Last night I fell asleep reading an article about a boxing match between British YouTuber KSI and infamous suicide mocker Logan Paul. I assumed it was a dream. You know, in those final few moments before drifting off — where reality blurs with the subconscious to make something that’s not quite as lucid as either.
It’s not too far-fetched to think that my subconscious would want to see Logan Paul punched in the face repeatedly. Especially as my waking-mind wills it to happen on a regular basis.
So this morning, when I was reading through news, I was surprised to learn that my dream was actually happening — and that it hadn’t been a dream at all. Today, KSI will be boxing Logan Paul and KSI’s younger brother (???) will be boxing Jake Paul in an event that’s being marketed as “the most watched in history”.
It’s being streamed on YouTube for $10 a view and is being considered a fairly important event in online streaming. If this show does well, then other companies will seriously look into running PPV events on YouTube.
YouTube is in a bit of a slump at the moment. They’ve had bad press from the likes of the Paul brothers, and many of their long-time content creators are leaving for other platforms and ventures, due to mass demonetisation and changes in policy that result in the creator making less money.
YouTube is still a huge platform, but it’s no longer the democratic video service for the people that it was ten years ago. A content creator can still get noticed, but they’re only likely to “make it” if they’re then signed to a talent agency. Basically, YouTube is now no different to any entertainment industry of the last one-hundred years. You can change the platform, but the game is still the same.
The fight caught my attention because it was the first time I’d heard Logan Paul’s name in a while. I live outside of the YouTube bubble, so unless it crosses over to the mainstream then I’m basically clueless.
Like most people over the age of twelve, I first heard of Logan Paul at the end of 2017, when he uploaded his infamous “tour of Japan” blogs. In these videos he:
- Ran around in the kinds of Japanese outfits you’d see in the 17th century or old Disney cartoons.
- Yelled in a Japanese accent at the top of his voice in the middle of a crowded market.
- “Tokyo is like a real-life cartoon!”
- Bought a Gameboy Colour, smashed it on the floor and tried to return it to the vendor by saying “mucho brokeno!”
- Ran around in a Pikachu costume throwing Pokéballs at everything and everyone, including the police.
- Bought raw fish to shove in the faces of the public.
For those in the West who struggle with the ideas of casual racism and negative stereotypes, how would you feel if you lived in Florida, USA and someone:
- Ran around in cowboy outfits from 50s westerns, holding plastic pistols and challenging people to duels.
- Yelled “Yeehaw!” and other things in a mock, old-timey American accent whilst running around a Target.
- “America is full of stupid people!”
- Bought a gun, broke the inner-parts (???) and tried to return it to the gun-shop owner by saying “it broke dude, your bad!”
- Ran around in a Homer Simpson costume throwing doughnuts a cops.
- Bought fried chicken to shove in the faces of the public.
I bet you’d punch them. I’m not usually someone who bets — but I bet you’d punch them.
This wasn’t even the worst of it, he made headlines for venturing into a Aokiagahara, a Japanese forrest known as a one of the world’s most prevalent suicide sites. In this particular vlog, “team Logang” do their usual schtick of grinning and acting goofy upon finding a body. Then, Logan and his gang of chuckleheads get serious for a moment and stumble through some ill-chosen words about depression and suicide. Minutes later, he’s back to laughing, grinning and milking a man’s tragic death for personal gain.
With this video — that he and his team filmed, edited and uploaded — we got a glimpse into what Logan Paul considers to be acceptable behaviour. It was only after the mainstream backlash that he pulled the video and apologised.
This is worse than making an off-the-cuff tweet, Logan Paul had time to think about this as it was being edited and uploaded.
So now, eight months later, evil Draco Malfoy is back in the YouTube mainstream and in a matter of hours is going to fight one of the UK’s biggest YouTubers in a boxing match. Very few people are discussing his actions in Japan anymore, and for that reason, Logan Paul has already won the fight.
Shame on KSI for working with this guy, in a bout that’s nothing more than a PR cash-grab. In an attempt to save the Logan Paul brand, he’s taking part in something that’s so ridiculous, people will start to remember him as the guy who got beat up by KSI and not the moron who mocked suicide for personal gain.
“But Matt, in this world of constant surveillance, where the spotlight is on our lives 24/7 — shouldn’t we eventually forgive those who make mistakes and allow them to continue their careers?”
No, no we shouldn’t.
I’m not asking for Logan Paul to be charged with committing a crime, I’m just asking that he no longer gets to make a living doing what he does. He can go out and get a job in a different vocation, I have no issue with that.
There are millions of content creators the world over who deserve to make a career on YouTube. Half of them are genuinely talented, and all of them have never found a dead body and laughed at suicide.
In a world where we’re all seeking our own personal slice of celebrity — Be it more friends on Facebook, more followers on Twitter or a successful Instagram — Those who deserve it are the people that reflect the best aspects of our societies.
Even the most introverted of us get a little kick out of life when a few more people are paying attention from afar. It’s an attention culture; A war for the most pairs of eyes.
Throughout history we’ve put the best artists and the worst people on pedestals, but with the internet age we have the chance to vote with our attention. We should continue to champion the best artists, but also the best and kindest people.
I say all this, but it’s entirely idealistic, especially considering one of the worst celebrities of the last fifty years is the current President of the United States.
The more likely outcome from all of this is that the 4 Billion Subscribed, 3x Boxing Champion, 2x Academy Award Winner and one time child of all the worst aspects of our species — Logan Paul — becomes President in the year 2044 by an absolute landslide. In what will be described by future-historians as “the second worst Republican presidency in history.”
The reactionist in me hopes that Logan Paul is punched square in the face several times tonight, but the cynical realist tells me that he’ll make a million dollars for each one he takes.
Today is Saturday, August 25th and if you follow me on Twitter @mattwwriter, I’ll follow you back — so we can connect and share in each other’s attention.
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