“Oh, my God! It’s you!”
“Yes… it is me.”
“I’ve seen your videos on YouTube!”
“Well, thank you. Is this your first time here at Artemis?”
“It is! After I watched a couple of your videos I checked out your website, and told my boyfriend that we had to come in and do a session. So… here we are!”
“Excellent! Well, welcome!… I hope you like the videos!”
“Yeah, they’re good; I mean, they are a bit long, but yeah. They are good… I guess.”
Honesty can indeed be brutal.
Starting a few months ago, USCCA asked me to do videos for its YouTube channel. I was flattered, of course, and started making content. These videos have done quite well from a viewership standpoint. (Though to be candid, I think it has less to do with “me” than the sheer volume of the established subscribers on their channel.) Most of the videos are garnering around 60-80 thousand views, and at least one crested near half a million.
Not bad for a guy who can barely get his emails to work properly.
When I started doing the videos, I made a decision that I would give as complete a legal analysis as possible without being worried about the length of the video itself. If it was going to require 15 minutes to go over a couple of points, then so be it… the video would be 15 minutes long.
I also decided I was not going to treat the viewers as idiots. I would do my best to explain clearly and concisely (at least as concisely as I am capable of doing), and if my viewers did not like my style they could certainly find someone else on YouTube who would be more to their liking.
Lastly, I have chosen to wear my suits for the video shoots. This was a semi-purposeful decision. This is what I wear to the office regularly, and I produce (at least for now) these videos at my desk. So it stands to reason I would be wearing what I wore to Artemis that day. But, more importantly, I wear the suits because I respect the viewers. They are giving up their time to listen to a lawyer pontificate on Second Amendment jurisprudence. I can at least give them the respect of looking like a lawyer.
The comments the videos have generated are another story. I have learned to refrain from scrutinizing them too closely. Some… no… most have been very positive, or at least neutral, using the subject matter of the video as the starting point for a conversation between the writer and people who actually read video comments, about points I have made. Others have indeed been negative, though these seem to be clearly in the minority. Of those that are negative, they tend to be a smattering of, “This video is too damn long.”, to ugly comments invoking antisemitism (which… quite frankly, says far more about the commentator than it does me).
I do, however, give out my email address in each video, and I receive daily emails from viewers who either would like me to help them out with their legal matters or want to offer me an “atta boy” on a particular video.
The other day I received this email from a Mr. Grabowski out of Florida:
“I will keep it short and sweet. The work you do and knowledge you share is priceless and your efforts deserve more. Thank you for your efforts and sharing what you’ve learned. The states you defend from tyranny need you more than us in FL.
Thank You Sir,
The world needs more people like you 👍”
This simple email made my week.
Mr. Grabowski sees (or at least saw) in my videos something I really do not try and overly pontificate about: Opposition to Tyranny.
That has always been my foundational animating principle. Rebelling against the authoritarian instincts of people who believe they have some sort of Papal infallibility and are more than prepared to impose that belief system on others. Give them the levers of power to impose their views by force on others, and I grab my lance and start killing windmills.
While I strive to keep my underlying political beliefs out of my videos, it would appear that Mr. Grabowski was able to peak behind the curtain and see how I really feel. His literary “pat on the back” was quite appreciated.
Mr. Grabowski… if you have stumbled onto my blog and read this: Thank you.