OpinionatedDavid: The PewDiePie Scandal: Hate or Humour?

In the interests of full coverage of the story, this column contains description of content that some readers may find disturbing. Fair warning.

Well…that just happened.

This past week has been something of a rolling disaster for PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg). For almost half a decade now, the 27 year-old Swedish vlogger has been undisputedly the biggest name on the internet’s supreme video-sharing platform. His channel is subscribed to by over 53 million people, and he was famously the first ‘YouTuber’ to publicise making over $1million in a single year as a result of his content. It’s is not unfair to say he is one of the most influential entertainers of our time, even if most people over the age of 40 have probably never heard of him.

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And yet, in a single week, PewDiePie has been dropped by Maker Studios (Disney’s online content publishing subsidiary), had his upcoming YouTube Red series cancelled by the platform, and been taken off the ‘preferred tier’ for family-friendly advertising by Google. Those are some giant names in the tech and entertainment business, now treating this high-pitched, zany guy who largely just screeches at video-games like the most toxic thing around. So, what on Earth is going on?

This scandal has actually been rumbling on for a while, but only recently did it catch the attention of the Wall Street Journal, who ran the story that has provoked such a widespread severing of ties with Mr. Kjellberg. It all traces back to a video PewDiePie published involving the website Fiverr (not a typo). The theme of the website basically involves people on webcam responding to requests made by their audiences in real time for the promise of small amounts of money (which, of course, is an idea that can only lead to good things, on the internet of all places). In the video, PewDiePie persuades a man dressed as Jesus to tell the camera that “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong,” before persuading another two men to write ‘DEATH TO ALL JEWS’ on a sign, and hold it up while laughing and dancing.

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This has gone down about as well as anyone with a brain should have damn well expected it to, right before pushing that idea back into whatever diseased part of their mind it came from, and proceeding to do literally anything else.

For what it’s worth, I see absolutely no reason not to take Felix at his word when he says his intention was to “show how crazy the modern world is” (namely that he could get people to do literally anything for $5 on the internet). I don’t believe he is a Nazi, or an anti-Semite. However, where I take issue with the statement he has released in response to the backlash against him is where he states that he is “in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes”.

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Because you see Felix… you did. Objectively, that is what you have done. You may not have intended to, and speaking out now against the Neo-Nazi scumbags who are now attempting to use your content to claim legitimacy for their beliefs is somewhat commendable. However, I promise you that those same people do not give a damn what point you were really attempting to make. As far as they are concerned, you have given them ammunition that they will not hesitate to use, and no condemnation from you now is going to stop them. You have been a prominent internet personality for several years. You (should) know these people and how they operate as well as anyone. When are we going to stop giving these people cause to celebrate? We should all know better by now.

You screwed up. You should have known better.

I am saying all of this as someone who believes that, where comedy is concerned, there should be nothing ‘off-limits’. Indeed, some of my favourite comedians have mastered the art of pushing the boundaries of propriety. George Carlin, for example, could pull off telling a theatre full of people they were being stupid for washing their hands after going to the bathroom, and that was one of his cleaner (pun intended) jokes. PewDiePie, however, is not George Carlin. He’s not in the same league as Carlin or any of the other genuine masters of the craft. A comedian understands that jokes can be used as a skewer, to prod mercilessly at our hypocrisies and force us to confront taboos we’d rather not pay attention to. What comedy is not is a shield you can cower behind that renders all criticism of what you said invalid. Yes, Steve Hughes’ skit on the empty nature of being offended is both funny and apt, but Hughes’ never used that idea to try and shut down anyone who ever criticised his point, unlike the legions of internet edge-lords who have misconstrued it.

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Let’s take a moment to examine what the ‘point’ of PewDiePie’s joke was supposed to be. That people will debase themselves for money and fame, even tiny portions of it? Well gosh, Felix! I’m sure that’ll throw the masses for a loop, assuming of course we’ve all just woken up from a coma we’ve been in since 1995. Who is the target of the joke supposed to be, if not Jews or any of the other groups who suffered at the hands of Nazi’s? The people who you paid to follow your instructions to say and do offensive things? Here’s a tip for you: The ‘I’m with stupid’ joke doesn’t work when you’re the person engineering the stupid. You aren’t ‘holding a mirror’ up to anybody in that situation, not when you’re paying in to the same ridiculous construct that encourages their behaviour.

You know you’re no good at this. You’ve said it yourself, that you consider yourself to be a “rookie comedian”. Here’s the thing: You’ve had a lot of practice by now, so if you’re not getting any better at it, it’s time for you to stop.

