Mar 27, 2007

YouTube goes Hollywood

Virginia Heffernan on the YouTube awards.
But now we have the 2006 YouTube Video Awards, a product — so the intro on the awards page says — of “the YouTube community.” But given that the rushed and almost certainly screwy voting commenced only once the nominees were published by YouTube, this community project doesn’t seem quite organic. The dread idea of arts administration has come to YouTube. And in a real insult to the speedy Web world, this 2006 event has happened well into spring 2007, honoring bygone achievements. That seems very Internal Revenue Service, not to mention very Oscars.

So, oh, looky here in the winners’ circle. We’ve got the neato guys who dance on treadmills, Smosh, the Wine Kone and Ask a Ninja. If these names sounds fresh to you, well, then, YouTube’s done its job, and maybe you’ll stop by, hang out and find something that actually answers to your tastes.

To older hands, the award winners, announced yesterday, will be recognizable as YouTube veterans, and their selection here makes blindingly clear the site’s slacker aesthetic (Smosh, OK Go and the Wine Kone); its mush politics (the Free Hugs Campaign); and its chronic oscillation between absurdism (“Ask a Ninja”) and emo (“Say It’s Possible”).

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