I've just realised the real reason why I love YouTube so much. Not only does it give me the chance to hear Kanye West having a tantrum because he hasn't won a VMA ("give a black man a chance!"), it also fundamentally shifts the balance between you and the tube.
Had I watched this programme live I would have been the hapless pawn in the hands of Viacom's plan to sell more hair gel advertising. If only for a while, I would have been owned by TV.
But with YouTube I can just watch the bits people tell me were notable (Britney's sleepwalk) and completely ignore the rest. It makes me feel that I'm the one in charge rather than the one being used. It makes me feel we're gradually getting our own back for all those hours, days and weeks we've all spent in front of the box watching TV that wasn't worth it.
I always say to my children, "nobody ever got up from the sofa saying, 'well, that was a worthwhile use of the last three hours'". Maybe that's why they've all left home.