Top 10: David Mitchell’s Soapbox Videos

Top 10: David Mitchell's Soapbox Videos Artwork

David Mitchell is a British actor, comedian and writer. He is known for his starring role in Peep Show (the longest running comedy in Channel 4 history) where he plays Mark Corrigan, alongside his long term comedy partner Robert Webb who played Jeremy “Jez” Usborne. He is also known for starring in and writing for several sketch shows including Bruiser, The Mitchell and Webb Situation, That Mitchell and Webb Sound and That Mitchell and Webb Look, again alongside Robert Webb. Today I will be talking about my Top 10 videos from David Mitchell’s Soapbox, a series based on YouTube where Mitchell talks through various topics in a humorous fashion. 

1. The Gaelic Language
Having recently started learning Scots Gaelic via Duolingo (and if you’re interested in doing so too, you can by downloading it for Apple or Android respectively) I feel a lot more invested in this video than when I first watched it, but that’s not the entire reason why it scooped the top slot, in all honesty, I feel it perfectly balanced the trenchant wit and outrage Mitchell is known for with a solid argument.

2. Bread & Butter
David Mitchell is at his best when he is judging the foibles of modern society and this one is one of his best, I like how it starts as just him venting his spleen about modern diets, and moves into an analysis of eating habits and the economics of those habits. It’s informative and entertaining. 

3. Living in the Moment
As someone who lives with severe anxiety I am constantly second guessing every decision so this video really speaks to me, trying constantly to live in the moment and get out of my head. Mitchell puts those feelings into words perfectly. 

4. Authenticity
Much like the last video, I liked this one because it rings true, it is, or at least I hope it is, a universal feeling, the video ironically has genuine authenticity to it. It expresses feelings I’ve had, and I’m sure we’ve all had regarding acquiescing to the general public, the consensus, what’s popular, to the point where you end up forgetting what you thought and felt before people started telling you what to think and feel.

5. Passion
Mitchell makes some fantastic points in this video, but overall it’s just funny, he is poking fun at the use of the word passion regarding mundane things like tax optimisation and customer focused services to which the word does not quite apply. 

6. Pointy Shoes
As a wearer and big fan of pointy shoes I am against the anti pointy shoe propaganda in this video however, I agree with the idea that fashion choices should not be thrust upon people, especially if they don’t share the opinion that they aren’t useful or particularly aesthetically pleasing to the person in question. I also like that Mitchell managed to sneak in a little history lesson as well. 

7. Machines
I loathe the idea of machines ‘thinking’ or rather making decisions, i don’t like when the ATM says it processing my request, because this implies that obviously excepting an insufficient balance in my account they could restrict access to my money on a whim. I do not like this idea and I’m just glad I am not alone, we trust technology far too much, to even suggest the concept of independent thought. 

8. Sustainability
I’m not sure why I liked this one so much, I guess overall it’s a fairly middling video, but I think I just like the delivery, and the core concept of the video regarding the long term viability of household goods. 

9. Waste in Politics
It’s low down on the list, but this is a really strong video, critical of the oversimplification regarding new parties seeking political power claiming to cut down on waste, it’s just not possible and it is a point that we don’t always consider, somehow assuming anew that with each new round of parties taking the seat of power in our country, that they will somehow change the entire infrastructure in a meaningful way. 

10. Choice is a Bad Idea
I am of mixed minds about this video, I mean I get the idea he’s trying to get across and as someone with anxiety issues (and sorry to go on about it) I totally get how decisions can be paralysing but I feel like too much choice is always going to be better than none, because many groups have pushed for generations to have the right to choice and it’s somewhat reductive to look at broad choice as bad on a personal level, when it is obviously good on a societal level. 

Honourable mentions go to Social Signals, Lying Liars and I Wouldn’t Have Minded But… which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the top 10 list.


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