My Deep Dive into the World of Professional You Tubers

My son, Lawson, who is 8 years old, has spent more hours than I can admit within civilized society/while living in a country with Child Protective Services watching young men of indiscernible talent or appeal play video games and talk about utter nonsense in urgent, useless tones.

Lawson has no interest in our living, human world.  He doesn't like watching football, games that aren't on a screen and/or he has not invented, or physical activity of any kind.  He either digs in his heels and refuses to participate, or he does, but insists on modifying rules or negotiating more sugar or screen time in exchange.  He is a master at wars of attrition and in fact would have won World War I fighting both sides all by himself.

So recently I decided I needed to enter his world and show interest in his interests in order to build a more meaningful relationship with my dear child.  I decided I was going to learn about the YouTuber he is currently obsessed with, someone named DanTDM.
The extremely worthy human being to which my child has devoted his life.
Dan TDM is at least British, I'll give Lawson points for that.  If you are going to watch an aimless young man waste his life and his clearly meager talents right in front of your eyes and try to inspire others to do the same, he damn well better be speaking in a legit British accent. While I will hang up on an American telemarketer faster than Republicans rewrite their Trump defenses, I will speak at length to a British one, as I did recently when The Economist magazine called me.

"Hallo, Holly, this is Alistair calling from Sheffield, in England. How are you this evening?"
"Alistair! I'm well, thank you for calling."
"So, I've rung you to check how you're liking your subscription to The Economist."
"Oh, Alistair. I love my subscription."
"Which bits do you like best, if you don't mind my asking?"
"Of course I don't mind, Alistair. Would you also like to know about my struggle with bulimia and when my last menstrual period started? Really, whatever you'd like to know."
"That's alright, thanks, just the bits you enjoy reading?"
"I love all the bits, Alistair.  I do.  When I read them.  Which I don't usually, to be honest, but I love the bits.  Alistair, did you know I am married to an actual economist? He reads all the bits, every week."
"Oh, that's lovely! Do you have any friends or family to whom you'd recommend The Economist?"
"Well, Alistair--and may I first compliment you on your sublime use of 'whom,' really very elegant--I'll tell you, all my friends and family who enjoy reading legitimate sources of news and information already get it, I'm afraid, but I'll think on it."
"Would it be alright if I rang you back after you've had a chance to think about it a bit?"
"Absolutely! Please ring me back. Perhaps we can talk about which of our countries' politics is more disastrous for the civilized world."
"That would be lovely, actually.  I'll talk to you soon then. Ta-ta!"
"And ta-ta to you, Alistair.  I am married, as I said, but he's not British, so I'm not sure it will last."
"OK, well, bye-bye then!"

So, yes, given this embarrassing performance, I'm not sure I can judge Lawson for the hours he spends with DanTDM.  Still, based on what I could hear from the next room, I was intrigued at what the appeal was.  So I went in Lawson's playroom/lair one day and had a seat.  DanTDM was on the TV, and Lawson was simultaneously playing something on his Kindle.  DanTDM was very pale, characteristic of a both a Brit and a troglodyte.  His hair, at least in this episode, was blue.

"So that's Dan TDM, huh? Mind if I watch?
"Sure, Mom."
"What is he doing?"
"Well, in this one, he's looking at videos people have sent him, and he tries not to laugh. This one is THE BEST!"
I watched for awhile.  The videos mostly were things blowing up and pooping. DanTDM narrated them while pretending it was difficult not to laugh.  Albeit in a British accent.
"This is entertaining?"
"Oh yes. But this isn't what he mainly does."
"What does he mainly do?" I asked, terrified of the answer.
"He plays games and talks."
"And that's entertaining?"
We watched another video. DanTDM was in a Minecraft world doing stuff and talking nonstop.  Albeit in a British accent. But even with that, he quickly became grating.  "We've got to kill the endodragon! Oh my gosh, there's a heart, and oh my gosh, a desert temple, you are kidding me!" said Dan TDM in loud, somewhat monotoned screeds, throwing in a "Yessss," "Sorry guys!," "You can't do that!" every now and then.
"Is this what he does for a living?"
"Yes. He's a YouTuber.  He used to work at Subway but now he makes enough money he was able to quit that job.  This is what I'm going to do."
Oh Lord, have mercy.  "Well, you don't make that much money working at Subway, you know."
"Yes, you do! You make SO much money."

Instead of arguing with him about the economic rewards of working in the fast food industry, I decided to go online and learn a bit more about this strange man who was leading my son down a path of dereliction and ruin, albeit in a British accent.

Well, it turns out that DanTDM makes a little bit more than a sandwich artist.  He's in fact a millionaire.  Which led me to set aside my fears for Lawson (momentarily) and descend into sheer panic about the prospects for humanity as a whole.

I decided to call Alistair. Not really, his number didn't show up on my caller ID.  So I just called him telepathically.
"Hi Alistair, it's Holly, remember you called me about my subscription the other day."
"Oh yes, hallo! Did you think of any friends or family who might benefit from a subscription to The Economist?"
"Oh Alistair," I started weeping.
"Oh dear, what's wrong? Has the bulimia reverted? I'm so terribly sorry."
"No, Alistair.  My son is addicted to a British YouTuber. I'm beginning to think he will never in his life read The Economist or even work in a real economy."
"Is that DanTDM? Blimey, I love him!"
"What are you talking about, Alistair? You work for The Economist, for the Queen's sake!"
"Right, I work for The Economist but I don't bloody read it! I'm only working here so I can launch my own YouTube channel with videos of myself making calls for The Economist."
I hung up and cried for several hours.

Then I started to assemble the most astounding survivalist plan the world has ever seen.

There's actually several YouTube channels for that.


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