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Logan Paul Is the Personification of the Internet's Worst Instincts

Logan Paul

Why does a person like this have 18.7 million subscribers?

There are a lot of terrible things I'm aware of -- it only takes eight pounds of pressure to rip off a human ear, the deadliest earthquake in history killed over 800,000 people, and Logan Paul. I hate that I know who Logan Paul is, especially since there is absolutely no reason for me to. I don't have cable, most of my time on the internet is divided between Twitter and porn, and the last "new" album I listened to came out in 2012. For all intents and purposes, I am a self-imposed cultural hermit and I'm mostly okay with that. Yet somehow that H&M mannequin that got it's wish to be a real boy is someone I can say that I have not only heard of, but actually have strong opinions about, and that makes me very angry. I couldn't tell you who won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, who was the third astronaut to walk on the moon, or who performed the first heart transplant, but by god, I know who the hell Logan Paul is and it sucks because the only reason why is because he's terrible.

The latest reason why he is a terrible person is because he said on his podcast -- because of course a white guy has a podcast -- that he was going to "go gay" for a month as part of a New Year's resolution, or something. I'm not quite sure what he was going for other than trying to say something controversial to draw attention to himself. Congratulations LP, you succeeded. Of course saying that he would "go gay" drew the expected ire of the internet, for which he apologized, and then offered to speak to GLAAD about it on his podcast, completing the internet attention seeker's circle of life; controversy, attention, exploitation, profit. With the cycle complete he can hibernate in less than mediocrity until he comes up with something new he can do that is absolutely cringeworthy to pull ad revenue from. God bless the internet's system of monetization.

It frustrates the ever loving crap out of me that Logan Paul is famous and quite wealthy in the first place because I can't find one discernably noteworthy thing he's done other than be just a general douche canoe of entitled mediocrity. Apparently this guy does stuff like recording himself tazering dead animals and hitting himself so hard in the balls he nearly lost one. Seriously, he apparently was pulling some stunt in a mall and hit himself so hard he lost a significant portion of a testicle. Then there were all the videos of himself going to foreign countries and being a general pain in the ass and a racist, until he crossed the moral event horizon. I'm sure you've heard of where he went to Aokigahara, the forest in Japan where many Japanese people go to commit suicide, where he found a victim and instead of informing authorities or even having basic human empathy, uploaded a video of the body to his YouTube channel and racked up some serious dough for the views. After he got into trouble for this, he did the "Sorry Man Shuffle"; apologize, educate, and donate to demonstrate he learned a very valuable lesson and will never, ever do it again until the next time he does something normal people know is awful.

Somehow, this guy still makes a ton of money doing this kind of stuff. What makes it so awful, is that he proves just how wretched the internet can truly be. Of course humanity has always had the capacity to be terrible, but the internet somehow manages to take that aspect of us and convince it to do a full eight ball of shake and bake meth and go apeshit. Everything from cheap Jackass knockoffs, to doxxing sexual assault and school shooting victims, SWATing, toxic gamer culture, bullying and shaming people to death, Instagram "influencers," death and rape threats, hyperbolic shouting about politics for attention, Nazi YouTube propaganda with good production values, and a hell of a lot of cheap virtue signaling and performative wokeness. The fact that someone like Logan Paul can make millions of dollars for being slightly above average looking and appealing to the worst aspects of our monkey brains while people die because their GoFundMe for insulin had a shitty write up and a poorly composed photograph makes every argument the Unibomber made about technology really damn convincing.

Ultimately, I'm not mad that Logan Paul thought it would be cute to say that he would go gay for a month and perpetuate the myth that LGBTQ people choose their sexuality or gender identity. I don't see the point in getting mad at him at all. The world is full of Logan Pauls and if you don't believe me, just go through YouTube and find the videos with 587 views that are just unoriginal knockoffs of Paul's schtick but haven't got the same attention because they're filmed on cheap cameras, are edited in free software instead of Adobe, and the people in them aren't pretty. What I am severely dismayed at is that after all this time, we still haven't figured out that all this exists because we haven't lived up to our own tweets about how this is all awful and we should stop doing it. We've all seen what happens when we empower these YouTube controversy goons, we know how gross and shallow social media influencers are, and we damn sure all have been part of some online drama based on some attention seekers spewing distortions and starting fights. I'm not mad at Logan Paul for being a prep school Johnny Knoxville that exploits our worst natures for profit, I'm just disappointed we all know that is exactly what he is, and we just keep letting him and thousands like him do it because we haven't decided we're sick of letting the internet feed it to us.

AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City, and a regular contributor to The Advocate. Follow her on Twitter @Amanda_Kerri.

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