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What A Racquet: My Journey into the Heart of the Pooping Sport


Biodegradable

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Ever since YouChew’s founder Conrad Slater played the first recorded match with Misselaineous10 from August 11th to the 21st, 2007, YouTube Poop Tennis; the popular duo collaborative effort unfortunately named after one of the most boring sports on God’s green Earth, has been a staple in our medium for almost as long as YouTube Poop itself. Delving into the Tennis section of YouChew feels almost like exploring an entirely different world with different memes, recurring gags and in-jokes, peppered with established traditions and practices. The tennis critters who dwell there are quick to reminisce about older matches, talk about who they would like to play next or what matches they would like to see in the future, update their rosters and send distress messages whenever they need a little more time to finish off a round for the Match Voting Tournament. Interestingly, some of the denizens within the Poop Tennis subforum rarely, if ever, explore the rest of the Chew. They’re there to talk tennis, play tennis and breathe tennis. If it ain’t tennis, they couldn’t care less.

There’s so much to talk about from my discoveries and the matches I’ve been in, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I take you through my first four tennis matches and explain how each of them were wonderfully challenging and fun undertakings that have only left me more confident and greater skilled for this crazy video editing hobby we all love, as well as my musings and theories regarding tennis as a whole.

One of YouTube Poop Tennis’s greatest aspects I’ve found is how it encourages a Pooper to really get out of their comfort zone. When presented with a rather well made–even intimidating–round, it keeps you on your toes and forces you to get creative, which only leads to good things. I can personally attest to the idea that playing tennis keeps your pooping skills sharp and can strengthen your editing abilities like nothing else. Watching your opponent’s rounds and engaging with the ideas they put forth allow you to be exposed to things you hadn’t thought of: sources, jokes, Poopism patterns and editing techniques that all encourage you to play with, experiment and to think outside the box. I have yet to play a match that didn’t leave me in awe, wondering how they accomplished what they did in their rounds and gives me the drive to explore what I can do and try and achieve the same, if not better results. Playing tennis challenges your Poop preconceptions and editing sensibilities, pushing you to shake up your methods and try something new. Tennis is probably the absolute best method to keep a pooper in shape. You can consider it a form of exercise, and much like exercise, I think every pooper should play a bit of tennis at least once in awhile.

Tennis Log: Match #1 vs. LaVie CestLol

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Taking up my racquet, I was invited to have my first match with my friend LaVie CestLol, who acted as my guide onto the metaphorical tennis court and showed me the ropes. In retrospect, it was the perfect way for a newbie to get into tennis. Much like anything else in this world, the best people to learn from are those who have the most experience, and considering that LaVie is certifiably insane with hundreds of thousands of tennis matches going on at once, I was in good hands. Before we even started, LaVie and I had a lengthy Skype call where we talked about what we wanted to achieve with the match. I immediately told him I had the idea of making a spiritual successor to the match he had with Soucisse Verte, which was built around visuals inspired by a song and how the song would reach completion once the match was finished. I suggested the song Black Star by Lustmord and LaVie came up with the idea of having the match devoid of colour as inspired by some of my black and white experimental videos. I dubbed the match Monochromatic Nightmare and we were underway. What followed was a fascinating and terrifying introspective journey, peppered with footage of arthouse films, horror, riots and war footage set to the dulcet tones of a mournful creature shouting love and the heart of the world.

LaVie’s thoughts on the match
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"Since I've been playing YTP Tennis for a year or two, I've always been really interested in what one newcomers can bring to the table; something new and different, a fresh take. And as I've been enjoying Biodegradable's work in the past. To be his first tennis opponent was a great opportunity to try out something different, just as I've had the chance to do in my very first match with Laromande, which shaped everything I did afterwards in terms of artistry, personal inspiration, etc. Working with the black and white only stipulation, with a predefined soundtrack, made this match go into these weird, shady territories I love so much: the abstractness, the darkness and the visual experiments. I've been more than inspired by the many ideas Bio brought to the table through his rounds. From his eerie use of warping that complimented my stroboscopic shapes so gracefully, to his added sources giving it this sometimes gruesome touch, it was something that I had never done before. Although I've worked with very talented and colourful people when it comes to these kinds of abstract matches, that vibrant visual atmosphere that lands all across this 15 minute long Lustmord track had a different purpose. We were not trying to out-effect each other, we were conversing in this scary-yet-fascinating pool of imagery. I couldn't have wished for a better experience, really."

