December 10, 2019

With Christmas Comes Nostalgia -

Monday, December 9, 2019

November Book Recommendations -

Monday, December 9, 2019

SMHS Mateobotics Gears Up for the Season -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Leap from High School to College Sports -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mateo Comes up Short: 2019 Little Big Game -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Master of Self-Deprecating Humor -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How Old is “Too Old” for Trick-or-Treating? -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We Need to Get Serious About Shootings -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How Boyan Slat Is Helping Solve The Great Pacific Garbage Patch -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Youtube’s Yankovic turned Chinese TikTok Star: Bart Baker -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#TeamTrees -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Varsity Football -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CA Bill Pushes School Start Times Back -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why the Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Movies to Watch during Halloween -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Youtube’s Yankovic turned Chinese TikTok Star: Bart Baker

In the early days of Youtube, one of the most notable content creators was Bart Baker, a Youtuber who made parody music videos of popular 2010s music. Baker had garnered a large following on YouTube off of creating these parodies, which dabbled in politically incorrect humor. “The edgier they were, the more views they’d get,” Baker said. His parodies of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” all racked up more than 100 million views respectively and to this day, gave Bart Baker more than 3.1 billion views. But, after YouTube began demonetizing “vulgar” videos in 2018 to appease advertisers, Baker could no longer make a living off of his normal postings. What came to be known as the YouTube “Adpocalypse” soon became the death of his channel as his videos started to only earn him a fraction of their original revenue. It’s been one year since his last post, a parody of “FEFE” by 6ix9ine, and “Hi I’m Bart! I’m the king of music video parodies!” still screams from the bio of the inactive account. The channel remains up on YouTube as his following of 10.1 million loyal subscribers continue to spread rumors of his death in the comment sections. While it is true that in the past year Baker has fallen off the face of Youtube, becoming irrelevant in the United States, his image is still alive and well,  and is, in fact, thriving in China. Baker, who found himself lost and miserable because of the “Adpocalypse”, would come to receive an email from a Chinese talent agency who promised him great success if he were to shift his focus onto Chinese social media. Vulnerable and desperate, Baker agreed and found himself launched into a new virality that he’d never seen before. The agency, DCDC studios, put him into the hands of Super BTai, a talent manager and online Chinese influencer. BTai would give Baker assignments of posts to complete from overseas and in return Baker would receive a payment. Vice News caught up with Baker in September and documented one of these assignments: “Today, I have to put the Chinese into Google Translate and then I have to make the words rhyme.” After completing this assignment, Baker videotaped himself singing the translation in a mix of English and broken Chinese. He posted the video onto Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of popular US app Tiktok, and then proceeded to livestream himself on Kuaishou, a platform that in 2019 announced its partnership with the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. For Baker, this routine is his life; make a video supporting a sponsored advertiser, stream for hours on end off of a smartphone and wake up the next morning to do the same thing. Some of his other posts now include the singing of nationalist Chinese anthems, proclaiming “Five Star Red Flag, I’m so proud of you!” in unpronounced dialect. The former Youtube star’s evolution reads like an episode of Black Mirror. It’s not hard to infer that Baker’s main appeal is his cartoonish portrayal of Westerners praising China. When asked whether his nationality played into his success, Bart strongly agreed, even saying that the main reason that he bleached his hair blonde after being hired was to play up his American features. A Vice Interview with his interview with Super BTai uncovered more of this narrative: “When we first started [working with him] we didn’t think he was anything special,” said BTai, “You know, he’s not very handsome.” When asked whether Bart was a replaceable asset for the company, Bart’s manager asserted DCDC studio’s “ability to turn many foreigners into celebrities.” Regardless, Baker is all in on his decision to shift to the Chinese Market. In September of this year, he moved to Shanghai to be closer to his agency and core audience. One of his most recent posted videos features a recording of him speaking to his parents over FaceTime. His mother and father are seen, both crying over Baker’s move to Shanghai as he attempts to reassure them, telling them “don’t cry, don’t cry. 我爱中国 (I love China).” Baker is determined to do whatever it takes to keep himself afloat. When asked how Baker has maintained the unexpected success he had in the country, Super BTai answered, “He likes China, he’s hardworking, and he’s persistent.”

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