Civilization as we know it is going to end in the not-too-distant future. You can take that to the bank.
And there is one person, more than anyone else, who will be responsible for this. He will influence millions of people with his words and his actions. He will use his great white, blonde, Aryan superiority attitude to make everyone who does not look like him feel inferior. He has wielded great power for some time, and no matter how outrageous his gaffes and ghastly pronouncements, know this: his followers will swell in numbers. When one poor soul saw fit to criticize this Caligulesque king, that critic was threatened with assassination by an ardent fan of The Leader.
He travels to foreign countries, and humiliates the image of America and Americans when he does so.
He is an uber misogynist to women.
He destroys things with abandon.
His display of wealth is garish and decadent.
He loves to ridicule and belittle other human beings.
He is cruel to animals.
And he is always hawking his wares and his wiles, his brand name plastered all over everything he can think of.
Trust me, he is the reason the world will end. He truly is the antiChrist.
But by now you may have guessed it:
I am talking about Logan Paul.
(Hyperbole? Of course. But Mr. Paul needs to learn what it is like to be the object, nay the victim, of over-the-top behavior. Subtlety is dead in the world. And nuance has stage 4 cancer.)
YouTube star and mocker of suicides--wouldn’t you love to be sitting next to him during a screening of Sophie’s Choice?--Logan Paul represents everything that is wrong with America. In a unique twist that will baffle even the most respected medical journals, Logan Paul, in a single ten minute video, manages to be both the disease and the symptom.
Now, before you tune out, because you think I am mad, Mad You Say, to announce that Logan Paul will bring about the end of civilization as we know it, just bear with me a moment.
SPOILER: I misspoke. Logan Paul will not bring about the end of civilization as we know it. He already has. (And by the way, it’s worth noting that the subtext here should include Logan Paul’s brother, Jake Paul. They often commit their own individual pranks, but they are also known for collaborating. And both of these pinheads are arrogant, hurtful, dangerous, and oblivious.)
TO ANSWER YOUR OBVIOUS QUESTION: Why wasn’t the build-up about Donald Trump? That’s easy. Trump will do a hell of a lot of damage, yes. But Donald Trump is (if only in dog years) a grown-up, and hence, he is being watched carefully by millions of grown-ups.
Logan Paul, however, is (or was for years, until five minutes ago) flying dangerously under the radar. In point of fact, hardly anybody whose acne has finally cleared up even knew who Logan Paul was, until the beginning of 2018, when he thought it would be a really cool plan to trek into Japan’s infamous, tragic, and heartbreakingly beautiful “suicide forest”, where he then found an actual hanging dead body. A fresh one, no less. Minutes later, Logan Paul was cackling. Yeah, yeah, it was a nervous reaction, I get it. But he had all the time in the world, literally, to ponder whether or not he should upload it to the world wide web. And given that the twenty-two year old has a lawyer, an agent, a manager, many close friends, and two parent figures, you would think he would have thought better of posting the whole ugly mess.
Logan Paul tipped his hand more than once in his recent Good Morning America interview. When asked what he was planning before the video blew up in his face, and why he in fact went to the forest in the first place, Logan said this: “The idea was to do another fun vlog, go camp for a night and make an entertaining piece of content in a forest.” Think about this comment. That trip (halfway around the world, no less), was a choice. Logan Paul has the world to choose from, and he chose Aokigahara, on the northwestern side of Mount Fiji. The site of hundreds of suicides, we can never even know the true tragic numbers, as officials have stopped releasing the figures in the last few years. In a chilling example of suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem, there is an annual uptick in suicides at the end of the Japanese fiscal year, in March. Mementos of loved ones--photographs and children’s shoes and such--are sometimes found with the bodies. So. Logan Paul’s best plan is to put on a large yellow hat that makes him look like a chicken abortion, and whoop it up. This was his plan. His actual plan, going in.
The dead body was just gravy, an opportunity to become truly world famous.