Tennis, in its own delightfully twisted madness, is a fun and interesting way to get to know someone and learn about what makes them tick and what they gravitate to in regards to how they see and approach YouTube Poop. By playing tennis with someone, you can gather a basic understanding of their editing sensibilities such as their style of humour, pacing, how they time their jokes, their uses of framing and transitional devices, what kind of visuals they find appealing and what kind of poopisms and effects they enjoy playing with. It can also give you an idea on the kinds of media they enjoy and provide the opportunity to utilise that knowledge in your rounds to get a response out of them, aiding in the ‘conversation’ that inevitably happens during a match.

Tennis Log: Match #2 vs. AshcrementVII

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Monochromatic Nightmare was a fantastic experience and a great way to introduce me to the sport. LaVie, like any proud parent, tousled my hair and sent me out into the Tennis world. I knew the game and ran out into courts to find my next opponent, only to quickly bump into AshcrementVII, a Poop Tennis veteran. Apparently, Metroid998 mentioned the idea of us having a match, and Ash was very keen to play with me. I jumped at the opportunity and before I knew it, he had a serve for me. Unlike my match with LaVie, I didn’t have as extensive of a discussion about the match with Ash. We talked regularly, but only established one key detail: Keep the match focused on Jack Torrance and the Heath Ledger Joker. Everything else, we flew by the seat of our pants and played it by ear. We played it by ear so much so, that Ash titled the match The Tennising of Our Ears. Our resulting match was a cacophony of mirror and face-distortion effects, rapid stutter loops and speed-up/slow-downs, guns and explosions wrapped around a playful back-and-forth as we referenced each other repeatedly throughout the match. I’m still extremely proud of my Round 6 of that match, and regard it as one of the best videos I’ve ever done since I became a Pooper.

AshcrementVII’s thoughts on the match
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“It's slightly difficult to put into words my general thoughts on the tennis match I had with Biodegradable. I was very intrigued by how he handled himself in his match with LaVie CestLol and thought, 'Here's a new guy who seems to 'get it'. Maybe it was just my own mood at the time and the way I was constructing my own tennis videos, but the idea was enough to intrigue me further. Then the idea of us playing came up in the relevant Matches You Would Like to See thread and I thought, 'Yeah, I would like to see this indeed.' So, I commented, and from there, our match was officially on.

When I constructed my serve for Biodegradable, I mostly wanted to test the waters, see what he would gleam from my round and where he would take things. It was interesting to see that he responded incredibly quickly to my rounds, reminding me of my own first days in the realm of tennis. If I had to pick a weakness in this match, I would have to say it was the speed in which the rounds were made.  It felt very fast paced and more joke-centric, which was not the original direction of the first video in the match. That's not really a bad thing, because I think Biodegradable's initial response to the serve was quite interesting. His reactions to the material, both literal and contextual, felt almost natural and smooth. His gung-ho, quick-thinking spirit was very refreshing for me, since my matches tend to have a lot of time between rounds these days.

To put things briefly, it was an absolute blast. I enjoyed thinking in different mindsets when responding to his rounds, and I absolutely loved how Biodegradable constructed his final round and how it made call backs to all the previous rounds. When a match is more constructive in focus and relies more on the 'conversation' elements, this is a fantastic way to end a tennis match. Basically, what I'm saying is, I think Biodegradable 'gets it' when it comes to tennis of this nature.”

Playing with Ash was intensely fun and since watching his MVT match with ReaderGamerSinger, other matches and our own rematch several months later, I’ve noticed that he has an amazing ability to bring out the best in his opponents. It’s a quality that had me hungry for that rematch with him, and makes every tennis match involving him a blast to watch.

