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On Vandals and Rednecks

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

TW: Destruction (images shown)

TW: Animal abuse (small mention, no images)

I WILL NOT BE SHOWING ANY VIDEOS IN THIS POST.

These are my opinions. If you want to tell me why I'm wrong, feel free to keep it to yourself.


YouTube

With the popularity of YouTube, we all know how much variety there is out there. And a lot of these channels desperate to make a splash in the market are willing to do really stupid things to get attention for themselves.


One of these things is destroying stuff. Yep. the generation I was born into is so creatively challenged that breaking expensive or rare items is apparently seen as entertainment by the millions of simpletons who tune in obsessively to watch it.


Some of the biggest offenders of this are dumb-as-a-rock-124, The Hydraulic Press Channel, TechRax, GizmoSlip, and WhatsInside. (No I'm not linking to their channels. They should all be terminated) Initially, things popped up such as, "Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This?", and "Will It Blend?" Later followed by "Angry Grandpa smashes ______" And while I was only about 12-13 at the time, even at a young age I could see this was a pathetic means of grabbing attention and it really didn't interest me in the slightest. I even went as far as scrolling past these thumbnails quickly so I wouldn't have time to get annoyed.


Apparently, though, these low-effort, high-budget videos aren't painful to watch for most. As the majority of these channels are successful. And judging by the Fandom pages for most of these people, the fanboys are about as toxic as the content.


 

One of the interesting things is the appearance of "Restoration" channels. These guys are the heroes. Odd Tinkering, TronicsFix, and Hugh Jeffreys. Realistically, there are too many to mention. But these people have skills I hope to learn someday.

Channels like these will take something broken, non-functional, or battered beyond repair, fix them up, make them shine, and send them back into the world for round two. I think that speaks for itself. If you're reading this, guys, you're seriously impressive. Hopefully, people decide to watch you over the morons who break things in the first place.


I've actually done a spot of repairing myself.

In 2020, I broke a phone for the first time. My Asus ROG Phone II was balancing on my desk, and as I span round in my chair to get a drink, it fell on the floor, smashing the screen into the chair base. (The thing that kinda looks like a starfish and has all the casters on it)

The screen was black in one area, and after a day or so, this black spot had grown to cover the entire screen. It was still responsive, but of course, I couldn't see anything.

(This is a screenshot from an update video I posted to my YouTube account so I could let friends and family know I couldn't respond to texts for a while)

Huge thanks to Liam from my workplace. He took pity and offered to send me a USB-C to HDMI adapter. This meant I was able to hook my phone up to my TV and use a Bluetooth mouse I'd already paired to control the now-unresponsive screen. I was able to stop the alarm that I couldn't disable and back up all of my things safely before wiping the phone data.


However, I felt guilty that I'd really destroyed this phone. Even if it wasn't intentional, I still felt I needed to do something. So I decided to buy myself an iFixit toolkit, and repair it myself. (my mum chipped in a little when I was losing confidence. Thanks, Mum!) I did try to record the process, but I was so nervous I ended up doing most of it without recording. It needed a screen replacement, a new digitizer, and ended up needing a new fingerprint reader as well. But ultimately, I got it working again! The parts took a month or so to complete, so I ended up buying a ROG Phone III, which I'm still using as I type this. The ROG II ended up being used as my work phone. The only part that remains non-functional is the front camera. I replaced it but it still just crashes when I try to use it. It's not really important, I never take selfies anyway.


While it was a rollercoaster from start to finish, I ended up learning a lot from taking it apart and putting it back together.


 

Anyway, back to these airheads on YouTube.

Probably the most toxic person I know on YouTube being this idiot. dumb-as-a-rock-124.

His 'flagship' series is him breaking things. Using various tools.

He's done things from cheap Chinese crap (and no, I'm not talking about himself) to things that sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Smashed for fun.


Below are 6 examples that came up on a Google search.

