First off, I hope you’re all doing great. I’m back from my vacation, and I’m frankly raring to get back into creating more Colin’s Last Stand content. It was really awesome to see my brother and dad, not to mention Ramon open for the band we grew up in love with. But I also feel kinda anxious and pent-up. I have a lot to say! New videos begin rolling out July 31st.
(Here's me hanging out with my brother and dad): https://www.instagram.com/p/BXBTtRolwBB/
(Here's me watching 311 with Ramon from backstage): https://www.instagram.com/p/BW2pClSF2z_/
Between now and Monday, when a new video will go live, there are a few things I wanted to address with the community. Nothing too crazy; just wanted to speak on a few topics that I thought were of interest and/or use to all of you out there.
1.) The Lauren Southern/Patreon thing happened right when I left, so I know I’m a little late on this, but I did want to speak to it. I think it’s especially important that we talk about it because I’m a moderate conservative, and I know that a lot of people feel like what happened was politically motivated, and could inherently target people like me in the future. As always, we shouldn’t shy away from talking about the tough issues. Otherwise, what’s the point of any of this?
For starters, Patreon’s CEO Jack Conte released a video on what happened, fully explaining the process that led to the removal of Lauren’s Patreon. It’s worth watching before you go any further. Don’t worry. I’ll wait:
Before I even say anything, I’m gonna put all of my cards on the table in the name of complete transparency. I’ve been with Patreon long before it was anywhere even near being a widely used, ubiquitous funding platform. (I guess that kinda makes me a Patreon hipster.) My previous company was one of Patreon’s first Mega Success Stories (if not the first one, full stop), and I’ve always been thankful for what they allowed me to do with my life.
When I walked away from IGN -- with generous offers on the table for me to stay, mind you -- Patreon provided me with security, allowing me to co-found a successful enterprise that simply wouldn’t have existed without their assistance. And when I volunteered to walk away from Kinda Funny to do something new one more time? Patreon allowed me to somehow find even more success with CLS. It’s pretty wild, really.
When I tell you that Patreon changed my life, I mean it, and there are obviously built-in biases that come along with a relationship like that. They've always been very good to me. So you should know that. I'm a loyal person. But I’ve also always shot straight with you, right? You can always rely on me to tell you the truth, not to go along with what’s popular, or what will score me easy points, or keep me comfortable. I’m pretty sure all of you know that, too. My words and actions have clearly proven that, time and time again. So here’s my somewhat abridged assessment of the situation:
I don’t know Lauren Southern personally, and I don’t agree with plenty of the things she says and does, but I follow her on Twitter, I watch some of her videos, and I’m pretty sure we’ve exchanged pleasantries once or twice. When I saw that her Patreon was deleted, I was concerned just like everyone else. But, as time has passed, and as all of the pertinent information surrounding the situation has come out, I feel comfortable with Patreon’s rationale for deleting her account. It’s all spelled-out, in black and white, in Jack Conte’s video, and the company’s actions seem to be in accordance with Patreon’s Terms of Service.
Reinforcing all of that is the fact that Patreon reached out to me to talk about the entire issue, unprompted. I am in very regular contact with Patreon -- I exchange e-mails with a really great liaison over there named Heather sometimes multiple times a week about a bunch of different issues -- so I was going to inquire about Lauren’s situation when I got back from vacation and settled-in. But they reached out to me first, as a prominent conservative voice on the platform. That in and of itself was appreciated, and put me at ease.
I spoke with Jack for 15 minutes or so on the phone after exchanging some e-mails earlier in the day with Heather, and I felt satisfied with his explanation, and that Patreon’s move wasn’t politically motivated, but in the name of safety, security, and in full accordance with the ToS. I expressed concern as someone who espouses some conservative views that people like me may be targeted in the future. He ensured me that Patreons like Colin’s Last Stand -- and frankly even ones far, far further to the right -- have literally nothing to worry about. Conversation, education, protest. All of that is fine on Patreon. It seems that Lauren’s actions with Defend Europe are really at the crux of the entire thing, not what she was even saying or otherwise doing. (The same goes for an Antifa-affiliated Patreon which was removed today, as well.)