The ‘conversation’ is the nickname given by some the Tennis community as a way to explain the essence of a tennis match; the energy between the two opponents, the ideas they throw at each other in each round and the overarching theme that presents itself once the match is finished. Those outside of the tennis sphere may ask, “What kind of ‘conversation’ occurs when playing tennis?” Well, that all depends. Opponents can work together to create a specific, overarching idea and build it into a conceptual piece, or perhaps a more traditional, playfully antagonistic battle of wits, or simply put their heads together and concoct the most weird/interesting/funny/terrifying/confusing thing imaginable. Using each other’s rounds, you can convey different ideas of where you want the match to go, what sources you want it to focus on, what jokes you’d like to dive off from and make stronger, what poopism patterns you’d like to evolve and so much more. This ‘conversation’ that develops between the two/more opponents is a fascinating thing to watch when you come across a match where both opponents are paying close attention to what’s been done in the previous rounds and utilises those aspects, changing them, sculpting them into something else that helps carry the message/tone that will inevitably define the match as a whole.

Tennis Log: Match #3 vs. Dew

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After I uploaded my last round with Ash to the tennis thread, before I could even blink, I was knocked out from a serve completely out of left field. The one and only Dew had decided that she wanted me for her next match. Shocked, flabbergasted and deeply honoured, I took her up on it. Similar to my match with Ash, we kept things simple, focusing on Rasputin from Anastasia as our theme and playing things by ear. Round 3 was delayed by a power-failure which caused the files to be corrupted and forced Dew to start from scratch, but our response times were swift and efficient, with an interesting musical exchange as we stuck songs in throughout the match.

Dew’s thoughts on the match
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“It was definitely a nice and more relaxing way to conclude what became my 100th match and I enjoyed bringing in a source I had wanted to use for quite a while. I think Bio handled my responses very nicely and in an interesting way. I also really appreciated the amount of communication that we had during the match, which wasn't something I'm was all that used to with tennis actually. As a little fun fact, this match marks the second or third time ever that I've used my voice in one of my rounds, and one of my rounds is rendered in surround sound (quad as I like to call it) which I hadn't done since the MWTT. Bio has, overall, a style that already has a lot of strength and the devotion he puts into a match and his own videos are the best aspects of that, I think. If he continues more regularly, I can definitely see him becoming one of the new greats of this sport.”

It was by far my fastest tennis match to date and a humbling experience overall. I hold a great deal of awe and respect for Dew, and getting to simply chat and befriend her was probably my favourite aspect of our match, let alone being her 100th opponent. Dew has since left the community, and I miss her dearly, but I’m thankful I got to know her when I did and wish her well.

For those of you who have never played tennis-but are itching to give it a go-you may be asking, “Bio, you strangely charismatic gremlin, how does one create this ‘conversation’ you speak of?” Well, the way I see it, you need two things:

Firstly, when you’re watching your opponent’s rounds-especially the earliest ones-pay close attention to what they’ve done: the source(s) they used, the jokes they came up with, the poopism patterns they utilised, etc. You must be a sponge and absorb all the details, immerse yourself in them, bury your face in their tits and motorboat them until the cows come home. Then, transform them before your opponent’s eyes in a new and interesting fashion that both complements what your opponent did in their previous round, yet pushes the match forward.

Secondly, study your opponent through the art of conversation. Talk with them (though they may not always respond) and share your thoughts, ideas, criticisms, suggestions, concerns and epiphanies with each other every step of the way. Ask your opponent how they feel the match is going, discuss ideas on which directions the two of you can take the match, which ideas you want to expand on most, what kind of themes you’d like to address and what sources you think the match could focus on. Communication, in my experience, yields the most delicious tennis-flavoured fruit you could ever want. I’ve seen some tennis matches where it was obvious that the opponents didn’t try to communicate with each other at all, and they really do pale in comparison to those who clearly did talk to one another. I believe that communication is the key to the best tennis experience.

Mind you, there is a slightly different communication method: the rounds themselves. If you’re clever enough, you can tell your opponent the direction you were thinking of taking it by conveying it through your rounds. And, if you make it clear enough, your opponent should be able to interpret this and act accordingly. Using this method, you can give your opponent an impression of what you felt about the previous round, your reactions to the sources they might’ve used, or their jokes or poopism patterns.

For example, in my rematch with AshcrementVII, I viciously butchered Sailor Moon and riddled her with bullets from an ED-209 and had her later crash into a giant stalactite during the pod race and die in a massive explosion. Why? Well, it’s because I cannot stand Sailor Moon, so that was my method of communicating to Ash that I never wanted to see her again. And it worked! Interestingly enough though, this kind of thing could’ve gone the other way with Ash putting in more Sailor Moon. It all depends on your opponent and how you communicate with each other round-wise.