I haven’t been able to get Logan Paul out of my head. And I mean that in the worst way. Yes, I know, there was a flurry of articles about L.P. right after the incident, and that was almost a month ago, but here’s the thing. I actually find I have to think about a subject long and hard before I spew words That and the research, and the fact that this is not my full time job, means I post….after a while. Also, I try to really digest what the world is saying about any particular subject, and I like to give the matter time to marinate.
What I learned about Logan Paul was frightening, but fascinating, and it speaks to why I am blogging about him. There seem to be two categories of people, regarding this manic prankster: kids who have known about Logan Paul for years, and think he’s the greatest thing since grilled cheese sandwiches. And adults who just recently heard about the suicide forest story. Those adults watched his stupid, rude, cruel antics in Japan during the week preceding the infamous video, and they are now up in arms. Well, since adults ostensibly still rule the world, it is definitely time for adults to know that there is much more to Logan Paul than just this suicide video. (Here’s an hour of your life that you can never get back, watching Logan Paul be the worst tourist ever to visit Japan, which he affectionately refers to as “a foreign ass country.” Nice. Video One, in which he taunts the Japanese citizens with an octopus leg. Video Two, in which he mocks the culture and the police have to get involved. Video Three, perhaps the most chilling, because it takes place the day after finding the body--and Logan Paul is not the least bit sobered or saddened. Everything, everyone, is a joke to him.)
Regarding us grown-ups. Let’s use Dr. Phil by way of example. Now I don’t hate Dr. Phil. He seems like a nice, smart guy who is pretty excited about monetizing his profession to its zenith, but that doesn’t make him dangerous. Just opportunistic. But he got this one wrong. Clearly, in a sleazeball attempt to cash in on quick suicide video publicity, Dr. Phil commented that we shouldn’t bury the kid’s career over one mistake. Trust me, Logan Paul and his brother have been behaving badly for years. Endangering people and animals for years. Engaging the police and fire department because of their pranks for years. Breaking the law for years. And Dr. Phil, you should have done a few minutes worth of research before jumping on the free publicity bandwagon. You, of all people, would have recognized the dangerous adolescent behavior.
Cases in point:
After thoroughly offending the citizens of Venice, Italy, Logan Paul was arrested in Rome, Italy because Logan decided to fly a drone over the coliseum, a glorious ancient structure two thousands years old. Logan knew it was illegal, but he not only did it, he recorded the entire incident, including his arrest by the Italian police.
After luring his young fans to his house, Logan Paul waved to them through a wall-to-ceiling glass window on the second floor. As he was doing so, an assassin entered from a rear door and shot Logan in the head, splattering (presumably) brains and blood everywhere, as the youthful audience watched.
Logan Paul attached giant helium balloons to his little Pomeranian’s tiny bed, and let it rise up in the sky. Dog could have been killed. Logan thought it was hilarious. (Jump to minute 17:00 exactly if you cannot stand 20 minutes of Logan’s nutsy fagan mannerisms.)
Brother Jake Paul is pranked by having 10,000 firecrackers dumped on his head … But if that is funny, surely dropping firecrackers on the heads of unsuspecting girls is even funnier. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Jake Paul was once invited to a media event in the White House. He hid in the bathroom, then stayed in the White House all night, without anyone knowing--until he posted his vlog. Needless to say, the Secret Service had to get involved.
Brother Jake Paul set a pile of furniture on fire outside his house, just because he can. Anybody who lives in California--as I did for nearly twenty years--will tell you this is precisely the kind of behavior that causes those deadly wildfires that destroy millions of dollars worth of property, and kill human beings---to say nothing of thousands of innocent wild animals, and beloved pets. The sparks and cinders could easily have been devastating.
Logan Paul created a vine in which he and a cohort literally lassoed women. (Now deleted.) Why did this alone not destroy Logan Paul’s career? Simple, because the national radar was not up and running yet, #MeToo was years away, and perhaps worst of all, Logan’’s audience consists of impressionable young kids, who simply wouldn’t think to hire a lawyer, call a journalist, or start a movement. (SAVING CAT)
Logan Paul wrestled an alligator.
