The Piano Guys in one of their YouTube videos in which they perform a song from Les Miserables.

GUEST ROOM | How Classical Music Became a Commodity

Guess who’s been topping the charts in the iTunes classical section — The Piano Guys. I can’t be the only one that picked up my phone and frantically googled when I found out that The Piano Guys would be playing Trump’s inauguration. I didn’t know who they were, but with millions of YouTube hits and the word “piano” in the name, I was intrigued. I watched the dramatic music video for “Beethoven’s 5 Secrets” — a mash-up of OneRepublic’s brief hit and Ludwig’s famed fifth symphony — and understood the appeal. Classical music, packaged for easy listening.

Vi struggles to reconcile her gender identity with society's pressures.

Love For Everyone: Her Story

The depths of YouTube can be perilous. You may begin by watching “How Star Wars Should Have Ended” videos or clips of Marco Rubio short-circuiting and spouting the same empty phrases in N.H. or a Beyoncé interview on the Oprah show. But one click leads to another and you trip and fall into a compulsive matrix of streamed content you never intended to watch in the first place. That scene of Stefon leads you to Bill Hader’s Saturday Night Live audition, which leads you to every SNL skit ever made, which leads you to cats, which leads you to waffles, which leads you to … cat waffles? (True story.)

Despite the toothless material you may encounter on the site, there are nonetheless some videos of high cultural quality – videos that feature linear narratives over an online miniseries format so they’re more accessible to their viewers.

Good Taste in Bad Music — The Nineties

I’ve noticed a theme in my writings for the Sun thus far this year. And it goes a little something like this (which, by the way, is a line from an Aaron Carter song): ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Holy f-ing shit! I have to join the real world so soon! Ahhhhhhh! Etc., etc., many exclamation points … you get the drill. I have decided the best way to deal with this is just not to think about it, as you might have gathered from how much I have done about applying to jobs and grad school, or studying for the GREs. Hint: it rhymes with hero. And it’s like the opposite of a hero. And I’m pretty sure that’s a line from Disney’s version of Hercules. Many inadvertent and ridiculous song references today. Odd.