The YouTube Avant-Garde

You are currently on the internet. The internet is a place where anybody can do anything and people will see. One of the places on the internet is called YouTube. This is a place where people upload videos of whatever they want. The most common things you will find on YouTube are adorable videos of various animals and children, annoying videos of nerds talking over footage of video games and unsanctioned clips from films and television shows. However, there is one YouTube phenomenon which has captured my heart. That is the mesmerising world of washing machine self destruction.

The washing machine, having outlived its usefulness, is put to retirement for the amusement of its owners. The first thing you may notice is that the title “Washing Machine Self Destruct” is something of a misnomer. The washing machine is not committing suicide here, it is being destroyed by outside forces. The machine itself manifests rage and desperation as its giggling overlords sentence it to bring about its own death; as you see in this next video, which borders on washing machine torture porn…

The idea is to send power directly to the washing machine’s motor, crank it up to maximum speed and then introduce foreign objects into its gaping maw. What begins as desperation on the part of the machine – “Please let me live,” it seems to beg – soon becomes an outlet for all of its hate. The drum of the machine tears itself free from its plastic shell and enjoys one final moment of genuine life before it is snuffed out. Would it fight back, given the chance? Or would it accept its fate no matter what, realising that its final moments of freedom exist only because of its doomed nature.

There are times when the machine’s masters seem less cruel, like this gentleman from New Zealand who seems almost sympathetic to the washing machine’s plight and carries out this execution with a surprising amount of professionalism…

One can hardly ignore the disappointment in his voice when the washing machine seems to fail an escape attempt. “Ah… stopped,” he sighs. Nor can one deny the sadistic implications of his description of “intermediate carnage” before trapping the machine in a bathtub to “see if we can get some more fun.” Is this a victim-less act? Once started, is the full and complete death of the machine the only foreseeable end? Had the washing machine been successful in its attempt to escape, would this man have hunted it down?

Let us not ignore, either, the final, excruciating cry that is emitted when the drum separates from the fan belt. A scream of pain, or anguish? Or perhaps the final cry of rage and anger against the world that created and required it to destroy itself, simply by fulfilling its only function. In the next video, the same man from New Zealand extends the functions of the machine, not content to use only the spinning of the drum to bring about its demise…

As the washing machine becomes aware of its fate, it spews all the bile of its lifetime of hatred out onto the floor and drowns itself in yellow vomit. Finally, the washing machine becomes a mirror for our own anger and disenfranchisement and we see reflected our own souls raging against all of the hateful and ugly things in the world, like so.


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