The Snake

I normally don’t do current events (I’d like to think my content is evergreen or at least a really annoying weed), however, there was a rather funny event that occurred with a YouTuber named Lindsay Ellis (funny haha for me, funny ironic for her). Ellis after many, many years on the platform has decided to quit being a YouTuber. Her cited reason was the absolute toxicity of the audience she has garnered and cultivated. Ellis is a far-left progressive (self-described) and because of that, she has had the long-standing tendency to ham this up. Her main job on her now former channel is to do film/media reviews and critiques. At some point last year she made a comment on her Twitter account that lambasted Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon as basically being nothing but a less good Avatar: the Last Airbender knock-off. Now I haven’t seen the film, but I have no real reason to suspect that this is an unfounded characterization of it. I see no problem with the Tweet whatsoever. What’s more, I don’t care.

However, her “fans'' cared. Cared a lot actually. They claimed that this comparison was in some way shape or form racist (Raya and the Last Dragon is a film that depicts asian characters, but so does Avatar: the Last Airbender (ATLA) so…). To some of her fans (a minority for sure but still some) lambasted her for racism. The reason I gather is that she did not like a film that depicted minority characters (even if ATLA is an anime and, thus, only depicts asians as well) therefore that is verboten. Her dismissal was a sign of racism. Now it should be noted that I did not give two craps (or even one for that matter) about this incident when it occurred over a year ago. It doesn’t matter.

However, Ellis (apparently) continued to face harassment over the course of the year. (It should be noted that there have been other “sins” that Ellis has committed over the course of her career, but this is sort of the one that broke the camel’s back.) How extreme? I and everyone besides her and her husband is unsure. However, it was apparently enough for a YouTuber with over 1 million subscribers to decide to quit. Her closing remarks, posted on her Patreon (which she is keeping open to eke out more income because she apparently lacks both a backbone and a soul) lambasted (such a fun word) the toxicity of her fans and the duplicity of her supposed friends who abandoned her the moment the controversy broke (the surest sign of friendship).

Now I don’t feel too badly for Lindsay Ellis. She courted this type of audience for years and has decried the supposed racism, sexism, etc… of others. There is a very (at least on a particular side of the aisle) infamous clip of another far-left progressive YouTuber named Anita Sarkeesian who declared that everything was sexist, everything was racist, everything was homophobic and it was her job to point it all out. And as another YouTube commentator by the name of ShortFatOtaku (I feel your judgmental stares… and I accept them) pointed out, Ellis agreed with this framing of the world wholeheartedly.

The problem for individuals like Ellis is that if everything is sexist, racist, etc… then she too is those things… or rather she has become those things. One of the main criticisms coming out RayaGate (I’m sure Nixon would just love that every scandal, no matter how stupid, is named after his scandal) was that Ellis is a straight, cis, white woman and could not say the things she said. This all-encompassing view of the world eats its own, like a snake eating its own tail.

The problem with this critical view of the world is that unlike literally any religion on the planet there is no method for forgiveness, repentance, or rebirth once the tenets have been violated. There is no blood offering to cover your sin in an act of atonement. There is no article of faith to wash your sins away as you repent. You cannot be reborn. It is ugly and destructive and effectively makes the individual a sum of only a few of their parts ex. A straight white male. This part, in turn, carries with it a “hideous necessitarianism” that determines the guilt or victimhood ex. A straight white male will always be the oppressor.

G.K Chesterton stated about the English poet William Cowper,

Perhaps the strongest case of all is this: that only one great English poet went mad, Cowper. And he was definitely driven mad by logic, by the ugly and alien logic of predestination. Poetry was not the disease, but the medicine; poetry partly kept him in health. He could sometimes forget the red and thirsty hell to which his hideous necessitarianism dragged him among the wide waters and the white flat lilies of the Ouse. He was damned by John Calvin; he was almost saved by John Gilpin. - (Orthodoxy, Chesterton pg. 22-3)

While Chesterton was speaking about insanity and its correlation with a certain over-abundance of rationality and an absence of imagination, it is most definitely pertinent to the post-modern disease of critical theory. This disease simply cannot imagine a world where the individual is in any way master of his own fate. Instead, he is bound by fate to forever be what he already is. Never to fall below, never to rise above.

It is this insanity. This cruel, cruel logic, that drove Lindsay Ellis from YouTube or rather made her feel like she had been driven. She always had a choice and she surely picked the most cowardly one. It is this that forever hastens the snake to consume itself.


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