Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beauty Tips And Orgasms: Mallorcan Youtubers

"I am now a professional idiot." These words belong to Loulogio. And Loulogio is? Well, one version suggests that no one is too sure where he came from or how he was born. A possibility which can't be ruled out is that there was a computer error during an update of YouTube which, in the form of an act of rebellion and humorous insurrection, led to the fifth dimension of the internet (co-ordinates x, y, z , time and porn) being crossed and that this brought him into real life. This is the version according to Frikipedia, an online encyclopedia, not to be confused with one of a similar title, in which you can also discover that "Parma de Mallorca" (and it is Parma) is a continent, the ownership of which has been disputed for thousands of years by Germany and the United Kingdom.

A different version has it that Loulogio was born Isaac Sánchez Gonzalez in 1983 in Badalona, just up the coast from Barcelona. Bearded with black, tousled hair, Loulogio made his debut on La Sexta's "En el aire" in September. This was why he had become a professional idiot. Loulogio had crossed the media divide into mainstream television. He made his name as one of Spain's foremost youtubers. 

The first time I suppose that I encountered a youtuber was the accident of discovering Dimple Diamond in 2008. So astonishing was his rendition of "The Runaway Train" that I implored others to spread the word. It was a campaign which was so successful that six years later the video still only has 2,208 views. But then Dimple was a product of the early days of youtubing. Plus, he wasn't to be honest terribly good. He didn't go in for high production values. Or indeed any. He clearly wasn't in it for the money either, which was probably as well. No, Dimple was of a time when YouTube was littered with 30-second videos of a cat sat on a mat or on its litter, and everyone thought it was marvellous.

It wasn't to be long, however, before the true potential of YouTube became clear, and so were born the youtubers, some of whom are nowadays said to earn small fortunes from their productions, and Loulogio was one of the most important contributors to this new media phenomenon in Spain.

Earlier this year, "Business Insider" ranked the world's highest-earning youtubers, even if getting a true figure of what they earn is not straightforward. Nonetheless, the top 20 who featured were all reckoned to be making more than a million dollars a year in advertising revenues. PewDiePie, aka Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg, was ranked number one: "a foul-mouthed Swedish video-game commentator who has absolutely dominated YouTube over the last year." Among the top 20 was Vegetta777 (Samuel de Luque). At number six in the chart he was the highest-ranked Spaniard. His specialism is also video games. He was believed to be earning as much as 2.6 million dollars.

Early in 2013, "Ultima Hora" ran a piece about the Jackass youtuber phenomenon in Mallorca. At the end of the article, readers were asked to judge for themselves whether what the 300 to 400 teenagers involved in Jackass did was normal, such as filming themselves kicking others in the balls or drinking a concoction comprising a "fizzy drink, black pepper, curry, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, vinegar, paprika and other herbs" and then trying not to vomit. Some of the Jackass contingent had been present at the first gathering of youth youtubers in Palma the previous September. One who was there was an irritating teenager known as Alexis Cold; irritating solely for the fact that he is a teenager. Alexis is just one of many Mallorcan youtubers.

Another, more famous local product of YouTube is Toni Nievas. Like Loulogio he has crossed over to TV, to the same show on La Sexta. Described by the show's presenter, Andreu Buenafuente, as "the most unclassifiable of youtubers", his humour takes aim at the likes of former president Jaume Matas and Princess Christina. Then there is, for example, Koala Rabioso, a punk creation of deviant art who offers some quite striking videos on seemingly mundane topics like "Instructions for Walking". Born in Mallorca, she is now in Bilbao. Or there is Roser Amills from Algaida, who created something of a sensation by being filmed apparently having an orgasm while reading a novel in Catalan. It might be noted that Roser, a writer and journalist, has written a book entitled "I Like Sex". Less extreme is the Mallorcan Noemi who has two YouTube channels in which she gives beauty tips.

The world of the youtuber is a strange mix of the normal, the bizarre, the informative, the anarchic. If you are one in Mallorca, let me know, but only if you are a professional idiot.

Photo: Loulogio.

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