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I have no doubt that PewDiePie will come back from this incident. Anyone can come back in this industry, and while losing such lucrative contracts is undeniably a big hit, he’s got a big cushion to fall back on. What’s more, the rate of increase in his subscribers has actually rallied in conjunction with the increased publicity surrounding him. If I were him, however, I would be concerned about exactly where those new subscribers are coming from. His career is far from over, I just hope he learns from the mistakes he’s made. If PewDiePie really doesn’t want to be seen as lending legitimacy to any kind of hate movement, the last thing he should want is to wind up with only hateful people rating his act.

But hey, that’s just my opinion, what’s yours?

Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

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bearsleuthWritten by: David Sayers

Edited by: Ivy Miller

Anime 101: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Like the magic system of the series, what you get out of Fullmetal Alchemist is governed by the law of equivalent exchange.

Mild Spoilers

Fullmetal Alchemist came to my attention back in 2009 with the announcement of the English dub of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMAB). I remember watching the first episode but, for whatever reason at the time, I just didn’t commit to following its run. Recently, I decided to have another crack at it and I can see why it gets such high praise from both fans and critics…

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Morning BS: Why read Tom King’s Batman: I Am Gotham In 250 words or less

Graduating from Nightwing to Batman, Tom King may have written one of the greatest Batman stories of all time in I Am Gotham.

A while back I covered Tom King’s Vision, which I proclaimed as one of the greatest interpretations of a B-list superhero (get the full story here). However, what happens when you take the same writer that worked on a wacky, inversion n of the super hero genre and plonk him on the most mainstream book in the whole industry. Batman. Every writer on Batman has their own unique take on the character, so what does Tom King have to say about Batman? To answer that I’ll take you through the first issue of the arc.

Batman Issue One sees Batman dealing with a 9/11-esque aeroplane attack. The entire issue follows Bruce using every trick he has to deal with the attack while meditating on the nature of his duty. In this moment we see Batman realise that he cannot possibly stop the crisis as he’s just a man. But then he works out a solution that will result in his death but save Gotham. Needless to say, Bruce takes it without a moment of hesitation. As he resigns himself to death, Batman is saved by two new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl, protectors of Gotham City with pseudo-Superman powers. This leads to a series that examines what it is to be a hero and what separates Batman from other heroes. It’s dark, smart and a must read for every Batman fan plus David Finch’s clean-cut art style is beyond brilliant.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Silence of the Lambs meets The Karate Kid …what more could you want?

You can pick I Am Gotham in graphic novel form for £10.49 from Amazon

Have you read I Am Gotham or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

Morning BS: Why read Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairland: Madly Ever After In 250 words or less

A comic book artist finds his voice and moves into the daunting territory of artist/writer in this warped twist on classic fairy-tales.

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Last week I mentioned how the rise of Image Comics resulted in some creators gaining a platform to discuss their messages with the world. However, other creators took the platform offered by Image and decided to explore the medium of comics and visual storytelling through other genres. Skottie Young was a gifted artist who did just that. Young had grown acclaim in the industry as an artist creating unique covers for Marvel Comics but with I Hate Fairyland he started to move in a new direction, while he had done bits of comic book writing in the past this would be his first truly bespoke piece of work.

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With those goals in mind Young created the world and plot of I Hate Fairyland, where a young girl, Gertrude, is transported to a magical fairyland for an adventure of whimsy and wonder to find a magical key, almost thirty years later and she is still looking for the key. To add insult to injury, Gertrude is still trapped in the physical body of her six year old self but with the drives of a thirty year old woman. Gertrude’s morals have broken over her years in Fairyland so she is bloodthirsty, horny and willing to do anything to get home and start her life. It’s a recipe for hilarity as Gertrude’s quest forces her to into conflict with every inhabitant of Fairyland.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Alice In Wonderland meets Machete…what more could you want?

You can pick Madly Ever After in graphic novel form for £8.99 from Amazon

Have you read Madly Ever After or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

Morning BS: Why read Rick Remender’s Tokyo Ghost: Atomic Garden In 250 words or less

Veteran comic book writer Rick Remender pens an explicit piece of dystopian fiction poking fun at modern society in a way only seen previously in the pages of 2,000AD.

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The rise of Image Comics has led to many respected members of the comic book industry receiving a platform to tell stories rarely seen in the pages of the medium. For some this has resulted in attempts at genres outside of the industry’s comfort zone but for others it has been an opportunity to relay a message. Rick Remender’s first volume of Tokyo Ghost, Atomic Garden, is a perfect example of how to use the Image platform effectively and provocatively. Imagine if Judge Dredd had been created in the time of global warming and social media and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the fantastic dystopia that is Tokyo Ghost.

