They* say blogging is dead. On life support at best. Moving images increasingly invalidate the medium. Reading is yesterdays news. Watching is where it’s at. Participating optional. Pile on ridicule or aspiration management is the new commenting. What a time to be alive eh?
Not sure this is progress. Research evidences nearly 30% of young women have body shape issues because of Instagram perfidy. While increasingly fragmented societal groups, apparently misrepresented by the ruling class, fall into an echo chamber prioritising profit over any kind of duty of care.
So not good then. Most of us slashed the ties to those parental values that are somewhere between inappropriate and embarrassing. Almost everyone else abandoned worshipping at the Anglican Church for a digital diety promising inclusion without accountability.
The way we ingest information feels pretty arbitrary. We don’t trust the traditional truth-sayers anymore. And to be fair, many of those speeded us into a place where almost everyone can be branded as fake news.
When that almost everyone includes the bloke allegedly running the country and his cretinous band of ultracrepidarians, then the time may have come to hide under the duvet clutching a bottle of your favourite anaesthetic.**
So far, so much middle aged bloke shouting at clouds. If you can’t change it then at least get amongst it. Only not really, for every YouTube influencer*** with a million subscribers, there are those of us washing up on the surf lapping at the edge of the Internet.
I bought a GoPro. Firstly it’s an amazing bit of kit. Back in the early 2000s, any riding video was essentially a bucking horizon and the rapid deployment of a sick bag. Whatever Elven magic is packed into micro-circuitry now focuses wide angle lenses onto broad landscapes with nary a twitch.
Except the best auto-stablilsation in the world depends on at least a partially stable platform. Looking down at my own platform, honesty demands I admit stable is not a term that even charitably describes the withered frame. Sure back in the day it was all zero body fat and a chest-like-a-toast rack.
Those days are behind us. Retreating to the far horizon. Passing into myth. The contemporary version – while still hovering around the 12st mark – has sagged in some areas and ballooned in others. Short of procuring the services of an industrial winch, no straps are going to prevent a certain amount of organic vibration.
The solution – other than being a young person – is apparently to mount the soul sealer to your helmet****. The problem with that approach is any resulting video looks flatter and slower. Frankly reviewing my poorly edited nonsense, that’s about the only thing that could make it even less interesting.
On that note, I get the attention span for any kind of video content can be measured on the ‘how long does it take to eat a wine gum’ scale. Grading on that curve, my 20 minute travelogues through various MTB destinations are clearly not for everyone.
Or almost anyone. Here’s the thing, they are not for anyone. Firstly because jump cuts/endless slow-mo/bro-fuckwits, etc remind me of why the Marvel CU can do one. Secondly my audience is basically me. It’s easier to prime the electronic sorcery with the three-beep-press than it is to get a proper camera out.
And I get to ride as well. No stopping, finding a good spot, sending riders back up hill when they fail to parse ‘WAIT A MINUTE, I’M NOT READY“, that kind of thing. More so I’ve found my inner riding voice is, in fact, an outer voice. The commentary admittedly is of variable quality but listening to ‘oh for fucks sake, Alex will you stop being a total twat?’ is more satisfying that it sounds.
It also sounds like a collection of the best moments of a ride. Banter, piss taking, crash noises you don’t get from a still. Memories freed from static frames. Digital essence of an analogue feeling. So much captured joy it makes me smile every time I watch them. Even if no one else does.
Really I’m fine with that. As Kirstly MacColl sang “I don’t want to change the world, I’m not looking for a new England“. I’m happy to document a tiny little corner just for me.
Oh and if you got this far: Moob Tube channel: You can’t say you haven’t been warned.
*Collective term for an ill defined cohort unknowingly coerced into supporting a marginal position.
**When I was a kid, this was how Nuclear War felt. All those undemocratic demon states. Now we’re being fucked by the very people the majority of our own state voted for.
***Honestly what the fuck? That’s a job now? Ability to use a GoPro and point it at things. I was told robots were going to take our jobs. I was mostly okay with that.
****I’m not even going to google GoPro and Helmets.