Brandon Officially Made It


San Francisco? I thought it was exclusively referred to as West Bay!


this New Yorker magazine cover in reverse?


Are you trying to tell me there’s stuff east of las vegas because I simply will not believe it


at least two boobs that i can see


I’m also a boob who is east of Las Vegas


the difference imo is that east coast people can be snobbish about this, but west coast people are just genuinely unaware but perfectly nice. It’s like they never had to develop that knowledge. They’re like the Eloi


i remember brandon’s alarm when he came to see me in new york and there was Snow.

his brain did not know how to process this mythical substance, that covered things and made them cold.


well, i say me, but

… that other person, you know



whoa i saw this tweet in my timeline in 2016 before i knew who brandon was!

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I don’t know what contrapoints is but good for me. Also I am in “knowyourmeme” twice. used to be three!! but the third entry got deleted and I don’t remember what it was.

this is the second one.

embarrassingly in both cases I just spread something I found somewhere else. weeee


contra is a leftist video essayist with a distinctive style that many other youtubers have copied in the last decade.

she’s a high-profile trans woman with loud yet often retrograde views toward other trans people. it’s been a while, but there was a period of a few years where every few weeks trans twitter was melting down over whatever ignorant or self-serving thing contra had been sticking to her guns about this time.

i was always like, “okay but maybe just don’t watch her then?” but i guess people felt like she was doing active damage to the community and refusing to learn or take responsibility.


she’s also close friends with both bomberguy and lindsay ellis, who have been known to go loudly silent when contra pops off with another screed about how enbies aren’t a real thing and are just cis people looking for clout, or whatever.


Yeah, I’m a cis guy I guess but I certainly haven’t forgotten about that stuff, and don’t really recall any point where she really took accountability in a meaningful sense. I mean, I remember her putting out an apology video for I think when she had gotten Buck Angel (who is I believe said to be more retrograde than contrapoints) to read voice clips in one of her videos, and though it’s not my place to have an opinion about it I do distinctly remember trans friends I trust being far from impressed.

I dunno, on one hand it’s always going to be an uphill battle to expect moral purity and perfection in accountability and ideological rigour from Youtubers, a position which requires no credentials to get into whatsoever, and success doesn’t necessarily hinge on a creator’s ideological rigour/moral purity/accountability–for better or worse their success depends on being entertaining before it relies on those things. Never mind how that’s going to be predominantly white people, and never mind how they have a financial stake in maintaining a good public image, even if they don’t necessarily use either of those things for nefarious purposes, and even if they intentionally try to use them for good purposes, or actively undermine the ways what they do is enabled by their own privilege, inherent or acquired or otherwise.

But on the other hand, fuck, I dunno, we’re talking about public figures who have an at least half open half implied mission of ideological education and outreach. Like, youtubers like contrapoints don’t really have the luxury to be able to say that they do what they do purely for entertainment, in some sense they create that aforementioned standard of ideological rigour for themselves by trying to be sources of educational material or ideological thought leaders. We should be able to criticize them in good faith and if they want to live up to their reputations I think they have a responsibility to respond to those criticisms thoroughly.

At least for myself I haven’t watched her videos since that thing with Buck Angel went down and I don’t plan to, so I guess I’m the person who takes and appreciates @azure’s advice to just not watch it. I don’t think people who do are bad or wrong either, of course, and I think it’s safe to say that at least by volume there is a shitload more bad faith criticism and/or noise and/or harassment out there of people like contrapoints than good faith, principled, constructive criticism of people like contrapoints, so to some degree you almost can’t blame someone in her position from learning at least a mixture of the right yet also wrong lessons from publicly fuckin’ up.


god i had memory-holed the buck angel thing :weary:


the buck angel thing was very cringey and the weird vendetta against nbs seems misguided at worst to me (i should clarify that i think she is wrong) but the kind of attention she gets reeks of transmisogyny imo… i would not underestimate how little it takes for literally anyone to get indignant at trans women. we do it to each other too which makes it extra difficult to comprehend


i mean, maybe. but whether or not she means to be malicious or just aggressively doesn’t know what she’s talking about, her own exclusionary rhetoric is itself transmisogynistic as hell—which is the starting place for most negativity i’m aware of toward her.

