George Carter
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YouTube Hates Your Soul

| Thursday 22nd February, 2024

I’ve been reading a fascinating book about BDSM and Kink entitled—in a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin way—”The Deep Psychology of BDSM and Kink”. It actually contains a lot of insight into the individuation process, even with Kink set to one side.

One of the key arguments is that the soul is transgressive. And we are individuals only to the extent that we transgress social norms.

(Think about that for a moment… think about the people you know and how you’d describe them… you ignore all the ‘normal’ stuff and describe them in the ways that they differ from the norm).

What does this have to do with YouTube?

I was watching a climbing video with Magnus Midtbø where he talked about “the time I went climbing with Alex Honnold – you know what I mean but I can’t say it because YouTube will demonetise me”.

Hold up? What’s that?

Well, the climbing trip he’s talking about is when he went free-solo climbing with Honnold. You know, Alex Honnold the guy who is famous for free-soloing, the guy who has a feature-length documentary about his endeavours called “Free Solo.”

Okay, it’s a controversial activity… a slip leads to death, and has done so for many free-solo climbers. It’s transgressive. Most people choose not to put their lives at risk in this way. But some people do, indeed, choose to do it.

A lot of people get up in arms about it. “You’re so stupid”, “Think of your loved ones”. For some reason they see it as a personal threat that someone else chooses to live life in a different way, to have different values, different boundaries, different limits. (This is what Jen Sincero calls “The Beige Army”, always willing to pull you back into mediocrity).

Free-soloing is a pastime of the soul. By putting their life on the line, a free-solo climber gets to really feel what it’s like to be alive, to be present, to be one hundred percent focused on the task in hand.

And, well, we’re all going to die. Why play it too safe? Might as well die doing something you love as miserably fading away in a nursing home.

So why does YouTube hate your soul? Because it’s part of the Beige Army. And it’s not just YouTube… it’s most social media. The world is playing it safe and that is at odds with the needs of the soul (for some people). The times we feel most alive are when we might not have been. The transgression of that ‘safety’ leads the senses to awaken, the soul to sit up and pay attention…

And the corporatism of the internet has led to Beige Army attitudes everywhere, which is why we need the small web. We need hobbyists to start sites with no ‘societal duty of care’ or ‘corporate responsibility’. We need places where the soul can soar, where outliers can talk freely and share their experiences.

If we limit our input to YouTube, mainstream media and social media, there’s a very good chance we will be the next recruit to the Beige Army. I’m not going to let that happen to me. (You can, of course, do what you wish!)

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