On Hotdamnirock and YouTube Comedians

So, at the end of last month, YouTube star Kain Carter basically flat out told us he took some of deceased comedian Patrice O Neal's jokes.  And now there's this big huge fallout where people on dumping on him for it.

Now, if you didn't know, joke theft is a pretty big deal in comedy circles.  There's a reason people hate Dane Cook & Carlos Mencia...besides the fact that they suck.    And you know, for what its worth, I do think Kain Carter needs to cut that shit out.

But, the way its being reported on so far is fucking embarrassing.  The video of Kain Carter admitting to doing "an homage" of Patrice O'Neal's work?  Released July 31st, 2013.  The videos of people doing side-by-side comparisons?  Released August 1st and August 2nd, respectively.   So why is The Root claiming Carter released his video after those  to save his ass?  Well, because it makes for a juicier story, of course.

The collective over at Uproxx are reporting the same thing, which is going to put a lot more eyeballs on the story before this month is over, so Kain Carter's trouble is nowhere near over.  But Carter's in the wrong, right?  So why am I bothering to cover this?

Mainly because of the attitudes of the people involved.  I'll confess to being a Kain Carter fan, so that whatever bias you might think I have is out in the open.  My friends and I have been watching the guy since early 2011, and he'd been making videos before we even knew who he was.  I've always thought he was a funny guy, and I still think so in light of him stealing jokes.   And in the end, I can't bring myself to be as hard on the guy as so many others are.   Why?  Couple reasons:

- He's done his own material before.   I sat down and watched both videos showing all the jokes he'd stolen from Patrice, to see what Kain was left with in terms of original material that he came up with on his own.  Unless there's more stuff they forgot to add (and I doubt it, since the internet is ruthless in exposing wrongdoings...but fucking worthless in giving props), everything from "Gather round, I got a story to tell" to "Naughty or Nice".  About two years worth of material--just from the time he was already popular!   Near as I can tell, it was only last year--or this year, really--or so that he started to do these "homages" (so people know where I stand on this, I think its theft, my dude).  But I'm just trying to drive a certain point home: Kain Carter was Kain Carter long before he stole anybody's material.   So unless you can send me someone else doing Bottom Bitch Theory or Naughty or Nice, the dude has still come up with quite a library worth of stuff on his own.  And if you make me be honest, it's really when he started stealing that I thought his material started to sound really same-y.   Still funny, but lacking that certain edge that made me like and subscribe to him.

- Another thing: Patrice O'Neal was a funny guy, but....how can I put this.  All those child molester jokes didn't stop until after MJ was dead.  I saw Patrice once when I was in high school, on Comedy Central Presents.  I'm 25 years old, so we're talking about nine years ago.  He was fucking hilarious then, and nobody was talking about him.  Flash forward to 2011, he passes, and suddenly there's this immense outpouring of support.  Suddenly people are like "Oh, he was a genius" or "Oh, he was a visionary" or what the fuck ever.   But nobody was giving him that same respect when they were writing their fifth article on why Dave Chappelle or Louis C.K. were the greatest comedians alive.  Why?  Because there's only room in your life for a couple of live heroes, and everybody else has to be dead to get your fucking respect.  It's not just in comedy, it's in music, it's in comic books, its everywhere.   No matter how much quality material you put out, if you're not one of the one, or two people that inexplicably get respect the respect that other people don't?  Then you're going to get either a lot of hate, or nobody is going to give a fuck about you, until you're dead. So all this just feels really fake, to me.

- The dog-piling I've seen is bullshit.  Since this has come out, there's suddenly a bunch of people calling Kain Carter garbage.  All of you people have got to get the fuck out of here.  Because most of you--who didn't show proper support to Patrice when he was alive--didn't even know who Kain Carter was.   You heard about this, and maybe you decided to watch Kain Carter's videos to see what it was about (even though a lot of you most likely carried on with your outrage and didn't even bother to check the fucking facts), but you already had in your head that Kain Carter was a fuckboy or he was a thief or whatever. 

There is zero chance that you sat down in front your laptop or your tablet (however you watch YouTube), to find out what this guy was about.   ZERO.   Because the human mind isn't built in such a way that it can put away prejudices like that instantly.  It doesn't work that way.   So you sat down, decided he was a thief, and the moment you watched him everything came off like an imitation.  This is why I can't pay attention to all these people claiming Kain is untalented.  Because most of you are biased as fuck, and refuse to recognize that he's got at least 3-4 years of original material.x`

- I'd be lying if I said absolutely zero emotion went into writing this, or that I was completely and totally unbiased about this.  But this last point is particularly on some "fuck you" shit, so if the last couple points had you upset?  You should REALLY skip this one.  

The thing that really pisses me off?  These people, like Dormtainment, and TimothyDeLaGhetto,  and yes Kain Carter,  have been killing it, some of them for the better part of the decade, and there's always been this air of illegitimacy to their work.  Even now, despite most of these guys getting millions of views, you would have never heard about anyone from YouTube outside of New Media Rockstars if something like this hadn't happened.

Older comedy fans don't take YouTube stars seriously, and I get that.  People hate change.  But tell me why older comedians have a problem?  What exactly is your reason for hating on the way the next man comes up?    They've been getting respect and love and support from fans at their own shows and meet-and-greets after putting in the work building up a following online.   Like it or not, these people are the new wave of comedy. You're angry because the new wave isn't doing it the way you had to do it.  But times do change.  Networks are already finding this out, with young people everywhere cutting the cord and going Netflix over a cable or satellite provider. 

You're mad because they don't have to get in front of a crowd?  I won't front, it takes a ton of guts to get in front of a crowd.  But do you know how ruthless the internet is?   If you fuck up a set in the club one night?  Nobody cares in the next town you're in.   But if people don't like your video?  That shit is online in perpetuity.  You can get an email or a tweet or a Facebook message from someone calling you a faggot or telling you to kill yourself or that you should never do videos again, for some shit you did two years ago!   And I know you get hecklers, but...the world at large doesn't like them.  Its frowned upon in society to be one.  You know what it takes to be an internet hater?  A username and a fucking keyboard.  And its not frowned upon; its accepted as the norm.  Nobody even tries to discourage it anymore, and the courage people get from anonymity and never having to back up their words is exponentially better than anything you can get from the dark room of a nightclub.

Now do I support joke theft?  No.  Do I think this response video Kain Carter posted was a tad naive?  Quite a bit.  I also think if he's telling the truth about Dante Nero, Kain is going to get ambushed with some silly-ass questions when he goes on his show.   After you have a phone conversation like a man, and the person you have a problem with owns up to it, apologizes, etc. etc.?  And then you get back on Twitter with the same behavior as before?  That's untrustworthy shit, and there are no excuses for what he's doing on Twitter right now.  If its squashed, let it be squashed.

But am I about to start disrespecting him when I've seen the dude come up with several years of decent material, after I've been a fan of his for the better part of two years?   Not a chance--that's some fair-weather fan type shit, and I really couldn't look myself in the mirror if I did it.  Dude made a mistake, and I'm pretty sure he knows it.  He'll make it through, and I'm not going to abandon him since I honestly think this came from a place of no ill intent, and that he'll bounce back from this.


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