I was told by teachers growing up that journalism was dead, and wanting to be an opinion writer was the equivalent of drinking yourself to a slow, torturous death in the writing world. I haven't made it there quite yet – my writing liver is still intact. But what my teachers didn't know back in the day was that this fantastic media platform called YouTube would be unleashed upon the world giving everybody with a camera a chance to rant about whatever or whomever pissed in their corn flakes that day.
I, for one, was thrilled with this technology and ability to stick it to the man and create my own destiny – to share my own quiet voice. I discovered YouTube around 2007 and at that time I never heard of anyone making a single penny off the thing. The site seemed pretty cool and novel – a place for really bad rock band videos and clips of monkeys flinging poo. It was the bargain basement of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
I didn't do anything with it then, but before I knew it eight years of bad decisions and cheap haircuts scooted by like a dog with swollen butt glands. Boom... 2015. I recently decided to move out to sunny SoCal to pursue writing comics and various other forms of word-herding, and while scavenging the Los Angeles job market I got bored and decided to pass a few hours visually stimulating myself with the YouTubes. I stumbled onto one of my favorite channels, which follows the shenanigans of a group of dudes who play video games while shouting foul insults at each other. Yep, pretty mindless.
It’s pathetic to think that numbing the mind is the greatest purpose of this amazing journalistic tool, but now that I live alone it reminds me of sitting around the old college house with roommates and beer cans and pizza boxes and doing those things. I was watching these dudes and decided to find their home base and, sure enough, here they are in El-Lay. A few quick Googles later I learned that their Wayne’s World-ish channel is the proud property of a media conglomerate. The company owns a pack of such channels – ranging from more-of-same to, as Jules Winnfield would say, not even in the same fucking sport.
I won’t say whom – you can do the Googs for yourself. But while creeping on the company website I noticed the little tab that said careers. Aha. Is this what I’ve been looking for? Is this how I make it on the YouTube? Is this my ticket to fame and fortune in the Big Time World of Writing? Of course I clicked on it and found out it was not at all what I expected.
This page had a very long list with all kinds of positions and careers, none of which was “Slacker sitting on couch playing games and sharing pompous opinions and meaningless drivel with others.” Instead, the listings were things like "Games Merchandising and Monetization Director,” "E-Commerce Manager,” and my personal favorite, "Manager of Business Development."
No, I'm not making that shit up. I'm not ragging on YouTube for trying to be professional as fuck, I'm merely pointing out that you have people with titles like this somewhere behind the camera of a video like the one I watched earlier today where a dude looks at another dude and says "Hey fucker, I’m gonna slap your dick with my dick."
This, in my opinion, is just the kind of thing that proves that any good, simple idea can grow to become a business empire. The brainchild of three PayPal burnouts who cooked the idea up over a few brews and cold pizza back in 2005, YouTube was quickly snapped up by Google and today remains one of the fastest growing social media tools on the web. With a billion viewer eyeballs and hundreds of millions in revenues. Dang – YouTube is YouBig.
But what they hey? I applied to one of the jobs anyway, but they were asking for a college degree, a coupla years’ experience in the field, and a slice of lemon. Much to my not surprise my app was rejected.
Fuck it. I guess I'll complain on the Interwebs about it. Or maybe shoot my own YouTubes vid.