Off with their heads: Desk Diary – February 02, 2021

  • Opinion

Before January 2021 ends, we saw the boom that is GameStop – aside from that, we saw another discussion within the VTuber community unfolding.

“Make content, don’t just tweet.”

Hololive English’s Calliope Mori, during a Q&A stream, answered this question: “Do you have any tips for people who want to become VTubers?”

Here’s my transcript of her answer:

Make content. Do it.

You know, I see a lot of young, aspiring VTubers that really want to do the VTuber thing, and I’m really excited for them. I want to see them succeed. I want to see them do their best. I see them on Twitter and I want them to do something.

I want them to stream, you know. Please make content. Please, I’m begging you. Please, please stream; please livestream. I really want to see you succeed, I want to see you, … It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t need to be perfect in the beginning.

Just please, please stream… and if you don’t want to be a streaming VTuber, that’s fine – please sing, please rap, please make something. Please draw something. Please, I’m begging you. I’m begging you.

I know it’s really fun to get into the VTuber community and make like a cool character – in my case, I myself – you know, being yourself is fun too; and I know a lot of work goes into thing like making the model and rigging it, and being you, being how you want the world to see you, you got to… If you want to succeed at this, you need to do something.

I don’t care what it is, but it’s not just talking, it’s not just tweeting. You got to try – and I know you can do it. I believe in you. Ok, please, please try your best, ok? Please, you have to put the effort into it.

VTubing is hard – it’s not something just anyone can do. You have to be an entertainer. I know that it may seem like it’s easy to do to just, you know, say “Hey, I’m a VTuber,” but it’s the same as rapping – “Hey listen, I can drop this parallel!” – It’s the same as rapping, you can’t just say that you’re a rapper and not put out any songs. It doesn’t work like that.

Notice how many time she asked “Please” and “I’m begging you” in that specific clip. Fifteen “please,” three “I’m begging you,” and one “I believe in you.”

At this moment, we already know that Calli is aware of her surroundings.

Remember the time when she got everyone to do a remix or cover of her debut single “Excuse My Rudeness, But Could You Please RIP?” (which by the way, had been reviewed in both Reddit and YouTube as an absolute banger). As she announces the top 10 entries, she said “we received over 800 entries.”

“Off with their heads”

Fast forward, Calli doubled down on her plea by releasing her latest single “Off With Their Heads.” As you listen to the song, I’ll be cherry picking some parts of it:

And guess the fuck what, ladies and gents? I’m not even spent
I’ll gladly live inside ya head, but who in the fuck pays my rent?
It ain’t me, right? So whatcha gonna do about it, sucker?
‘Cause while the sayers say the same shit
The doers fight each other

[…]

You gonna throw in the towel and quit soon as your body starts bleeding?
You’ll say goodbye to glory, next “hello” to never succeeding
So if you’d like the flip the story and that heart is still beating
I challenge you to stay committed, simply follow my leading
Ya want a balanced following? Then start creating, stop tweeting
This ain’t me hating, I’m just bored from all the talkers I’m “beating”
And getting sick of retching endlessly from excuses I’m reading

[…]

Copped a decent crop of follows, all those asking me “how?”
They spot the name, the fame, start shaming, raising their brows
All like “Easy for you to say, Little Miss Company Hire”
As if these moves did not take heartache
And these tracks are not fire!
As if this back did not break over and over? I near expired!
As if a million skeletons hit that “Subscribe” for satire!

[…]

Bore me, and it’s off with your, heads.

Lyrics posted on Genius

This song has raised an important discussion – and more importantly, showed the colors of some virtual personalities with no content and a lot of excuses.

Even before the song gets released, I already saw a someone reacting against Calli’s pleas.Just because an anime girl with no career said it? Wow! Impressive!

I don’t get it.

One glance upon the profile and I see an unfamiliar profile photo. Weeks after, it’s been changed to Ange Katrina. Now, it’s changed to Kureiji Ollie.

I checked the guy’s Twitch. I don’t see any videos on demand. Not even highlights.

To take this person seriously is a huge regret.

Here’s another one, quite a long read for a Twitter thread so I’ll pick this: “Her (Calli’s) situation or content just doesn’t apply to me. Why would I be inspired? I’m just not. My inspirations are Max Stirner, Niel (sic) Patel, Miles Davis, Ursula K Le Guin, Lao Tzu and many more. Those people are more relevant to me, my brand, my personal situation, and my projects. […]

If one allows work to define them, then they are losing their individuality and control of their person and allowing the audience and trends to control their destiny. I wish to advise people to avoid that and take ownership of their lives and their brands.”

