>>> The YouTube Critic
By staff writer Harold Longfellow, Ph.D.
April 23, 2007

Recently, YouTube added a series of videos by politicians running for office in the 2008 election. Don’t worry, though, I’m wise enough to know that you would prefer to watch ninjas or pirates than Mitt Romney’s thoughts on fixing social security. I wouldn’t mind delving into an intellectual discussion of politics, but since I want you all to come back next week (I think), instead we’ll do music videos. I hope you’re happy now.

This is the most painful thing I have ever witnessed. There are no words to describe the pain and horror that I feel upon subjecting my eyes to this. Given the choice, I would rather be castrated with a rusty spoon than ever see this again. The creator of this anathema to cinema should be drawn and quartered so that he may not continue to defile my art. If I could give negative points, I would.

Grammaphones: 0 (out of 4)

While I could address all the various filmic aspects of this video, I feel as though there are more pressing issues. After checking the lyrics online, I found that the uncensored version reads “I’m in this bitch with the terror.” What, then, is “the terror?” It seems to me there are two real possibilities.

First, perhaps this Fat Joe is, in fact, a terrorist. Why he would announce this to the world through a rap video I can’t possibly understand, but let’s be honest, he doesn’t exactly look like the brightest character around. Second, maybe “the terror” is actually some sort of rap jargon for venereal disease. If this is the case, is he in “this bitch” (I assume this means a woman, though who knows with the slang kids use these days) and infected with “the terror,” or is he penetrating a woman who has “the terror”? If the former, I am disgusted with his deficiency of morals, and if the latter, then he’s clearly as intelligent as he looks. You can all attribute this video’s score to the fact that I just wasted a few minutes of my life working through the logic behind what is probably a meaningless statement. Sure that’s not fair at all, but neither is life—especially mine.

Grammaphones: 1.5 (out of 4)

I’m not even really sure this is a music video, but it’s close enough to fit what low standards I still hold for this column. Anyway, it’s now dawning on me that this was a terrible idea for a column, as decent genres of music (I know you’re all thinking of R& B and “classic” rap—as if rap could ever be described that way—but what you’re looking for here is classical) don’t actually have music videos. Anyway, while fantastic lyrics like, “Kill all of your friends and ride their corpses like a carousel” and “SLOTHS!/SLOTHS!/SLOTHS!” really do pluck the heart strings, I cannot see why any human being would ever take the time to put them on paper. The only feature of this film that has any value at all is that it appears to have been produced for relatively little money, whereas the money spent on the two abominations above probably could have fed villages in Africa for years. For those of you can’t appreciate that comparison, just think of how much Natty Light you could buy.

Grammaphones: 2 (out of 4)

I want to hate this video as much as I hate the first video, but I can’t bring myself to do it. This is so obviously a serious attempt at a moving piece of music and film that I can’t even muster anger. He is really putting his heart and soul into his music (a word I use very loosely here), and if I was capable of giving sympathy to the creators of monstrous works like this one, I would. That being said, he has made the world just a little bit worse by ever allowing anyone to view this, so he shall get nothing from me. Also, Reh Dogg? Really? That’s the best pseudonym he could come up with? I’m pretty sure the first word is just a misspelling of something, but it’s so bad I won’t even begin to guess what.

Grammaphones: 1 (out of 4)

Lesson of the day? Music, once one of the most powerful, poignant modes of communication, is now mind-numbingly terrible. That is all.