This past month I cut the cord. While I subscribe to Netflix and it is both Z and C’s primary form of television my viewing of it has fallen off as well. My principle outlet for watching “television” these days is YouTube.
When I do Sunday Reading I include a video of the week. Today I’m highlighting five YouTubers who I watch on a regular basis in a little more depth.
What can you say about a journalist who actually goes into the crowd at various protests and went to Sweden to learn the truth about the no-go zones, a truth neither “side” seemed to like. I can say I watch him every day and support him on Patreon. I can also say his name is Tim Pool.
For several months I have awaited four in the afternoon (Eastern US time) for his daily video on his main channelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe02lGcO-ahAURWuxAJnjdA. He has recently added a morning video as well. He is easily my favorite journalist in any media. In a significant change in modern times his politics are very different from mine, but his commitment to the search for the truth makes that irrelevant. He is one of the few people who bring me news who I don’t think is trying to pull a fast one in some way.
He also has a more opinion focused second channel. I usually watch everything on it within twenty-four hours although I let it slide a bit on my recent vacation.
Tim is a good guy. I cannot help but wonder if the refreshing nature of his journalism is from his lack of J-school experience (lack of college in general), but whatever the source I think he is an excellent base for a balanced news diet in an age of insane cruft.
I love stories. Some of the best popular historians are excellent storytellers. From Thomas B. Costain and his Plantagent Series to Shelby Foote’s Civil War Books to Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century some of the best history is told as a story. Yet, most history storytellers are novelists. Sometimes, you just want a good short story.
When that desire strikes, The History Guy is your huckleberry. With his five to ten minute stories of history that “deserves to be remembered” you get a satisfying tale and a little bit of knowledge. Some favorites are The Night Witches, The Principality of Sealand, and The Pacific Clipper. Even when I knew something about the topic, I knew more when he finished.
As a writer, these snippets are great idea generators both for something wholly new and the inspiration for some historical fiction.
I know because of #ComicsGate this one might rub a lot of people the wrong way. His comics reviews are one of the best examples I have ever seen of the idea of genre expectations. This makes them a good tool for authors. Zach often complains about the use of silly-billy humor, girl-power saves the day tropesgpstd, stories told in a completely ironic manner, and other items common to literary fiction and Sex in the City style stories.
There is nothing wrong with any of those attitudes or tropes.
Yet none of them fit genre expectations in superhero comics. Many are counter to genre expectations. While genre expectations are not the end all, be all some knowledge and adherence to them is essential to sell to a given market. You can even break some if you hold to others as his review of Edge of Spider-geddon shows.
He also touches on other elements of good story such as his desire for time to take a breath in a recent Wonder Woman.
Liana is a feminist and, like everyone on this list who has one, I support her on Patreon. Her channel grew out of #GamerGate, but unlike most feminists in that dumpster fire, she actually wanted to talk to people. I have learned more about modern academic feminism than pretty much anyone else has.
I disagree with her on “internet feminism.” To my mind, she doesn’t realize how widespread that style is into HR at big companies. I also find myself wanting to argue with her over definitions, but that stems from commitments to different theories of definition. She is committed to technical definitions in cases where I think common usage should be authoritative.
Her “evil” twin, Beelzeboob, makes occasional appearances as well.
That said, she is funny, informative, and always makes me think. She has even changed my mind on some things about women in video games and issues of representation.
This week she put up episode 11 of her series Lady Bits which means she’s fulfilled the Kickstarter. Add this to getting me to think and changing my mind to things Liana has done that Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn have not.
Do you like physics? Of course, you do. Right now my favorite physics channel is one oriented towards undergraduate and graduate level understandings with math. Tibees is currently a Ph.D. candidate in physics. Her best videos are study with me and unboxing exams. A fun one to watch after some serious material is science and long hair. She also has a couple on the game Universe Sandbox 2.
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