“The revolution will not be livestreamed.” The independent media will not defeat the authoritarian state, but it will continue to pacify many distressed peasants and encourage them to cope with their frustrations by “supporting” public figures who deliver an agreeable message. Perhaps the greatest failing of these public figures, the pundits and the commentators on YouTube and Twitter, is that they do not teach their audience how to think for themselves: they teach them only what to believe about a given issue or topic. They remain susceptible to malicious influence; perhaps not from the mainstream press, but certainly from the independent media, in whom they have placed a decidedly firmer faith.
Of all the public figures in the independent media, I know of none more malicious and destructive than Suzie Dawson, whose entire career, quite literally, is predicated on a cruel exploitation of the gullibility of the political underground. Dawson alleges, without even any circumstantial evidence, that “western intelligence agents” have been pursuing her across thousands of kilometers in three different continents for the past several years with the intention of assassinating her. On the basis of this laughable accusation, she has attempted to become a digital personality, one that she has marketed through ultra-mainstream social media platforms. Periodically, she solicits donations to “support” her as she petitions the Russian government for asylum, or so she claims: again, there is no evidence that she is holed up in Russia, evading those “western intelligence agents”.
Her latest demand for money pertains to Panquake, a proposed social media app for which she has been fundraising for the past couple of months. In the unlikely event that it ever comes to fruition, Panquake will ostensibly be a platform for people to discuss imperialism, surveillance, and similar subjects, but it will really be a forum in which Dawson’s supporters can talk about her, publicize her incredible tales of victimhood, and encourage each other to contribute financially to her latest “cause”. She claims to require more than $150,000 simply to initiate this venture—to say nothing of sustaining it—for which purpose she somehow convinced Jimmy Dore, Chris Hedges, and Lee Camp to make testimonials. We are expected to believe that the project, unrealized as of yet, must be worthwhile if men such as these are endorsing it, but I fail to see how this is any different from LeBron James telling me to drink Powerade.
Notwithstanding these questions of celebrity branding, Panquake suffered a potentially existential defeat when Donald Trump announced that he was developing his own social media platform. We know almost as little of his own proposal as we know of Panquake, and it remains to be seen how truly tolerant Trump would be of expressive freedom; but at the very least, one could anticipate a much sturdier infrastructure from a product of his design, considering the resources at his disposal. After all, the prevailing criticism of “alternative” platforms like Parler, Gab, and BitChute is the lack of structural integrity and reliability. We could expect similar problems from Panquake, but Trump is presumably wealthy enough to solve them for himself.
In any event, his platform would eliminate the hypothetical need for something like Panquake, and it appears to have had a deleterious effect on its fundraising, too. Dawson has recognized this, and in her desperation to revive the monetary influx, she has manufactured a scandal, accusing one of her erstwhile supporters of “infiltrating” her “inner circle” in attempt to undermine Panquake from within. The supposed agent saboteur is Raymond Johansson, a middle-aged man who spends most of his free time on Twitter, as so many of these self-proclaimed activists do. Dawson and Johansson used to be good friends: when she wrote a slanderous article about me, he promoted it and sent me death threats, for which reason Twitter suspended his account—an account that he renamed several times to conceal his history of criminal menacing. Alas, their friendship has since soured, and now she is directing her supporters’ ire unto him, blaming him for the lack of sustained general interest in Panquake.
We do not express any sympathy for Johansson, who is only reaping that which he has sown. He witnessed Dawson’s capacity for reckless destruction in the campaign against me, yet he chose to continue supporting her, both privately and publicly, as if he believed that he was invulnerable to her predatory aggression. Nor do we express any sympathy for Steve Poikonen, whom Dawson is now extorting to compel his participation in the defamation campaign against Johansson. We recall that Poikonen collaborated with Dawson in her attempt to slander me and mocked me for reporting on the death threats I received, yet has been claiming victimhood ever since Graham Elwood (who also has an untoward relationship with Dawson) accused him of working for “western intelligence agencies”.
Several of Poikonen’s associates have hurried to his defense, lamenting this tragic damage to his reputation. Included among the lachrymose are digital personalities Sarcasm Stardust and Franc Analysis, both of whom condoned the defamatory and threatening campaign against me, but who are now indignant about the lesser actions taken against Poikonen. Their inconsistency, both moral and intellectual, confirms our criticism of the independent media: it does not teach people to think for themselves. Per contra, it promotes an exclusionary dogmatism in which undisciplined people seek to conceal their petty inclinations through an indulgent criticism of power structures—structures which they claim to despise, but which they would happily exploit to their own desired end, if only they were given the opportunity to do so.
Ergo, I maintain very little contact with anyone in the independent media. I have learned firsthand of their penchant for vicious opportunism, of which Dawson’s network is only the most viscerally grotesque manifestation. She cultivates the same ugliness upon which she feeds, and she seems to have profited rather handsomely thereby. Alas, the jesterly fools who inhabit her court appear to be ready to finally overthrow her. When they do, we will celebrate her demise, but we will know that the next pauper will be equally corrupt.