say it ain’t (david) so!

Yup. Again.

Here’s a bit of old news: this year’s Miss America was the first to be of Indian descent! And just to reiterate David So from his video, she was Indian-American, as in Asian-American. (Yes, India is a part of Asia please do your homework.)

Here’s another bit of old news: racism still exists! Maybe we’re all tired of seeing it, hearing it, and shaking our heads at it, but it’s still as prevalent as it’s always been– prejudice will always exist in some way or form especially concerning skin pigmentation or outward appearance and yada yada… we get it.

Nevertheless, I appreciate that David So brings the event up in not only a celebratory gesture, but an exposing one, albeit in a slightly crude and condescending way. His delivery is succinct, quirky, and fun to watch: it’s what keeps many Asian-and-non Americans alike subscribed to his Youtube channel.

As you know, I’m quite the fan of David So’s videos and their messages, mostly because of the way he conveys them, and that’s what I’m here to talk about today: why does it what the man does work so well?

Let’s break it down the way Porter wants us to.

Who here has ever watched a Youtube video?

That had better be the reaction I get, you with your ability to access this website in the first place. And based off the fact that of the top fifteen or so most subscribed Youtube channels, half of them are vlogging Youtubers, I’m going to freely assume that vlogs are well known by now.

Vlogs are visual, and the way David So represents himself on camera in each of his vlogs paints a quick picture even in the first couple of seconds, which in turn determines whether we’d like to stay and watch the video, to give him some time out of our day and listen to what he has to say. Online identity: it’s the most important thing out there nowadays, especially when you put your self out on camera, personality, face, all out for the world to judge, scripted or not. He’s not afraid to use all he’s got to put himself out there.

Right off the bat David So, without even having to explicitly say so, makes sure to position the camera so that he can talk to us at eye-level– he knows what we see, and the video automatically feels like a conversation, a rant, a heart-to-heart from one friend to another– only he’s a loud, fast-talking Asian-American with a big personality, humility (he reveals in many of his videos a self-consciousness regarding his slightly chubby nature), and he talks with a loose, slang-filled language straight from the ghettos where he grew up. And all he wants to do is make us laugh, and maybe have something to think about at the end of the day.

Like his speech, his cuts are quick, because he wants his videos to be as content-filled as possible. And, sometimes he’ll cut himself off and use silence or the nuances of his expressions to imply what he feels he doesn’t need to infer.

I use David’s videos because they speak to the audience I’d like to have on this blog: educated with a sense of humor. I discuss and bring up anecdotes about Asian stereotypes and racism etc. for awareness, but I’m not looking for a fight while I do it. I think it’s safe to say that my posts so far have been fairly light-hearted, if not a little indignant in the face of the ignorant, on behalf of those subject to unfair judgment.

His messages are short, sweet, and to the point– it’s what I’m working on, but his tone matches very much how I wish to portray the “exigence” of Asian stereotypes in an Asian-American world. He talks freely and uses his opinion, knowledge, and history to back up every single one of his points, and it’s the type of voice I currently am attempting to cultivate.

(Although, he is much looser in his language than I am, and he’s not afraid to point fingers or straight-out ostracize someone for their opinion– as much as he wishes for all to be educated, there are some people who cannot change until they want to.)

David uses Youtube, and right now as the internet’s most popular video-sharing website, it’s the right place to be if you want your voice, face, and opinion known: as a subscriber to his channel, when he posts, I’ll see it on my subscriptions page within the hour. The mere fact that I was able to embed the Miss America is Indian rant onto this blog makes for 90% of the reason I’m talking about it now– it’s easily accessible and universal in its function.

(You just press play. Seriously.)

For the most part, David aims toward an audience that: tolerates crude language (and sometimes crude humor), has an interest in what he is trying to say, and will laugh. (His channel is even called David So Comedy. You can’t get much more straightforward than that.) He even enables likes, embeds, and shares, as well as comments to continue the video’s dialogue (or something of the like) below the video.

He even engages with his own comment section, showing that he’s paying attention and that he does care about his viewers, though some of the time it’s an opportunity for him to textually tell someone of.

Generally, if the topic of his rant is controversial enough, or it emotionally affects viewers the same way it did David, there tends to be a decent engagement in the comment section. In the comments section of the Miss America is Indian rant I embedded, there were comments like:

Look here’s how I see it from two perspectives. The U.S. is a nation formed by immigrants of all nations around the world. Why is it so weird a beautiful woman with a foreign heritage (like everyone else in the U.S) be nominated Ms. America. And my second point if you want to get REALLY technical, why aren’t any actual Native Americans becoming Ms. America. If your going with that point of view anyone who is not at least half native american needs to gtfo of the competition.

The comment had 18 thumbs up. Usually when I see engagement, a ‘hierarchy’ of comments apart from the video about the video, it’s a sign that the video is either a) popular and/or b) very relevant.

Like many popular vloggers on Youtube, David makes videos for a living. He makes them because he wanted to make a living out of making videos, skits, rants, etc. In his most recent video, David So takes the time at the end to promote some of the work he’s been doing outside of Youtube, as well as to personally thank his viewers. And it’s not the first time he’s done it– many other vloggers make similar thank-you videos in gratitude when they’ve reached a certain milestone in their career if not for Youtube and their fans and supporters.

He’s motivated by the pure creative need to create videos, and so long as his videos continue to be engaging and of the quality we subscribed to him for, we, his viewers, will continue to watch, and support in any way we can, even if that means simply pressing the like button or favoriting a video. For now, I’m a fan.

David’s relatable and relevant, especially his thoughts, views, and attitude on Asian stereotypes. He gets it, and he knows how to work his audience– so for now, he’s got my view.

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