I truly believe the YouTube model may become the model for all television. A couple of weeks ago I spent many happy hours watching old clips of British Breakfast telly. The Breakfast Time title sequence was a particular fave when it got to about two o’clock in the morning (Frank and Selina were always my favourites). That shows that it’s as easy to get a YouTube habit – and I may need to seek help any moment now – as it was to think faux leather sofas were the most sophisticated thing you could have in your living room in 1982.
I don’t remember what I started searching YouTube for when I first got there but by the time all the drunks had got safely home to bed and the street outside was silent I had a full play list of old television idents and clips. Really, a computer generated Central Television sun (or was it moon?) from 1989 or a Granada TV Continuity announcement about a School Fire isn’t really scaling the heights of art and culture is it (I wonder if the moon/sun won any awards at the time)? So what on earth was I doing spending the night searching out these TV gems? Maybe it says a great deal about what was on broadcast television that night but I wouldn’t want to say as I was so addicted to the swirling letters L, W and T (if you live in London you’ve probably gone all misty-eyed at the very mention of those letters) that I forgot to look at the real super high definition million inch orbiting sound box that tries to hide in the corner of the room.
The YouTube model works so well that all content will be served like this in the future. I mean why would I watch what some bloke in ripped jeans and a t-shirt with a witty slogan scrawled on the front wants me to watch in the early hours when I can watch Mary Beth being taken hostage in a clip from Cagney & Lacey? Why would I ITV Play when I can Supermarket Sweep with Dale? Seriously, this is a much better way to be a couch potato.
My inner couch potato would have been very happy today as YouTube grabbed me again. I was reading some old items from Listen To Musak (the world’s greatest blog) when I came across an entry from August 2002 on the irrationality of complaints about a television commercial for a snack food pot. You know that’s just a poncy way of saying that I mentioned that an army of people had found time to complain about Pot Noodle’s Slag of All Snacks ads. Seriously, the complainers have almost as much time on their hands as I must have to write this nonsense.
Now listen up kids, back in 2002 there really wasn’t a YouTube (really, all the Internet was in black & white back then). And if there was a YouTube (which there wasn’t) we were all using a telephone dial-up line access the Internet so there’s no way we’d have been watching. Can you imagine? So back in 2002 I wouldn’t have been able to link to the ad. Which I can now. Here’s the link: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=L_6GGDhHzKI. See, the ad is really funny and cleverly plays on the British attitudes to sex (I say that but so does the New Statesman so I must be right, mustn’t I?) and it shouldn’t have been banned.
So now, thanks to YouTube, you can write to your MP about the fact that the Slag Of All Snacks is on the net now and try to get it removed. Really, YouTube’s given you a whole new way to complain. Told you it was the future for television.
And so, to those who read on here is a spinning computer-generated moon and some whizzing letters for you to enjoy. Who says I don’t entertain?