Tennis Log: Match #4 vs. Metroid998

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Near the end of my match with AshcrementVII, I had become friendly with Metroid998 and started chatting with him regularly on Skype. I asked him if he would be open to the idea of maybe playing tennis with me some day down the line. He said he was, so I stuck him on the wishlist of my roster. Sometime after I had concluded my match with Dew, Metro took the opportunity to tell me on Skype that he had a source idea for our match. Remaining true to his affinity for using old retro video games in his tennis matches, he suggested Command & Conquer, a real-time strategy game that he and I had both grown up playing. He also said I should make Round 1, as I had yet to make a serve of my own since I started my tennis career. He was right, it was about time I made the first move and cooked up my first tennis serve. I actually wasn’t meant to start the match until mid-May but I got inspired and made the round in one sitting. So, I had to be patient and wait for the American summer to arrive for Metro to come out with Round 2. Eventually, the summer came and Metro’s Round 2 was there to greet me. After I made Round 3, the match unfortunately was put on ice as Metro was held hostage by his commitments to the Match Voting Tournament and some other matches. Several months and five subsequent tennis matches later, Metro’s fabled Round 4 finally arrived and we could finish what we started.

Metroid’s thoughts on the match
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“After seeing Biodegradable's first foray in tennis with LaVie CestLol, his second one with AshcrementVII, and then the third one with Dew, I've grown quite a liking into how he responds to his opponents so quick and flawlessly. After introducing ourselves and having some casual conversation talking about video games, one of the few games we talked about was the Command & Conquer series.  So I brought up the idea of doing a tennis match around the series. Bio liked the idea and the match was underway. This was also his first time serving in a tennis match, so I was curious on how he would pull it off. Well for starters, his serve surprised me quite a bit with using gameplay from the first mission of the GDI campaign only. I was kind of hoping at least the possibility of the cutscenes being used as well, but I guess I had to do something about that. So when I made Round 2, I felt it was pretty much necessary to add in the cutscenes from the games to make the match more interesting and with more flavour. Of course I tried to make use of them as much as I could while still having the previous round intact. I personally had a bit of mixed feelings making the round but had fun doing so.

Bio's Round 3 was when things started to get interesting as he pulled quite a spectacle for me with some nice effects and good humour. The ending of Round 3 was the most amusing part to me, since Bio used a picture of David from the Shin Megami Tensei series wearing an army helmet and equipped a rocket launcher. I was pretty much laughing at how silly it was. That scary grinning face man is a genius, I tell you. Now it took me some time to make Round 4 due to how busy I was at the time. But once I finally got around to making it, I took a more heavy effect approach and very surprising twist where I betrayed him to see how he would react. I must say he reacted very well to get his revenge. He may think that he outsmarted me, but I was always one step ahead of the game. I must say the match overall was pretty fun to do and using a source that we were both familiar with from our youth did help in some way. Overall, I do find Biodegradable to be a fine tennis athlete for starting out and I would like to see him do more in the future.”

Chewmand & Conquack will hold a strange little legacy as the 4th match I ever played but the 8th one to be finished. The best aspect of the match though was the playfully antagonistic relationship between myself and Metro, beginning when he brainwashed my beloved tennis mentor and had him slit my throat at the end of Round 4. Metro also managed to leave quite an impression on me as he dazzled me with his usage of video-layering and transitioning devices in a way that will likely always leave me in awe. Aside from his work becoming a big influence for my future pooping efforts, I once again found myself at the end with not just a terrific tennis match to look back on, but a friend to look back on it with.

And that’s probably one of the most encouraging aspects for playing tennis right there. You come in as opponents, and leave as friends.

One last concept I'd like to touch base with you all is chemistry.

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There's always a chance you may find yourself with an opponent that you have excellent chemistry with. You'll both feel like you're on the same brainwave and be able to make the perfect call-and-response in each round with very little communication, practically harmonising together and complementing each other flawlessly without even thinking. I've been able to experience this several times in my matches with LaVie CestLol, AshcrementVII, Paperking99 and Waymu.  In all four of those matches, I felt like my opponent and I were completely in-synch and able to read each other's intentions through our rounds alone. This will not always happen-but when it does-you must relish the opportunity to take leaps and bounds with your rounds and throw everything you have at your opponent in the hopes that the two of you will create something spectacular. But even when you do find the perfect sense of chemistry with an opponent, you should still make an effort to talk to them as much as you can. Remember, communication is key.