  • A Playstation 5. (A video game console that many people are unable to find)

  • A Tesla Model S (a really nice car that most of us wouldn't ever be able to afford)

  • An Apple iBook G3 (a rare computer, now seen as a collector's item)

  • A literal house (need I say more?)

  • A graphics card (Also now in short supply due to the transistor shortage)

  • And various Nintendo Switch consoles (This one being drowned because apparently it's supposed to be funny or something)

All destroyed by some wannabe comedian with a twisted mind.

And for what? 10 minutes of enjoyment? Pathetic.


This is all, of course, my own opinion. Personally, if YouTube were mine, I'd have this guy, as well as everyone like him banned instantly.


The episode where a house is destroyed, I should mention, the building was planned to be renovated anyway. But I still don't think that's an excuse to smash all the perfectly good equipment within it. (He also smashed a few old collector's items in the process. Seriously. This kid has a problem and deserves to be homeless)


The worst part about it is that these idiots aren't really doing anything against the rules. While Logan was out there filming dead bodies and torturing animals, this kid just breaks stuff. By comparison, it's harmless. But don't lose sight of what this is - just plain wasteful.


Rock isn't the only one. As I mentioned earlier, there are loads of these pathetic channels with their hearts set on destruction.


No doubt most of the things destroyed go straight to the bin and won't be recycled or even kept as souvenirs. As you'd expect, that's too smart for someone who likes to break stuff.


Here's something else interesting. His fans showcase their pro-level English skills by writing about the videos on a Fandom page!

He placed the PS5 DualSense controller on the ground, and destroys it with a sledgehammer. He placed the PS5 console on the ground, and destroys it with a bat, throws it on the ground, and destroys it with a pickaxe. He ended up smashing the PS5 console with a sledgehammer at last.

If you ignore the fact that they can't decide what tense to use, the entire piece has an oddly uncomfortable vibe to it.

A combination of the step-by-step storytelling, the strange amount of detail, and the constant third-person perspective tells you that someone is certainly far too invested in this.


I'm pretty convinced that, at least for some, there must be a sexual motive for this sort of thing. It's no secret that there's a fetish for everything out there. And things breaking seems to be a thing that an alarming amount of humans enjoy for whatever reason.

Rock himself claims to be asexual, but frankly, I don't trust the Chinese.


*skip this next paragraph if you don't want to hear about animal abuse*

There are much worse fetishes out there. It was on the news at one point that 3 teenage girls had been caught creating "crush" videos in which they trample and otherwise torture *ahem* live animals. So I suppose Rock is, in comparison, an angel. But you know you're a failure when the only time you're seen as a good person is when you're compared to literal animal abuse.


 

I am a materialistic person, so I make no secret that this is all my own opinion. As I said, destruction channels aren't against the rules at all. But I still think it's a bad step for the environment. In a world where waste (especially e-waste) is becoming a serious problem, I really can't help but think destroying things in such a large quantity is bound to be a large contributing factor to the old problem of global warming.

Realistically, you don't have to be a materialist to see value in something. If your family have had the same car for ages, you know it becomes a part of the family. It's very easy to form an emotional attachment to an object. Others around you may only see it as a simple possession, but to you, it has much more value. The same reason people collect things.

I have a collection of GoPro cameras. From the original HD HERO to GoPro's latest and greatest. My brother tends to ask why I bother using things like the HD HERO2 when it can barely do 1080p. But I just enjoy using it. My first GoPro was a HERO4 Black which I got as a Christmas gift around 2014 from my mum. I'm particularly careful with it, making sure it's nicely protected if it's being used in a rough-and-tumble situation. Again, my brother has always critiqued me for using it. But I guess some people fail to see the worth that specific items have to other people. Or that disregard the people who hold these items dear may be upset by this sort of thing.

I strongly believe this should be a recognised trigger warning. (Hence why I'm using one for this post) And if you think that a trigger warning would ruin the joke, maybe your joke wasn't funny, to begin with.


A before-and-after comparison of a perfectly fine Ford F250 after it had been sent to the equally trashy channel, WhistlinDiesel.



