Youtubers and Politicians

Sometimes I wonder how does people in the screen make to catch us and keep attending to the luminous display and making us think. Furthermore, people are used to idolize somebody for their actions and careers. The most flagrant case may be the one of the Argentinian football player Maradon whose achievements reached to the creation of a church in his name.
But let us go a step closer to us, to the word of speakers and displays. What does make us pay attention to people? Their image and their words.

It can be impossible to think about but, can we relate President Barack Obama with PewDiePie? Yes, we can (no pun intended). This is not going to be a completely scientifical article as I kept doing these past weeks, but an opinion based on experience. 

First of all, these are the sources.



I didn't typed the name on the urls on purpose so the readers cannot prejudice the content. Once you had seen them, let us ponder about these photograms:

Both mr: Obama and PewDiePie are talking to their respective interviewers. Their gaze goes out of the frame in a middle direction (not up nor down) and they smile while talking. The position of the camera is close and mid-frontal, so there is a space for letting presuppose the interviewer. Evenmore,  both are wearing a blazer with white shirt.

Despite the endless braces pit that separates both (language, country, social position, career, age...), there are elements that join them. But, as we always do, let us look into one step forward:

The movement in their eyes: it is quite common for a person to deviate the look from the interviewer. These are lapses people take to rest their minds, reorganize words and put them in the speech, The gestures with the eyeballs while talking are almost the same! Both look right downwards!(PewDiePie makes a difference but it is lesser) This fact called my attention because mr. Obama has lots of hours of training behind to behave in front of the camera and transmit whatever he wants to transmit but Felix is an amateur, more whether we talk about TV interviews.

Prosody and length of the sentences: This fact is even more impressive taking into account the gap existing between English and Swedish (Felix's native language). I am not making a prosodic nor syntactic analysis but leave it to the hearer's interpretation, and hope to be suprised if they realize.

The elimination of the "capitalism" factor: it can be thought of a stupid fact, but offering an interview with public media instead of the ones that the subjects own has to do with the empathy spectators might feel for them while displayed. Both videos are from 2014 summer and a similar length. Just to add, the interview is spontaneous, so they answer what they know. This is, both won NOTHING for the interview and that leaves us a neutrality to think about them, albeit the disparity of the topics they are discussing.

And these were my realizations of today! I hope you enjoyed them and like them if so!

Thank you for watching!


- "The New York Times" Youtube Channel, "EXCLUSIVE OBAMA INTERVIEW: China as a Free Rider | The New York Times", (seen 2014/12/13)

- "SwedenmagicExtra" Youtube Channel, "Interview with Pewdiepie, June 2014 Sweden (HD)", (seen 2014/12/13)


Vines - The Condensed Meaning of Everyday Life and Thoughts

Vines. We have talked about vlogs and memes but we haven't got deeper in the trends of the web. We may think of the web as the resemblance of our stressful day routine, but we really are who change the speed dial to even higher levels everytime we move or come into a hurry for really nothing.

Despite of the thoughts that can be spread from our jobs, studies and daily actions, we've got the art expressions and culture these come with. These ones are moulded by this celerity and, why not, the adaptability the common of the people has to it.

In an attack of curiosity, I've came to revisit one of my web's favourite videos and I found time ago and, at the beginning of this year I found they were called vines! Wow, interesting. Youtubers really should have patience to record only 6 second tapes. But no, not youtubers but "viners". 

Today I went and used define: in Google to find out what a vine is. Wikipedia gave the best definition (althought I swore by my mum to not quote Wikipedia again):

Vine is a short-form video sharing service. Founded in June 2012, it was acquired by microblogging website Twitter in October 2012, just prior to its official launch. The service allows users to record and edit five to six-second long looping video clips, and to "revine", or share others' posts with followers
 - Wikipedia, Vine (service)

I must say I am impressed. Five to six seconds! What can a video tell us in such short time? It is too fast! Well, vines can say a lot.

First of all, even if you haven't noticed the content in the first attempt, they are self-recursive, this is, the repetition in such short time lapse will allow your brain to get it at the second or third time. This happens with advertising (annoying ads are annoying but we learn them).

After this simple realization, it comes a large variety of elements to portray in a camera. Let us observe some of them:


This one is called "Forgot My Lines", from the viner Reno Shaw. The composition is simple, just a white board and a man writing on it. We can read, from the point of view of the creator, "a story without `[undefined lines] means [undefined lines]". Then, with a spice of creativity, the man with the pen adds some lines to complete: "a story without details means nothing". 

