In defense of Youtards

Before I get defensive, let me say that I'm a fan of Chris Randall's writing on his blog and am disappointed that he doesn't share as much of his opinions in recent months. I also use Audio Damage VSTs a lot and there are many unique sounds to be found within them.

Now for the defensive bit. A while back I was introduced to the term 'youtard' while reading his blog and immediately felt self-conscious. To be fair, he does use the term to refer to both Youtube as well as some of the amateur content on there. It is both the medium and the media.

The term felt like a personal slight and that's probably why I still think about it. I've uploaded countless videos of piddling quality. An early outtake from a recording gathered so many criticisms that I hid it for a while and ended up deleting the comments. In hindsight it was quite funny to see a drummer suggesting I was miming along to a drum machine but at the time it grated.

Anyway, I've come to realise that 'youtard' may actually be a fair description. While the noun 'retard' is usually used as an insult these days, the notion of something being 'retarded' as lacking development does still have a certain clinical ring to it. And 'retard' was a perfectly acceptable term in the past to describe various conditions that hinder an individual from reaching their potential.

In this way I feel that I am a 'youtard' as I generally use video as a way of demonstrating and, in doing so, am hindered by being both in front of the camera and behind it. When I studied television production we were encouraged to work in teams and it is often the result that the sum of a group effort exceeds individual contributions.

So I've come to realise that my work is always going to be retarded in a sense but I won't pretend that my music videos are attempting to compete with commercial content. They are, however, an opportunity for me to learn and improve and enjoy seeing a sense of development.