I don’t think I ever talked about this directly, or made a blog post about this specific case. I know I’ve talked with a few of you about it to varying degrees of depth. But anyway, there’s this YouTuber who makes enjoyable videos about movies, TV shows, and assorted pop culture phenomena. Her name is Lindsay Ellis.
Oh yeah, this is happening.
Okay, so fair to say, while I was slow to become a fan of Ellis’s work, I inevitably did. Because she makes extremely long videos about things that interest me. I am all about human communication, the stories we tell each other, and the way advancing societies and cultures and technology change those things. The internet and social media are the change happening to this century’s crop of human beings. And at their best (in my opinion), Ellis’s videos exemplify the phenomenon of communication, culture and (yeah I’m gonna say it) discourse for which I am specifically educated and professionally trained.
The internet, to me, is the proverbial river that provides. I sit here, I live my life, every now and then I go and check my nets and … the internet provides.
Anyway, my point is, she does good stuff. Is she a perfect being with timeless and universally celebrated opinions? Uh, no. No, she’s a human.
It doesn’t even matter what she said to make the infinite monkeys of Twitter angry. She compared a TV series and a movie. Nobody had ever done that before so it made perfect sense for this reaction to happen.
Now, I am not a tolerant hippie, nor am I a woke-scold. The whole line of attack and criticism seemed disingenuous to me. But I have been Saying Things On The Internet for a long time, and I’m always interested in seeing things like this go down. Because sooner or later, everyone says something that’s going to upset someone. And the more people listen to you, the more likely it becomes – and the more likely it becomes that “someone” is actually going to be hundreds, maybe thousands of people.
Ellis deleted her Twitter and vanished for a little while. I was worried she was going to stop making YouTube videos, but she was just taking a break and preparing this response. Which was just … excellent in every way.
So I’m not expecting you to sit and watch an hour and forty minutes of painstaking right-of-internet-reply. I listened to it, and half-watched, while doing a long copy-paste job on my work computer. But here it is, anyway.
Quite a few Hatstanders can, I think, have a laugh at her comment about how (statistically speaking) she’s been on the internet longer than her viewers. Prepare to have your statistics skewed by a bunch of greying internet dinosaurs, young lady! But anyway, fair to say she’s paid her dues. And then some.
In this video response, she covers so much ground. So many subjects I find interesting. And a lot of what defines us as a communicating species of aggressive, conditionally reasoning non-sentient primates.
And she drinks a significant fraction of a bottle of Writer’s Tears, in my opinion the best whiskey ever made. Yeah I said it, cancel me.
The internet loses its mind on a regular basis. It’s one of the most amusing and fascinating things about the internet. People get criticised, and dog-piled, and someone tuts about cancel culture gone mad, and then nothing happens really. It happens all the time and sometimes I even make posts about it. I’ve pulled up shit like this in my nets before, and I will again. Maybe one day I’ll have a following so huge, I’ll have to start watching what I say!
I will never apologise for this Bechdel joke, though.
I’m going to be proven right about the lava drinkers, too. Maybe not in 2025, but one day.
Ultimately, this isn’t about the left eating itself. It isn’t about woke mobs becoming worse than the oppressors and hatemongers. It’s about normal everyday dumb people wanting to be able to say “I’m one of the good ones, and I can prove it because this is happening to her, not me.” And if we’re going to have robust and informed (I’m saying it again!) discourse, we need to be able to stand up and say “this is where I draw the line.”
That’s it for now. It somehow got to be 14:00 and I don’t understand it. Weekend fast approaching. Have a good one.