At the risk of sounding like the old woman, grousing about how things were done “back in the day” let me just say, I do not understand the trend of making YouTube personalities a thing.
And to show how tragically out of touch I really am, let me further say, I had no idea who Logan Paul was, until today, and if I never hear another thing about him, that would be perfectly fine by me.
Apparently, he’s one of these wacky YouTubers that posts videos of himself doing and saying odd things that only millennials (I’m hearing his audience is quite young, maybe even pre-teen) would find amusing. He’s amassed millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram, and even has turned his social media celebrity into a few television appearances on shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and Fox’s “Weird Loners.”
He has a few other “accomplishments” under his belt, all due to his willingness to play the fool on YouTube, but he may find his celebrity is now infamy, after a New Year’s Eve post that was so callous and cruel, that the backlash may forever stain his brand.
Young Mr. Paul and several friends traveled to Japan and ventured into Aokigahara, also known as Japan’s “Suicide Forest,” with cameras rolling.
Aokigahara, located at the northwestern edge of Mount Fuji, is legendary for several things. One is that it is supposedly haunted. The other is that it has become known as one of the most popular sites in the world to go and commit suicide, hence the moniker, “Suicide Forest.”
At the beginning of some of the trails through the forest are signs urging suicidal visitors to think of their families, as well as the numbers to suicide prevention hotlines.
Suicide is not a joke. So many people are living with the scarred hearts left in the wake of loved ones who left too soon. People who were deeply loved by somebody, but also deeply troubled and desperate, to the point that ending it all seems the better alternative than pushing through it.
So what was Paul and his merry band of idiots doing in “Suicide Forest”? Well, apparently, they were looking for a body.
And they found one.
An unfortunate man could not take whatever issues were pressing on his life, so he went into Aokigahara and hung himself from the branches of a tree. Logan Paul and his friends found the body – so of course they had to film it.
Yes, they filmed the dead body hanging from the tree. As his friends gushed and giggled behind him, a laughing, cursing Paul described what was happening.
Logan Paul laughing at a dead body. Horrible ‘man’ pic.twitter.com/vQcIUOJab0
— Joseph Harris (@JosephHarrisPT) January 2, 2018
At some point, they contacted authorities to come and remove the body. The edited video shows Paul and his group hanging out in a parking lot, with rescue workers in the background. The revelry continued, as Paul pulled out a bottle of Saki to continue the celebration of their unbelievably cool video capture.
Oh, he did offer up that we shouldn’t be put off by his laughing. Laughing was how he handled stressful situations. So what about his friends? Out of the group, not a single one had the sensitivity to put a stop to the filming or the laughing? Not one shed a tear for a life lost?
Yes. He filmed, edited, then uploaded what amounts to one family’s tragedy to his YouTube page on New Year’s Day, because, you know, clicks and views are the ultimate.
Now he is feeling the backlash of those who are appalled at his behavior.
So intense was the outrage, that Paul took the video down and issued an apology.
In a post to Twitter, Paul apologizes, while explaining that his intent was to “raise awareness” of suicide.
I’m sorry, too. Mainly because I know that had the backlash not been so immediate and overwhelming, we would not have gotten an apology from Logan Paul.
Only moments after posting the video, he’s posting to Twitter and yukking it up about the amount of noodles he’s eaten since being in Japan.
A bigger problem?
Before removing the video, it received somewhere between 500 to 1000 “likes.” Some of those fans are even defending him, today.
That means there are that many depraved and deadened young souls out there, who didn’t realize this was not a laughing matter, nor a proper topic for a viral video. I shudder to think of how many it would have gathered, had he not removed it.
These are the “heroes” of our young people. These are the role models.
The Disney Channel pimps this young man and his “swag” to kids.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 AMP “But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God,”
And here we are. Paul may recover from this incredibly bad decision. The question is: Should he?
Without some real lessons learned, no, he shouldn’t. Given that “apology,” as it is, I’m going to say he’s got a way to go.