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The Mind of Jake Paul Review (Web Series, 2018)

You can’t fault Shane Dawson for his ambition. In the past year, he reinvented himself as a sort of YouTuber documentarian, creating series exploring the lives behind some of the biggest names on YouTube. After the massive success of his documentary web series centered on the fallout from TanaCon and the inner workings of Jeffree Star’s empire, he set his sights on his most ambitious series yet. He wanted to explore the relationship between internet celebrity and mental wellness, specifically personality disorders. By chance, he wound up with Jake Paul agreeing to be the subject of the new documentary series.

Format Shift: The Reinvention of Shane Dawson

It’s weird how quickly a cliche can develop. I feel like every piece of criticism responding to Shane Dawson’s new multi-part documentary format on YouTube starts with a bunch of disclaimers. The author (meaning writer, vlogger, podcaster, etc.) comments on how they hated or didn’t really know Shane Dawson. They say it’s surprising that he’s doing something so serious with his channel. They’re happy for his success, but they question what’s really motivating him.

In all honesty, I can see how this is true for a lot of authors. Online content, especially videos, is a young person’s game. I’m young by normal standards, but ancient by Internet standards: 32, turning 33 tomorrow. I’m old enough to remember when YouTube was a new platform; I’m also old enough to remember cassette overtaking vinyl and mall tours being a huge deal.

On Integrity, Plagiarism, and Online Media

I've worked in arts education for over a decade year round teaching music and theater courses. I also spent the better part of three years hustling hard to get an English teacher position at the high school level. I'm still teaching music and theater, but my Bye Bye Birdie LARP adventure is suspended. The biggest lesson I try to teach any of my students is to act with integrity and compassion in everything they do.

English classes make that easy. If you plagiarize your paper--steal someone else's work directly, borrow ideas without attribution, or do the dreaded Ctrl-F and thesaurus combination, you fail and risk significant punishment. There is no gray area. You are expected to write and defend your own ideas. If you use someone else's work, you cite your source and make sure you get the last word in. Very rarely, you come across a student who does this and shows no remorse. They are the ones who wind up with major disciplinary records.