Essentially Carl Benjamin, aka "Sargon" is a pretty annoying twat from Swindon, which, I happen to know, is one of the dreariest places on earth.
Benjamin is mainly known for making the appallingly stupid "this week in stupid" videos in which he basically spends 30 minutes complaining on youtube about trivial crap. Although he disingenuously claims to be a liberal, he unsurprisingly spouts alt-right talking points, often working himself into such a lather that he's actually screeching into his microphone.
He's also well known for having become a poster boy for the opposition to feminist icon and internet celebrity Anita Sarkeesian ,
who he made literally his first video about. He's stated that he has made at least 30 videos explicitly about her, so we can conclude that he's obviously obsessed, something to keep in mind for later.
You guys will of course recall Sarkeesian from that time The Sabbaticus posted a video by another guy about her basically doing the same thing, ie, complaining about her youtube videos.
So anyway there's plenty of whining and bitching and moaning going on here. Shit "escalated" when this nothing burger was brought to international youtube attention by the Vidcon 2017 gathering between June 21 and 24. During this otherwise probably pretty boring weekend with a bunch of youtube nerds, Sarkeesian was on a few panels discussing some shit, I don't really care, but the important one is the cyberbulling panel, which featured someother people including notable fatass youtube e-celebrity Boogie2988 (who apparently had a hit ordered against him on the dark web at one point).
Apparently what happened was that at an earlier panel, Carl Benjamin and his fellow douchebags intentionally occupied the seats in the row directly in front of the panel, prompting Sarkeesian to complain about their presence. Naturally professional victim Benjamin went ape and cried to high heaven about the abuses of power stemming from Sarkeesians apparent violation of the Vidcon TOS because Sarkeesian called him "a shithead." This was clearly a high point in Carl Benjamin's life as he was actually being acknowledged by his secret love, Sarkeesian, about whom, again, he made his first youtube video.
Controversy continued later at the cyberbulying panel, in which Boogie2988 made a closing statement telling his story about the hit ordered against him (or his wife, he changes his story). You can see his side of the event here:
Allegedly, after the panel was over, Sarkeesian approached Boogie2988 and became aggressive because she'd wanted to make some final points and wasn't able to because Boogie2988 kept blathering. Later they chilled in the greenroom and talked it out, apparently amicably.
So at this point the internet went into hysterics with countless hour long videos being made by people who would otherwise be considered raving lunatics endlessly expressing their outrage over nothing. Benjamin as expected made a one hour long video in which he rants about the hypocrisy of the vidcon organizers and so on, here
Carl Benjamin went on Joe Rogan a few days later and gave a long 3 hour interview in which he constantly talked over Rogan and demonstrated what an asshole he is. But anyway, of that interview, which is here, Benjamin, utterly unsurprisingly, spent a a great deal of his time rambling about Sarkeesian. The meat of that is here:
So. While I was distracting myself with this sorry but thankfully completely irrelevant non-affair I started thinking about Marshall Mcluhan and the nature of youtube as a medium.
There are basically two kinds of "programs" on youtube, large group productions which usually involve some kind of crew that produces regular content on some field of interest. These often involve a discussion or interview or some kind of talk-show like session such as the Joe Rogan podcast mentioned above. As I'm indicating these are almost exactly like the talkshow interviews of old.
However, there is also another kind of youtube video, specifically "channels"- usually about video games or politics- that tend to be filled with single issue losers doing things like talking about their interests in front of a camera for hours. It is these that I want to focus on here.
Needless to say this is a long way from the talkshow format- an opening monologue on Letterman is not going to run for an entire hour and lecture about the same issue over and over again. What is really going on here is that you now have a huge group of people who otherwise no one would care about who can now make long videos expressing the most uninformed opinions that will be endlessly gobbled up by the members of whatever particular echo chamber they happen to belong to.
It's as if some guy on the street started talking to you about Jesus and kept it up for several hours, more than once a week usually, and kept doing so for years.
I can't really liken this to a traditional lecture because of course people on youtube are usually failures academically since otherwise they wouldn't be on youtube. Also I don't think anyone could spend as much time as these people do talking about fucking video games and the drama that surrounds the video game industry.
What I'm getting at here is that youtube lecturers are generally trash but the medium (here is where Mcluhan comes in) gives them an aura of legitimacy, basically because someone isn't stoping them every few minutes to say, "wait, you sound like a crazy person," or "hmmm, I happen to know that what you just said is nonsense". Since they can just prattle on forever, the very fact that they are doing so begins to generate a momentum in which their ideas are then disseminated. I should also add that a lot of these people don't have actual jobs and are being funded by other anonymous internet people themselves usually crazy agenda seekers. As such, you would be a fool to listen to anything being said by someone on youtube who is just rambling into a camera/microphone.
Once you appreciate the nature of the medium it begins to make sense why the discourse is so toxic: it's because there is no discourse. You just have people making a bunch of statements, due to the nature of the medium, without any research or way of indicating their research at all, and then replying to eachother in other videos doing the same thing.
Tldr: DO NOT TRUST INDIVIDUAL YOUTUBE LECTURERS. Besides all of the sketchy shit that surrounds them (the anonymity of their financial backing, their connections with known psychopaths, their autistic obsession with video games), the videos they are making are literally destroying informed discourse faster than Twitter.
Bonus: known crazy person and Joe Rogan associate Alex Jones weighs in on Carl Benjamin, and the hugely important issue of gay fish, and in doing so exposes the toxicity of the discourse (and also of the water supply- buy one of Mr. Jones's water filters...), but also significantly the Rush Limbaugh radio-show like quality of youtube lecturers.