Why The Rewired Soul’s popularity is not surprising (for me)

I first heard about The Rewired Soul, real name Chris Boutté, when Bobby Burns had become a persona non grata in Youtube community; I did not watch any of his videos as I thought he was just another commentator who was disappointed in the young and talented Youtuber’s demise.

I started to know about his true nature when Primink made a critical video about him. I do think Primink screwed up by citing Kati Morton as a good therapist just because she is licensed; her appearance in Shane Dawson’s Jake Paul series clearly shows how unethical she is. But, in general, he was right about how Boutté’s lack of integrity.

I tried to watch any of The Rewired Soul videos and I couldn’t finish a single one. He, a someone without the credentials, does try to represent himself as a therapist, albeit implicitly. He does disregard the importance of informed consent. He keeps diagnosing his fellow Youtubers despite their plea for him to stop; he is literally harassing them!

By the way, I am describing his actions in the present tense even though he is on a break. Why? Because his now-deleted apology video where he played the victim card and the fact that he started to take a break after his own fans turned against him show how he has yet to express genuine remorse. Also, the fact that there will always be people who love what he is doing means he has no incentives to change.

For me, his popularity is frustrating, disturbing yet not surprising.

For one, I also love to ‘diagnose’ complete strangers, like Youtubers. To this day, I still believe they possess certain traits they hide from the public, despite me not having solid evidences; because of that reason, I only talk about them in private chats with my friends.

You may think I am just projecting myself onto others and that is a valid thing to say. But, others are trying to do the same to me and, unlike me, they are actually proud of themselves for doing this.

People whom I have never opened to constantly try to convince me what they think of me is accurate when it is mostly not and, every time I try to rebuke them, they try to convince me I am in denial. Whether I interact with them in the physical or virtual worlds, the less they know me, the more aggressive they are.

Yes, they are just my anecdotes. Unlike a certain political figure, I don’t think data is the plural of anecdotes. But, I can point out to cases where we harass public figures by forcing them to ‘corroborate’ falsehood about their personal lives.

Shawn Mendes has been forced to admit his homosexuality by people who lack any evidences. If we go to the world of Youtube, many fans insist that certain Youtubers, like Dan and Phil, are indeed gay and in same-sex relations with each other, again, by people who lack evidences. And those are just two examples.

On what can we blame this blatant breach of personal boundaries? I believe the problem lies on the delusion of bonding.

I was raised in a society where relationships were judged solely by quantities, not by the qualities and I have no doubt many societies are also guilty of the same sin. Apart from the demonisation of introversion -which is a completely valid personality trait-, one side effect of such societal ‘quirk’ is many people I have met pitifully believe more interactions equals greater intimacy; they cannot comprehend how idiotic they sound.

Of course, that is how relationships are in the physical world, where the delusion can easily take shapes due to the direct contacts. But, I also believe this can also occur even when no interactions ever occur.

Just admit it: you feel connected to certain public figures because you read their books, you listen to their songs or you are ideologically in tune with them; I am still guilty of such sin. But, the thing is I actually acknowledge it is just a feeling!

Many still believe feelings are facts. We feel we are a part of our idols’ private lives; not only we feel entitled to be included in them, we also feel entitled to our own so-called ‘facts’ about them. And it is not just fans. Even haters and ‘neutral observers’ also have such sense of entitlement’, just because they watch, listen to and read about those public figures.

When I watched Primink’s scathing video for the second time, I finally took heed of this screenshot he took when he argued with Boutté:

“So if you had a depressed friend, you wouldn’t recommend they try therapy?”

Friend. Boutté tried to present himself as a ‘concerned’ friend to Trisha Paytas, Bobby Burns and any Youtubers whom not only he has never interacted with, but also has publicly bullied. He is either delusional or pandering to his delusional fan base; in the light of the recent exposés where he is exposed as a scammer, I am more inclined to believe the latter.

But, whether he is genuinely delusional or not, it does not matter. His online persona condones the delusion of bonding which makes him alluring to ones who clearly suffer from it. Based on what I said earlier, I believe those individuals will always exist.

If he continues to defecate the same toxicity as before, his videos would still be watched by said individuals. If his career ends forever, others would be readily available to take over his place. So, not only I am not shocked by his popularity, I also would not be surprised if he can successfully pass his psychologically-hazardous baton to other content creators.

My belief in the existence of such delusion grows slowly over many years. The more I interact with my fellow human beings and the more I delve into the world of Youtubers, the more I believe in its existence. The screenshot taken by Primink really cements it.

Oh, and I have to say I am disappointed with PsychIRL regarding this. I respected her as an intelligent and level-headed commentator and I still do. But, instead of grilling him, she just let him used her channel as his additional platform; she let him use her video as a free advertisement of his channel.

Anyone who were not stupid enough to fall for his ‘compassion’ rhetoric would immediately see how toxic he was and Donna of PsychIRL is clearly far from stupid. It seems her embrace of civility can also be a weakness, as shown in this case.

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What can we learn from the ‘tragedies’ of H3H3 and Bobby Burns?

