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Friday, July 17, 2015

Things I Don't Understand: A Rant

I am forever late to the party when it comes to what people are doing these days.  I chalk it up to my belief that, in a way, I was born too soon.   I grew up in the 80s and still think it was the last best decade we ever had.  I am solidifying that argument in my own mind after watching NatGeo’s The ‘80s, The ‘90s, and The 2000s documentaries on binge mode.  Maybe it’s generational.  Maybe my dislike or lack of understanding of today is congruent with my parents or other baby boomers lack of understanding of what it was like when I was growing up.  In any case, here’s what I still don’t get.

I don’t get the appeal of today’s music.  Ariana Grande might be a talented singer, but for the life of me, her words are indecipherable and all run together.  Now, that may be because I’ve developed hearing issues over the years.  I know people that can listen to the same song as myself, at the same time, and can pick apart the lyrics while I’m still stuck on the fact that I thought Elton John was singing, “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.”    I could concede that with Grande, but Googling the thought pointed out that a host of other people can’t understand what she’s saying either.  Iggy Azalea?  No clue what she’s about, either.    What’s the issue with her and the public?  I’m still stuck on the fact that I though K-E-Dollar Sign-HA had a career.   I still like music from people who’ve been dead for years… except for Kurt Cobain.  I didn’t care for him in the 90s, and that hasn’t changed in 20 years.  Any kid that comes up to me today and says, “Kurt Cobain is my greatest influence” immediately has a “Get off my lawn” coming to them.   And I don’t like it when someone takes something from the era I like and tries to make it something of their own, today.  Blurred Lines was cool for about a minute before I realized it was a pretty creepy thing and ripped off Marvin Gaye.  However, I do like Postmodern Jukebox and stuff like David Garrett covering a bunch of rock tunes with a cello.  That is kind of cool.  What Kid Rock did with Lynyrd Skynyrd/Warren Zevon a few years ago was not.

I don’t understand that niche of social media like tumblr, reddit, and even Instagram, though I have an account.   How do these things work and how do people get sucked into tumblr?  How does one tumbl...r?  Maybe I should learn so that I can incorporate it into my YouTube or design stuff.  Then again, I get on Tumblr and my head just grinds like a shot clutch in a Ford.  I opened a tumblr account and I just don’t know what to do with it.  Isn’t that what I was doing here?  I’d say I need a teenager to help me figure stuff out but that sounds a little too creepy to openly announce on the Internet.  

What exactly is reddit?   And don’t get me started on subreddits.  Am I even spelling that right?  I know a few YouTube producers who get a lot of conversation going and ideas from reddit, but I don’t know what the hell reddit does.  I know it was partially responsible for hosting all of those leaked photos last year.   I know celebrities go on and do “Ask my anything” posts but seems like a lot of noise and craziness.  And then people vote up or down.  I just don’t get it.  They even have hateful groups like /r/rapingwomen and such.   WTF?!?!

Instagram?  People take pictures, apply some snazzy filters, and voila, they’re… photographers?  Do you mean to tell me we are going to hoist some kid with an iPhone onto the same mantle as Ansel Adams or Annie Leibowitz?  Oh, I just took a photo of a plate of spaghetti… slapped Inkwell filter on it, adjusted the contrast, and BAM, I’m Henri Cartier-Bresson!  And people can make money selling their photos?!?!?  How does that work?  Who would buy an Instagram photo?  Hell, some guy named Richard Prince took people’s Instagram photos and hung them in a gallery and claimed it was transformative and therefore fair use.  Do businesses pay you for taking pictures of their stuff?

I don’t understand SEO.  I don’t understand how it affects websites and why people are always looking to hire people.  Isn’t it just tagging?  And how is that a marketable skill that people rave about on job boards?  I spend a lot of time refining tags on videos and shirt designs and I do not see any difference in the amount of traffic I get from before and after.  And furthermore, the old adage of making money on a blog is crap… I’ve had this blog for almost seven years and have yet to make a dime from just posting content.  Have any posts directed people towards buying something of mine from a shirt site?  Yes.   But the whole point was delivering content, people clicking, profit!   That hasn’t happened and I do not understand how that works.  

The one thing I do understand is the idea of how to get rich and I can share it with you for only five dollars.  :)

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