I thought I would explain my thinking behind this project so that readers don’t get the wrong idea.
I’ve always been fascinated by the much-maligned medium of expression known as the YouTube comment. Among the usual hate speech and Obama conspiracy theories, you can find these amazing nuggets of humanity—heartbreaking moments from people’s lives recalled by an old favourite song, stories of love and loss, perfectly crystallized moments of nostalgia and saudade, all of which would be lost forever if it weren’t for YouTube’s easy, mostly anonymous commenting system.
I almost feel like you could write a Studs Terkel oral history of America culled entirely from YouTube comments on pop songs.
So this blog is meant to collect them before they’re lost in the avalanche of comments about how music used to be so much better before Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj came long, or how the commenter likes this song but is not gay, or how the commenter likes this song but is young. (Seriously… that’s like 75% of comments right there. Once you’ve sifted through a lot, it’s amazing the patterns that keep coming up.)
What this blog is not meant to do is to mock, to make fun of, to ridicule these comments or the people who wrote them. I just want to make that absolutely clear.
Thanks for reading.
- Mark Slutsky