It is simple: if you are not careful, your words will become your deadly boomerangs. Learn it from this Captain Obvious who is still getting haunted from his words.

While the disgrace of our idols is hard to deal with, why are we even surprised by it? Why do we constantly forget they are human beings just like us, who can commit mistakes and hypocrisy just like us?

Oh, and we also seem to forget both Bobby and Ethan are not just mere Youtubers, they are also Youtube commentators! They make a living out of critiquing anything Youtube-related: Youtube the corporation, Youtube communities and especially fellow Youtubers! Being perceived as the voice of reason and virtue means one is on a high pedestal; therefore, the fall from grace will be significantly harder and more violent.

I believe our disappointment is less about them letting us down and more about us having extremely high expectations of them. Admittedly, to this day, I am still guilty of venerating my own idols. But, even then, there are some occasions when a small voice in my head saying, ‘they are flawed, just like you’; slowly, I learned to take heed of it. Subconsciously, I anticipated the day my heroes become public (or, in this case, Youtube) enemies number one. Their fall from grace, while regrettable, is somewhat foreseeable for me.

I have found some internet comments which condemn Youtube commentators as nothing but mean-spirited and hypocritical hate-mongers who will never stop what they are doing until the entire world is drenched in their negativity. Admittedly, some are indeed guilty of such sin. Some.

Youtube commentators are the Youtube watchdogs. Like it or not, while they don’t have the power to maintain order, they are the ones who put the scorching spotlight to the sins committed in the platform. They are the ones who make sure those sinners, while admittedly often let unpunished, have their dirts unearthed. They are the ones who make sure the truths are ingrained in the collective consciousness.

Yes, virtually everyone, especially Youtube commentators, can end up as Bobby and Ethan. But then, everything in life has risks! For me, the potentially brutal dishonour is worth the intellectual and moral contribution to the shared life we belong to (ostentatious, I know)! Love it or not, constructive criticism can help us move onward!

Even though I am not a popular and respected content creator, I am certain there is not a single advice that can entirely avert this ‘tragedy’ (if you can call it that). ‘Be self-aware!’ seems like a good advice. But, Bobby and Ethan already possessed some level of self-awareness… and yet here they are (even though one can argue they didn’t embrace it strong enough)!

As I am one who constantly resigns himself to the ever-powerful force that is reality, let me repeat a cliche saying: nothing, including the good ones, lasts forever. The fall from grace will always be an inevitable prospect.

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Before I conclude this, I need to talk about Bobby specifically.

I used to watch him. I loved his film analysis and Youtube commentary videos and I still do. Just like my fellow fans, I hate how he has changed as a content creator. Well, hate and love.

I wish he was more transparent, more measured and more tactful with his transformation, preventing his fanbase from enduring the ‘shock’. I wish he still make those intelligent cultural dissection.

But, at the same time, I also cannot help myself from admiring him. I believe changes can be beneficial by liberating us from the moulds and he keeps changing despite the backlashes. While tactless changes can destroy one’s career, invariability will surely increases one’s possibility of enduring irrelevance and the mass’s fatigue of one’s creations. So, even if Bobby does refrain himself from revamping his channel, he would experience a decline in his career sooner or later.

I notice some people blame Shane Dawson for this ‘tragedy’. They believe, if the meeting never happened, Bobby would still be a good Youtuber. They believe the fact that Shane hired him to take the Sunday slot compels Bobby to pander to his then-employer’s fanbase. While it sounds like a valid conjecture, I also have mine… which I personally prefer more.

He changes after meeting Shane, a Youtuber he had criticised previously, probably because he realises how the target of his criticism was also a human being. In fact, while collaborating with PsychIRL, he admitted how he felt bad about harshly criticising certain individuals after meeting them in person, realising (again) how they were also human beings.

(Side note: in his H3 podcast appearance, iDubbz also shared the same sentiment as he also met the individuals he criticised in person. In another episode of the podcast, Ethan believed his channel encouraged the growth of mean-spirited commentaries on the website).

While pandering to Shane’s fanbase seems like the probable cause, I personally believe Bobby transforms himself because he no longer wants to be a hypocritical and mean-spirited Youtuber. Yes, I don’t have a solid evidence to support that. But, this assumption of mine is based on the words he actually had said.

Also, even though his content does become far more inferior, at least the new one is not harmful. Pointless and boring, perhaps. But, it is harmless. I mean, at least, he is not like those Youtube sceptics end up as alt-right mouthpieces (and I end up feeling wary of every individual who label themselves as ‘sceptics’).

We should also remember he is still twenty-one years old (almost twenty-two). Already an adult, he is. But, a middle-aged individual can still run into obstacles when pursuing his/her individuality, let alone a college-aged youth. I believe demanding any content creators, regardless of their age, to nail their feet to certain niches is cruel and will needlessly burden their sense of self.

I don’t know what will the future hold for him. He may return to commentaries and film reviews… or he may not. He may retain a long-lasting career… or he may bust it soon. But, I am certain, if his career is sturdier than expected, he will revamp his channel again. At least once more.

