The (prospective) problem with Shane Dawson

 

I initially wanted to make a review of his Jake Paul series. But, now that I think about it, I am more intrigued to write about him as a content creator. As the series is still ongoing, I am still not enlightened to evaluate. I am not sure if I will after the finale is uploaded.
I actually never cared about his earliest works. I started watching him since he first uploaded ‘scary’ videos on his second channel (which now has become his first). I love to watch him talking about conspiracies, ghost stories and his supposed personal experiences with the supernatural… and, strangely, I no longer believe in those things!

Admittedly, him, Garrett, Morgan and (presumably) Andrew easily construe weird happenings as supernatural ones can be a bit irritating. The ‘ghostly orbs’ in their photos were the results of airborne particles reflecting the flashes. The staff of HMS Queen Mary might be the ones who caused the ‘inexplicable’ noises. I am also annoyed by Shane’s brother, who has appeared in one conspiracies videos, who sincerely believe in easily-debunked conspiracies. And yet, I still love watching his ‘scary’ videos.

I constantly rummaged through my brain, trying to decipher my attraction towards his videos. At first, I thought I might be intrigued by the extraordinary beliefs. Why do some people believe in so-called ‘secrets’ that the mainstream society jeer? Why do some believe in the afterlife despite not being religious? Is what they are doing ‘spirituality’?
After a while, I found the explanation unsatisfactory. He is not the first I know who expresses sincere belief in ghosts and constantly dwells in conspiracies; in fact, in many cases, I find the people who do the same things extremely irritating. So, I conclude that I love Shane the Youtube channel… well… because of Shane Dawson himself!

Note: yes, I know being pedantic here! Of course, we love Youtubers for the people they supposedly are! I am just re-telling my efforts to comprehend my seemingly inexplicable attraction to Shane’s works. Anyway…

When it comes to the ghosts, he is far from a sceptic. He is very sure about the existence of ghost. But, despite me believing the opposite, I am not annoyed at all. He never slaps his belief onto other people’s faces. He also had fun by ghost hunting with his ‘squad’. He even includes doubtful voices like his boyfriend Ryland and, to a lesser extent, Ryland’s mother.

Remember what I said earlier about how I love Shane’s videos because I am intrigued by beliefs in ghosts? Now, I believe it is the other way around; before Shane, I didn’t remember having such thinking. I credit the existence of this sense of intrigue on his humility. I never expected that another man’s down-to-earth lack of scepticism can be a fuel to my intellectual musing.

When it comes to conspiracies, Shane still has a healthy level of scepticism, though. He does not take them for granted. It is obvious how his dwelling with them is, more of than not, about having ‘morbid’ fun. Heck, he even said his brother is crazy for sincerely believing them. But, his conspiracy videos are still potentially problematic.

While they have some level of doubt in them, it is not emphasised enough! Sceptical viewers, whether they like Shane or not, would not accept his content as the truths. Relatively media-savvy fans would have an easy time distinguishing entertainment and facts from each other. How about viewers who are neither?

They would probably start believing in unproven conspiracies. They would probably end up thinking the ‘alternative’ media outlets are entirely truthful and ‘mainstream’ ones are entirely deceitful, thinking that every scientist who discredits pseudoscientific beliefs are corporate shills. They would probably end up suffering paranoia.

You can correct if I am wrong (as if people read my writings). But, I do think believing in unproven conspiracies is more harmful than believing in ghosts. The belief in the former is the reason why Pizzagate existed which provoked a man to commit a shooting which could have killed someone. It is also the reason why some people exacerbate the suffering of the parents of Sandy Hook’s victims. It also aggravates the already-epidemic anti-Semitism.

There is a reason why I say ‘conspiracies’ instead of ‘conspiracy theories’. A theory is a set of ideas and principles that are supported by the constant stream of thorough researches.

I know that Shane does not have any ill-intentions. But, I just wish he was more responsible as a content creator.

Actually, before I end this article, I do have something to say about Shane’s still ongoing Jake Paul series:

Critically, there are Youtubers who make much better Youtube commentaries. Nerd City, Drew Gooden, iDubbz, Bobby Burns, Kwite, just to name a few. From my perspective, unlike Shane, they are much better in not letting their emotions getting the ways, make better researchers and possess a stronger sense of skepticism. But, Shane has one undeniable strength: his willingness to humanise fellow human beings.

As much as I love the brutal criticisms made by the other content creators, they can be dehumanising. Whether intentional or not, they often portray their targets as abnormal screen characters instead of real, deeply-flawed individuals. After facing their targets in person, iDubbz and Bobby Burns openly felt guilty for failing to see them as human beings. Shane is successful regarding that.

When he wants to get to know another famous figures, he wants to meet them in person. He wants to understand them on an emotional level. Other Youtubers focus on the ‘what’, Shane focuses on the ‘why’. While emotionality can be his weakness, it is clearly also a strength of his.

Shane successfully reassured Jeffree, a very private figure, to open up about his own vulnerability without making excuses for the latter’s past as an internet provocateur! Shane has proven that humans are more than just the labels imposed onto themselves!


If I were a Youtube commentator, I would probably be the one who does mean-spirited criticisms while barely making proper citations. Ideally, I would love to be a combination of Nerd City and Shane Dawson. Realistically, following the former’s footsteps is much easier for me than following the latter’s. I can easily force myself to do thorough researches. But, humanising my targets require me to look inward and contemplate.

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Author: The Stammering Dunce

I write blogs. I love to act smarter than I really am and I pretend that my opinions are of any significance. Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=9674796

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