Gateways

_We’ve all used Youtube. It’s a wonderful website, giving us thousands upon millions of video clips of things we didn’t even know we were even remotely interested in watching. And because we’ve all used Youtube, we’ve all also seen the endless parade of comments on how poor of quality Justin Bieber’s musical stylings are, and how many people simply don’t approve of his songs. Now, I don’t particularly care for Mr. Bieber’s music or anything, but I heard a very interesting take on the Biebs on a podcast a few weeks ago by former MTV News correspondent Chris Connelly…

“…when you have a teen idol like that, people get excited about music again. Everybody I worked with at MTV, all the people who loved all the hippest bands in town, they all had been fans of David Cassidy back in the day, that’s how they got started. They didn’t stay with him, they didn’t think he was the…be all, end all. But…that was sorta your first foot in. And then you get to…Radiohead and guys like that. But you start with the teen idols, so he’s good news just because he gets people thinking about music again”

_Well put, Mr. Connelly. Justin Bieber is like…a gateway drug. Bieber Fever might be a kids first sickness, but in most cases it will likely wear down their musical immune system and they’ll contract bigger and better diseases, some of them terminal. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I’d hate for anybody to die due to liking Megadeth…although you’d be hard pressed to go out in a more badass way if that happened, I imagine.

_Keeping in mind that today’s Bieber fan is tomorrow’s potential Beatlemania addict, then is mass marketed lowest common denominator schlock really such a bad thing in any media? My sister never used to read books in her tween years, then one of her friends turned her onto the Twilight novels, which she devoured quite quickly. She’s since read Lolita and other classics and denies ever having liked the Twilight series. A novel gesture, to be sure, but to deny that any feelings ever existed and turn your back on that which got her back into reading is quite cold. Not that Twilight needs or deserves anymore fans than it has, but it’s still cruel when you think about it. As horrible as the books and movies are, it should at least get credit for getting a fuckton of pre-teens reading again. That’s something isn’t it?

_It makes you think…how many gamers out there had their first “jump in headfirst” gaming experience be something like Call of Duty and are now deciding “Hey, I like thing gaming thing. Let’s see what else is out there!” and are now dipping their toes into…I don’t know, Mass Effect or something…that’s not too far-fetched of a thing, is it? And if it does happen, I’d say that it’s a good thing. It’s like when people go from watching summer blockbusters to meaningful cinema. Sure, Independence Day was a fine popcorn flick and made money hand over fist…but who looks back and says “If you watch only one movie from 1996, make sure it’s ID4!” [Although looking back on 1996, it wasn’t quite a banner year in film. The Oscar winners were predictable, and we didn’t get much outside of Star Trek: First Contact and The Phantom]. We all start out liking the big action, but we grow up to want something more out of our movie experiences…though we still like to look back and remember the good ol’ days.

_Now, I like the Call of Duty series. They’re not like “Whoa-em-gee best games ever” but it’s fun enough, but that’s besides the point. There are plenty of “old-school” gamers that resent the series just…cause. It’s popular. You know how it goes. But like I’ve mentioned…just because it’s huge doesn’t make it bad. Sure, a lot of the fanbase are completely intolerable…but that’s every fanbase! What fanbase exists that there aren’t completely annoying and mindnumbingly assblastic fans that you hear them speak and you find yourself hating whatever they like because somebody you know might meet them and then associate them with you? None! None fanbases are like that. So basically…the only reason for hating on CoD is because it’s Activision ;-D No, I kid, I kid, there are other reasons to hate on it, but the series in itself isn’t a terrible thing for getting a shitton of people playing it.

_As we all walk the long and numerous roads of our lives, no matter where we go, we all share in common the fact that we started somewhere.  So the next time a kid tells you that they love them some Bieber, or were floored by the literary talent of Stephenie Meyer, or that the one time they killed five guys with the helicopter in Call of Duty was the most rewarding experience of their gaming lives, just remember…they still have a long trail to blaze. Unless they’re already grown up, then snicker in their face and chide them on their poor opinions.

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Filed under Film, Playtime, Sounds, Thoughts

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