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Right-wing alternative media or right-wing hobbyism? Streaming for hearts and minds

Right-wing hobbyism

The information war is a Darwinian environment.

Whether it be a TV news program, a podcast or a simple social media post made by an anon, all content is now fighting for attention in a ruthless numbers game on a competitive online battlefield.

Similar to the axiom “the medium is the message”, we should embrace the idea that “the presentation is the message”, in that visual and audio standards determine whether information becomes mass-shared and builds a regular audience, or is just scrolled-past and disappears forever.

Sadly, in Darwinian terms, some of our technical standards are dysgenic.

Every creative scene and artistic movement of any historical significance utilises written criticism as a vital component. If it’s not written about, in many ways it doesn’t really exist. Only when something is the subject of debate and discussion does it truly matter.

So consider this piece a compliment to the dissident right alternative media scene, because my criticisms mean it is actually worth writing about, and hopefully dimensions other than streaming and video are covered journalistically too, creating a swirling effect that boosts its relevance and viewership.

Your elderly relative on zoom or the latest nationalist stream?

In dissident right circles, there is a distinct lack of quality presentation.

Technical problems plague our messaging, which is already fringe without adding extra barriers to access. Why would we add another layer to defuse and obstruct our points? We have podcasts that often sound and look terrible. They are high quality in terms of substance, but amateur in terms of audio quality, and often completely lack effort in terms of their visual aesthetic.

Some of these shows have run for years if not a decade or more in some form, yet their lack of quality control creates a ceiling of accessibility. Mainstream audiences naturally expect a basic level of slickness in how things look and sound because they are transitioning from professional TV broadcasts.

If our scene does not want to provide something that is easy on the eyes and ears, there will be plenty of alternatives on YouTube created by the establishment and controlled opposition.

If you just want to preach to a small group of the converted, then you are nothing but a right-wing hobbyist. If you do not want to reach the widest possible audience and numbers mean nothing to you – go and write in a private diary.

One of the myths about art is that it’s about “personal expression”. Religious art, cathedrals, portraits, depictions of nature may have a personal style, but they are about things bigger than and predating the individual.

And so our lasting creative history is grand themes presented in the most refined and epic ways imaginable. Thus even the smallest right-wing media should not take the form of a private Zoom call or doodling pad of self expression.

To gain as wide an audience as possible, a project cannot resemble an amateurish hobby. It must inspire pride in its craftsmanship so it will in turn be appreciated by the public, who have a natural instinct for quality.

Louder With Crowder looks and sounds like a TV show – and that’s why people watch it

It’s a numbers game – the more people see it, the more impact its message has on the world.  

Why do so many people have a white wall behind them for two hours every week on their stream? I could be asking this of many of our best streamers. Why are the most important nationalist thinkers broadcasting at the aesthetic standard of a middle-aged woman’s Zoom meeting?

We aren’t just communicating amongst a closed-network of chums, we are trying to change the world.

How is it that a 13-year-old in high school can manage to buy a coloured lamp, dress a background, use a blue screen, incorporate advanced software, operate a microphone properly and create some kind of aesthetic experience while nationalist streamers asking for donations cannot?

If you fix this technical side, your viewership grows, existing audiences will appreciate the upgrade. and donations will go up. It’s an investment.

It is baffling why any major nationalist streamers would have poor audio quality, but some of them do. Good sound isn’t just about having a microphone, it’s about not doing it in your kitchen amongst hard surfaces or any other room with echo.

If you are a regular streamer, you should have a place in your home that is carpeted and has other soft material to “deaden the space” from reverberation.

This little investment leads to more people being able to tolerate the show and it having more of an afterlife in viral clips, mashups or even being incorporated into documentaries within the movement. A low-cost version of acoustically treating the space can be achieved simply with blankets and pillows put up temporarily.

Elijah Schaffer’s show looks and sounds professional – and he’s reaping the rewards

Audio is far more important than the image quality, but once you have mastered nice clean sound it’s time to work on visual aesthetics.

This is achieved with lighting, background and framing.

People complain about Stephen Crowder and resent his popularity. But why is he successful? Is it because he’s “false opposition” and therefore pushed by the establishment? Yeah, partly. But it’s mostly because Louder With Crowder looks and sounds like a TV show.