Broader culture

I will also point out I have targeted Plainrock124 in this post so far, as his personality seems the most unlikeable from all I've seen. But it's not just YouTubers either.

Musicians smashing their instruments makes me cringe just as much. (And keep in mind, "cringe" is a word I don't ever use lightly) It's the same story for gamers who smash their controllers because they can't handle losing. Same thing with TV shows that break things just for shock humour. Top Gear (with its old presenters, mind you) would've been a flawless TV show if it weren't for their constant need to smash cars and other various items for the sake of 'comedy'. They had a running joke where they would destroy Morris Marina vehicles (which they believed to be one of the worst cars) to upset the Morris Marina owners club, who thought it was completely uncalled for.

My second favourite vehicles of all time (just behind Teslas) are the Reliant 3-wheelers. The Regal Supervan III is something I'd love to own someday. And these are always seen as the joke car now. Top Gear once again destroyed several Reliants over the years. Reliants were often the butt-end of jokes in shows like Mr Bean and Only Fools & Horses. There aren't many left now, as people seem to enjoy watching them roll over.

The aforementioned Top Gear episode where Reliant Robins were shown to roll over at every bend was faked, by the way. Clarkson admitted that the particular car he was driving had been modified for the sake of comedy. (source)


Vampire Weekend are another prime example. They felt the need to film a music video showing vehicles burning away until there's nothing left of them. Normally this is alright (I guess. I mean people who make music videos tend to be very keen on breaking things) except these were old vehicles that not only are out of production, (meaning they won't ever make more of them) but they also had a history with the people who used them for many years. The previous owners even specifically stated that they wanted the cars to be taken care of and loved in the same way according to this quote found on Jalopnik.

The previous owners I picked them up from were telling me all of the nice times they had in them and to make sure to take care of them. Little do they know they will be charcoal in 2 days. Both said they wanted to see the finished video. It was hard to keep a straight face while they proclaimed their love for these Junkers.

There's nothing really wrong with artistic choices like this. Fact of life: nothing is permanent. Things break, and sometimes things NEED to break. It might not be a great step for the environment if we're not able to re-use all of our resources, but sometimes it's unavoidable. A later post on Jalopnik by Patrick George wisely pointed out that you can have a replica vehicle made for the purposes of being destroyed in a film or music video, as it saves the original, increasingly rare items.


As a side hobby, I build robots. Almost exactly like the combat robots you typically see on TV shows like Robot Wars or BattleBots. But mine don't have weapons and aren't entered into competitions. I just don't see the point in excessive waste if

  • A) I'm not going to enjoy it

or

  • B) it's unavoidable


If those Saab vehicles were being used but ended up in a collision, that would be understandable. It's the road, it happens. Not much you can do about it. But I think Vampire Weekend's production team should be replaced if they were willing to listen to all the sentimental memories the cars had, but not tell the owners that they were about to be torched.


And that seems to be the main problem with people who like to break stuff. They will happily take something second hand and not even think about the item having a history or what its owners would want for it. For some of us, we hold specific items very close to our hearts.


I have my first ever computer. It's an Asus netbook from 2008. It's not even capable of running Windows anymore and basically has no use besides a show and tell piece. But to me, it's what got me into using computers. It was my primary computer for many years, and even after I upgraded to my first proper desktop (which is still right behind me), I used it as my secondary computer which would handle uploading videos to YouTube when our internet wasn't capable of uploading a 500 MB file within 12 hours.


Am I going to use it again? Probably not.


Is it even worth a fiver? No.


Does it look cool? Debatable, but it's certainly no Alienware.


Does it even work? Well, yes. But not if you want to do much.


Even if it was worth hundreds, I wouldn't sell it. It has more value to me than anyone else could hope to understand.


I think I'm about done ranting. If you're a fan of any of these people, go ahead and make a big deal of this blog post to your destruction-loving friends. I know that's the kind of negativity you seek in life.


To everyone else:

Thanks for reading, have a lovely day. :)

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