I’m typing those words right here as her Twitter goes private. As far as I checked it, the topics she is discussing include the following: “Anime, Books, Social Media Marketing.” She has a load of content that I can watch or read – she even went on to write a good piece about VTubers and had a popular name in the community in a stream three years ago.

Why it has come to this point where she got harassed and had to shut off her Twitter to the public? (edit: for a while, she’s back) If I understood it correctly, Becoming a VTuber is a trend, period.

Even if we say that we are not inspired by the successes of popular personalities and do our best efforts in showing the world how beautiful or gorgeous we are as we open our windows to everyone, the moment your audience sees you rant a thread about this matter and having people misunderstood your message, it turns everyone else them off.

First impressions last, and based on my first impressions, as much as I see your past content as valuable, I will find it hard to interact with you.

Between the way Calliope Mori implores (pleads) everyone to “make content,” and your eight-tweet long tirade using a “few choice of words” about not being inspired by her, not letting trends get over you THEN end up in the same place as everyone else… excuse me for my rudeness, but this is ironic.

Burnout is real, your point about it is valid. Your point on working smarter is valid. The thing is, Calliope was pleading for everyone of you to make content, and she did not say anything about working smarter or burnout.

The way I understand this as a viewer goes like this:

  • You make content, post it on YouTube or Twitch (or even a podcast).
  • If your content is good enough to be clipped, people will make clips of your content.
  • People watch or listen to the clips.

Just as how I placed a transcript of Calli’s call to action and parts of the lyrics to “Off With Their Heads,” I felt compelled to include parts of your tweets here. My problem is I have to unfortunately criticize this matter in a way that I shed a bad light upon your statements and prove Calliope Mori right.

I’m not the one to talk either – I almost reached my quota of producing content in quantities last year, and am now moving forward to produce quality content simply because I am contented with having a few great pieces. Still, I did my part. I made content, and will continue to do so.

On my end, Calliope Mori can live in my mind rent-free, I’ll jam to her beats as a Deadbeat and in some occasions help her buy some wine.

Imagine hating someone’s rhetoric using more than 200 words versus expressing love in more or less 200 characters. We’ve come to this point, ladies and gentlemen. I’m a good mess.

Lastly, did you forgot that Calli also interacts with VTubers outside Hololive too? There’s a clip of Ririsya being visited by Calli herself. Here’s an interaction between her and VShojo’s IronMouse. Here’s Calli replying to one of YFU BABY’s clips. If you are immersed into hating Calli because of her song, that proves enough that we’re not getting the point and we’re guilty.

At this moment, we forgot that Calliope Mori has helped some make content, as much as she asks everyone to do so. Go back to the start of this post.

“Don’t just tweet or post. CREATE.”

The following is a thread from a VTuber named Shiori. I call her Doc, as she is a surgeon. She understand the song is motivating, and sheds a different light on the narrative (I thank her for it):

Not to mention Kentama, the one I recommended along with 7 other personalities to follow if you want to be a VTuber and understand the culture, has this to say:

This, on top of all his SageTama streams on Twitch, some of which I have clips of.

Once you put on the work and learn, what’s next?

Being in the VTuber business in this stay-at-home economy can prove wonders – you do everything, you market yourself, and even if you have someone to back you up, it’s up to you to entertain everyone.

Capping this off, here’s my message: Make content, make memes, do something, make a good impression. Connect to people, avoid making drama you can’t stand your ground upon. Surround yourself with people who are there for you and are ready to straighten you up should you go astray.

I’m here to support with my superchats and Twitch bits.

Sidenotes which are not related to the topic but I’d love to include in this diary entry

Upon further thought, I’ve been accustomed to the fact that your virtual self is different from your real self. You keep your identities separate. That’s what being a follower of agency personalities led me, until I went too far in the rabbit hole and found their real faces.

Upon learning that, I felt desensitized that this virtual personality is person X. The golden rule upon knowing forbidden knowledge is that “If you know, you know.” They have their own lives to protect and I respect that.

I believe some of my online friends are becoming VTubers themselves, some chose to show their two selves like Hannah Montana, some prefer not to. I respect that.

I do remember one time where I went too real in interacting with a VTuber to the point that I never see the rest of her tweets, a decision I respect as I regret going too far. I guess that’s the last time you’ll see me talk about this matter.