it’s (not especially) funny to compare both her attitude and her popular reception to her “breadtube” peer abigail thorn—the “other” trans woman in the sort of core group, albeit a more recent one to come out. (i’ll explain “breadtube” to you in a minute, @exodus, thereby clarifying my earlier joke.)

thorn puts real rigor into, and works from a position of carefully interrogated principle with, her essays—and they’re marvelous and well-informed and serve as excellent launching points and frameworks to start asking one’s own questions about difficult and nuanced issues. and just from my narrow experience, i’ve not seen anything negative directed toward her.

like, i’m sure she gets shit like any woman, let alone trans woman, let alone trans woman in a typically masculine space, on the internet. but personally when she does come up what i mostly see is praise and awe. because when she chooses to speak up, she does a genuinely good job that leaves people feeling elevated and inspired. as compared to contra, whose whole deal is kinda stirring shit on the fly while half-drunk and half-naked. :woman_shrugging:t2:

there are gonna be bad criticisms of her, informed by who and what she is as a person, but i think the broad sweep of the objections i’ve personally seen have been focused on her behavior and glimpses of her apparent ideology.

again, this is all within my bubble of awareness. of course i may be missing something here.


:point_right:t2: brandon: imma presume that breadtube isn’t really on your radar beyond maybe having heard it in passing time-to-time.

like the mafia, “breadtube” never really existed as-such and its moment seems to have ended a couple years ago. but insofar as the term did describe something, it was meant to quantify a loose gaggle of high-profile leftist youtubers who all knew each other and sometimes collaborated or built off each other’s work or just covered similar themes in a similar way, using similar scripting and editing techniques and quirks that they freely shared as they developed them.

they’re often considered a sort of elite exclusionary clique of video essayists (lindsay ellis purportedly coined the term “video essay”), but it would probably make more sense to say they’re a loose friend group, mutual admiration society of a few people with common values and skills who are tuned into each other’s wavelengths?

to the extent the grouping exists, it originally kind of schlorped together in response to gamergate. the name, kinda pretentiously, comes from an 1892 communist tract by peter kropotkin, called the conquest of bread. broadly the book looks at the systemic inequities of capitalism and how its whole entire deal is based on artificially contrived poverty and scarcity.

you could say a supposed “breadtube” video would tend to have a certain vibe to it, would assume a certain kind of familiarity with the concepts it was discussing, and probably served as a heightened gadfly to draw attention to some kind of perceived structural deficiency—often as metatext to an ostensibly more petty cultural discussion, e.g. over a current popular piece of media.

you know, kinda like what we used to do when we actually wrote things. except these people actually got recognition in their time.

the cast of characters is vague and varies depending on who you ask, becuse it’s not a real defined thing, but most people agree the core members are hbomberguy, lindsay ellis, contrapoints, philosophytube (the abagail thorn referenced above), and shaun—the soft-spoken british guy with the deep baritone and memento-mori-in-shades avatar. kat blaque, anita sarkeesian, innuendo studios, and others are sometimes lumped in. many of them insist there is no breadtube and they shouldn’t be described as part of it, but then so does basically every trip-hop artist.

the big breadtube Moment was maybe right around the turn of the pandemic, with a few years on either side. i think around 2018-ish was when i first started to hear the term getting thrown around (usually in a dismissive way)?

i think the whole thing began to fade when lindsay ellis got chased off social media and retired her youtube in response to one too many flash-in-the-pan controversies that, yeah, did seem largely misogynist in nature. (i forget what it was about. it was largely people assuming intent between the words on twitter, and even the assumed intent, were it true, didn’t seem particularly interesting or important.) then at roughly that same time, bomberguy slowed down to maybe one big video every year if one was lucky, and some of the other figures just seemed to move on to other platforms or activities.

maybe you know some or all of this, but it strikes me as a thing outside of brandon’s typical scope for things to choose to actually pay attention to :laughing:


this whole disorganized anxiety rant here?

if i kept doing stuff like this, and it were still five years ago, and i happened to actively know and chat with harry brewis on social media time-to-time, people might well have decided no matter what i said to the contrary that azurelore was a part of breadtube :laughing:


Thanks for the explainer and all the context - I had some vague awareness of some of the parties involved since they’ve come up in conversation but as someone who quite simply doesn’t watch videos of people talking (not because of some stance or intention, it just doesn’t fit into my day) I missed a lot of that.