Logan Paul wrestled a bear. This was f*cking cruel to the bear. Drop your jaw in horror that dopey Logan Paul could have been killed (he does have a family, after all), or crack nasty comments about what you wish might have happened to Logan Paul, if you are a Hater. But this was cruel to the bear. Cruel. (I, for example, am terrified of sharks, but was equally horrified at the Floridian creeps who dragged a helpless hooked shark for miles. You don’t terrify and torment and torture animals, Logan. It’s, well, the sign of a budding psychopath. Simple as that.
Logan Paul got a fake service dog certificate for his little Pomeranian, so he could circumvent the airline rules. This seriously endangers people with disabilities, because there is a high likelihood, as is proven by hundreds of stories, that a non-trained animal in an airport scenario with become aggressive and/or interfere with the duties of an actual service dog, with all kinds of horrific consequences. (different video, start watching from 1:55.) The impact and danger is multiplied when that untrained dog is uncaged in an airplane cabin with a service dog. Equally alarming is the fact that Logan Paul’s untrained and high strung “service dog” not only defecates all around the airport in Logan’s video, but the poor dog is terrified and has to be dragged towards the escalator. Dear Logan: if you don’t have the common sense to figure it out, any veterinarian or google search can tell you, that horrible accidents can happen to small dogs with escalators … You are a monster of a pet owner. (Go to 7:25 in the video.)
In his obsessive craze to break plates--something viewed as wildly hilarious by his fans, and which he does in at least 75 of his vlogs so far--he doesn’t think twice about breaking these plates around his very small dog, that same mini Pomeranian. Shards large and small fly everywhere. The dog is terrified, and could be badly hurt. Logan Paul thinks traumatizing his dog is hilarious.
But it gets better. Logan Paul thought it would be hilarious to let a tiger cub play with his six pound dog. Tigers are known to be unpredictable, and even their play is aimed at killing prey, so Logan is clearly putting his dog in danger, and terrorizing the little dog. “It’s not a great idea, but it’s definitely entertainment.” Logan Paul’s own words. As he puts the dog down in front of the cub. I hate Logan Paul for this. I hate Logan Paul, period.
So there’s a partial list. Not just partial in the sense that Logan (and Jake) Paul have done so many horrible things, but also in that they are just two of a growing legion of YouTubers who want to make millions of dollars simply for churning out daily the most dildoic videos imaginable. And yes, I will freely admit that Logan Paul is not the worst of the pack. But with SIXTEEN MILLION FOLLOWERS, he is the most influential. Hence, he is not only part of the problem.
He’s pretty much the cause.
Part of the key, it seems, is that these vlogs have to be regular, just as joyfully regular as a fourteen year old’s problem-free bowel movements. And just as shitting once a week isn’t enough for kids, so YouTubers who seek fame and fortune are learning that if you wait a whole week between postings, you may have lost your teen audience, who will have drifted off to other wannabe celebs. Logan Paul promised his fans a video a day, and since he has no real talent, his pranks must become crueler and crueler until---oh dear. We find ourselves in the Japanese suicide forest. Oh, and a big kudos to Logan’s mom and dad, who are clearly in constant contact with their son (and living well because of it)--but who were too dim and greedy to tell him no, do not, whatever you do, under any circumstances, post that video.
I ask you to watch the links in this blog. This is the most hyperlink-saturated epistle I have ever written, but that is the only way to expose the new YouTuber prank world in which we live. This is what passes for entertainment these days?
“I want to be the biggest entertainer in the world!” So says Logan Paul. Logan needs to grasp that traditionally, great entertainers are people with great talent, who have augmented that talent with years of practice. I’m thinking Andrea Bocelli Yo Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Penn and Teller, David Copperfield, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, the Rolling Stones, Jerry Seinfeld, everyone in Cirque du Soleil, almost everyone who ever won an academy award, almost everyone from the Saturday Night Live casts, Beyoncé--the list could go on and on, growing to include names that dig deeper into history, or reflect the fact that writers like J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are in fact entertainers as well … and we could actually acknowledge on said list that countries other than America United States have produced entertainers as well.
And nobody, my friends, who can legally vote or drink, would put Logan Paul on that list.