The book follows Led Dent, a Image result for tokyo ghostsocial media and TV addicted hit man, and his lover, Debbie Decay who has managed to abstain from the addictions of the masses. The two maintain law and order until they solve one of their biggest cases and are sent to help colonise Tokyo, the last pure area of Earth where there are no addictions. The story then shifts from action-adventure to one of rehabilitation and romance. While that is all still fairly standard, what makes Remender’s piece stand out is a constant stream of background jokes and satire provided by artist Sean Murphy. Whether it’s a dildo octopus, thinly veiled references to Donald Trump or both, you can spend hours reading and rereading this novel.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Judge Dredd meets An Inconvenient Truth…what more could you want?

You can pick Atomic Garden in graphic novel form for £8.99 from Amazon

Have you read Atomic Garden or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

 

 

Morning BS: The Order of the Phoenix’s Patrol Playlist

If Mr.Weasley could get a computer to work around magic then wizards could access Spotify and your humble BearSleuth would have some banging recommendations!

Wizards and technology just don’t mix, it’s as simple as that, they never have and they never will. However, Arthur Weasley might have found a way around all that while tinkering in his garage. He’s made several small appliances work including a car. So if Arthur could make all of those work it stands to reason that one day he may even get a computer to spark into life. With that in mind, here are a few tracks I would recommend to our wizard friends once they discover Spotify:


Lupin and Tonks’ Mix-tape


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One of the order’s greatest couples come together in this fantastic mix-tape.

  • The Times They Are A’ Changing – Bob Dylan
  • I wish I was a Punk Rocker (with flowers in my hair) – Sandi Thom
  • I like you so much better when you’re naked – Ida Maria
  • Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon
  • Don’t let me be misunderstood- The Animals
  • Home – Edward Sharpe and the magnetic zeroes
  • Going up the country – Kitty, Daisy and Lewis
  • Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the heartbreakers
  • Time in a bottle – Jim Croce
  • Friday I’m in Love – The Cure

Give it a listen on Spotify here.


Mad Eye Moody’s Broomstick Boombox


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When fighting death eaters you need exactly the right set of classic rock hits to strike fear into their hearts.

  • Bat Out Of Hell – Meatloaf
  • Paranoid – Black Sabbath
  • Paint It Black – Rolling Stones
  • Ace Of Spades – Motörhead
  • Radar Love – Golden Earring
  • Wanted Dead Or Alive – Bon Jovi
  • Mr. Crowley – Ozzy Osborne
  • Holy Diver – Dio
  • (Don’t fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  • Renegade – Styx

Give it a listen on Spotify here.


Weasley Weekly Warm Up


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Cleaning out Grimold place is no easy task but with these feel good songs it’s an absolute breeze.

  • Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics
  • Let’s Dance To Joy Division – The Wombats
  • Fill my little word – The Feeling
  • Upside Down – Paloma Faith
  • Dreaming of you – The Coral
  • Half The World Away – Oasis
  • Same Jeans – The View
  • Little Lion Man – Mumford And Sons
  • Elvis Ain’t Dead – Scouting For Girls
  • Teenage Kicks – The Undertones

Give it a listen on Spotify here.

Do you agree?  What tracks would you add or remove for the Order’s playlist? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: @BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuth

Written By: The BearSleuth

Avengers, X-Men and the Crisis of Infinite Earths – Part One: MCU & XUC.

With the departure of Hugh Jackman from everyone’s favourite mutant franchise, could we see the X-Men return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon?

An empty X-Jet hanger filled with the sound of strong, confident footsteps as Captain America strides across it saying ‘Logan. Scott. Stand down. You know the Avengers can’t let the Phoenix survive’. A grunt from Wolverine as we hear the slow metallic sound of his claws extending just before the thunderous outpouring of energy from Cyclops’ visor announces the start of a battle we’ll never forget. Beast and Colossus fighting the Hulk. Black Widow locked in combat with Psylocke. All on the big screen with a small horde or big-name talent leading the charge.

It’s every Marvel Fanboy’s wet dream, right? But could it ever become a reality.

Could Marvel Studios acquire the rights allowing them to the X-Men into the giant melting pot that is the MCU? To answer that we have to jump back seventeen years when your humble Sleuth was a meek five year old and start a journey that is going to take a whole slew of articles.

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Morning BS: Why read Max Landis’ Superman: American Alien In 250 words or less

The genius visionary behind Chronicle, American Ultra and Victor Frankenstein hits the world of comics with one of the greatest Superman books of all time and you need to read it!

