Who am I responsible to?

So I had this weird turn of events overnight.  I was checking out my YouTubes (this is not another rant about how YT sucks, I promise – I got that out of my system yesterday) and saw an interesting piece from one of  my favourite YouTubers, Mr Safety.  He makes a range of stuff, usually comedy under the name SMPFilms.

But yesterday he did something really different and enigmatic.  I don’t usually post other people’s videos but in this case I’ll do it for illustration purposes:

I really liked this, there’s a lot crammed into that 20 seconds.  I found it enigmatic – lots of possibilities suggested but you don’t learn anything definite.  And it suggest a much larger story.  So I decided to do something similar, almost a scene from a movie that doesn’t exist.  Here’s where the weirdness kicks in.

I’m going to explain the video first, in an attempt to minimise any weirdness here.  This is intended as a classic action film setup.  The bad guys have killed the hero’s family in the hope that will break him.  Instead, it has the opposite effect, galvanising him into action.  He has nothing left to lose now and he’s going to get his revenge or die trying.  And to be honest, I was also experimenting with a few video and audio effects I don’t normally use.

Here’s my slightly longer video (24 seconds), moody voiceover and all:

This is where things got weird for me.  The first commenter was a semi-regular commenter who was extremely peeved at what he saw as my “suicide video”.  That floored me.  I hadn’t even considered that people could take it that way.  Then I watched it within YouTube and noticed there was only one gunshot at the end after the video goes dark.  Something with the uploading process had cut of the multiple gunshots I had actually put at the end of the video to suggest the hero was starting a big gun battle.

OK, I can see how this can make it look more like a suicide.  You know, if you totally ignore the voiceover dialogue.  And you know nothing about action movies.  This would normally be a “whatever” moment for me but this guy is really insistent.  He is straight up demanding that I take the video down because it’s irresponsible to suggest suicide in a video.

Who here can guess at how I respond to being TOLD what to do?

What really pissed me off was that his reading of the video was totally wrong.  Despite the fact his conclusions about the video were wrong, he was convinced I had to base my actions on his incorrect interpretation, not my actual intention.  He kept commenting and commenting saying how wrong the video was.  He made a 7 minute video ranting about how wrong my 24 second video was.  Essentially he had a serious bug up his arse about the issue, which suggests to me he has some history with the issue of suicide.

Now, I have a bit of a history with this guy so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  I gave him some reasoned responses (a LOT of responses) but made it clear there was no way I was taking the video down.  All without telling him to fuck off (a complete stranger who pulled this shit would most definitely be told to fuck off in no uncertain terms.)

It’s similar to what I went through after writing a post about a year ago entitled “I’m going to kill myself.”  It had nothing to do with actual suicidal thoughts, it was all about how frustrating Microsoft products are to use.  But ever since then I’ve been getting search engine traffic almost every day with some variation of “I’m going to kill myself”.  And I regularly get comments on that post from people claiming to be suicidal.

This is what we in the trade call “fucking creepy.”  I did edit that post to put some stuff at the top saying essentially “ummm… don’t do it.”  It’s severely unsettling when one’s utterly inconsequential and shallow rantings attract such sad people.  I suggest to them they pause in their plans long enough to read some of my posts – maybe they’ll get a laugh and it will distract them long enough to make it through another day.

So what is my responsibility with these things?  Personally, I lean towards “just this side of fuck-all”.  I don’t think I do much that is actively destructive to delicate psyches but I don’t think it’s realistic (or even possible) to suggest that I vet every single thing I say or write with the most vulnerable individual in mind.  Besides which, I think that would make for some seriously boring blogging.

The guy on YouTube actually made the comment “is there some inner meaning, something that is going to elevate people to a higher understanding of life?”  Oh. My. Fucking. God.  I’m supposed to be elevating people to a higher understanding of life now?

I’m seriously screwed.

19 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

19 responses to “Who am I responsible to?

  1. Yup, you’re screwed… But aren’t we all.

    I guess it could be interpreted that way, but as long as it’s made clear (to most people) what the correct interpretation is you shouldn’t be beholden to everyone’s opinion. Perhaps you ought to end with a phoney splash screen for an action movie “Blood Letter 3 : No place to hide” to make it abundantly clear.

    You can’t avoid upsetting people, some people will get upset about anything. (You’re always going to get some sort of :”Oh, my, god you mentioned cats! I hate cats! Cats clawed my eyes out and left me for dead! I hate you!” Reaction to even the most innocent things.) Just so long as the intention is clear to the majority you can do what you like.

  2. Vladimir

    Yeah, it’s totally great that you made a suicide video, because life really sucks, let’s all commit suicides!🙂

  3. Rob

    Oh man, that is so funny!

    I don’t see what the big deal is though, it’s a fucking video. Any movie/video can be interpreted differently and that doesn’t mean it should be removed or banned, if you think differently to the creator.

    I doubt he has problems with suicide, he’s just one of those busybodies who thinks banning stuff to “protect” people is a good idea and that it works.
    In reality, it’s just bullshit.

    Now to go on YouTube for the first time in 2 weeks, and give this fuckwit a piece of my mind.🙂

  4. DOA

    “Yeah, it’s totally great that you made a suicide video, because life really sucks, let’s all commit suicides!”
    I’ll get the knives, you get the rat poison!
    Rope anyone?

