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The Flip Cam Theory

Does anybody remember that old episode of What’s Happening!!, where Rerun got caught tape recording a concert by the Doobie Brothers? I never really understood how exactly capturing an audio recording of a live concert is a condemnable offense, but perhaps the phenomena of people whipping out digital cameras to grab any and everything could be traced back to it.

When I lived in Los Angeles, it wasn’t a thing to lock myself in my chambers and – in between the updating of the main hustle, eating meals that have likely shortened my life force by four score and seven years and the occasional… alright, constant perusal of porn (I’ve watched way too many “episodes” of Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Wife to keep count) – catch a show I couldn’t attend thanks to the multitude of overzealous concertgoers providing various, poor-sounding angles of that event. Now that I’ve moved closer to the Atlantic, the few times I leave my tilt to see a concert I’m fighting for a clear shot of the performer as a shitload of Flip Cams are thrust up into the air blocking my view of the entire thing.

One has to wonder what exactly what becomes of that footage. Most of the stuff out there is either too blurry, too choppy or just plain sucks ass to really use. Hell, approximately 17% of all footage that gets recorded actually ends up on your favorite website (*ahem*). The rest ends up as YouTube fodder, left to fight for views amongst old episodes of Solid Gold, Jackass reenactments gone wrong and those cornball video responses to other videos uploaded to YouTube.

You know, I kinda miss the days where it wasn’t a thing to see some schmag twerk what her mother and the hormones found in a bucket of fried chicken gave her on YouTube. Thank God[dess] for RedTube, though.

Perhaps the true reason people are constantly recording shows is so that they can get the satisfaction of actually seeing their flicks on their favorite websites (*ahem*). Not that it’s a bad thing to have your footage go public, but so often do people hastily rush an unwatchable video to the e-press that it makes me wonder if they went to the show for that sole purpose. If that’s the case most of us won’t watch that footage to begin with, because that facet is usually shown in its crappy quality.

I’ll be honest: the influx of video recaps, while beneficial for hermits/cheapskates such as myself, makes thing that much more impersonal. Yet the few times I actually attend a live show I’m been unmoved by the experience. By far the biggest letdown for me was attending my first-ever Jay-Z concert last year, and standing there with a blank stare because I had seen his routine done a thousand times over without having to venture outside my bedroom to do so.

The last thing we need, however, are videos that give us unworthy folk a “sneak peek” into the lives of everybody else. A perfect example was when I walked into the Atmos sneaker shop one day late last summer to see some jackass and his peoples talk greasy to a guy holding a Flip Cam (if you’ve ever hit Atmos, you’ll know how hypocritical filming a Smack-style video in a high-end sneaker boutique is). And remember when Tru-Life tried to make us jealous by using Ace Of Spades as a substitute for milk in his bowl of Frosted Flakes? The urban community has a quasi-bad rap as is; there’s no need for random displays of nignorance for the world to mock.

All I’m saying is that more people should leave the digital cameras at home and simply enjoy life. It’s not like swacking a bootleg movie online, where the experience is more pleasurable since you can watch a film on your own schedule, and you don’t have to worry about a group of rowdy folk fucking around in a theatre. By the way, if you bring your child with you to an R-rated flick, I suggest you have your kufi forcibly removed from your scalp. Also, if anybody knows how to score a copy of Kick-Ass that was “submitted for Oscar consideration,” you know how to reach me.

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