Blogathon 13/24: Overreacting much?

There are lots of memes going strong over on TikTok, in fact that app is where a lot of new stuff (features, functions, memes, etc) is/are being born. YouTube used to be the place where stuff was happening, but YouTube is old hat now; it’s a declining market and only Gen Xers hang out there. The cool kids are all over on TikTok waiting for the next big thing (who knows, that might be: FriendsReunited, or MySpace or even Blogging).

One of the strongest TikTok memes are reaction videos. A reaction video is where half of the screen shows someone playing or doing something while on the other half of the screen someone else, with a directly-related skill (or an associated skill, or even a strong interest) listens or watches the first person doing whatever they’re doing, and reacts to it for the camera.

So it might work like this hypothetical example: I post a TikTok video of me writing a chapter in the current book (for ‘writing’ read ‘sitting here with my fingers on the keyboard while I stare at the fire with an empty expression on my face’), and Stephen King pops up in the other half of the video screen watching me and reacts to what I’m (not) doing. Except that would be really dull so it’s not a good example.

I recently saw a reaction video where a classically-trained flautist was watching/listening to Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) play one of his most outrageous flute solos in the middle of a big prog rock number. I wish I could find it for you because it was a combination of enlightening (where she said Ian’s technique was achieving things she hadn’t even thought of) and amusing (where her face just telegraphed disbelief).

I like Ian Anderson. I’m a bit of a Jethro Tull fan. But that video got me thinking. How likely was it, I thought, that a classically-trained flautist would never have heard/seen Ian Anderson doing his outrageous flute-related thing? OK, I’ll concede that Ian might not be on the curriculum of the LRAM, but never heard his stuff? Really? After a little (probably too much) thinking, I put that thought away, but I filed it in the ‘I can’t quite believe this shit’ drawer.

Yesterday I saw a reaction video of someone listening to the Pink Floyd song ‘Comfortably Numb’ for the first time. The ‘oh, really?’ gene kicked in once more. That late-20-year-old, musically aware, intelligent young person has never heard the two greatest guitar solos in the world before? Really? No, I couldn’t quite get my head around that one either.

And then I thought about this household. Maybe the 17-year-old had heard me playing Comfortably Numb, but had she listened to it? I mean, had she *listened* to it? She gets a lot of her life intel from the Internet and it’s not always accurate. Does she listen to some of the stuff I play? No, I thought. She probably doesn’t. Has she ever listened to Comfortably Numb? I filed that thought away in the ‘probably not’ drawer. And if she hasn’t, I had to concede that it was likely some of her peers haven’t.

So yeah, I came away with the thought that maybe some of these reaction videos weren’t hyped up nonsense, maybe some of them were genuine. I think I taught myself something.

4 thoughts on “Blogathon 13/24: Overreacting much?

  1. I’ve seen some of those reaction videos on YouTube (I don’t do the Tik Toks) and I can’t help thinking that they must play up to the camera. I mean, a video of someone raising an eyebrow or nodding their head in appreciation isn’t going to be interesting watching.

    It’s a bit like that Gogglebox rubbish- they all play up to the camera. If you were to film me and Mrs.M watching telly, it’d be the dullest thing ever, I’m sure.

    Everyone wants their fifteen minutes.

    1. I have seen a few minutes of Gogglebox, but not a full episode. If someone wants to pay to watch me answer questions on The Chase quicker than the contestants or The Chasers, whilst I pick my nose and scratch my arse, they’re welcome to send the money my way.

  2. I routinely claim to have watched the least number popular movies of anyone I know. Pulp Fiction, The Godfather, Inception, Interstellar, Psycho, Casablanca, Apocalypse Now, any of the Rocky, Fast and Furious, Terminator, DC, and Marvel series. Oops, except I think I watched Dr. Strange on a plane. I’ve seen one Star Trek movie. (With Benedict Cumberbatch, see the theme there?)

    Yes I’ve heard Comfortably Numb, but my first Pink Floyd album was A Momentary Lapse of Reason and I didn’t own and listen to Dark Side of the Moon until years after that release.

    In short, I don’t do popular culture.

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