So… it’s been a while.
There are excuses— one of the main ones regarding osteochondritis dissecans— but, as you’ll read about later, I’m hesitant to tell my readers about things that are only interesting to me. And my last two months are nothing new… I spent September and October 2015 uploading a lot of old content too. It’s college time, what can I say. So instead of talking my absences, let’s talk about someone whose lack of content provokes more discussion. I know people are still talking about it, because I spent the last week crawling through 300+ forum pages of people somehow still talking about it, or, rather, him.
Noah Antwiler, under the name of The Spoony One, gained substantial Internet fame during the early days of online video. He reviewed bad games and movies. He wasn’t the only one promoting that style of humorous commentary— not by a long shot— but he attracted passionate fans and fandom controversy like flies to a horse. I discovered him when he joined Channel Awesome, the channel being a video aggregator formerly known as That Guy With The Glasses. There’s a noticeable coalition of die-hard former Spoony fans that will tell you about how that move marked the end of his “good” period. Spoony joined TGWTG in 2008, and those fans are still not done complaining.
The past few years were tough on Internet Reviewers, but Spoony might have suffered the worst of them all, barring one suicide victim in that circle. Spoony never had a consistent schedule, but even his fans took notice of constant delays when it came to producing lower-effort and (according to them) lower-quality videos. A lot of people will talk your ear off about his decline, but I’ll try to keep it brief (even if it doesn’t seem so— trust me, I could go on). In April 2014, Spoony launched an account on Patreon, a site where fans can support an artist through direct donations and receive rewards like early access to videos, credits on projects, autographs on merchandise, and so on. Near the start of his crowd-funding venture, Spoony reach a total monthly income of around $5,000, money that his fans were willing to give him for content they could still watch for free regardless. After two and a half years of broken promises, unpopular videos, near-nonexistent communication (aside from a spambot’s worth of tweets) and constant medical problems (a list of so many ailments that some fans think he’s bullshitting it all), this Internet Reviewer, at this point in his exhausting journey, can only pull in around $1,300 a month. At the height of his crowd-funding venture, Spoony promised to create a movie for his fans— nowadays, he doesn’t even seem able to create the low-energy streaming marathons that only a small portion of his fanbase enjoys. In 2014, even with several disgruntled ex-fans trying to post on his heavily moderated forum, Spoony’s Patreon account had several adoring supporters. In 2016, if you google “Spoony Patreon,” the link on the results page will also include quotes from his crowd-funding community calling him a scammer and a fan-hater.
Spoony’s latest video, released last August and titled “Sami Doesn’t Know,” consists of a mash-up between wresting clips and a music video from the movie EuroTrip. Let me remind you that Spoony is best known for harsh reviews of cult movies and video games. Now I, like a good number of people who once watched Spoony, do not care for wrestling. Furthermore, I only happened to recognize the music from a 2004 teen sex comedy because a friend was watching it during a play practice. Seriously, I love movies, movie reviews, and even movie clickbait, and even I forgot about EuroTrip. Fans declared the video “the final betrayal,” and even long-term supporters had trouble defending it. After months of struggling to create something that would please his dying fan base, Spoony showed his fans a video so esoteric that even I, someone who likes Internet Reviewers and even enjoyed some of Spoony’s limited 2015 videos (a statement that’ll get plenty of people calling me an autistic lolcow fag), could not say a single good thing about it. I refuse to link you to it. There’s no way he can bounce back from this, and I’m saying this as someone who for some stupid reason still cared about Spoony past 2013.
Which is a shame because if I were in any position to give Spoony advice, I would’ve told him to do exactly what he did.
Look, you sharp readers out there might have noticed that I’m going through some writing slumps. I haven’t not been writing (that’s a blog post for another week), but it’s stuff that I don’t think I’ll show anyone. It’s part of my ongoing journey as a writer. So many people treat their passions like a job. I know, I know, that’s what I’m doing too, but I’m talking about something beyond that. No one creates a video or story without the hope/intention of said work going viral. People complain about having to catch up on movies and TV shows like they’re complaining about stacks of paperwork instead of, you know, fun things that are supposed to decrease stress. This is the dark side of the millennial “I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was” attitude.
Spoony, despite his reassurances that he loves his fans and loves making videos, just doesn’t have it in him to comply with fan demands. So if I was a close friend of his, and he came to me for advice (the only way I could get a message to him, I reckon), I would’ve told him to make something that he’d have fun making and that he personally would want to see. I’d say that to him hoping that it would revitalize him like my Undertale list did for me.
Obviously, that didn’t happen— Spoony hasn’t made a video since “Sami Doesn’t Know,” and has actually been radio–silent since late September. Last week, I stumbled upon a hate-forum for Spoon and just keep scrolling through it. The link’s here, but fair warning, it is not a pleasant place. Eventually, though a haze of midnight depression and on my way to grab some junk food, I had to ask myself “Why am I so addicted to this?” The ‘watching a car accident’ effect applies here, and you could say that I’m watching a cool-looking car lose wheels and doors as it rolls downhill to the entrance of my favorite store. Last night, here’s what I realized: I’m close to falling into the same traps that Spoony did.
Both Spoony and I have a buttload of medical problems, and we struggle with communicating sometimes. And it seems like both of us tried to fill a gap in content with something extremely esoteric. I’ve said before that I like “Canterbury Tales BATTLE ROYALE” just fine, but make no mistake, any time I put a segment of it on the blog, you can bet that I had nothing else to give. I mean, sure, blogs are personal, no one’s paying for my content, I can say whatever I damn well please. But like it or not, this blog will be where I start to build a fanbase, and some publishers demand evidence of a fanbase before you even say the word “manuscript” to them. I should put things on the Internet that people enjoy reading. I’ve noted a few of you enjoying “Canterbury Tales BATTLE ROYALE,” but the site numbers suggest that you few are indeed few. It makes more sense for me to talk about things that relate to writing, or display good writing, or even talk about something with a famous fanbase attached to it (and while I will write articles with that intent in the future, let me say right now that, considering the state of Spoony’s fanbase, that’s not the case here).
I’ve said I have trouble communicating. Let me help fix that. Readers in the comments— is it ok if I plug schedule gaps with esoteric work? Or would it be ok if I occasionally go silent here, breaking my promise and risking that I never come back? And, as always, tell me about what kind of stuff you’d like to see on Word Salad Spinner.