I had someone try to criticize my work a few days ago. Their criticism was something along the lines of, “We have other people already saying this! What is this, some kind of self promotion?”
Yes. As a matter of fact it is.
Here is my problem with that criticism. He is attempting to silence new voices on the Progressive Left. It is most likely that he never actually read the article he was commenting on, so he was intellectually lazy.
Each new voice makes us stronger. Each new voice adds new dimensions, new perspectives, new colors. It takes many voices to comprise a chorus. Each voice is not the same, yet ideally they are singing the same song.
Many of the voices on the Progressive Left are new voices. How long ago was it that you first heard of Jimmy Dore? Aaron Mate? Caitlyn Johnstone?
One problem with the Progressive Left is that often, the material can be based on the same source material. It becomes a matter of one original piece of material with each layer adding commentary. Sometimes it literally becomes a commentary on a commentary on an original piece.
Am I criticizing anyone? No, these are some of my favorite sources. Like I stated above, each voice adds to the chorus, lending depth, strength, volume, new notes. Each is valuable, each is beautiful. Is each voice perfect? Not always but they create beauty in their harmony. Listening and joining in is what strengthens us.
There is a difference in my own material, whether written or video. Most of my material is completely original. When I wrote a 4 part series explaining why and how universal healthcare is best, that was original. Nobody else had or has done that in such detail that I have seen. When I went through the Mueller Report line by line, all 448 pages and dismantled it, revealing flaw after flaw, deception after deception, the entire series was original. When I went through the Trump-Ukraine transcript with the actual transcript in the video, that was original. I may occasionally mention materials by other content producers but it tends to be a short mention with accreditation, not a commentary on that single piece.
Some things that I feel make my content valuable is my own knowledge. Beginning over 30 years ago, I have formally and informally studied economics, management, marketing, psychology, sociology and medicine. I have never really stopped studying any of them in some way. I am continuously trying to learn more on one subject or another. If any content producer claims to know everything (to a degree they no longer have to keep learning) on such complex and interconnected subjects, they are absolutely delusional and should not be trusted. Information and practices change over time. Economies, societies and cultures are evolving directly in front of and all around us on a daily basis as we adapt to a changing ecological environment and technological advances. Medical criteria changes over time while medical technology advances so quickly that medical professionals are mandated to continually take continuing education classes for license renewal. Oh, shit. That’s something I need to do.
One big thing about new voices is that new independent voices rarely have a budget for advertising. If they have financial backers before they gain any popularity, you cannot consider them independent, can you? So we are forced to promote ourselves. For some of us, that’s not how we want to spend our time and effort. It takes away from time for research and writing. Often while we have our own lives to attend to.
Independent content producers don’t mind and often enjoy interacting with our (polite) audience members. If you ask independent producers a question, you typically get a personal response in a short time frame. We recognize ourselves as part of a global community where thoughts, words and actions matter and can have drastic, life saving or life destroying consequences. It is not a matter of ego. We do what we do not for money but because we genuinely care and are committed to our causes.
Try that with corporate media. The most you will get will be a form response by a low level staffer. If you are not ignored completely and after you are attacked by the cultist hordes for questioning the absolute perfection and omniscience of the corporate propagandist who deigns to lower their spiritual standing enough to impart their wisdom through their benevolence to the soiled masses. How dare you imply that their wisdom is not complete and flawless? Be thankful for the improvement in your miserable existence which they bestow upon you from their corporate heavenly throne!
I and other independent content producers truly appreciate the quotes, shares and every single penny of donations which are afforded to us by our audience. We do not feel it is “owed” to us, as our corporate counterparts openly state. We do not feel we are above questioning, we simply insist on valid points being made when we are questioned. If you want to spew hate speech, take it to the corporate staffers. We independents have better things to do with our time and higher goals to reach for.
Seriously, if you don’t have a taste for my content, scroll past it. If you have valid and rational critiques to offer, I am all ears. If your complaint has it that I am exactly like other content producers, you have not read my content, this I absolutely know. If your complaint is that I am too different or not bowing down to the status quo, you are missing the entire point. If you complain that I am not predictable enough, that does not mean I am not consistent. If you wish to attempt to validate your existence through hate speech, I will definitely invalidate your existence when I block you. That’s one of my consistencies. I refuse to argue for the sake of argument.