- The Deep Dive
- December 13, 2023: Happy Birthday, Miss Americana
December 13, 2023: Happy Birthday, Miss Americana
This week on The Deep Dive: It’s time to bring back automats, why some human life is deemed more valuable than others, MrBeast is constantly being chased down by smaller YouTubers who want to give him a gift for content, Sisyphus 55 might have cured my imposter syndrome, and what Taylor Swift securing her place as a cultural icon says about you.
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What happened to cheap food? Diners, Automats, and affordable eating by Kendra Gaylord (17:01)
No but really, where did all the cheap dining options go? And why are cafeterias today limited only to schools, tech companies with subsidized lunches, and IKEA? In this video, Kendra Gaylord taught me that there used to be cafeterias (called automats) in major cities that people could just go to for a quick, tasty, and cheap meal – all for the equivalent of 10 dollars or less today, depending on how much you could spare. Why don’t these exist anymore and why are so many diners closing? Hint: it’s probably the same reason your rent has gotten so expensive.
creating homo sacer: life that can be “killed” but never “murdered” by oliSUNvia (20:52)
In a time when the question of what type of human life is worth preserving feels so topical, it’s crucial to understand the ways in which some human life becomes the exception to the rule. In this video, oliSUNvia frames the concept of naturally valueless “bare life,” which exists outside of our structures of humanization and dehumanization, from a philosophical perspective. Leave it to oliSUNvia to be able to explain philosophical theories to even the most clueless of people (me). Are human rights really natural? Who decides which human life is valuable? And why do the moments people need to invoke their human rights most become the moments when they’re unable to do so?
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Fidias: The Growing Delusion of Main Character Syndrome by Donna (27:59)
If you want to make MrBeast-level content without MrBeast-level funds, you might have to get a little creative with it. For influencers suffering from a severe case of main character syndrome, that creativity might just mean causing a disturbance in public or even straight-up breaking the law. In this video, Donna analyzes the rising trend of smaller YouTubers tracking down (or stalking) their favorite massive creators to create viral content. This might seem straightforwardly problematic on the surface, but what happens when the creators they idolize became famous by using those tactics, encouraging smaller YouTubers to do the same?
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME by Sisyphus 55 (55:00)
This one’s for everyone out there who’s going through it, who understands that there are bigger issues than their self-discovery and need to be liked, but also want to make sense of their imposter syndrome. I know I can’t be the only one. In this video, Sisyphus 55 talks about the deeply personal and human struggle of being at peace with yourself or, at the very least, being okay with who you are no matter how contradictory your internal dialogue may be. Does this count as a video essay? I don’t know, but I needed to hear this and I hope you do too.
This Video Isn’t Just About Taylor Swift. It’s About You. by Alexander Avila (2:27:35)
Between revelations about Alexander Avila’s content being stolen by a certain YouTuber who shall not be named and Blondie’s 34th birthday, I couldn’t dream of a better video to close out this week’s recommendations – it also just so happens to be one of the best analyses of Taylor Swift’s impact on our culture I’ve ever seen. In this video, Alexander Avila tells the story of Taylor Swift to tell the story of us, if you will. From music history’s rockist vs. poptimist debates, millennial zaniness, personal branding, capitalism, and political activism (or lack thereof), Taylor Swift isn’t just an artist, she’s become a part of the artistic experience and the way we view ourselves.
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Rabbits need breaks too…
Give yourself a breather with The Deep Dive’s non-video essay of the week!
It’s time to revisit our girl Cecilia from Svalbard (an island close to the North Pole) now that polar nights have officially returned. I don’t know what it is about these vlogs, but they make everything about life in the Arctic look like such a vibe. I mean, come on, look at those northern lights. Rabbit field trip to Longyearbyen, anyone?! I’m only half kidding but I’m also not kidding at all.
Thanks for reading and happy watching! See you next Wednesday 💭
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The Deep Dive's Random Question of the Week 🐰
Would you live on an island close to the North Pole?