“Hi, Ren” Examined (Pt. 2: The Reactions)

Watching the Reaction Videos to “Hi, Ren” Is Helping Me Fall (Back) In Love with Humanity

Bryan Winchell

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Note: This is Part II in a three-part series on musician Ren Gill, his musical and visual masterpiece “Hi, Ren,” and the impact he is having on people. Part I was an overview, Part II, this one, is focused on the Reaction Videos to “Hi, Ren,” and Part III examines the deeper psychological and spiritual meaning of “Hi, Ren.”

A typical thumbnail for a Reaction Video to “Hi, Ren.” (Screenshot: Author)

Since I was a small child, I’ve been able to love people of all shapes, sizes, and types. Twice, however, that love has been challenged big time.

The first was in my early 20s when my illusions about the ways of the world were shattered too quickly and I fell into cynicism and tried to drown my pain with mind-altering substances. The second was over the past few years when people I thought I’d built solid friendships with over many years began to disown me because my reaction to the COVID-19 situation was different than theirs.

Fortunately, in this second instance, I was thrown a life preserver in the form of the genre known as Reaction Videos. Music has always been a salve for my wounded heart, and throughout 2020 watching this man‘s generous soul and sharing his love for music as he discovered songs I’ve long cherished helped keep me from falling back into the dark cynicism of my early 20s. His motto, “Be a good human” is one I do my best with, and it’s also one I keep in mind when I find others for the first time, believing that at our core we are all beautiful, unique beings worthy of love and respect.

That said, I’m not perfect. I was reminded of that several days into my three-week burrow through the glorious rabbit hole of reaction videos to the musical and visual masterpiece, “Hi, Ren.” You see, after watching a series of these reaction videos I had the thought, “Watching these reaction videos is helping me fall (back) in love with humanity.”

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Bryan Winchell

A Serious Fool who writes about: Personal/collective growth, politics, love of Nature/Humanity, Japan, podcasting, humor, and being a hippie in Service to Life.