Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Don't "Get" Linkara...

Seen here espousing his genius.
    I hardly know where to begin.  I suppose at the beginning.  I learned about the Nostalgia Critic through his "rivalry" with the Angry Video Game Nerd.  I learned about the nerd by the time he released his Karate Kid review.  So I've been around a while is what I guess I'm saying and I learned about Linkara basically from jump street.  I was there for the first video and I read his blog entries which are just massive walls of text and nearly impossible to slog through.  I don't like his videos but his written stuff is interminable.  I hung around until about AT4W's Top 15 Worst Superhero's Becoming Villains, at that point my interest evaporated.  To add a little bit of extra insight into this, you see, Linkara and I live in the same town.  Or at least in the same general area, or at least used to live in the same general area because I don't see much of him anymore.  I used to go to the bookstore he worked at because that was the closest bookstore to me, I stopped going when I ran into him there.  I've run into him in Gamestop and the gas station.  Probably a half dozen times total.  There were a few months where it probably looked like I was stalking him but, really, we just happen to travel in the same very small circles.  I didn't always talk to him but the few times we exchanged pleasantries he wasn't a nice guy, he was kind of a dick.  Which, you know, I get, dudes getting gas or buying a video game what does he care about me?  You are out living your life, it's not anybodies fault that I know who you are and you don't know me but I feel I know you enough to try and talk to you and we keep running into each other.  I say that it's nobodies fault but it's kind of Linkara's fault.  I mean you are on the internet, some part of you should be prepared to talk to fans, where ever you may be, and not be a dick about it.  Also I was here first, it's not my fault you were born in my general geographical area.  Anyway that's my history with that fellow (I know his real name but it's not like we're friends so I'll refer to him by his internet name).

  So I reveal all that to let you know my history and my bias and let you know that I'm not pulling these observations out of my ass.  I should also reveal that I still occasionally go to his website and watch his reviews, in fact I just finished marathoning about 20 episodes.  AT4W is like fast food to me.  I don't particularly like it, it's not particularly good and it has very little substance but when I want to consume something comic related and I don't care about quality then that's the place I go.  His reviews are the pre-formed, meat-like patty of internet review videos.  I watch them when I want to hear about comics while I paint or sculpt or work on my custom action figures.  I do that because I don't really care if I miss something, it's perfect to have on in the background because I'm not really invested in what's going on.

  But he's crazy popular.  I don't really understand why.  He's one of the few people from That Guy With The Glasses, by his own admission, who is able to do video reviews full time and live off the revenue from that alone.  He's a billion times more popular than me.  I don't make any money off this blog, hell, I don't even advertise this blog.  I've had this thing since 2012 and just last week I told my friends and family I do this as sort of my hobby.  Not even because I'm ashamed by it, even though I probably should be, but just because it didn't occur to me that I should bring it up.  However I feel like I'm missing something.  I suppose he's unique in that he's the only one doing video comic reviews but I watch the show and, when I pay attention, I get mad.  For some reason that anger just drives me to watch more episodes to get madder even though I know it just puts more money in his bank account.

  I just don't find him all that funny.  I think he's repetitive in the things he says and the criticism that he lobs at the things he reviews.  He's rarely constructive and rarely offers anything unique in his criticism.  He says that he reviews bad comics because otherwise his reviews would get "boring and repetitive" but they kind of already are.  He is one note in his humor relying on call backs and clips of other people's creativity.  He's not a good actor when he does his skits, his skits are poorly written but they're presented in such a way that he must think they are clever because he puts them front and center in his reviews.  His format, however, doesn't allow for skits, they are just presented out of context of any review structure.  He's not being held captive and forced to review comics and these are his antics between forced exposures like MST3K, which is something he clearly wants to be by how much he steals from it.  They just happen apropos of nothing.  I don't blame the guy for wanting to mix things up but then do that.  Make a miniseries of skits once a year like Suburban Knights or Ninja the Mission Force.  Those are examples from your contemporaries, people you should be looking to.  Don't shoehorn them in when I came to see a review.  The most creative and humorous things I've seen are the "Previously On..." segments that rely almost entirely on the acting, and perhaps writing, of other people.

  There's just so much wasted potential.  He doesn't use his reviews or his popularity as a way to talk about anything important.  It seems he just wants to hear applause and people tell him how great he is.  He doesn't approach anything in a unique way, he doesn't use anything as a platform for a greater discussion.  It's just "This comic sucks." that seems to be the entirety of his message and after a while it just gets boring and I stop caring.  Maybe I'm totally done caring, maybe this is the point where I can just stop watching it.

  I don't know.  I needed to write this to get it out of my head.  I've been dedicating WAY to much mental bandwidth trying to figure this out.  I will admit that I'm throwing stones at a castle wall and there's no way he should care about what I have to say.  Linkara is way more popular than me so me must be doing something right and he probably worked really hard to get where he is.  Thing is, I don't really care.  I update a Facebook page with zero likes.  I updated this thing and it didn't get a hit that didn't originate from a Russian porn search for months and I continue to update it not knowing who, if anybody actually reads it.  So, in a way, Linkara can't "get" me back.  I don't really care about popularity, I don't really care about achievement or which of us makes more money.  I don't like him, I don't find him entertaining and after a while his voice grates on me.  Alright, I think I'm done now.  I think I've worked it all out and I don't think I need to go back there.

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