This will start with one thought, and move to other thoughts. If you don’t like it, oh well. At this point, I’m beyond caring. And maybe this post will explain why.
Babymetal released their new single this week. It’s called “Divine Attack – shingeki”. I didn’t really like it. All that hype, and for a song that’s pretty much just cookie cutter metal.
When they were in their younger days, it was much easier to like them. They were trailblazing – they did something that few people had done before, and over the next ten or so years they had a lot of followers. Ladybaby, Band-Maid, etc. Kawaii metal. Cute metal. Babymetal lost their kawaii.
But what made them so kawaii in the first place? I think it was because they were little girls. People could identify with them in a weird way. Adults saw daughters. Children saw peers. Metalheads saw a refreshing invigoration of the genre. Idol fans saw idols doing something unique, while keeping their kawaii “idolness”. It was a win for everyone. But, they grew up, and they’ve got little interesting or unique anymore. They’re just one of a bunch of j-metal bands, and probably not even the most innovative anymore.
But the fans don’t care. They still love Babymetal for the most part. I’ve seen so many reactions on YouTube, and they’re almost all the most sycophantic “this is the best thing ever!”, and… how? What’s so great about it? Or is it just that it’s Babymetal, and their queen Su-metal sang it?
Youtube reaction channels are really starting to annoy me, and for several different reason. One, of course, is that finding one that is actually honest is not easy. I’ve found a couple, but for the most part, you can count on them not saying a bad word about anything. Another is that once they find their genre, they become popular mostly by sucking up to whatever fanbase they’re going after (Babymetal is a particularly egregioous example of this). A third is that they seem to enourage the kind of parasocial relationships that I hate.
In actuality, Im becoming covinced that everything popular has to foster a parasocial relationship if they’re going to succeed.
Nearly every channel on YouTube that isn’t specifically educational, every band, every celebrity, every movie, everything. It’s all parasocial.
To the point where people hate it if you call it for what it is – a business relationship where your eyeballs are the product. You offer your views, they offer what you want to wawtch, they pretend to make themselves available, you offer sycophantic comments saying how great they are… everyone wins.
But it’s not sincere.
That’s not the real problem, though. I don’t like it, but it’s not the real problem. The real problem is that YouTube and celebrity and bands like Babymetal, etc., aren’t the only place where parasocial relationships occur.
Let me just ask you this question, and maybe you can fill in the dots for yourself:
Why do you think divorce rates are so high?
…. because marriages are parasocial too.
Sigh.I have a possible solution, but odds are you’re not gonna like it, so I’ll save that for another post, after I’ve thought it over for a bit.