YouTube videos not what they used to be

YouTube has been a staple of my college career since I first sat down in my room in Moncrief. At the time, it was a catch-all of anything entertaining: TV shows both old and new, music videos, movies and the everyday person doing silly things on camera. There was nothing else like it on the Internet.

Sadly, those days are no longer with us. YouTube has since morphed into the monstrosity it is today, scarcely recognizable from its original self. I recall my first interaction with the video storehouse – an alternative to Yahoo! videos, I was looking for the music video to (ironically) “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Finding the video opened up the then small video site. “YouTube, eh?” I said. An interesting concept. I decided to follow up later that day to look for episodes of “Legends of the Hidden Temple.” Lo and behold, there they were, all the old Nickelodeon shows I could ever want: “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Hey Arnold!,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and the list goes on. Sadly, the golden days were not to last.

“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by (insert media conglomerate here).”

I couldn’t believe it. All that made YouTube the media hub that it had grown to become was now lost to “the man,” and thus marked the fall of YouTube.

What happened after that can only be described as entertainment holocaust. Gone were the days of classic cartoons and movie clips. The rise of user submitted content was upon us. Most user submitted content is synonymous with absolute garbage. Go ahead and look up “Fred” on YouTube. I rest my case.

But what of the Internet video behemoth now? Well, it’s trying to get back to its roots. While the site is still bogged down with people being stupid on a webcam, YouTube has resurrected some of its TV show database. Unfortunately it’s no longer whatever show someone posted; it’s whatever YouTube sees fit to get the license for. Consequently, the number of shows is severely limited. Lest I forget to mention the addition of ads to some videos, it would appear as though Google has now added YouTube to its list of cash cows.

All in all, the site still provides the occasional comedic gem, but no longer are hours of laughs awaiting you. It’s a pity that the Internet powers that be couldn’t save YouTube from what will inevitably become a nigh useless landfill of memes and anime. However, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go upload the latest video of the new Xbox 720.

“Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down.”

You’ve just been newspaper Rickrolled.

Mischa Astroff is a senior advertising and public relations major from Leawood, Kansas.