YouTube is probably the greatest anthropological project ever launched. It has managed to expose the multitudes of the human condition more than any other medium ever created, and allowed people to express themselves in more diverse ways than at any point in history. This weekly column is an outlet for me to share with you some undiscovered gems, as well some very well-trodden gems, and discuss just what it is that makes the chosen accounts so intriguing.
WHO: All Def Digital
WHAT: Russell Simmons' YouTube channel, but so much more.
HOW MANY SUBSCRIBERS AT TIME OF WRITING: 1,508,513
WHY SHOULD I CARE: About a year and a half ago, maybe two years, I was getting stoned in my room with a friend. I wanted him to put something funny on the TV, as I had YouTube hooked up to it through a games console. He asked me if I'd seen a video called "Tubesteak". I hadn't. He stuck it on, and it was the most breathless with laughter I'd been in a very long time. Two compilations of 15-odd minutes of a Tubesteak, a ghetto pastiche character created by Carl Jones and Boondocks mastermind Aaron McGruder. It involved him pissing on books, complaining about being surrounded by laughing children, how much he hates ice cube, battle rap lyrics consisting solely of a threat to punch someone in the mouth, and more. Behind Tubesteak in many of these clips stood Gerald "Slink" Johnson, star of Adult Swim's Black Jesus and voice actor in GTA V. It was his appearance in many of the choice videos on All Def Digital that made me like them so much, I think. But that's not the only reason.
Without naming names, YouTube is absolutely brimming with terrible videos based on dull experiences. People trying things for the first time; Pakistani food, Indian food, British food, which oven pizza is the best, what it's like to wear a hijab for a day – boring, cheap, idiotic, sentimental garbage supposed to bring people in our small world closer together yet serves predominantly to alienate and other them. One video in particular involves two guys asking an Uber driver to take them to a restaurant of his choice, hoping for an insight into the culture of the man. Hey guys, Uber drivers eat different from us! How would we ever know how they live otherwise?! Content must be made from our GoPro pioneering.
Slink Johnson and other assorted comedians have taken to a series called "For The First Time". The first of these I watched, "Black People Try White People Food For The First Time", involved three men confronted with a spoonful of mayonnaise each, along with some raw kale and hummus. I found it very funny indeed.
I continued to watch Slink and his cohorts do other assorted white stuff, like celebrate Hannukah and play Dungeons & Dragons and hockey. It was quite beautiful.
I'm not really interested in whatever else Russell Simmons' channel has to offer. I'm sure some of it's good, but I my sole concern is with Slink and the crew doing white people shit. I like it because it's simultaneously parodying the bland, beige, normal bullshit that you see on certain other people's channels, and also breaking down a few barriers at the same time. These videos are doing the Lord's work for American race relations.
Another reason they beat out the competition is that Slink is actually funny. He's a comedian, and he's really fucking naturally good at it. A mistake a lot of other channels make, like Fine Bros, is that they think everyman's voice is enough to sustain entertainment. That may be true in the short term, but after a while it gets boring as all hell. Unfunny people trying to be funny isn't cute or quirky, it's annoying and sad – just ask your sister's boyfriend.
One of the few good things about the avalanche of wokeness is relinquishing yourself of petty offense. Learning to laugh at yourself, at your stereotypes, is good for the soul, fellow whytes. Don't be that guy who gets upset that black comedians joke about white people eat mayonnaise from the jar and playing water polo. Be the guy who laughs along, because it's funny shit, and you should like it.
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