One More Final: I Need YouChew
The past few months have been especially hard on me, personally. The closure of YouChew has not been first and foremost in my mind, but since I first read the announcement I have been thinking a lot about my place in this community, or if I ever had one to begin with.
My first exposure to YouTube Poop was during its heyday in 2009, when I caught my sister wandering into what today we would call "the weird part of YouTube." As her overprotective older brother, I was concerned with what she was watching and had the idea to make my own, more "G-rated" YTPs and have her watch those instead. So I watched a few from poopers like Jeff Lindblom, lugialga, Boogidyboo, KroboProductions, and of course SuperYoshi, and tried to emulate their style in the few that I at first made for my sister's viewing pleasure. Of the five or so I made during that period (late 2009 to early/mid 2010), I decided that only two of them were actually "good" enough for me to put on YouTube, which is exactly what I did that summer (2010). In my naivete, I thought I could make a name for myself as a pooper, so I started incessantly spamming my poops as "video responses" (remember those?) to popular poops. It helped increase my view count somewhat, but I thought I could do better, or at least well enough to earn an entry on the Chewiki, which seemed to me at the time the definitive compendium of all that is Poop.
That's how I found YouChew. Or, as it was called back then, YCP.
I've mentioned this before elsewhere, but I was really an immature twat back then. I had yet to figure out what was and wasn't proper behaviour on forums, that the Internet is not 4chan and I can't just be an asshat whenever and wherever I please. It was that mindset that got me banned from the Metal Archives forums some time before I found YouChew, where all it took was one warning for me to smarten up. I am eternally grateful to this community and its staff for setting me straight. I just tried reading my old posts from when I first joined and I couldn't do it without cringing - I don't recognize the stupid kid who wrote those messages eight years ago. Therefore it is no exaggeration to say that YouChew is where I grew up.
But back to the beginning of 2011, literally the start of the new year. If, to my mind, the Chewiki was the official wiki of YTP, then this site was the official gathering grounds of all those who make it. Like everyone else, I was drawn here by my interest in YouTube Poop. But I also thought I could just waltz in to promote my stupid channel and get more viewers. And I'll admit upfront, that is why I joined in the first place. That ended pretty quickly once I immersed myself in the community.
And that's just what I found here: a community. A community of like-minded individuals with a quirky sense of humour, just like me. Here I felt a sense of belonging, and indeed I was a forum regular for the first couple of years. How great it felt to partake in all the shenanigans and in-jokes with this group. (My highest-rated post is merely a regurgitation of one of those forum in-jokes. Quelle surprise.)
Unfortunately my interest in the forum waned at some point around 2013, and I ended up taking almost a whole year off the site. Since then I've been an on-again/off-again poster, being active in bursts but mostly offline for extended periods of time. I just got bored of the site and of YouTube Poop in general, and I stopped making those things a long time ago. I've also felt alienated by some of the drama that's happened in recent years and by the negativity it has created. I know some of you hate each other's guts for whatever reason, but I've never felt any deep animosity towards any of the people on this entire forum - distrust, sure, but not downright hatred. (I said "people", not "pineapples.")
So where do I fit in to this hot mess? It's a question I never wanted to ask, and one that I can't answer without getting overly emotional. I probably shouldn't even ask it and as I type this at 4 am
I'll know I've lost control of my lifeI'll come to regret this in the morning, but here goes:
I can't help but feel like I could have been a bigger part of this site. I've made no significant contributions to the forum's "culture" (not that I needed to), I haven't made any deeper connections with anyone on here (that's my fault), and I'm absent more than half of the time so I'm always out of the loop whenever I log back on. I've come to see myself not as an active member, but more as someone in the background, a casual observer who just went along for the ride. I don't regret being on this ride, I just wish I had done more while I was here. I don't ask for pity from anyone, but I want to say that while I may not have had much of an impact on the lives of anyone here, many of you have left an impression on me. You helped me mature, you made me laugh, you made me feel welcome. Thank you for showing me a good time. And I extend my thanks to all the mods, admins, janitors, and food staffs over the years who made all this possible in the first place.
I've had many great times on this forum and with everyone I've interacted with, but now I just wish I I've never quite felt the same euphoria as I had my in my first two years. In the few times that I checked in this year alone, the site seemed a lot less active than it was when I first signed up. Reading up a bit on the "future of Youchew" thread helped me understand why. The thread that inspired it (you know the one) upset me so much that I just couldn't respond to it. I didn't know how. I still don't think I can respond appropriately to it. But Bya, if you're ever reading this, please know that I am terribly, terribly sorry for what you went through, and that I only hope the best for you.
Moving forward... well, where do we go from here? I've lost all interest in making YTP so it's unlikely you'll see me hanging around YTPMania anytime soon. I've debated with myself whether to jump ship for Neon Castle. Given how dead this place feels now, is that where all the action went? In that case, hell yeah I want a piece of that action.
I'm in the process of setting up Discord and I'll probably join the server if it still exists in one form or another. Don't know why I didn't earlier, but I hope it's not too late. If for some reason anyone wants to get a hold of me they can do so on these sites:
- Anime Planet
- On Discord as Mountie#1616
- And, of course, YouTube, even though I don't post videos anymore
YouChew may be no more, but it will always have a special place in my heart. I shall never think of spaghetti the same way again.
The Mountie Fro8