And to be honest, a hell of a lot of it is just like that.
But there are gems there too for those who care to look. Tucked away and hidden in enclaves, away from the horror, you can find some wonderful stuff.
Case in point: The YouTube channel ‘Lost in Vegas’. These are two guys, George and Ryan, who do live reactions to music videos. A little while ago they decided to spice things up by reacting to some music that they wouldn’t usually listen to—rock and metal—and since then their journey through the genre has become one of the most joyful and wholesome things to be found anywhere on the internet. Period. You might think I’m exaggerating, but this is seriously the most uplifting stuff since the Pale Blue Dot.
There’s a quote often attributed to George Orwell: ‘In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’ Another form of that could be: ‘In a time of ever-increasing atomisation and tribalism—especially in the online world—daring to go outside of your comfort zone is a joy to behold.’ George and Ryan come from a rap and hip-hop background and they have a lived-in understanding and appreciation of musical dynamics and moods. Seeing them react openly and honestly to classics from a genre that is often wildly different to the one they know—and that is sometimes seen as inaccessibly heavy—is a microcosm of how the world should work. Open your eyes, ears, hearts, and minds, and who knows what else you might find out there that you’ve been missing. The great thing about George and Ryan is that they don’t always love what they hear, but their critiques are just as honest, insightful, and from the heart as their adulations for the stuff that they do like.
The video that first got me onto ‘Lost in Vegas’ was their reaction to one of my favourite songs of all time, Megadeth’s thrash classic, ‘Holy Wars…The Punishment Due.’ Because here, even if the song isn’t your cup of tea, George and Ryan’s amazing reactions and hilarious commentary are just flawless:
‘It’s crazy how you’re sitting down, and you’re sweating’
That video went quite viral, and even reached the founder of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine:
You guys were really refreshing to see. It was like seeing someone taste a new flavor for the first time. Brilliant! I loved it! https://t.co/30YlJsAqFQ— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) September 23, 2017
Here’s another great reaction, for Metallica’s monolithic ‘One’:
And another few choice cuts:
One of the best things about George and Ryan’s journey is slowly seeing their tastes evolve, and how they find their respective niches in this great big new world. George becoming a fiend for rock and metal drumming is priceless. The faces he makes when Bill Ward smashes the skins in Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ are the faces we all make when that happens:
Guys, never stop. You are fucking funny, inspiring, and your channel is a refuge from all the shit out there in the world.