Now, I know what Logan and his pissant fans would say: He made 12 million bucks in 2017, he must be entertaining someone. To which I respond, yes, he is. Just as many people are entertained by bullfights, dogfights, kiddie porn, Joanie loves Chachi reruns, and surfing the Dark Web. Logan likes to talk about how old people don’t understand the new business models, and their deep entrenchment with social media. Fair enough, Logan. But you, my young friend, do not seem to understand the meaning of the word “entertainment.” At its face, it is so ambiguous and bland as to be fundamentally useless. True power, Logan, lives in a deep understanding of the power of human communication.
As for Mr. Paul’s supposed acting aspirations, as part of being “the greatest entertainer in the world,” yeah well. He actually got a journalist from Business Insider to follow him around for a day, and the journalist wrote that watching Logan in acting class was painful--not because Logan was a bad actor, but because Logan made a conscious choice, when put into a gritty impromptu scene about a young couple discussing an unwanted pregnancy, to completely disrespect the scene and his fellow actor. Logan began ad libbing that he had come home because he was horny and hungry. “Eating while I have sex” was his big attempt at a laugh. Horny and hungry, when confronted with an unwanted pregnancy. Logan is about one pound sign away from being a target of #MeToo.
Since the zookeepers were never able to successfully breed me in captivity, I am hesitant to ever offer parenting tips, but oh, fuck it. Why shouldn’t I offer parenting tips? For decades now, moms & dads, I have been the frequent victim of your little prince’s or princess’s antics and attitudes. I taught at three colleges and universities, and was constantly blown away by the intellectual wind tunnels that IS the modern American post-pubescent brain.
So here goes: mind what goes into your kid’s mind. In effect, Logan Paul is babysitting your kids. His toxic pranks and his horrible examples are becoming the lifestyles that teenagers desperately want to replicate. What? What did you just think at me? You think that after one or two Logan Paul videos, your kid says, “Well, enough of that. Time to view some of those archived Model U.N. training videos,” so they can be a vital part of achieving eminent World Peace. Uh, no.
No, folks ... if they do move on from watching Logan Paul, it will be to watch:
Innocent strangers having their chairs pulled out from under them, just as they are about to sit.
Innocent strangers having ketchup squirted on their shoes.
Innocent strangers having snow cannons shot into their face (watch for the one where they blind a guy riding a bike), drinks smacked from their hands, smashing water balloons on girls,
Innocent strangers on the street, jittery from a horrific wave of acid attacks being perpetrated on innocent strangers on the street, having liquid thrown on them from an Iranian man, who then runs away. (Apologia from the prankster: “It’s only water.” So it’s funny!”)
There is an entire genre of YouTube pranking which involves white punks going into the hood and terrifying black people. Or, if all of that is too tame for you, you can watch this man pranking the death of his child in front of his wife.
Or you can watch this jerk pranking his girlfriend so she thinks she ran over her dog with her car. Oh, how you will laugh.
Or you can watch parents smashing their children’s electronics as their children look on, screaming, sobbing, and helpless. Or, you can watch this clip, which actually caused the parents to lose custody of their kids: but fear not. They got their kids back, and they have a new channel, after their old one was quashed by YouTube.
And here is a montage of copycats. The above parents got so many views from smashing their kids’ toys, it became--yes--another prank subgenre.
(And here is one that shows not so much physical pain, as it does mortal terror mixed with gross prejudicial stereotyping.)
I never thought I would be defending “Jackass” but L.A. Times’ Katie Walsh summed it up in one insightful sentence: “The “Jackass” guys always made themselves the butt of the joke, the recipients of the worst abuse.” Crimony, people, the message should be obvious: if physical pain is going to be part of your pranks (which is stupid anyway), at least make sure that you or your cohorts are the object of that pain.
Two teenage girls thought it would be funny to put Superglue on a McDonald’s toilet seat. The victim was a little four year old girl, whose skin was ripped off when she was finally removed from the seat.
Oh, and speaking of pain, I forgot to mention the video of the guy squirting fresh pepper juice from fat ripe jalapeno on his girlfriend’s tampon.