Jack and I were in complete agreement that Patreon made an error in not communicating immediately to Lauren and the community, and he also agreed that Patreon needs to do a lot better in the future on a lot of related fronts. He reiterated all of that in his video, and I fully believe that Patreon will take all of this under advisement in the future. If a new, terrible situation unfolds, we’ll take it as it comes, but knowing the team at Patreon like I do, and having been with them since very early on, I know what they’re made of. These are very good people, people that knew full-well of my political bent when they invited me into their San Francisco office with my old company time and time again to use their space, eat their food, and enjoy their company. They didn’t treat me like an outsider then, and they aren’t treating me like one now.
So, Colin’s Last Stand continues on Patreon completely uninterrupted, with the exception of one major issue: Many of you have left Patreon in protest. I’m not going to ask you to change your minds if Jack’s word isn’t good enough, and if my vouching for the service isn’t good enough, either. I’d absolutely love for you to come back. I hope you do. But I get that some of you won’t. That’s totally fine, and I completely accept that. I see in the Patreon Exit Surveys that a lot of you feel really passionately about this particular issue, and I get that even all of this might not fully resolve the problem for you (although I hope it will, and suspect that it will for a great many of you who I hope to welcome back into the fold either right now, or in time).
As a result -- and due to your requests -- I’ve set up a PayPal link for you to use to send one-time (or as many times as you want) donations to Colin’s Last Stand. This isn’t an ideal solution for me or you, frankly, as nothing given on PayPal is going to result in you getting access to any of the perks my Patreon provides. But I know a lot of you want to support me, don’t want to use Patreon, and don’t care about the perks, so this Bud’s for you. You can go to the following link and give whatever you’d like. I will attempt to make a recurring payment feature in the near future, for those that want to auto-subscribe via PayPal, so stay-tuned in the near future for that:
Colin’s Last Stand remains fully fan-supported, with no ads running on YouTube, no baked-in advertisements or activations, and no sponsorships (even though there are people in the world very eager to talk to me about all of those things that I refuse to foist upon you). Your support is essential. So whether you (very preferably) use Patreon, or opt to use PayPal, please consider supporting CLS if you don’t already.
And to those that already do? Thank you.
2.) Many of you have been asking about merchandise, and I’m proud to tell you that I’m in the final stages with a good friend of mine in getting merch ready for public consumption. I’m not going to say anything specific yet, but I think you’re going to be very, very pleased with who I’ve partnered with, not only from a design perspective, but from a quality perspective. I wouldn’t sell merch I don’t believe in. I’ll just leave it there for now.
Shirts, stickers, and even a poster should be made available in as soon as a few weeks, if all goes according to plan. As soon as we’re ready to go on our end, y'all will be the first to know.
3.) When I was home, my father and I talked at some length about a 9/11 episode of CLS (for those that don’t know, my dad was a Lieutenant in the FDNY, and was there). He even smartly suggested that we try to time it around 9/11 itself (sadly, I didn't even think of that). That would make a whole lot of sense, of course, but between his schedule and mine -- not to mention that I need to get some friends to help me with this one when it comes to space and the like, as it won’t be a traditional CLS shoot -- we may not make it on that timeline.
That said, the ball is in play here. My dad’s enthusiastic about doing the episode, and so am I. So… fear not. I would assume this episode will happen by early fall, but I’ll keep y’all in the loop as things develop.
Alright. I think those are the three big things I wanted to bring to your attention. I’ll leave it there for now. There was a fourth item I was originally going to bring up, but the time isn’t right yet… though I’m sure it’ll leave many of you excited. =) Soon!
I thank you all for your time, your support, and your love. It really is greatly appreciated. As always, leave your feedback wherever you want (YouTube, Patreon, Twitter, Reddit, et cetera). I’m reading it!