I don't really have an article to discuss today. I could go ahead and find one easily enough, but fuck that. I'd rather talk about something near and dear to my heart. And that is this sudden flood of sponsored videos on YouTube promoting the Mormon way of life.
Now, for those of you who aren't as addicted to YouTube as I am, or in case you've been living under a rock for the past decade, let me take a quick moment to explain how the site works. Basically you enter a phrase into a text field to perform a search of the YouTube servers, and you are given a list of videos that match what you're looking for. Then, usually after a quick advertisement, the video will play right there on your screen. What makes YouTube especially dangerous for internet addicts like myself is the bar on the right hand of the screen, giving a list of "related videos" that people who have also watched the video you just saw seem to enjoy. This inevitably leads to endless hours traversing the rabbit warren of "Suggestions" until your mouse finger is bloody with clicking and your eyes have permanently crossed.
It is this "Suggestions" bar that has put the proverbial salt in my coffee this morning. Usually I don't mind it at all, as most of the "Suggestions" are actually related to whatever I was just watching, and odds are I'll probably be pretty interested in it. But at the top of every suggestions list is the YouTube Sponsored Video, a link to something that more often than not has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Some organization has just dropped a few extra bucks to help ensure that their clip(s) are being broadcast more efficiently. And over the past couple of months, like a plague of biblical locusts, there has been a preponderance of videos uploaded from YouTube user Mormon, the "Official" YouTube Channel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
And may God help you if any of you hapless fools should accidentally stumble upon one of these videos after mis-clicking on that next Bill Hicks clip. God damnit, the last thing in the fucking world I want to see when I'm on the hunt for Hicks ranting about the irony of Christians wearing crucifixes when a cross is likely the last thing Jesus would ever want to see upon his return is a video of a group of smug, pious, self-righteous douche bags telling you how to live your life. These videos are more damaging to the health and well-being of our youth than the tobacco advertisements that are no longer allowed on television. And no, I don't have any studies to back up that wild claim. It's just a gut feeling.
But it isn't just the fact that these videos are being marketed that has put me in a mood. Take this video for example:
All the normal warning signs of religious propaganda are there. Slow, emotional music. Mellow narrator with an aged and wise sounding voice. The pained looks on the actors' faces as they indulge in acts that take them farther from the Grace of the Lord. Etc, etc. But what is really unsettling about using YouTube as another cog in the propaganda machine is a characteristic which was previously absent from traditional mediums like magazines and television: the comments section. If you look at that video above on the actual YouTube site, you'll see the video has accrued right around a quarter of a million views, with 152 comments on the page. And of these 250,000 viewers, not a single comment has been to disagree with The Church of Latter-Day Saints. I mean fuck, this is the internet, people. Do you really think this video has been seen that many times without a single person trying to call them out on their bullshit? You can't post a video of a cute and cuddly kitten without some douche-bag chiming in with his two cents and calling everyone even watching the video a faggot. And yet mysteriously, there is no one voicing dissent to these vehicles of religious oppression.
Most of you are probably saying "Calm down, you're over-reacting, blah blah blah." To which I say, "Fuck that". To test my theory, I myself posted a comment on this video just yesterday. I tried to keep myself from being too profane, and basically said something to the tune of "Pornography can save marriages, you people are all just going after the wrong women." But alas, my comment was not met with approval after it was submitted to the scrutiny of whatever review board is responsible for maintaining these comments lists. You would think that if they were truly confident in the sanctity and validity of their productions, that the moderators of the Mormon Channel would welcome the opportunity to open the floor for a little educated debate. Obviously, this is not the case.
I mean, I can understand wanting to scan video comments to make sure that people aren't posting baseless profanity, but if someone brings up a valid dissenting argument, it still is stricken from the records. And you know what that is called, boys and girls? Fascism.
And in closing, the real reason all of these Mormon videos are pissing me off? It completely takes away my ability to slam the door in their face when they would go on their mission work. It's hard to angrily and emphatically close a browser window. And since they've taken away my ability to comment on this trash, I am left with no outlet for my fury other than to bore you endlessly with my diatribe here. And for that, I am sorry. But at least I feel better about myself after getting that off my chest.
Enjoy the day, folks.