And for those delinquents among you who bluster, “but some of those are faked. The person pranked knew about it.” Let me ask you, dear readers, how much better does that make you feel about this whole matter? Because let me tell you--clearly, most of these prank victims are not in on the joke.
But the pranks get crueler and crueler. It is this simple: the crueler you are, the more views you get. Into the millions. Then, the big advertisers get onboard, the channel creator gets their big cut, and now we have arrived at the big apocalypse of our civilization: People get paid big bucks to be bigly cruel.
Let me say that again, because that is the fact, that is the central message of this blog, and that is what does not make this a generational thing or a hyperbolic thing or a “they said that about Elvis” thing: PEOPLE GET PAID BIG BUCKS TO BE CRUEL.
In the case of a “Call of Duty” video game swatting prank, a man actually died. Shot by police.
Oh, and let’s not leave the endless list without remembering, as the Bible says, “the least among us.” People can be hard to prank. They fight back, they sue you. Not so with animals.
Some people think it’s funny to terrify dogs with firecrackers--as was the case with this man, in Atlanta.
And so the idea spreads. Here is another animal subjected to a firecracker prank: Ask yourself how and why the incident in this link came to be recorded? It had to have been recorded by the perpetrator of the “prank”, and the only reason you record something is to share it with the world. “Hey, I know what would be funny. Let’s get this little monkey used to being offered peanuts in a bag from tourists, then … wait for it ...we’ll put a firecracker in the bag, and blow his hand off!”
The world wide web is now broadcasting pranks that are absolutely unspicably cruel.
NEWS ALERT: Before you fall for the remorseful side of Logan Paul, as he attempted to show in last week’s “finally breaking his silence” GMA interview, ask yourself if he’s sincere. No, ask yourself if he is a liar, a liar who is backpedaling frantically. When asked if he knew that kids watched his channel, Logan acted (see above paragraph for the quality of his thespianship)--shocked. “It’s odd, because Michael, I’m 22 year old, it’s not like I’m making content necessarily for kids. Sometimes I cuss. Sometimes I make inappropriate jokes. I wanna make jokes that kids my age are gonna like. I am my own demographic.” I call bullshit. Logan is swamped by ‘tween and teen fans at large numbers of events every month, and adolescent autograph hounds (or perhaps I should say “Selfie Sluts”) besiege him virtually every day of his life. Furthermore, he can clearly see the age of the kids who are imitating him on Youtube. He knows. He knows damn well. He condescends to his elders about their lack of understanding of the power of social media in sales and branding, then pretends that he does not know the age of his own demographics--information which is handily available on a variety of free Youtube tracking tools. Liar. Cop-out.
The problem with Logan Paul is not simply his content. The problem is the ridiculously far reaching influence of that content. Paul wants the mansion, the pool, the luxury vehicles, and the seven figure salary that go with being a social media star, but none of the responsibility. Ask yourself: how far is the kid who threatened to assassinate one of Logan Paul’s critics from the kid who, in classic Hitler Youth fashion, tried to get his dark skinned classmate deported? Logan Paul’s fans have made comments about how the Japanese should all kill themselves, and the kid who turned in his classmate also wrote in detail about how he would torture immigrants, given the chance. And they learned mocking from their master: Logan has made disgusting comments about the penis size of blacks and Asians. For what it’s worth, Logan Paul’s antics in Japan prior to the suicide forest incident were beyond disgusting--and when Japanese blogger Reina Scully commented on this, these were the kinds of comments offered by the fans of Paul Logan: “You bitch you don’t have the right to talk about him, you fucking peaces of shit you are just using his name for clickbait fuck you bitch.” And this: “I feel like Logan has done nothing wrong, like what’s everyone crying for its a fucking dead body like he new he was gunna find a dead body. He’s a fucking savage cause he’s going to upload the video it’s a savage video so enjoy your view from Logan.” And this: “Shut the fuck up you suicide faggots. Let the Japs kill themselves. LOGANG for life.”
