We live in nightmare times when, every day, the news makes me pray for some cosmic Lovecraftian being (#WakeUpCthulhu) to hurtle our planet into the sun.
As an unfortunate news junkie, I am to blame for my addiction. I consume media—newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts—and silently mouth “What the hell?” to myself at least 40 times a day. I can’t stay blind to what’s happening around me, even as what’s happening in the world threatens to cripple my well-being and leave me floating through life in a daze of hysterical confusion.
So like many others who found themselves caught up in The Darkest Timeline, I had all but forgotten what it was like to experience joy, an earnest happiness devoid of any cynicism, and that feeling of silently mouthing “What the hell?” in the face of sheer brilliance.
Then I stumbled across the Lost in Vegas YouTube channel.
The premise is simple: Two guys, George and Ryan, give their unbiased and real reactions to various songs and music videos.
That sentence right there is the exact opposite of my ideal entertainment. But George and Ryan are just so damn delightful. So full of joy it’s hard to not be drawn in.
The production is minimal, but the content is incredibly heartwarming and positive—even when they don’t like what they hear.
A little over a year ago, when I stumbled across them—shout out to whatever algorithm helped guide the way—they decided to listen and react to rock and metal music. Musical genres they admittedly didn’t have much experience with, as most of their earlier reaction videos focused on hip-hop.
The result is the most joyful and wholesome media to be found on the internet. I’m serious. Just watch them listening to Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” for the first time in their lives.
THE. FIRST. TIME. IN. THEIR. LIVES.
This must be what it feels like for parents to see their kids take their first step.
There’s no shortage of “reaction videos” on YouTube and, frankly, if a few months ago you’d told me that I’d be writing what basically amounts to a love letter to a YouTube personality, I would have prayed for some cosmic Lovecraftian being to hurtle you into the sun. This is how I pray now, btw.
It’s exactly what I need in my life right now. No fancy production or editing. Just two guys and a webcam, letting us watch them “taste a new flavor for the first time.“
I guess in the end, for me, meaningful media is about creating a connection. To hit that spot in your heart that helps you rise above the din.
Sure, I enjoy my share of “darker content” (I have made two Lovecraft references in this piece), but Lost in Vegas reminds me that while darkness always gathers around the light, there is still hope, and there is still joy to be found in these disastrous times. So, whenever I feel myself being tugged into the darkness, I remind myself to hold on a little tighter.