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YouTube 2022 Reflections, Part 3: Video essays and explainers

[I watch a lot of YouTube. It’s the first thing I select when I turn on the TV, seeing what new material has been added. YouTube may feel overwhelming considering how much is there (and how much is just sooooo bad). So, I thought I’d share the Good Stuff I found this past year, posted in 4 parts.]

As resort travel isn’t really my thing, I doubt I’ll ever visit Cancun. That didn’t stop me digging this 6-minute video which explained why and how Cancun became a tourist destination. It involved math.

This was the year I discovered Johnny Harris, a video essayist with a geographic and cultural bent. He wields ProTools (or whatever he uses to produce and edit his work) expertly, as shown in this 16 minute exploration on… bread. And why it’s so terrible throughout much of the U.S. (though, thankfully, not where I live in Oakland/Berkeley, within walking distance of many fine bakeries).

I never watched a minute of the Disney Channel. Yet I was still engrossed by this video which uncovers the composer of the Disney Channel’s identifying music, in particular a four-note theme that, I guess, is iconic for a generation of television viewer. Defunctland is, for me, what YouTube (and the internet) is all about: an obsessive’s view, in this case rendered through excellent video craft. Don’t be scared by its 90-minute runtime… It’s easy to pick up and put down. This video hit me emotionally in a way that I didn’t expect.