In the guise of a bit of pop entertainment, Neo has crafted a formidable video essay on how the past can soothe the present and shape the invisible. If all American adults of whatever sort were to read and listen to all of this together of a Sunday morning (9 AM Pacific), race relations in the USA would improve by at least 50% above current levels immediately. Depend upon it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the genre of the reaction video, it involves a song – usually one popular between the 1950s through the 1980s, but it can be any song – which a person listens to for the first time while videoing himself or herself simultaneously reacting to it. The song performance is usually featured in a small square down at the bottom. The reactor is required to stop the recording at intervals and speak, or risk running afoul of the YouTube copyright ax.
One reason I’m so taken with reaction videos is that through listening to them music feels a bit more like a shared experience rather than a solitary one. Another is that I enjoy watching the surprise on the faces of the young people – and they’re almost always young – hearing the “old” music for the first time. In addition, their comments are sometimes poignant expressions of yearning for the sentiments of an earlier day compared to the harshness and vulgarity of today….
Take a look at the woman in this next video reacting to that same Bee Gees’ song. Watch her reaction when she first hears the Bee Gees’ falsettos. It’s not just surprise, it’s a relaxed kind of delight: