None of us is above YouTube, and nothing is beneath it. We have of course all long since submitted to a universal medium whose sole purpose appears to be the promotion of the universal below-average, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t pleasure to be had from watching content created by so-called ‘content-creators’ whose created content is often pretty much content-free. Indeed,a large part of the obvious appeal of user-generated content is that it is generated by people who are just like you and me and who therefore make stuff that isn’t actually very good. We no longer marvel at skill. What we admire is chutzpah.
The most recent example of a home-grown, coarse-grained YouTube spectacular was the amateur boxing match between KSI and Joe Weller earlier this month, broadcast live from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
KSI, as Spectator readers will be aware, is a professional gamer-cum-rapper, real name Olajide Olatunji, from Watford, some of whose popular uploads include ‘The Best Ever Steak!’, ‘I Hate Pokémon Go!!!’ and ‘Smash or Pass: Female YouTubers’. Joe Weller is a YouTuber from Eastbourne who mostly films himself exploring abandoned buildings. Between them, with their rough-and-ready charms, they have amassed more than 20 million followers on social media and small fortunesto match.
The fight ended with a win for KSI by a technical knockout. What both men lacked in skill they more than made up for in their pre- and post- fight postings, which would have made Ali blush. More than one-and-a-half million people watched the fight live — none of them, one suspects, actual fans of boxing — and KSI has since announced that his next opponent will be Logan Paul, the much-loathed American YouTube personality. England amateurishly awaits.