“The other night. I was mean to this guy, but only because he was doing this thing that I’ve heard about in the [Neil Strauss] book The Game. We were all seeing a show and he comes up and he was doing that compliment-criticism thing, where you say you like my hair then you say, ‘Where did you get that hairdye? I can see your roots’. It’s a thing guys do if they’re trying to hit on a girl and they want to bring her down a bit so she craves their positive attention. So I kind of went off on him like, ‘You think people don’t know what you’re doing? You legitimately think I’m an idiot. Everybody’s read that book!”
Taylor Swift, on the last time she was thoroughly unpleasant to someone
So if you don’t know what’s going on with Joe Sugg right now then here you go:
Joe recently uploaded this video, entitled MY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!:
There are so many things wrong with this. So many.
Firstly, the thumbnail:
One word: queerbaiting.
Also described as ‘clickbaiting’ in this context (a lot of websites announce that queerbaiting is a term sensationalised by Tumblr but hey ho).
The thumbnail for this video obviously shows Joe being sexually/romantically open with other male-identifying individuals. The title, ‘My Big Announcement’, coupled with the thumbnail, may encourage people to click on the video because they think he is going to ‘come out’.
- those who fetishise homosexuality - obsessive fangirls/shippers, thinking that their “dreams have finally come true” - queer fans (looking for a way of relating to Joe and thinking that’s what they’re getting)
So when it turns out that he is in fact not a member of the LGBTQ community, and that he is in fact ‘writing’ a graphic novel… that’s when it all goes down the pan.
Coming out is difficult, take it from me (openly bisexual), and to have it almost ridiculed by such a thumbnail is one thing. To have the person in question acknowledge it without thought of apology or wrongdoing is another, and quite frankly, it’s disgusting and completely offensive. Other YouTubers have queerbaited in the past, but after realising the negative effect it has, quickly and genuinely apologised for their wrongdoings. Joe has friends who have made coming out videos as well, so you’d think he’d know better?
Using the framework of being gay to clickbait when all you’re doing is announcing a novel in the hopes that more people will engage with it, be excited for it and want to buy it is honestly just gross? I have no other words. It’s gross.
Secondly, which is why this is even more disgusting, is the fact that at the end of the day, this is just another Gleam team money-making scheme (what a rhyme).
We all know how ‘Girl Online’ went down - it was rushed to be finished in six weeks by a freelance ghost writer and included stereotyping and slut shaming, bad grammar and poor expression. and then it outsold Harry Potter.
(note: people used the Harry Potter parallel purely because it is one of the most successful and influential series’ of our time, and Zoella is seen as an influential female figure for teenagers across the world. I am aware that J. K. Rowling started out with no credit to her name whereas Zoella published ‘Girl Online’ with millions of subscribers under her belt).
Joe’s ‘graphic novel’ is no different. It’s apparently coming out in September, yet a poll to decide the main character’s name has only just gone up. To my knowledge, he isn’t illustrating it and who knows what part he will have in the story after ‘Girl Online’ was perhaps penned entirely by Siobhan Curham.
Yet, thousands of people will still fall into the mindset that it is their passion and they’re not just doing it for extra pennies because they can.
It takes away from the thousands and thousands of writers and illustrators who spend their time crafting their stories and art, and turns it into a “YouTube trend”.
Ever begrudgingly purchase an expensive tool you know you’ll only use once? Want to try a tool out before buying it yourself? Lack the storage space for a comprehensive tool collection? An Ann Arbor based start-up has just launched this website, 1000 Tools, that lets you list tools you have laying around (and make some money) as well as rent the tools you need. The team includes a couple of U of M students and for the time being serves the state of Michigan, but has plans for expansion.
It’s free to list and the company handles credit card processing as well as depositing the money into your account.
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