Do you ever look at something and have the sudden realisation that your simple human brain cannot comprehend it? A magic trick, a dog standing on two legs, an impossible Jenga tower: the ordinary, jolted just two or three degrees out of kilter, until it is wrong, somehow, unreal, disconcerting. Related: here's the cover of a new youth-centric YouTuber magazine, Oh My Vlog!
I mean, what am I seeing with my eyes, here? What is this? What is happening and what is going on? Because I see human beings but I do not identify them as my own. I see a language with which I am familiar but the words make no sense. I mean, essentially, what I am saying is, looking at this cover for the new youth-centric YouTuber magazine from All About/Egmont publishing, what I am saying is: Am I actually the same species as these people? Look at their clear skin and joy, look at their energy and their wristbands: I am not them and they are not me, they are the T-1000s sent from the future to kill me, I am Arnold Schwarzenegger emotionlessly driving a truck off a bridge, I can only survive this vlogger onslaught with the help of my friends, alone I cannot defeat them.
Secondly: what in the blue, deep and infinite fuck is "THIS ME8AZIN IS MY BAE"? Because I comprehend those are symbols taken from the Latin alphabet, an alphabet I am intimately familiar with, and yet: and yet… I guess "ME8AZIN" is some compound of "mega" and "magazine"? I mean… can a magazine really be bae? No matter how mega, no: a magazine cannot be bae.These happy white people have so much hair. So glossy, so thick. The boy ones have the same haircut, each and every one. They all smile with their teeth. Look at the dynamic and fun shapes they have contorted their joyful bodies into. I bet these people go to the doctor just for check ups. I bet these people have smoothies every day. I bet they know what flax seed is. I had Maltesers for my breakfast today. The more I look at these vloggers – the more I stare into the abyss of their happy little eyes – the more I wonder if I could get 10K likes, one day, if I cheered up and tried. The more I worry that I am wasting my life. That I am a horrible, horrible dog.I do not know who Tyler Oakley is or why a video phone call from him might be considered a prize worth winning, and it makes me feel infinite, ageless, so old I transcend age, like a billion-year-old meteor found on a sad, crap beach, like a distant planet, like a fossil. I am 28 years old.This was never for me though, was it? When I look at vloggers – so cheery, so full of advice, like your mate's older brothers or sisters who are inexplicably popular despite being Really Into Church – I get sincere Blue Peter vibes, as though the BBC's flagship magazine show has been reborn, made anew, with less of the making Tracey Island and more jump shots and cooing at dogs. Because I never really understood Blue Peter, even when it was aimed at me: even when I was a kid I rejected wholesomeness, the eerie joy of youthful adults who just want life to be fun, who sincerely want me to go to National Trust houses and do brass rubbings instead of playing Sega. Even as a kid I hated all that. But now I realise I was the one devoid of joy and fun. Now I realise that this is what people want.
This is the future, isn't it? This is what people like. I have been wrong all my life. People like pop music and shampoo that smells of fruit. People like people who pose for photos by joyfully kicking a Topman Chelsea boot at the camera while saying "Hi–yah!" People like five-minute videos where someone enthusiastically tells them what they just bought from the shops. Here I am, thinking forever that vlogging was vapid and awful, but it isn't: it's a coddle, a sweet cup of tea, a pat on the head, careful notes on how to put lipstick on, a heartfelt coming-out-as-bi announcement with urgent pleas to like and subscribe.This is the future, and web celebs are a thing. This is the future, and Marcus Butler is afraid of bees. This is the future, and this me8azin is bae.@joelgolbyMore stuff from VICE:I Entered Over 1,000 Competitions in One Month and This Is What I WonFHM Wrote a Guide to the Internet 20 Years Ago and It's HilariousIt's Not Your Fault that Your Parents Don't 'Get' the Internet