This is a sentence that fosters our thinking about stories. Details are there to complete the stories, because we cannot even imagine a story with a lonely protagonist and the poorly spiced ones are quite boring, so they become nothing. So we feel compelled to think about and feel fun while agreeing to this user.

The art is created quickly, the pose is stressed and in the movement is quick but precise. The main colour is white, so as the man's skin with contrasts with the man's black and white shirt, glasses,  and hair. White is the colour associated with academicism. The music pitch is relaxed though the cadence is an obstinato of guitar dotting with a little harmony that helps the viewer to infer a feeling of continuity while rewatches the looping video. 

The steadiness is the purpose of the vines. Even more loopings a video generates, more popularity acquires the viner.

Of course, there are more things that give popularity to videos. I came into the "animal" section of vine.co to find more videos with an only purpose: Internet stereotypes. Soon after I faced the biggest I can imagine: puppies and babies: 


So cute! Too much tenderness for this hour of the day! This one is more simple but repeats one variant from the first one, which is the music. Still the musical pattern is repeated to the point that pastes from the end to the new beginning. More loops. 

Then I found this one in the comedy section, which I think is quite hilarious albeit it took me four times to understand all the sentences. It is from KingBach, who I found is so popular.


The curious fact is that they use 7 different shots, three different simple sentences (spoken in less than a second) and a sequence of music that only lasts quarter of a second. It is a must-watch, seriously. It has a lot of things to explain but it would take too long.

So this is it, I hope you have enjoyed it and I leave here the URL to my favourite video of all the times. 


See You!


Laina Morris - The Meme and the Person

Laina Morris aka Overly Attached Girlfriend
Hi again! Welcome back to a session of semiotics (normally) attached to the world of Internet. Our target for today is Laina Morris, mostly known among the Internet users as "Overly Attached Girlfriend".
Laina has never told her real second name, so we don't know whether it stands for Walker nor for Morris but her image is already created.
The most interesting fact is that, her image. She is shown both as a meme /mi:m/ and as a youtuber. In fact, the day this post has been updated, she has 1.215M subscribers since 2012.
On June 6th, 2012, YouTuber wzr0713 uploaded a webcam video titled “JB Fanvideo” in which she performs a parody rendition of Justin Bieber’s latest single “Boyfriend” with personalized lyrics. According to Gawker’s article, the video was submitted in response to Bieber’s announcement of an online sing-off contest in promoting his celebrity perfume “Girlfriend.”
 - knowyourmeme
The same day her image was launched, images like these were found all across the Internet:

Like PewDiePie, we can find that Laina's first contact is the gaze, as a meme and also as a youtuber. She always stares at the camera but does it in two ways, either as a vlogger that tells the story or as OAG (Overly Attached Girlfriend), opening her eyes to look like the creepy fictitious partner of the viewer's narratee. She always attracts the spectators catching their eyes.

Her pose is always close. Only few times she can be exposed in a full body framework, nor looking outside of it (if she does, it occurs in sketches, when she is looking at the other person). The action is relaxed and the movement is little, so that the viewer can feel empathy. Despite of this, OAG opens fully her eyelids and gets closer but only when performing the stalking and clingy couple she performs.
Even acting as OAG, the viewer can infer her personality and have a trustful look even the possible bias short-humour viewers can have. The colours help. Her palette is green and blue and some rosy for her skin and the environment (the house of her hall, her room walls...), and they are well pasted, so an agreeable atmosphere is created.
These facts of relaxation and harmony help the viewer to skip over the irony of being an insane controller and see it as a fact for fun.
Furthermore, she speaks like a common girl: no restricted slang, no bizarre expressions, not unexpected high tones.  Her vocabulary and form of speak is characterized to have a cadence of Standard English, in contrast to other youtubers like Markiplier, who has a marked accent coming from the state he was born and the one he was raised. Laina comes from Texas, but she does not speak in such stereotypical way.

The most used expression by Laina is "to be like", which is an informal way to perform reported speech, usually from other person, to make depictions of actions and comparisons. 
Just to add, she donates the money she is given to the charity, so we can find an affection by their fans that is very justifiable. 

Thank you for reading!


- Know Your Meme (from cheezburguer.com), last seen 2014/12/07


- Kress, G. and T. van Leeuwen: "Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design"; Routledge, London (2003)


About visual metaphors and presupposed knowledge

As you can see, this is a meme image.

