The Future of YouTube

In the future, when archeologists mine our computer data, they will eventually run across YouTube and when they do, they’re going to come to some interesting conclusions about life in the early 21st century.  Here are just a few examples.  (In no particular order.)

Half of all Russian drivers had dash cameras and the other half were drunk.

The tattoo industry was basically illiterate.

Our society was obsessed with puppies, kittens and fat people falling over.

Stairs were dangerous, trampolines were dangerous but the most dangerous thing of all were stripper poles.

It was common practice to scare the crap out of people – friends, neighbours, total strangers.

Construction workers were idiots.

Every man on the planet was nailed in the crotch by a ball, a bat, a rock, a pole, a stick, a croquet mallet, a hot beverage, a flying piece of fruit or some other heavy item — at least once.

The number of skateboarders who attempted suicide was astronomical.

Grown men spent their lives looking for mistakes in movies.

Taylor Swift was part of the problem.

Kanye West had only one song.

Millions of people spent millions of hours watching men doing various activities with a variety of balls.

No one could get through an entire day without mentioning Trump.

People made all sorts of things out of used plastic bottles and old toilet rolls – but they were totally useless and looked like they were made out of used plastic bottles and old toilet rolls.

Western religion was based on celebrities and babies.

Bikinis made women stupid.  Men started out that way.

People worried about zombies a lot more than they did nutrition.

Accidents, catastrophes and natural disasters were spectator sports.

Marriage proposals were publicly staged and elaborately planned.

Wedding, yearbook and family photos were objects of ridicule.

But actually:

Despite all their research, future archeologists are never going to be able to figure out who was filming all this stuff or why.

Facebook Desperado

I’ve always known that, despite outward appearances, I was a badass. Now I can prove it.

But you need a little background.

First, I’m on Facebook.  I use it to keep track of my friends and family without harassing them with “old man” telephone calls.  I scroll through, see what everybody’s doing, click “like” if I actually like something (weird, huh?) and move on to real life.  Handy as a hip pocket!

Second.  I live in Canada.  But I live in the one part of Canada (Vancouver) where it doesn’t really get cold and we hardly ever get snow.  When we do get snow, it’s an event — kinda like Carnival in Rio except with winter coats, a lot more swearing and traffic accidents.

Okay?  Stay with me.

This year, it snowed in Vangroovy – a bunch.  We had a White Christmas.  It was an event.  I posted it on Facebook.  Here’s the picture and here’s the caption.

 “Okay, Mother Nature.  Enough is enough.  Go Home.  You’re drunk.”

Then, a couple of days later, when there was more snow, I posted another picture – again with a caption.

“HEY, Mother Nature! Again with the snow? That’s it. I’ve had it. One more time and I’m taking legal action. How would you like a big fat Restraining Order, you bi … bad person?”

Me and my Facebook friends had a good laugh, and all was well with the world.

Then the snow went away.  And I posted this picture …

AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!

My post was deleted because … wait for it … the Zuckerberg Police said, “Your post goes against our Community Standards on hate speech.”  Not only that, but I was warned that if I continued to flout these Community Standards, my account would come under review and my Facebook privileges could and probably would be taken away.  (No more “Thumbs Up” for you – ya Nazi!)    

To be fair, it wasn’t the picture that pissed them off; it was the caption.  I can’t write the caption here just in case the Algorithms are still watching me (they probably are) but here’s the gist of it:

First word – D** — cease to exist.
Second word – Y** — not me but …
Third word — W**** — the colour of snow
Fourth word – D***** — residents of Hell

Apparently, if you’re going to criticize snow, you have to play nice or – uh – the snow? — will be offended?  I think?  (The Zuckerberg militia didn’t actually explain.)

Now, I could go on and on about the mindless, senseless, cyber monopoly called Facebook and how it has slithered its soulless tentacles into every aspect of our daily lives.  I could mention that “the Big F” answers to no-one, and that Biden, Putin and the Pope combined don’t have the kind power Zuckerberg’s minions do.  (Don’t they wish they did!)  Or I could suggest that — of all the bizarre, stupid, ridiculous, hateful and downright harmful things I’ve seen on Facebook — controlling hate speech against snow doesn’t strike me as a top priority.

I could do all those things.  But I’m not gonna.  Cuz I’m a badass now.  I’m walking tall.  I’m talking tough.  I’d drink my juice out of the carton if my wife would let me.  Maybe I’ll just get a neck tattoo: “Born to flout Community Standards.”  Yeah!  And I’ll misspell “flout,” cuz that’s the way guys like me roll!

Me VS The Machine

Yeah, I’m back!  What started out as a two-week hiatus to tweak my blog turned into a six month life-and-death struggle with technology.  It was man versus the machine, and the machine had me outgunned and surrounded.  (Now I know how John Conner felt.)

The problem was (and still is) that I’m a man of the 20th century, and two decades into the future I just haven’t caught up.  Let me put this into perspective – the difference, in years, between 2022 and 1990 (when I still thought I was cool) is the same as the difference between 1990 and 1958!  No wonder I have no idea what’s going on.  I’ve become my grandfather trying to understand television. 

In the beginning, everyone from YouTube to the teenagers at BestBuy said it was easy to upgrade my blog — get a new theme, add stunning graphics, put in add-ons and plug-ins and an endless supply of apps.  Lying bastards!  I clicked one icon (I swear it was one icon) and all hell broke loose.  Suddenly, my Cyber-presence (is that even a word, anymore?) looked like the Wreck of the Hesperus, and I was the one lashed to the mast.  Three or four days and a variety of increasingly creative obscenities later, I knew I needed professional help — but that just made things worse.  Every time I tried to explain or get some answers from the techies, I felt like a medieval peasant asking the priests for directions to heaven.  And no matter how faithfully I followed their instructions, I kept finding myself further and further away from salvation.  For the next few weeks (that turned into months) I alternated between unholy despair and increasingly creative curses on everyone from Johannes Gutenberg to Bill Gates.  I thought (seriously) about just pulling the plug – all of them – even the toaster.  Because, believe me, rock bottom has a basement.

But we folk of the 20th Century are made of stern stuff.  Yeah, the 2000s have crazy jihadists, Vladimir Putin and this petulant pandemic, but I survived Disco, Cabbage Patch Dolls and 80s slang (gnarly?) so the Taliban, Vlad and Covid, don’t scare me – and, come to find out — neither does omnipotent technology.

“You’re not God, you pile of plastic and silicone!  In another life, you’d be somebody’s fake boob.  I run this keyboard.  And don’t you forget it!”

And in one glorious act of liberation, I swept the carnage into a separate folder and deleted it.  So, from here on in, I don’t care about URLs, SEOs, analytics, portals, platforms, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, cuz I finally remembered one thing.  On the other end of my computer screen, there’s a person – not an algorithm!

It’s 2022.  Happy New Year, everybody!