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While Superman might be one of the most Iconic superheroes of all time he isn’t particularly liked by a large portion of the comic book fandom. I mean, why choose Superman’s vanilla when you can have Green Lantern’s mint choc chip, right? It’s tough to write a Superman book at the best of times and normally it ends up being a played out battle between Superman and Lex or another alien threat, but occasionally a writer comes along and turns the man of steel on his head. Last year, Max Landis did just that.

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Landis tracks Clark Kent’s growth from a young boy all the way through to manhood. We see the evolution of Superman across seven issues which include tonnes of extra short stories and single panel pieces that Landis has incorporated to create a full picture of the Man Of Steel. It’s a story of moral and physical evolution that keeps interesting and light hearted for the average reader while also throwing in tonnes of stuff that long term Superman fans will love. If you only read one Superman story make it this one.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: Boyhood meets the best Man of Steel has to offer…what more could you want?

You can pick American Alien up for £12.99 digitally through the DC Comics app or in graphic novel form for £12.51 from Amazon

Have you read American Alien or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn

Morning BS: Black Widow’s Patrol Playlist

When the world’s greatest Shield agent needs to work out, fight or unwind she’s going to need one hell of a playlist, luckily your humble Sleuth has some recommendations.

Natasha Romanov is one hell of a shield agent, possibly the greatest of all time and she fights alongside the likes of gods and super humans a member of the Avengers. Thats a lot of stress. Doctor BearSleuth has a simple prescription though, simply cut loose and rock out. I reckon with these three playlists miss Romanov could rule the world:

 


S.H.I.E.L.D Work Out


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When you’re training to fight alongside Iron Man and the Hulk this is the only playlist you need.

  • Black Widow – Iggy Azalea
  • 212 – Azealia Banks
  • Ignorance – Paramore
  • Just A Girl – No Doubt
  • Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar
  • Barracuda – Joan Jett
  • That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
  • Remedy – Little Boots
  • Edge Of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

Give it a listen here!


Undercover Ninja Mixtape


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Who said that stealth work couldn’t have an awesome soundtrack? With this Soundtrack you’ll be ready for anything behind enemy lines.

  • Switchblade Smiles – Kasabian
  • Prayer Of The Refugee – Rise Against
  • Watercolour – Pendulum
  • Invaders Must Die – The Prodigy
  • Galvanize – The Chemical Brothers
  • Weapon Of Choice (feat. Boots Collins) – Fatboy Slim
  • Joker And The Thief – Wolfmother
  • Sabotage – Cancer Bats
  • Blue Orchid – The White Stripes
  • Enter Sandman – Metallica

Give it a listen here!


Emotional Cleansing


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Everybody hurts and Natasha is no different. She might seem like an ice queen in the field but behind closed doors even she has to blow off some steam.

  • Prayin’ – Plan B
  • Hurt – Johnny Cash
  • Creep – Radiohead
  • Why Does It Always Rain On Me – Travis
  • Dakota – Stereophonics
  • This Is The Last Time – Keane
  • I Miss You – Blink 182
  • Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  • Champagne Supernova – Oasis
  • Torn – Natalie Imbruglia

Give it a listen here!

Do you agree?  What tracks would you add or remove for Black Widows’s playlist? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: @BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuth

Written By: The BearSleuth

 

Morning BS: Why read Tom King’s Vision: Little Worse Than A Man In 250 words or less

Vision is possibly one of the strongest Avengers with abilities matching Thor or Hulk so what happens when the synthetic superhero wants to start a family?

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There have been a few attempts over the years to give the Vision a solo book and each have been met with low to middling success. This has mostly been due to the fact that he’s a little too perfect. A robot with the ability to change his body density and access many other powers on top of that is pretty muchl unstoppable. When the duties of revisiting Vision fell to rising star Tom King, who went from this to writing Batman, there was one direction no one had ever conceived for the automatous Avenger…Vision the soap opera.

These first six issues see Vision create a family including a Wife, Son, Daughter and Dog. In the first issue we see the kids go off to school, Vision heads off to help the President on normal Avengers business and Vision’s wife murders a super villain. The story then becomes a twisted commentary on suburban lifestyle and the family unit all told through Tom King’s brilliant style which pulls in references to classic literature and comic books.

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I’ve got a few words left so I’ll just say this: I, Robot meets Fuller House…what more could you want?

You can pick Little Worse Than A Man up for £13.49 digitally through the Marvel Comics app or in graphic novel form for £14.99 from Amazon

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Have you read Little Worse Than A Man or are planning to? Let me know in the comment section down below, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Beartrails/ or on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BearTrails

Also if you want daily BS remember to sign up for emails or follow with your WordPress account.

bearsleuthWritten by: Patrick Lunn