted an MK of their own, it seems that several finishing moves from this game were later adopted by Midway for future  Mortal Kombat games; namely in the incorporation of the then new “Animalities.”

But, at the end of the day, it was still a bad MK knock-off. It’s shameless attempt to one-up Midway by featuring “2196 fatalities” – including several that humiliated your opponent by magically making them nude – meant that things like story, character design, audio engineering, art direction, and gameplay became an afterthought.

Oh, and there’s a Native American stereotype in this game, too (seriously, what’s the deal with fighting games and indigenous peoples?).

Timeslaughter

Dear god in heaven, keep it away!
Source: Destructoid

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the worst of the worst; a knock-off so bad that not even Wikipedia has an entry on it. It is the MK clone that time forgot.

Everything about Timeslaughter is a chore to sit through. It’s an ugly as sin DOS game that manages to fail at every level of game design. Art direction, voice acting, original design – you name it; this game screws it up.

Oh, and you know the (totally unintentional) theme of racial and cultural insensitivity that we’re building up here? This game doubles down on that by making everyone with an obvious ethnicity a terrible stereotype; the French, the Scots, the Chinese, and tribal Africans specifically.

Now, you could argue that one shouldn’t expect much from a game that had a dev team of only two dorks from high school – Ethan Petty and Icer Addis – and that I, as a lover of indie talent, should be more supportive of people whose clear motivation was to rally against digital censorship.

However, I would argue that their situation was no excuse for bad art.

Let me put it this way: you how some gamers will say, “I could make a better game than that,” when faced with garbage titles? Well, guess what? I HAVE made better games than this! One of my first tasks in my college graphic design classes was to code basic games and animations in Adobe Flash that looked, sounded, and functioned better than Timeslaughter. And for someone with no professional game design experience, that should not be possible.

But don’t take my word for it. This game is freeware now. So you can download it at no cost and experience the shrieking terror that is Timeslaughter yourself.

Why “The Dress” Bothers Me (And Why It Should Bother You)

Seriously, this whole thing is a load of crap.
Source: Just Jared Jr.

By now, I’m sure most of you have either seen or at least heard of the infamous dress color debate that started on Tumblr and quickly spread throughout the internet like a plague.

A lot of people are already hating this new meme and I count myself among them. However, I’m willing to bet that I despise this inescapable fury for a different reason than most.

There are plenty of theories as to why people aren’t agreeing to the color of the dress. The most popular theory claims that it’s an optical illusion involving the light that the photo was taken in. But many others claim other explanations from varying monitors to simple trolling.

But all of these theories don’t touch on the reason I never want to hear about this monstrosity again. What’s more, my hatred stems further than just hearing about it too much. Instead, I hate what it represents.

I hate this dress because it demonstrates just how easy it is to polarize people and turn them against one another.

Instead of finding a rational explanation to what is admittedly a very petty issue, I watched people engage in verbal combat with one another over the shade, tone, and hue of a rather (in my humble opinion) unimpressive body covering.

What’s worse is that, while people were arguing about this like five-year olds on the playground, the company that makes the dress took advantage of it; boasting a huge jump in sales and most likely laughing maniacally at us all the way to the bank.

And that’s to say nothing about the time lost in productivity from complaining and debating such a useless thing. Think about the things you could have done with the collective time people spent on this crap. I could be out having the time of my life right now. But instead, I’m writing about this because this is apparently what everyone wants to talk about (I exaggerate, of course, but it’s still stupid).

Sadly, it is as it always was. We’ve always been quick to debate anything that offends our senses or ideologies. That’s why political debates run as hot as they do – too many people looking to defend their thoughts rather than seek an acceptable and logical answer that can satisfy us all.

It’s the painful truth and I know it; It’s just not nice to be reminded of it.

So, can we lay this thing to rest now and move on with our lives already? I have a lot of happy things planned in the coming weeks and I don’t want the failings of the human psyche weighing me down.