I’ve been researching. What do my two readers want from my blog? What’s popular, out there? Is it commentary on the movie London Has Fallen? Is it definitive rankings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Is it low-rent, dated social satire? Is it a long list of articles the writer hated too much to publish? I have tried them all.
But one thing that I haven’t tried is to use this blog to do what only a blog can do: exploring my own past, like a self-indulgent idiot. You see, the internet preserves a lot of things, and as a child of the Internet who can’t remember when it doesn’t exist, there happens to be a long catalogue of things I have done. Most of them are boring. Some of them are embarrassing. But if you go back far enough, you find something that seems to be from another person. Things that would be inconceivable to the person you are today. These things exist. And here, today, with the distance that time gives, I am here to show those things to you.
Those things are my 2011 YouTube videos, from the time when I probably thought I could make it big without any editing skills or personal charisma or original thought. I’ve protected them for a while, safe in the knowledge that I chose a strange and unrelated name for the channel that no-one would guess. But hey, they’re funny now. There’s only six videos on the channel, and they tell a wonderful story.
Titled ‘video008’, this first venture into the grim and gritty world of YouTube is one fraught with obstacles. For one, it gives the false impression that I’m a Liverpool fan, because I was filming in my brother’s room. For two, I seem to be dressed up weirdly formally, because I had no clothes other than school uniform in those days. And, for three, it has no sound. I can’t lip read, so it’s genuinely impossible to tell when I was talking about. As first efforts go, this was not good. I’m unsure why I uploaded it.
Sound! This is instantly better than the first one, because it can be understood. At a slender 19 seconds, this is a pithy, punchy intro that lets you know what this YouTube channel will provide you: reviews, film character evaluations, and regular updates. That’s content for the people there. My favourite part is when I say to enjoy the channel, despite the video you just watched being the only thing that was available at the time.
Also, there’s a comment there that says ‘honestly, Louis?’
Oh boy. Quite why I thought showing off a modest collection of DVD boxsets by waving them up awkwardly to the camera was good content is unclear now. I also remember posting about this on Twitter and Tumblr, so this was definitely a point of pride for my strangely materialistic 12-year old self, who would take a considerable amount of time to accept the advent of Netflix. I guess, of the three categories, this would count as ‘regular updates’. The topicality comes from my reminder that Primeval season five would come out the next week, and that I couldn’t want to get it, bye! I had my finger to the pulse.
I guess this was my first ever real review, and it’s a powerful piece of television criticism. Primeval was one of those culty sci-fi shows of the 2000s that rode off the Doctor Who wave, for context, and I was really into it at the time; enough to share my nice and succinct outline of the episode’s events before my 15 seconds of criticism (well-written, well-realised) . Useful, I guess, if you just wanted a 12-year old boy to describe it to you to relive the thrills. The best bit comes at the end, though, where the video abruptly comes to a stop and I say ‘Okay bye!!’ before shutting off the camera, as if I had just realised that this was a terrible mistake.
A stunning 156 views! I’d credit that incredible figure to the fact that this has the most interesting premise of all of my videos: a nice, quick recap of the history of a show before the new season. The only problem is that the video itself is, essentially, me reading some Wikipedia entries and stuttering a bit. I do not actually recap the events of the show in any detail, but I do list every episode title, which is much more useful.
The ‘bye!’ in this video is also, quite frankly, the creative pinnacle of my existence. Everything after that has just been a footnote.
It looks like my commercial success of the last video didn’t carry over to this one. I think I was planning to really kick things into high gear by giving my reviews an official name, but ‘iReview’ probably got lost in the wash. In retrospect, I don’t know why I named it for Apple, but these things are easy to say with hindsight.
The real tragedy is that I promised the next review would be uploaded later today. Do you see the next review on there? Do you? No. It’s like that novel that Charles Dickens never finished, or something; a creative endeavour cut short by the hand of cruel fate.
I plan to revive this channel in 19 years and cash in off the 2011 nostalgia for simple times. Just you wait. A premium cable network is going to snap this up.