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The Age of Decadence in YouTube, Vice City

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Technology, open access to information, freedom to say what you want, or challenging long-held social mores, have never – not once in history – sat well with everyone, especially ones that have adjusted well despite the lack of those things. So the Internet is now sprung upon us, a powerful vehicle for exactly those unsettling motivations, and people are freaking out about it as their kids learn about the world, not with their parents, but with YouTube.

YouTube Case File #1: Encouraging Reckless Driving

The experiment is not exactly proof that marijuana has no ill effects on driving, or that driving is actually improved by it. It is a video of just one stoner, after all, who drove more precisely while baked than he did clear-eyed. It’s also doubtful that the producers of the British video meant to encourage driving under the influence of any drug, though that may be the indirect effect, but only to illustrate the issue may need to be revisited.

If they’re lucky, the authorities won’t track them down the way Norwegian police did a 20-something speedster who videoed himself topping speeds of 150 mph on the highway. Boast-posting that video on YouTube ultimately got him a fine of $1,300.

YouTube Case File #2: How To Break Into Somebody’s House

Or, depending on how you look at it, “How To Get Into Your Own House If Your Key’s Inside On The Table.”

A nearly 300-part instructional video series demonstrating how to pick various locks made international news this week. Shocked homeowners and parents shouted in unison, “that looks like my house!”

Locksmiths, according to this article, either agreed with parents that information shouldn’t be publicly accessible because it was dangerous to have teenagers running around knowing how to pick their neighbors’ locks, or because that knowledge could put them out of a job, or because of both.

But then, it’s not like you can’t google that information for a number of sources.

YouTube Case File #3: All’s Viewable In Love and War

You may not condone donkey love, even if obscured by night-vision, but that doesn’t stop it from being posted on YouTube alongside blurry ragtop scroggin’ or the felling of Iraqi and American soldiers in the streets of Baghdad.

Jeff Diehl, at 10ZenMonkeys.com has rounded up a bevy of raw footage from the Iraq War, complete with Apache helicopter footage and dash-mounted video from the streets. You know you want to see it; the sublime is irresistible, even if (or especially if) a potential violation of YouTube terms of service.

So maybe killing, carnal exploits, how to burgle your neighbor, and going 0-420 in under four minutes on public highways aren’t the most edifying pursuits for the impressionable. But you know you’ve clicked, or plan to click, on all the aforementioned links in this article, too.

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The Age of Decadence in YouTube, Vice City
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