I began my first match in February, and I've since managed to make a fairly decent splash into the Tennis scene, but the adventure has only just begun. Aside from some rematches I am eager to make happen (and that others are just as eager to see) I've got a wishlist to fulfill and the absurd notion of entering the next big Tennis tournament once it arrives. There are so many people I want to play and so many ideas I wish to share with the Tennis community with match-ups and theories that I hope would be at least considered.

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There have been many misconceptions when it comes to Tennis and I hope I was able to debunk some of them, for it is more than simply taking a YouTube Poop and distorting it beyond belief, I tell you. It's not just effects-spam until things become unrecognisable either. It is much more than that, so much more. It can sharpen your editing skills, boost your creativity, challenge you to make you think outside the box, open yourself to new ideas, keeps you from growing stagnant in your pooping sensibilities-and most importantly-it allows you to communicate with your fellow poopers and even make a few friends.

YouTube Poop Tennis takes the magic of Poop and just makes it even more fun as you and one or more people go on a fantastic journey of wonder, creativity, fun and of course, a shit-ton of jokes and poopisms to enjoy as we indulge in the absolutely absurd video-editing hobby we love, and elevate it to new heights of expression and unbridled madness that only weirdos like us will truly understand and appreciate. I highly encourage everyone, both veterans and newcomers to the sport alike, to always make room for a bit of tennis in your pooping regimine.

I promise you won't regret it. 

Edited by Biodegradable

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This is inspiring, my friend. Makes me feel like I should do another tennis.

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PaletteBlockhead

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You pretty much fuckin' nailed everything about tennis in this one Bio. This was a good read! Kinda disappointed you didn't talk about our match in this one though, since you did ask me to contribute something to this article a couple of months ago, but oh well. Still a good article.

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This was a bloody fantastic read. This is actually real inspiring. I've done about 5 Tennis matches so far. And this makes me want to do many many more matches. And it includes some fantastic advice for newcomers and people like me who are just dumb. Fantastic work, man! : D

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1 hour ago, PaletteBlockhead said:

Kinda disappointed you didn't talk about our match in this one though, since you did ask me to contribute something to this article a couple of months ago, but oh well. 

Yeah, sorry about that, Pally. Unfortunately, I had to omit the tidbits I got from you, Paperking and Soucisse as the article was unfortunately getting too long and I was running out of material to put between each Tennis Log entry.  

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2 hours ago, Biodegradable said:

Yeah, sorry about that, Pally. Unfortunately, I had to omit the tidbits I got from you, Paperking and Soucisse as the article was unfortunately getting too long and I was running out of material to put between each Tennis Log entry.  

Maybe it's better if you saved the later tennis logs for another installment. Perhaps I might be open for a Tennis Round after I get my megapoop project done!

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An absolutely great article and inspiring, probably one of the best articles on the subject and I remember the RabbitSnore days too when he really pushed for it. When tennis goes right, it is lovely to watch and make.

Thinking about it, your point of chemistry and conversation seems to be spot on as probably the reason why I'm struggling at the moment.

10 hours ago, Biodegradable said:

For example, in my rematch with AshcrementVII, I viciously butchered Sailor Moon and riddled her with bullets from an ED-209 and had her later crash into a giant stalactite during the pod race and die in a massive explosion. Why? Well, it’s because I cannot stand Sailor Moon, so that was my method of communicating to Ash that I never wanted to see her again. And it worked! 

Oh Bio, if only you were there in 2008 and gave me that idea. Then I might have been able to enjoy the videos more instead of going into a depressing decline until I had enough in 2010 due to using sources that I wasn't keen on among other problems (the stress was pretty bad).

(Watched the tennis match in question [rematch with Ash] and it was amazing, really entertaining, one of the best recent ones that I've ever seen)

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I loved this article, Bio. You were definitely a great tennis opponent, and I hope to have a rematch with you sometime. I'm also hoping that you continue this article soon, if that's your plan.

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