The anti-capitalist puritans are out for blood again, searching for new prey to feast on for committing the cardinal sin of happiness. A numb feeling has washed over these heathens as they learn that someone, somewhere, has achieved another level of the American Dream and entrepreneurial success. These progressive purists feel betrayed that they might no longer receive content and somebody else’s labor at zero cost. Their lives are consumed by entitlement, and once these petulant creatures learn that their membership to the something for nothing society has been canceled, they grab their digital pitchforks and demand what they think they deserve from the business world for merely breathing.
Some Good News
Thespian John Krasinski recently tried to make our lives a little brighter with a feel-good YouTube series called Some Good News. It was a charming little setup that featured Krasinski giving the public some good news for once, providing us a break from the bombardment of loneliness, misery, suffering, and unhappiness that has been the theme of 2020. It was comparable to Kevin James’ one- or two-minute short films that have given everyone a respite from the inundation of terrible developments.
Krasinski announced on Twitter that he sold his low-budget show to CBS for an undisclosed sum. He revealed to his Office co-star Rainn Wilson on Instagram Live that his eight-episode program “wasn’t sustainable”:
“It was one of those things where I was only planning on doing eight [episodes] during quarantine, because I have these other things that I’m going to be having to do very soon, like Jack Ryan and all this other stuff. More than that…writing, directing, and producing — all those things — with a couple of my friends was so much.”
There was reportedly a “massive bidding war” for a news show dedicated solely to positive stories, plus it helped that he already maintained a working relationship with the company. The details of SGN’s future remains unclear, such as how CBS will air Krasinski’s pet project. Although the Jack Ryan actor will still be a part of the series from time to time, it is more than likely that CBS will strip away its authenticity and grassroots charm that made it so popular on YouTube.
But it turns out that the real story is the large number of people who feel victimized that Krasinski decided to profit off his creation.
Misery for All
Here is a summary of what happened to Krasinski: A person launched a media startup, used his capital, attracted a lot of attention, satisfied a demand for good news during a rough period, and sold it to a conglomerate for a lot of money. This is the stuff entrepreneurial dreams are made of, and yet many in the public realm are displeased.
There is a segment of the Twitterati that subscribes to the nihilist school of thought that success is odious. If one person is miserable, then everybody else must be unhappy, too. One member of the blue checkmark Twitter brigade, Lindsey Weber, was not happy about Krasinski selling his property.
The host of Who? Weekly tweeted: “remember when he created this free feel good YouTube show to ‘make people feel good’ and now he is…………….selling it for $$$? really cool, 100% honorable.”
There were plenty of tweets similar to this one, highlighting the many residents of the Twitterverse who feel entitled to someone else’s free content. We live in strange times when a business success story is vilified rather than celebrated, even if Krasinski has the advantage of being a likable celebrity.
Is envy the cause? Indeed, envy has morphed into a positive characteristic that is championed by keyboard warriors who prattle on about life’s inequities. This might be one of the main reasons for the basement dwellers to be perturbed by SGN’s sale to the big bad corporations. Entitlement may be another suitable descriptor.
Since the dawn of “you’ve got mail” and dial-up modems, millions of users of the net have become accustomed to everything being free. Anytime there is even a proposal of charging a fee, the internet begins handwringing about capitalist greed and exploitation of the impecunious. They tend to forget that everything comes with a cost, which might explain why youth is ebullient over free stuff from the state. And this may be another factor in rationalizing the petulant tantrum.
Instead of selling out to The Man, Krasinski should have kept producing SGN episodes on his dime, imposing their demands on how he allocates his resources. If he chose to end production, then he should have stopped it entirely without passing the torch to somebody else. But even if SGN transforms into a shell of its former self in the hands of a soulless multi-national corporation, it might be better than not having the series at all.
Are You Owed Anything?
In the end, Krasinski does not owe anyone anything, and he should be applauded for selling a property that will have little value without him at the helm. He offered a product to the public, and it was up to consumers to decide if they wanted to consume it or not. It can be likened to a coffee shop. You can convince yourself that the café owes you something because you make repeated transactions and keep the doors open, but it was a quid pro quo relationship. You valued the cup of coffee over your money, and the shop valued your dollars and cents over its black liquid euphemistically referred to as java. You are not owed anything.
Read more from Andrew Moran.