Anyone who accidentally stumbles across this site will certainly have heard of the very excellent Dylan Winter who is not only a great film maker and engaging boat-blogger but probably the nicest guy on the internet and sad to say but i think its Dylans basic niceness and decency that has just landed him in a minor shit-storm of internet trouble.
For those who have or maybe haven’t seen the video i won’t post it here because i haven’t gained his permission to do so but its easy enough to find on his channel : it starts off really nicely with Dylan aboard the Minstrel and at anchor off the ‘Rocks’…i think in his home river which is the Deben. At the outset it seems to be another Dylan book review and i enjoy those, not just the sailing books but the historical stuff as well. I think that Dylan, like me has an interest and connection with the second world war period, i certainly do as my father was a boyhood evacuee from the east end of london and a consequence of which is that the old man never got an education but instead was brought up on a farm. Another childhood friend was a gunner at El-Alamein and the uncle of one childhood friend died aboard the Hood when she was sunk by the Bismark etc etc.
In the video, and i think this was a mistake for several reasons, Dylan then spliced in first some clips of Hitler and some of Donald Trump and without much in the way of explanation seems to infer that Hitler=Trump and this quite naturally got peoples backs up one way or the other and that started a slanging match on Dylans channel. I made a short response, partially as an ‘anti’ which i will come to in a while but mainly my own post on his channel was trying just to say that this was an inappropriate subject for Dylan’s blog…..and yes the irony is that here i am blogging about myself. I think that Dylan was truly shocked by the responses that he got in either direction and that is what i want to talk about first.
So first : the internet isn’t a kind, moderate and intelligently argued space where decent old blokes (like we all) go to have well thought out and rational arguments. Rather the internet when it comes to politics and specifically internet politics is a nasty and toxic snakepit where just about everyone has an extremely partisan view and goes for the throat almost immediately rather than even pausing for a moment to see what is being said. At the far end of this today we get left vs right, alt-right vs antifa, MGTOW vs ultra-feminist and SJW vs logic. Watch if you want some real internet trolling fun anything from Milo Yiannopoulis (probably spelt wrong) Rebel Media, Sargon of Akkad or ok lets go to the opposite and look at young Laci Green who has i believe had death threats simply for saying that things might not be as black and white and clear cut as her simplistic view of just a year ago….and did i mention BLM or BAMN ? ….madness. So the first point is that Dylan has inadvertently just dropped headfirst into toxic-arsehole land ie the land of polarised identity politics and i think that comes from honesty on his part but also a very naive non-understanding of the modern internet.
I am not going to say that Dylan should do this or not do that, neither do i think that he shouldn’t hold and express an opinion : i think absolutely that free speech is crucially paramount, particularly above ‘feelings’ and for the American viewers here that their first amendment is crucial to the argument. What i feel that Dylan did wrong is to express a heavily loaded opinion in a sleight of hand way without any evidence or even argument to back up what he implied. For me i know that my basis and tendency (from medicine) is to always argue or discuss from evidence ie facts first rather than what is happening all over the internet right now ie that peoples feelings are a bit out of joint and that seemingly then provokes immediate outrage.
From a personal perspective i don’t see any evidence for the Hitler/Trump comparison….now just to say that in his second video about this Dylan starts to put across the single idea of trust and perhaps the honour of a handshake : well i believe that the evidence points to Hitler having been totally trustworthy in that respect and only that he did exactly what he said he would do from invasions and mass murder to mass area bombing of civilians….it will be crucial in future arguments that that statement is not taken out of context and i could and should give examples to back up my case, but watch any Hitler speech and then go watch the evidence !…he does what he says however terrible the consequences actually were. Trump on the other hand is nothing like that, he might be completely untrustworthy and not a nice person but which modern politician is ? would Clinton have been more or less trustworthy ? i think not given her actual record, and that’s not an argument to have here but check out the late Christopher Hitchens on the subject of the Clintons family if you will. With so little actual evidence and argument from Dylan’s perspective its nigh-on impossible to then create a point by point rebuttal so in this case i can only pick up on a second point that Dylan makes and that he expresses as “there is no point reading history if you don’t learn from history” so i will pick up on that. I believe that history doesn’t exactly repeat itself ever the same way twice , that here for example the second world war wasn’t ‘like’ the first world war and neither was the cold war anything ‘like’ the second world war….not much could be carried over from one to the other. However there are things that arise from the second world war period that are rising again today and they are i believe things that we should be very concerned about today and i will give as an example the spontaneous and reactive rise of nationalism again throughout europe and its opposite ie the rise of cultural marxism. Those are both things that we should take as major history lessons .
I am going to leave this alone now, i will debate and discuss if asked and at some time just take this down, not because i think its wrong to say these things and hold strong opinions but that its the wrong setting and the wrong environment : i think that both of us : Dylan far more than me create an engaging and satisfying world where we can all enjoy this strange and compelling hobby and the contact with the real world that is so valuable. I will continue to enjoy Dylans channel and to go on supporting his work with Paypal taps whenever i am slightly less than boat-skint and enjoin everyone who got involved in the argument on his channel to do the same and not lose sight of what great work he has done. I know that his project has hit the buffers financially and that’s such a shame as it wouldn’t have happened if just a few more freeloaders had put hand to pocket just once or twice. For my sake Dylan has been a major inspiration for me to attempt this blog and for that i offer him my heartfelt thanks.
I guess my challenge to Dylan is to either not do this kind of thing or do it in such a way that he sets out his reasons and arguments clearly and unequivacally and is a bit more prepared for the consequences which i feel have truly shocked him. Dylan….we love you dearly and love your channel but many of us feel that you have messed up here.
Steve…Dirty wet dog.