Thank You, YouTube for all Those Fabulous Places!


The holiday week is here once again.  My favorite memories are of all the old movies shown at this time of the year.  You could count on getting up Christmas morning and find those old classics that make the season special:  Laurel and Hardy’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers” or the one with the kid and the pellet gun, “A Christmas Story.”  My favorite one is the Christmas movie with the Freeze Meiser and Heat Meiser,. “The Year Without a Santa Claus” always made me chuckle. But when all is said, those aren’t really the movies I wanted to see.

On that special rare occasion, they would have a “Drive-In” movie marathon featuring Chinese martial arts movies.  Let’s face it, you never see those on TV or cable anymore.  Thank the heavens for “YouTube.”  I’ve been able to have my Wu Tang Clan fantasy realized and I can watch Kung Fu movies to my heart’s content.  I can’t get enough of those Shaolin monks fighting open-handed or with the incredible variety of weapons and techniques.  Also, the monk’s pious ways and their devotion to Buddha and to the peaceful use of the martial arts.

So, I watch the movies about Shaolin verses Llama, or fighters looking for revenge.  The plots are basic, but the fighting is mostly enjoyable.  There are hundreds of these movies to choose from and every once in a while, I return to a favorite like “The Five Deadly Venoms” or “Master Killer.”  YouTube allows me access to many Chinese movies, the quality varies, but the variety makes up for that.

“The Sword and the Sorcerer” was a favorite movie from my childhood.  My love of D&D and fantasy movies makes YouTube invaluable again.  I’ve seen tons of fantasy movies with Orcs in all shapes and sizes!  From the “Dungeon & Dragons” cartoon to “Thundarr the Barbarian” (Thundarr has recently been pulled from YouTube), the scope of fantasy entertainment is huge.  Fan movies, old TV shows, animation of all kinds, and major motion pictures are all available on YouTube, and I enjoy taking advantage of that collection.

“You Do Something to Me” is a song by Paul Weller.  That video and dozens of others are played by hitting a YouTube mix.  The leader and main song writer for “The Jam” and Tthe Style Council,” Paul Weller’s career is compiled into a brilliant mix of song writing prowess.   I’m amazed by the hours of music videos available.  I seldom listen to music any other way now.  I listen to Kung Fu funk from the 70’s & 80’s or Hits from the 70’s.  The mixes are mostly good, and you can choose just to listen to the complete album instead if that’s your taste for that day. 

Last week, YouTube gave me another present.  I found out that there was a Karaoke selection, and I picked out the songs I was going to sing at my friend’s Christmas party.  The night came, and my family and I walked into my friend, Cesar’s house for his party.  Jun, a friend of Cesar and a huge supporter of everyone singing, came up to me with the mike.  This time I was READY! I told him to pick out Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” on YouTube.  And then, I killed It!  No really, I murdered the song, but I was ready to sing every word, off key as they were.  That didn’t matter, Jun was impressed and I ate ham.

If you have a moment over the holidays, take a trip on YouTube.  There are so many fantastic places you can see!

Gary Schwartz