Do you think these kids wouldn’t happily be part of a crowd that would cheer the burning of a witch, or the public drawing and quartering of a person who had offended the Crown? Do you think these kids wouldn’t just love a Saturday at the coliseum, watching wild animals slain and Christians slaughtered? Do you think they would hesitate to join 20,000 decent, churchgoing citizens cheer in the burning and torturing of Jesse Washington and Henry Smith? After all, it was a fifteen year old boy who aided in gouging out Henry Smith’s eyes with a red hot poker, then ramming that poker down the man’s throat while he screamed in agony. And if you think that sounds a bit extreme, ask yourself: has human DNA changed that much in the last couple of centuries? Of course not. All that really matters is what our psyches are fed. And if you think that I am only describing a fringe group of Logan Paul’s fans--or those fans of pranking in general--ask yourself, how big does that fringe have to be before we all live in fear? Before the quality of life in society is eroded past salvaging?
(Sidebar. I have a perverse sense of humor, but for some reason, I find it absolutely hilarious that these “Logang” fans have bought millions of dollars worth of Maverick merchandise from LoganPaul, so they can all look like each other, kinds sorta forgetting that the very definition of “maverick” is “an independent minded person who does not go along with the group or mob.” And that is not even getting into the fact that Logan Paul has literally stolen this trademarked name from a clothing line that is now suing him, because they are currently reeling from the negative blowback they are getting from the infamous suicide video.)
I know a man who shovels shit for a living. Seriously. That’s pretty much all he does. He lives in the rural town of Appomattox, a hamlet dotted with farms large and small. This man has figured out that if he buys the manure off of half of the farmers in town, who fancy cows and horses and such, then processes the poo, he can then turn around and sell it to the farmers who focus on growing crops. The man is humble, and of modest means, but you must give credit where credit is due: he provides a good life for his family. I bring the shit-shoveler up not as some kind of metaphor, but to make the point that even a man like this, blue of collar and short on formal education, does a damn fine job of parenting. His kids have cell phones. Every twenty-four hours, he checks those phones. If they are used for anything, whatsoever, during school hours, driving home from school hours, or homework hours, the phones get locked away for a spell. If they protest, or should you, dear reader, talk back to this writing, the shit-shoveler would remind you, as he reminds his offspring: HE is the parent. The kids do well in school, and this is part of why they do. The system is simple, and it works. Why can’t we all emulate the shit-shoveler? Checking your kid’s Youtube feed requires pressing one button: HISTORY, under LIBRARY, to the left of your screen.
Oh, and by the way, I spelled “Mount Fiji”, “eminent” and “unspicably” that way on purpose, to give you a wee soupçon of exactly what it’s like to be a teacher grading papers these days. Watch Logan Paul’s video, and you will see he does not know the difference between the Republic of Fiji and the mountain called “Fuji”. And as for my other unspicable spelling error--that horror is taken from an actual blog comment.
So, now that we have gotten to know Logan Paul a little better, and seen his oeuvre of work, let me return to my original premise.
Take a charismatic man--a young, handsome, muscled Aryan type will do excellently. Let him use his passion and energy and pizzazz (however hurtful and harrowing it may be) to gain a great following, into the millions. Let him teach those millions the joys of mocking, frightening, demeaning, and perpetrating outright cruelty. Sit back and watch as millions, in their adulation and adoration, spend every waking moment trying to become him. Imitating his every move. What he mocks, they humiliate. What he breaks, they smash. What he ridicules, they despise. And most exciting of all, to his followers: emulating him to perfection will also involve not really working for a living. It will involve no creation, but destruction. And getting fabulously wealthy as you do all of this.
End of civilization as we know it. Logan Paul for President!
Folks, listen to the shit shoveler.
Our takeaway insight on all of this was, we believe, best voiced by Daniel Dockery, writing in “Cracked”.
“The biggest prank ever pulled is your parents laboring under the delusion that you would be a contributing member of society.”
And, our more global view of this entire nightmare, and its impact on society writ large, is, we believe, best captured by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, when commenting on the current political realities of our time:
“WE ARE ROME.”