It might just be my current mood due to the lockdown and quarantine, and I hope I don’t continue feeling this way, but I feel a strange sense of emptiness that’s only grown worse. I can’t bring myself to focus on anything in particular, especially not the novel that I had hoped to place the most focus upon. Sometimes, I wish I had never bothered believing in Enlightenment Values and Human Rights because then I wouldn’t suffer the disappointment of knowing how easily it is ignored by the very people claiming to uphold it whenever it’s people perceived as political enemies suffering such abuses. To give a recent example, I had taken part in the Secular Jihadist Patron Facebook page (having been part of their Patreon) and shared my Five Lenses essays on there. The Facebook group was devoid of any content apart from the occasional notice by Armin Navabi and Ali A. Rizvi of when they would begin livestreaming for their podcast. Yet, despite the complete lack of content, Ex-Muslims immediately got upset at my sharing criticisms of my blog posts and pictures of Ex-Muslim subreddits which banned content from Hindus despite the fact I was following their rules (which I shared on the bottom of my fifth lens post). The Ex-Muslims in the Facebook group and their followers simply complained about me even having the gall to share content and demanded Armin and Rizvi delete the content that I shared despite the fact I hadn’t broken any rules. This was their general attitude with only a handful of Ex-Muslim supporters (not Ex-Muslims themselves) defending my right to share criticisms above the overwhelming amount of comments either using personal attacks against me or demanding it be deleted. Ultimately, Armin Navabi himself sent me an audio Facebook message (evidently, concerned I would share a written message online) via Facebook Messenger asking me not to share any more of my content criticizing Ex-Muslim groups on the Secular Jihadist Patreon page and asked if I would be interested in sharing my Five Lenses critiques on the Secular Jihadist podcast. When I asked for a date/time, he referred me to an email which I sent a message to and it’s been over a week. Perhaps I am wrong, and it is possible that I am, but I suspect I won’t hear back since I’m being critical of them. Mostly because it is already clear they’re not serious about questioning themselves and receiving criticism as they so claimed.
It isn’t exclusive to them and it isn’t just the younger generation as some have argued. I once criticized journalist Murtaza Hussain on Goodreads a few years after becoming a Goodreads friend with him. Not only did he not take my criticism seriously, he wrongfully claimed I had said 80 billion when I had clearly written 80 million and then proceeded to block me because he clearly didn’t care what I had to say. At this point, some readers may question my behavior and accuse me of lacking self-awareness and being self-sabotaging or self-destructive. That might be seen as a reasonable criticism. Yet, let me just ask you all to consider this: Is it self-destructive to take people seriously when they say they’re open to criticism only to be shown repeated evidence by their behavior that they’re not? Allow me to use a more mild example; the famous Authortube Youtuber, Jenna Moreci, seems to outwardly present herself as open to critique and challenging herself to become a better writer (at least, for those who ignore the videos where she admits that she’s terrible at taking any sort of criticism about her writing). However, there has been growing evidence that not only is this not the case, but she may also be purposefully ignoring genuine criticism that could help her improve in the future. The general consensus is that while she’s great at marketing and giving advice, she’s not good at applying that advice to her own work. I would hesitate to argue that this means people should ignore her videos just because she hasn’t made a famous book yet. Such logic would mean that nobody should have taken any advice from George R. R. Martin at all until A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones became a world-famous hit. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Authortubers similar to Moreci such as Authortubers like Abbie Emmons, the infamous ARC controversial author Kristin Martin, Natalie Leigh, and perhaps many others I’m unaware of have had a growing, dismal trend of publishing or self-publishing books that just aren’t well-received outside of their immediate Youtube fandom.
Before moving to the next part, it should be made clear: Booktubers are people who read and review books online while Authortubers are people who write books and share writing advice online. Some Booktubers have even commented that simply knowing that a book they read comes from a fellow Youtuber that is part of their platform makes them hesitate in criticizing such books harshly because they don’t want to offend feelings. In many cases, the Booktuber doesn’t actually have to know the Authortuber personally, but merely knowing they exist on the shared platform of Youtube and have been reported to be a genuinely nice person from what their fans say causes Booktubers to self-censor. In direct contrast, people who hate notoriously awful Youtubers that have written books create a space of genuine lengthy criticisms for all their books and it is usually by multiple people. In a very bizarre inverse, hate breeds honesty instead of blindness while compassion breeds willful blindness out of genuine compassion for other people’s feelings.
For the past couple of years, I had criticized politics, religion, society, other people proclaiming themselves open to criticism, and so much more. It was not out of any animosity, although that’s always how it was perceived in the end, but due to genuine concern for ideals pertaining to Secularism and because I took Armin Navabi’s words to heart all those years ago. In the end, it all has felt like a complete waste of my time and ultimately a foolish, meaningless endeavor. I put faith in a delusion.