You might think, as an spectator, that this cannot have any aim for the study, more than the information given. In fact, it gives us much more information than the letters give. But what does it? The answer is as simple: images.

The first issue where we can extract the information from this images is, as stated in the post, from background knowledge. Are there 9gag fans here? Any Breaking Bad fans? No? We will explain, then.

Since a person acquires the meaning of something, we can apply it to different contexts in real life. For instance, the red colour in traffic signs whether the lights and the STOP post tell us, "pay attention and stop!". Since learned, all of us look at red signals of every kind and stop and pay attention. This is called presupposed knowledge.

This image with letters within it on the right border is called a meme, a cultural representation used as a symbol in the web. This symbol is used to point out at actual and curious scientific acts but it has a background.

“Yeah Science, Bitch” is an expression associated with the character Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) from the television drama series Breaking Bad. On the web, the phrase is often used to humorously express one’s enthusiasm for new discoveries and practical applications of scientific knowledge.
- knowyourmeme.com
This is an idea conceptualized, which meaning is projected to the real world through this concept. This one is the bridge that our minds cross to reach from the meaning to the external world.

The other way we can find to reach to the meaning is by our own abilities as observers. How can we do that? Simply by the observation. Let us take a look to this bird:

What does come to our minds when we look it? Do not be shy to tell it. This animal is bizarre as hell! Look at his eyes! How are its pupils so unequally elapsed! What does he think?! 

And this is the purpose. Now you can feel identified with it. Think about something really strange you do everyday. Yet too shy? Knowyourmeme.com gives us 

Weird Stuff I Do Potoo, also known as Peculiar Potoo, is an advice animal image macro series featuring a photograph of a potoo bird accompanied by captions confessing strange idiosyncrasies and other unique behaviors.


- Know Your Meme (from Cheezburguer.com), last seen 2014/12/04 

- Know Your Meme (from cheezburguer.com), last seen 2014/12/04

- http://connormcfergus.tumblr.com/post/104193423343/linguistics-studying-on-late-hours


PewDiePie - The Image

PewDiePie - The Image

Hello everybody! Welcome to my first blog entry!

As all of us have great dreams, I have one: analyzing the biggest tubers speech and how they are, how they are changing us and the way language is used.
To begin with, I would like to start with PewDiePie. I am not a hater. Quite far from that, I am a fan of him and like his "Let's Play!" section.
The incoming analysis follows the patterns given by Kress and van Leewen's Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. According to this book, we are going to observe briefly and in scientific terms how his image affect to us.
First of all, his eyes. Pewd's eyes are very marking in the concept of his brandmark. As we can see in the presentation of his channel, he has a half frontal image in which he is looking the spectator.

His eyes are half-closed, albeit in his vlogs he looks frontally to the camera as we can see in these images.
PewDiePie not nly looks at the camera but also to the viewers

Nevertheless, when he gets into action, he looks out of the photo frame and down, to the computer screen.

Both of the gazes show up a kind of sympathy with the viewer. The direct look shows a direct dialogue, while the second one, following a diagonal line (usually), shows a kind of comradeship with the person at the other side of the screen as if both were playing the game, like a team. Furthermore, this feeling is increased by the simultaneous playing. For instance, if both, the player and the spectator are scared by a monster in the game, they get the same feeling at the same time. Even more, it is possible they connect their gazes everytime this happens.
PewDiePie's pose has also a big matter of importance in his pose and movement. The pose in all of his photos is from close to mid-close distance and front to mid-front. This happens every time, since he is doing gameplays, to vlogs and yet his youtube main page. This gives the sensation of proximity to him, like standing by his side.
The movement he denotes in his photos varies but also depict his personality. PewDiePie tends to be static and grin, and to move backwards and open his eyes and mouth in a gesture of terror.

This is the example of his typical colour palette
Finally, the colour of PewDiePie is turquoise blue, white and sometimes clear green. These colours are faded, quite relaxing but in contrast with the horror vacui (absence of free space) that usually happens in the thumbnails of his videos. This issue points to the purpose of entertaining and fun he has. To add more, his logo (the front fist with a P embedded in it) also has his colours.

Nevertheless, this changes when the thematic changes, like for instance, in horror gameplays thumbnails. Then the colours adapt to the tetric atmosphere they are usually given (black, red and gray).

This was my first analysis. I hope you enjoyed it and that I may continue uploading these observations.

Thank you!
- Kress, G. and T. van Leeuwen: "Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design"; Routledge, London (2003)