Sunday, April 13, 2014
One Year Later: Catie Reacts to You Tubers React to Boxxy
The cutest girl on the internet is also one of the smartest. Except that she's a woman, derp.
Sure, her liquid brown eyes and ever-changing face make my heart hurt from time to time, but that just proves I've got a heart. The main reason why I'm obsessed with Catie Wayne is because I'm obsessed with the internet! I don't know of a better internet story, and it's still unfolding. It was the saddest story I'd ever heard, but now it's a happy story, because of Catie. Once upon a time, I wanted to help her, and i would have done anything to be her hero, but she became my hero, and that worked out a whole lot better all around, except then she became my heroin.
Back in the bad old days of 2010, somebody wrote in Boxxy's youtube comments: "I go to school with this girl, and believe it or not, in real life, she's incredibly mellow". And though back then, "Boxxy" was just a sad beguiling mystery (I may not have even known her name) it struck me as something someone wouldn't make up. Now that I sort of know Catie Wayne, the two words that describe her best to me are "Quiet authority." She never reacts, she always acts... at the right time and in the right way. There's nothing about her I admire more. Everybody on the whole fucking internet is a compulsive reactor.
Anybody who really wants to understand this statement need only take a close look at "Catie Reacts to You Tubers React to Boxxy" which was released a year ago yesterday. In terms of her career on youtube, this is her most important video on the anewhopeee channel. It was Catie's big break, but it wasn't just handed to her. It was the perfect example of "luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity." And a big part of that was recognizing the opportunity when the Fine Brothers released YouTubers React to Boxxy.
As a fan of Catie, the "Youtubers React to Boxxy" video really pissed me off. Let's face it, for most people, early Boxxy is difficult content, and most of these youtubers didn't know what they were looking at, and some of them chose to mock here lest they appear unclever. It was another adult fan of Catie, @rxcd, who summed it up perfectly for me: "It made you want to punch some people". He didn't mention any names, but I would have mentioned Tay Zonday and Shane Dawson. Tay Zonday's remark about "Sexual attractiveness minus quality content" wasn't offensive to me because he didn't like Boxxy. To be honest, I didn't like Boxxy the first time I saw her, but the way he talked about sexual attractiveness, almost as if it was part of a conscious formula, was not only dismissive, it was stupid. People had dismissed Boxxy's magic as being mere sex before, but this was a girl in a shapeless black T-shirt, being shot from the neck up. I'm not saying that she wasn't sexually attractive, but if she was, as modest as she was, it was for reasons having everything to do with quality content.
I posted an essay in my BOXXOLOGY blog about how the YOUTUBERS REACT series was a prime example of the mediocre crap that is destroying YouTube. Luckily, no one ever read that blog, because YOUTUBERS REACT was about to get better.
That was me... REACTING.
The title may have been "Catte Reacts", but Catie didn't react... she acted. She didn't worry about petty nonsense. She knew what she wanted, and getting mad at Shane Dawson wasn't going to help her get it. She'd been preparing for two years. Her first videos, after coming out of hiding, had always been charming, but they had been occasionally awkward, but she'd started making a video a week, and she'd gotten really comfortable with the camera, even her mistakes were gorgeous, in April 2013, preparedness met opportunity, and she had seen the opportunity right away.
Catie aimed this video straight at the Fine Brothers, and their huge audience, and it flew like an arrow. She knew that her video would show up in the related videos for the Fine Brothers video, which would get millions of views right away. And she knew she would be noticed. The irrefutable evidence that Catie made this video with the Fine Brothers in mind is the fact that in postproduction, she bleeped out the word "FUCK" out of her rant at the end. She's never bleeped out anything on the anewhopeee channel before or since, but she did it here... because that's what the Fine Brothers do. She knew exactly what she was doing throughout. She wore lipstick, but little or no eye makeup, so people wouldn't mistake her for Boxxy. Instead of responding to the insults, Catie kept it light. She laughed off a few of the insults, and talked over or simply edited out the rest, which was a classy way to handle it. In one stroke, she made half of the celebrities on YouTube look like fools-- not by calling them fools, which is what I would have done, but by being classier, and by being the one who knew what she was talking about. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is quiet authority.
In depth, on video, for the first time. For everyone who was curious, that was like catnip. It had been two years, and she hadn't much talked about it on video. I'd assumed she didn't want to talk about it, but she was just waiting for the right time, when it would do her the most good. Stuff like this, you can never tell whether Catie is being so very smart out of decision or intuition. Is it a plan or instinct? She's still a beguiling mystery to me, but it isn't sad anymore.
Not being dummies, the Fine Brothers started putting her in videos, withing a few months.
And now it's been a year, and now she makes videos as a full time job. Catie's work with Animalist and other channels is bringing polish and professionalism to her work, and I love that, but I look forward to the day when she will grace us once again with some personal work. It's going to happen. She doesn't stand still.
I made the following video in December, expressly because I wanted to put my admiration for this one master stroke in perspective, by naming it number one epic Catie event of the year. I was a little tired by the time I got tol the end. I don't think I really succeeded in explaining how brilliant this was. maybe by writing this blogpost, I finally nailed it, which is what Catie would say.