  5. Rob

    Just listened to that idiot’s video, he definitely thinks he’s the YouTube Sheriff.
    Here’s what I commented on Mr Angry’s video:

    “hellorodney, you are an idiot, plain and simple.
    It’s a fucking video, who cares if you choose to interpret it differently than Mr Angry intended?

    People’s lives are their own, they can watch whatever they like and they can make whatever they like. They can make their own decisions, they don’t need you, or anyone else, deciding for them. It’s called freedom.

    So please shut the fuck up and get a life of your own, instead of trying to run everyone else’s.”

  6. Rob

    And comment #2:

    “If you think a 24 second video, is bad, then you really need to take a look at the world outside your window.

    There’s wars, murderers, gun crime, rapists, terrorist attacks, global warming, torture, nuclear weapons, the list goes on and on.
    Believe me, every single one of them is a billion times worse than a 24 second video which may, or may not, be a suicide.

    Take it from me, an Asperger’s sufferer, aged 23, who was suicidal for at least 10 of those years. This video is NOTHING.”

    That last part is true, by the way. 10 years up until about 4 months ago. So I KNOW this whole video debacle is nothing but bullshit, from the wannabe YouTube Sheriff “hellorodney”.

  7. you have no obligation to elevate anything but your blog stats, he should get a grip, and stop being such an interweb nazi…

  8. Insane Mind

    This is how I see it: in blogging and when people see us in real life, we show a part of ourselves, a snapshot. We share (even when we don’t want to, we share the fact that we don’t share).
    When we look at others, it always is a way of looking at ourselves: we project our dislikes, our fears and our own choices in how we judge, inspire ourselves from etc. from this other person.
    In a way, some give over the power of their decision-making to others (blaming others for their wrong choices).
    I think you expect others to just take what you share “as is” – they’re free to interpret, understand etc. how they want. They’re free to get your point or not. But some people just focus on their (wrong) interpretations/projections and try to accuse you of that.

    You’re not PC but you remain fairly objective, you judge others and judge yourself (from your posts). But some people will always not face the responsibility of the fact that their choices are their choices, and they are free to walk away!

    That’s why I love your blog! Very British style of humor!😀 (that’s a huge compliment from me) Don’t ever stop! It’s like oxygen to me!

  9. yupp, this video clearly says: commit suicide right now! helloho?!?! how about all those stupid videos with people killing each other or fighting in another way?! do they state: go and kill your neighbour?! and if so: why does no-one stop those?
    as for me: you definately elevate me to a higher understanding of life🙂 good to know i am not the only angy person in the world…

  10. mikeelliott1

    You have absolutely no obligation to anyone or anything other than your own personal satisfaction. Busybodies like that are far from a representative sample of the many people who view and enjoy your work.

    http://mikeelliottsblog.wordpress.com

  11. Mr. Angry – I just watched hellorodney’s response video. My goodness!

    Here’s my take – your 20 sec video made him create a 7 minute response – you touched him, clearly. Life is good.

    EGO sums it up – people needing “elevate” themselves to feel righteous and right and being a bore to everyone around them.

    take it easy Mr. Angry and keep charming your fearless readers🙂
    Nazli

  12. Great suicide video. I just don’t understand how you uploaded it if you were really dead. Weird.

    Well good job, I feel like committing suicide ASAP.

    I’m just too young and impressionable, clearly.

  13. Massif: I have no problems with interpretation; I just have a problem with people telling me what to do.

    Vlad: way to go!

    Rob: glad to inspire you😉 Way to go in with both boots, mate!

    DOA: don’t encourage him😉

    Vetti: he certainly has a bee in his bonnet about it

    Insanemind: I like to think I take responsibility for what I do. In this case I think the guy concerned was totally wrong and there’s no way I’m going to be changed by someone I think is wrong. And I’m not planning to stop any time soon!

    Senara: I’m all about promoting the benefits of anger 

    Mike: thanks, I agree.

    Nazli: there’s certainly something going on there with how important it is to him. And how could I be less than fearless for my fearless readers?

    Goat Soup: Yep, dunno how the dead guy uploaded the video or how you posted a comment after topping yourself.

  14. Vladimir

    DOA: nives, poison, rope…. sounds promising! But how shall we combine the three? Eat poison, then hang yourself, stabbing yourself while in the noose?

    Mr Angry: right, first you encourage people to commit suicides, then you monopolize the right to encourage people to commit suicides?

  15. Rob

    It’s a battle between good and evil!

    I hate those people who think everything should be as inoffensive and mediocre as possible. They’ll only truly be happy when they’ve banned everything even remotely dangerous/offensive/rude/different, and we’re all sitting in tiny white rooms all day, silently staring at the walls.

    And all this over a 24-second video! Unbelievable!

    And to answer your question:
    You are only responsible to yourself. Push whichever boundaries you choose, so long as you’re comfortable with the material. Nobody’s being forced to watch it.

  16. Suppose you’re not, but still I don’t feel like I am overreacting when reading your stuff and comparing to what I often think. Anyway, does it matter what I think you are about?! Guess not🙂

  17. Vlad: I try to monopolise control over everything!

    Rob: yeah, the urge to limit how people express themselves seems widespread. I don’t care if people don’t like what I do or even if they’re offending but I really don’t like being told what to do.

    Senara: Each to their own, I say🙂

  18. As I am stuck in Asia for the moment, I hadn’t even realized that it was Friday the 13 last week.

  19. Dude, don’t they have calendars in Asia?😉

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