A clever title would get me more favorites
July 9, 2018 1:40 AM   Subscribe

“I feel like so much of [Bo’s] online tale is about being young, but he’s just such a cranky old man.” — Aidy Bryant
In the three-and-change years since the last previously (and the seven-and-change since the one before that, YouTube-musician/comedian-then-just-musician/comedian Bo Burnham has: had a successful career; burned out of performing due to anxiety and stage fright; and directed the movie Eighth Grade about, well, being in eighth grade, surrounded by social media, and full of anxiety. Writing in The New Yorker, Michael Schulman profiles a young man observing the young, afraid of the world that made him.
posted by Going To Maine (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
That's the cleverest title I've seen on here in a while. Have some kudos, or cred, or whuffie or whatever. (No favourite though maybe, that would be a bit too on the nose?)
posted by disso at 4:38 AM on July 9, 2018

Thanks for the sympathy! What I was trying to do was be evocative of Burnham's criticisms of the platforms and processes through which he has achieved success. Unfortunately, coming at this from a position where I really only know his work by proxy (I'm more interested in the profile than I am him), I'm wondering if I missed the mark a bit. He seems critical of the media but at the same time doesn't make himself out as weak.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:44 AM on July 9, 2018

I’d say he interrogated what weak is more than make himself out to be that, but he definitely deliberately challenged traditional masculinity in a variety of ways, usually via challenging male homophobia.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2018

I find YouTubers alternatively horrifying and fascinating. It's a form of celebrity that just baffles me: I feel like a fan of vaudeville in the age of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. So it's especially interesting to read about an early YouTuber and his path to other projects; also, he seems to have grown up to be a good guy in a way that makes me ever so slightly more hopeful about the current generation of stars and their fuckery.
posted by librarylis at 12:58 PM on July 9, 2018

Bo Burnham has, for me, been a frustrating performer to be a fan of. He's an incredible song writer and he can be so insightful, but he has this incredibly distracting habit of not wanting to stand by what he says.

Repeat Stuff is a cheerful pop song about Justin Bieber (or other generic pop stars) being the antichrist. And it's catchy. So is his song condemning the country music industry.

Lower Your Expectations is a surprisingly insightful and entertaining song about relationships and what being happy means.

Rant and From God's Perspective both entertainingly address religion.

Art is Dead is just straight up insightful without being particularly funny.

On the other hand, some other aspects of his work are puerile. What is, perhaps, most frustrating, though is his obnoxious tendency in a number of his live performances to take an insightful song like Art is Dead and fake cry to try to suppress the real emotion and insight present in the song. From the trailer in his movie, it appears that he's grown to accept the insight he has about the world. I hope he keeps it up.
posted by Betelgeuse at 2:52 PM on July 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Jesse David Fox did an interesting interview with Burnham for his Good One podcast.
posted by How the runs scored at 10:11 PM on July 9, 2018

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