WORLD’s 2018 Books of the Year
We hear repeatedly that millennials are moving leftward and that Donald Trump is a political disaster because he’s losing a whole generation. Maybe yes, maybe no. This year I’ve dived into a strange new world of internet video and podcasting debate that I didn’t even know existed.
Oh, I knew about music videos that gain amazing popularity: Last year’s prime hit, “Despacito,” has had nearly 5 billion views on YouTube. But would you believe that some videos vigorously opposing feminists, social justice warriors, and stifling of campus speech have more than a million views each? And that some of them would fit under the political banner Holland’s Abraham Kuyper invented late in the 19th century: the Anti-Revolutionary Party?
This is important because the news battle among the elderly and middle-aged is not just mainstream media versus talk radio, and the battle among the young is not just waged on InstaFaceTwit. The alternative media sphere of video (particularly YouTube) and podcasting has become huge among millennials—and some of that programming makes fun of the left.
The alternative media sphere of video (particularly YouTube) and podcasting has become huge among millennials.
Let me introduce you to three kinds of millennial mediacrats.
First, I’ve listened to two who profess faith in Christ—Steven Crowder, 30, and a young woman who calls herself “Roaming Millennial.” Crowder, who worked for Fox News from 2009 until his criticism of Sean Hannity in 2013 left him temporarily unemployed, calls his show Louder with Crowder, and he is loud—but I’m impressed that he and the mysterious Roaming relish debate instead of hyperventilating about the need for trigger warnings and safe spaces.
Second, some popular YouTube non-Christians confuse free speech with dirty speech, using F-bombs as punctuation the way their elders might say “uh”—but they are thinking. I’ve picked out several mostly clean videos that can introduce you to the genre:
• “Come Be PC” and “We Didn’t Start the SocJus” are amusing mash-ups from Chris Ray Gun (actually, Chris Ray Maldonado). He is smart, funny, and potty-mouthed (minimal in these two). The YouTube world’s version of Romeo and Juliet is his dating of another millennial, Laci Green, who promotes a sexualized culture but now says she was wrong to see as evil everyone on the YouTube right: See “Taking the Red Pill?”
• “There Are Only 2 Genders” by Blaire White criticizes transgenderism and the LGBT agenda in general, as does another of her videos, “This Is Why I Don’t Like The LGBT Community.” Surprise: White is transgender. Another analysis that has received 1.5 million views, Karen Straughan’s “Feminism and the Disposable Male,” also makes sense.
• Two YouTubers with close to 1 million subscribers each have contrasting styles. “Submit, Puny Males!” by Sargon of Akkad (actually, Carl Benjamin, a Gen Xer popular among millennials) displays acidic British reaction to a UN presentation by Harry Potter actress Emma Watson. “Oppression Olympics” by ShoeOnHead (June Lapine) is all-American girl making fun of feminism.
Third, I recommend one podcaster/YouTuber who is far from a millennial—Canadian professor Jordan Peterson is 55—but has become a father figure for thousands of young men. Peterson defines himself as a Christian in a very loose, Jungian way, which means his recent lecture series on “The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories” is full of intriguing ideas but not God’s wisdom. Still, Peterson does get young people reading Genesis—and God can (and will) take it from there.
Watching and listening to these new developments makes me more aware of President Trump’s downside and upside. He’s thrown matches onto underbrush, alienated moderates, pushed the media world further toward coarseness, and made factual accuracy optional. And yet, he’s let dissenters from the dominant political orthodoxy, particularly millennial ones, know they can talk back. That’s something.
Does this column mean that I want these videos and podcasts to be primary listening/viewing for WORLD members? No. Susan and I on our Monday-through-Friday walks listen to The World and Everything in It followed by Albert Mohler’s The Briefing. On weekends we often listen to sermons by Kevin DeYoung.
Still, if you want to communicate with the millennials in your life, take some time for Peterson, Crowder, Roaming, and the others.