For the past two years I’ve subscribed to a YouTube channel published by the self-anointed “Alpha M,” aka Aaron Marino. Aaron’s videos are about style and grooming for men. Although the target audience is primarily younger men, I try to not be a total putz when it comes to grooming, so I take what I can from his videos and leave the rest for the GQ crowd.
Aaron’s videos are invariably witty, informative, and useful, and I’m not the only one who feels that way. He recently broke the one million subscriber barrier. He is obviously doing something right. As one of the early subscribers to his channel, I’ve enjoyed watching his video “chops” progress and his business grow.
This past week, however, was a real downer. I can’t recall another occasion when Aaron went out of his way to diss one of his viewers. He had asked his audience for their take on grooming mistakes made by men. One of his vegan viewers wrote a very brief, non-aggressive comment about wearing leather and cruelty free alternatives.
I have mixed feelings about the commenter’s reasons for posting on Aaron’s channel in the first place. He had to know that at least 99.99% of the viewers would not be sympathetic towards his point of view. Based on my own experiences here on A Rake’s Progress, some men consider vegetarians and vegans as threats to their sacred right to kill animals for food, clothing, and the macho thrill of acting like their Neanderthal forebearers. Either the commenter was naive about the negative blow-back, or he has some masochistic need for pain and public humiliation.
Aaron decided to take a cheap shot at the vegan. Instead of acting like a gentleman and moving on to another topic (or not including it at all in his list of grooming “mistakes”), he played to the bullies in his audience by donning a leather jacket and essentially saying, “what the fuck is wrong with leather?”So if the commenter showed bad judgment by posting on Aaron’s channel, Aaron showed his own crass temperament in the way he responded.
I’ve stopped subscribing to Alpha M, though I know that with a million+ subscribers, I will not be missed. That’s fine. As much as I can I take a “live and let live” approach with the people in my life. I assume that most people are not vegetarians, let alone vegans. As long as they don’t go out of their way to rub my sensitive nose into their stinky abattoir, I don’t raise the issue with them. I reserve my loathing about meat-eating to this blog where I can say what I want, rant as I will, and get away with a different kind of murder.
Ciao, Mr. Marino!