Friday, December 22, 2006

Five things I've never done

It's a bit hard to miss the "meme" that's doing the round of blogs at them moment, a game of tag where, once tagged, you write five things that people might not know about you and then you tag five more people asking them to do the same. I've been tagged multiple times for this meme but I'm not going to take part for a couple of reasons (I've also received similar tags in the past and haven't responded for the same reasons.)

The main reason is telling you secrets about myself would jeopardise my tissue-thin anonymity. A determined person would work out who I am pretty quickly and in fact several people online already know who I am. But let me cling to the illusion that I'm not going to get dooced tomorrow.

A secondary reason is that this is just a little too much like a chain letter for me. This is not a criticism of people who are taking part (which seems to be just about everyone in the blogosphere) but it's a personal choice of mine not to propogate it. I hope this doesn't offend anyone. Who am I kidding? Anyone who's that easily offended would have dropped me like a hot potato ages ago. No fucking weenies on Team Angry!

I did actually reveal a fair bit about myself in a video a while ago. For those who want to revisit it, here it is:

The URL for this video is

I have actually done a response of sorts to the tag meme. By coincidence, I'm up to video number 199 on YouTube and I took this opportunity to do a sort of a retrospective. So here's my psuedo-response to being tagged; five things I've never done on YouTube (for those who can't watch videos there's a transcript of sorts following the video).

The URL for this video is

One thing I've never done is leave a negative comment on someone else’s video. When some moron has had a go at me via comments on one of my own videos I’ve frequently let them have it with both barrels but I’ve never played the hater game on someone else’s video. And I’ve never followed an argument with a hater back to their profile or their own videos in the rare cases where haters have actually bothered to put together videos. I’ve backed up friends on their profiles and videos but I won’t chase haters. That’s just a downward spiral.

A second thing I've never done is I’ve never tried to have a user banned or a video banned. I’ve voiced my opinion in my own videos about what I see as despicable behaviour and I encourage others to speak out against hateful behaviour but my personal belief system doesn’t support censorship.

A third thing I've never done is rate someone’s video at less than 5 stars. I don’t rate every video I watch but when I can see someone’s making an effort I always give five stars. Life’s too short to not encourage people to keep trying.

A fourth thing I've never done is to go after any individual YouTuber. I’m almost always disappointed when someone goes after another individual and some people I really respect have done it. I’ve spoken out against types of behaviour, notably racists and haters but I’ve never gone after an individual YouTube user. I’ve gone after some very public figures but they make their living by being in the public eye and they frequently go after other people, usually people who are defenceless so they pretty much invite this sort of attack on themselves. But I don’t see the value in going after people on Youtube. No matter how many some of them deserve it. Except Mr Safety. Fuck that guy, who does he think he is?

A fifth thing I've never done is I've never regretted something I’ve done in a video or tried to retract something I’ve said or done in a video. Which is not to say I’m never wrong, just that (despite appearances to the contrary) I put a lot of thought into what I say in videos. I’m usually well aware ahead of time when I’m doing something that might offend someone. As it turns out, I’m often far more sensitive to this than most of my viewers. This goes for my blog readers too, whenever I write something that I worry will alienate people, my regular readers are cosistently astute enough to get the joke. When I know something’s in risky territory I usually go ahead because I think it’s important... or I think it’s really funny. I’m happy for them to continue to stand, flaws and all. People can either deal with that or stop watching.

By the way, this is not my “rules for life” – I’m not saying everyone should follow these guidelines, they’re mine and they won’t necessarily suit everybody. Whatever works for you, be true to that. I get asked a lot for advice and I try to give the best I can but knowing for yourself what’s important to you is the best advice I can give. What is important to you? What are the things you want to achieve? What are the things you won’t do? If you don’t have a clear idea of these things then how will you know when you succeed? If you get all these things clear in your head, You’ll find it a lot easier to go forward. You’ll still screw up, but you’ll screw up on your own terms. And that counts for a lot.

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