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What I think about the Shane Dawson and Bobby Burns ‘drama’

Yes, I know. This essay is many months too late and this is my fourth Shane Dawson writing. But, I need to write it as the toxic section of Shane’s fandom still spew venom to Bobby. Now, I also have venom to deliver.

It is quite obvious the problem is on Shane’s fandom. They cannot accept the fact that their idol is not being universally and unconditionally loved by the world! For them, their idol is an all-perfect deity who cannot do anything wrong. And someone dared to pop their bubble of delusion.

Bobby made a critical video of Shane being a conspiracy theorist. Even though he can be self-righteous mean and hypocritical with his Youtube commentaries, you have to admit he has made great points.

As much as I love Shane, his conspiracy videos are indeed full of shit and, even though he still possess some level of skepticism in him, he does a shitty job on emphasising it. Considering how impressionable many media consumers can be, Shane is being irresponsible. You cannot claim to be a reasonable person and claim there is nothing problematic about some of his content.

The only thing I hate about the so-called ‘hate’ video is the mentioning of Shane’s past black face controversy. While it is not a trivial matter, it is irrelevant to the topic being discussed and he is being petty about it.

Of course, I have to mention polygraph. While its accuracy is doubted by some scientists, watching Shane and Ryland getting tested by the device is still very entertaining. But, when it is Bobby’s turn, the enjoyment slips away.

It is obvious how much he suffers from anxiety and the thing about lie detector is it only detects how anxious we are, NOT whether we tell the truth or not! With the intense nervousness, Bobby easily fails the test. In that situation, some people will react by making jokey confessions; in Bobby’s case, he jokingly confesses about using Shane for fame. Unsurprisingly, the brainless fans use these as their smoking guns.

No matter how much you try to instill scientific literacy to their brains, it seems theirs have become a lost cause; pop culture has made them believe in the imaginary effectiveness of polygraphs. They also cite its usage by the law enforcement as an evidence of its usefulness… because we all know the authorities are all-knowing entities who never do anything wrong. I mean, just ask the bootlickers.

Their inability to understand subtexts coerces them to take every word uttered by other human beings for granted and, as Youtube is a platform where jokes, sarcasm and deception flourish, that makes them a bunch of obnoxious media consumers. We have to pity the reasonable individuals who have to put up with them offline.

You would think the hatred would die down after many months. But, one cannot never expect much from snakes. Days before I started writing this essay, Bobby had an accident while driving a car gifted to him by Shane. While Shane seems relieved he is okay, the fandom is not.

In his instagram account, Bobby is being condemned by Shane’s fans for being ungrateful about the car, accusing him of causing the accident without any solid evidences of his guilt. Some simply state their worry about the car and ignoring the human life inside it, subtly hinting his lack of human worthiness.

Others aren’t subtle at all. They are openly disappointed that he wasn’t killed in the accident… because it is morally acceptable to behave like Muslim fundamentalists who wish death upon every person who insults the prophet, because incitement is literally the only way to discredit the person you hate, because you will definitely look like the good guy here.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot…

Shane fucked up by giving away the expensive car and the Sunday slot on his channel. Besides for reasons I will explain later*, these acts of goodwill intensify the unreasonable hatred against Bobby, no matter how well-intentioned Shane is. This incites fans to believe the bigger Youtuber has been successfully manipulated by the smaller ones.

Many believe Destery Smith, another Youtuber who also has been given a slot in Shane’s channel for years, deserves the gift more than Bobby does. Of course, they expressed their support of him spewing toxicity in the comment sections of his subsequent videos. Because there is no better way of loving someone than dragging him/her along to the poison cloud you willingly breathe in.

Also, why do they have to bring Jordanne, Bobby’s girlfriend, to this? Why do they have to hate her as well? He is the one who made the so-called ‘hate’ video, NOT her! Heck, she even does not make much appearances in Bobby and Shane’s videos! Some people use her so-called ‘vibe’ as a solid evidence of her allegedly ugly personality.

Actually, they also use that argument to discredit Bobby because he also supposedly emits a bad ‘vibe’! How fucking desperate are you that, in order to defame someone, you are using an ‘evidence’ so intangible, even metaphysics cannot support it?

Just admit it, Bobby Burns-hating Shane Dawson fans. You don’t hate him because he is using Shane for fame and fortune. You don’t hate him because he has an ugly personality as supposedly shown by his fucking aura.

No, you hate him because he refuses to deify your idol, he dares to portray your fucking beloved idol as a fucking flawed human being! Just own up to that!

As much as I loathe idolatry for undermining human dignity, I still hate dishonesty even more.

Dishonesty and hypocrisy. If you really love Shane for being a kind and gentle soul, shouldn’t you honour him by being kind and gentle yourself instead of being a demonic retard?

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*Even if Bobby is not a target of intense hatred, I still think it is a bad idea to gift him a car and the Sunday slot. For one, at that point, they still barely knew each other!

Also, both make entirely different content! At that time, Bobby made Youtube commentaries and Shane… well, I still find it hard to put him in any boxes. I mean, Shane may as well gave the Sunday slot to Pewdiepie! In this decision-making, he used feeling instead of his head.

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