There is no echo like it’s recorded in an empty garage, no rubbing or rattling of the mics. The dim and purposeful lighting is easy on the eye, the set is attractive and inspired by television tonight-show and news channel conventions. No white walls in the background lit up by eye-hurting fluoros.

The mood being evoked actually harkens back to a time when men would feel comfortable smoking a pipe on television. This allows normal audiences to make the seamless transition from TV to YouTube and consume this alternative media. It becomes authoritative simply because of how well-produced it is.

Crowder’s show is also designed to entertain. Do we do the same? Do we incorporate comedy and music like Crowder does? No, we are too autistic for that. I’m not suggesting every political show needs to cut to comedic sketches or live music, but it shows some gaping holes in what our scene is providing. And this further creates a ceiling of what is possible in terms of building an audience.

In the Australian milieu specifically, we have also missed out on having a “Bloodsport” period that went some way in mainstreaming the dissident right in America and establishing various personalities as dissident right fixtures.

Sometimes these events would be the top trending stream on YouTube globally, but for whatever reason, we lack a producer’s savvy to create spectacle in our own Australian programming.

This contrast can be seen with recent American-import Elijah Schaffer, a sort of Don Lane in our local alternative media sphere. Every technical suggestion I have made in this article he is already doing, and his show looks and sounds professional.

Schaffer has also started to organise debates in a Bloodsport-style fashion with very large ratings. What this does is start bringing in normies, cuckservatives, and casual and politically neutral audiences. A fight draws a crowd. It creates a funnel of people into our movement.

And when you look at the subject of one of his debates regarding Zionism, it had an internet-breaking effect as one side of the argument imploded in real-time, with Gavin McInnes walking out as his Jewish-Zionist teammate threw him and Catholicism under the bus.

This all became viral and moved minds. And that’s what this format provides, the efficient creation of viral material that can penetrate outside of our own ideological bubbles. Human nature is attracted to conflict and the dramatic as a form of spectacle.

Elijah Schaffer’s setting up his studio for a debate this Friday night with Joel Davis and Jared Taylor against 2 leftists

What can you do as a little guy?

You might not want to become a streamer, but one of the best things you can do is “clip” these shows. Make the best insightful moments from nationalist streams into short videos for social media and TikTok.

Sometimes the clips will work entirely on their own with no further editing required, sometimes they will work better with some editing, perhaps with cutaway examples of what is being discussed, contrasted with another point of view that it successfully exposes, or just stylised with music in zoomer TikTok mode.

Building a social media channel and supporting the network of keyboard warriors is a valuable part of our propaganda. Being a keyboard warrior is actually quite underrated if you make an impact. But if you don’t want to run a social media page, just clip the videos for bigger accounts to share.

Slide into DMs and just send them material in edited form. Make arrangements with people. This will ultimately help both the social media accounts and streamers, plus you get to stay safely anon.

If you are a techie, you can help existing streamers to make their shows look and sound better. If you have that know-how, you should be a technician and facilitator. Maybe you can support these shows in a producer role, organising future guests, working on promotion.

At the very bottom, if you cannot contribute anything substantial or technical – just become a click-farm and like/comment/share everything posted to help the algorithm.

To be clear, although I am criticising the production standard of various nationalist streamers, I recognise that they are mostly doing it on their own and in their spare time, are self-funded and don’t have the production teams we see in television.

What I’m suggesting is we change that and have a greater sense of collaboration.   

If we really want to have a separate right-wing culture, we need to be providing news, opinion, philosophy, art and entertainment that competes with what the system already does in terms of presentation standards.

Significant audiences can and will make the switch, we just need to look at Crowder and Schaffer. But beyond what already exists, an imagination for new things, a kind of digital avant-garde with the ability to create entirely new formats and approaches, could ultimately take the biggest slices of the audience.

This is something we have successfully achieved on a smaller scale with our brilliant meme culture, and to do this we require not just media and film-literacy, but also inspiration for what is possible.

This is not something I am putting solely on the on-screen talent – ideally they would have technical support and production teams behind them.

Podcasting, online videos and streaming are such new mediums and I think we have only scratched the surface of what can be done with presentational form and style. We are trying to rival mainstream TV, so we must compete with it technically and aesthetically.

We can’t just make excuses for poor quality presentation anymore when the message is so important.

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