The Internet is Serious Business!
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I am taking YouTube Serious!!! —Paul Fetch
It's an INTERNET WORLD WAR! I mean, this is SERIOUS BUSINESS! AN INTERNET WORLD WAR! —Paul Fetch
Soon after Anonymous launched Project Chanology in January 2008, a fellow by the name of Paul Fetch (Powerword: Paul Carnes) began uploading a series of videos to YouTube on his mrfetch (see also the various captures of the channel at the Internet Archive) and paulfetch (see also a capture of the channel from 7 February 2008) channels in which he criticized Anonymous and their activities. Most of his earlier videos concerning Anonymous were simply him talking to the camera in a very passionate manner, at times yelling, and describing Anonymous as some sort of villainous group threatening YouTube—and even the entire Internet—and calling for the viewers to rise up and oppose them.
I likely first stumbled upon his channel and videos sometime in February or March 2008. By that time, I had known about 4chan for no more than a few months, but had already taken a great liking to the site, and I strongly supported Anonymous, which in those days had not yet separated itself as an entity that was distinct from the 4chan userbase, unlike today. I therefore saw Anonymous as my fellow 4channers, and so (I will admit, back then in my younger days) I became quite angry at Mr. Fetch when I first watched his videos, as he spoke very negatively of the group and claimed that he could fight and defeat it; I even clearly recall taking the time to compose and post a negative comment on one of his videos, though I didn't bother to put together any sort of video response, partly because I felt it unnecessary, as the general reaction to his videos in the text comments, video responses, and star ratings was overwhelmingly negative. Afterwards I would occasionally check his channel for any new videos, which were largely in the same style as his previous ones, and which received the same negative feedback.
It was during the middle of April 2008 that he uploaded a video in which he suddenly and completely reversed his attitude towards Anonymous, embracing the group and, most notably, declaring himself its
leader. I can still remember the utter confusion I felt after watching that video, and for a while I simply did not know what to think of Paul Fetch; it was only in the following weeks and months, as he uploaded more videos affirming his position as
directions to its members, and otherwise featuring his admittedly entertaining antics—and even, on one occasion I can still remember with some haziness, criticizing unreasonable copyright enforcement on the Internet—that my view of him gradually changed from one of hostility to indifference, and even slight amusement.
I would sporadically check his channel during the remainder of 2008 and into 2009, but afterwards I largely forgot about him. Apparently, he was somehow involved in Occupy Wall Street in 2011, but by then I had pretty much stopped caring about him, and today I see him mostly as that one amusing but also perplexing fellow who was very big on YouTube in 2008. The motive behind his videos and activities in those days has been speculated as being either trolling or a comedy performance, but I am personally convinced that his goal was to quickly attain online fame by inserting himself into the events and discussion surrounding Anonymous, which, at the time, was receiving much publicity from Chanology; whatever the case, however, I would say that he succeeded. (The simple explanation that he truly believed in everything he said strikes me as untenable, for some of the views expressed and most parts of his demeanor shown in his videos are simply too outrageous to be genuine.)
Quite surprisingly, very few of his videos from 2008 seem to have survived: none of them remain on the mrfetch or paulfetch channels, and although many video responses made by other people still exist today on YouTube, it appears that, on the entirety of that site, the only copies of his original videos exist solely on the OccupyFetch channel, and even then it is only a small portion of them. Of his early anti-Anonymous videos in particular that channel has preserved only five: an edited version of his first video concerning Anonymous (the original did not have the funny music in the background), the ridiculous video in which he begins destroying his kitchen (a true YouTube classic), as well as a third, fourth, and (less interesting) fifth video; sadly, the important mid-April video that I described earlier, in which he totally reverses his position on Anonymous, is missing. During the writing of this page I was also unable to recover any other of his original videos from sources outside of YouTube, which was rather frustrating, as I consider them important pieces of YouTube history. (If you have additional copies of those videos in your possession or know where they may be found, then I urge you to contact me.)
Despite my initial negative feelings towards him (which were not long-lasting, nor ever truly intense), today I find myself missing Paul Fetch's YouTube antics. His activities and the controversy surrounding him form a major part of my memories of 2008 YouTube, and although he was more or less active on the site (and elsewhere) going into the early 2010s—and even as late as 2014—it is his initial appearance and videos in 2008 that remain to me his most interesting period. Whatever his reasons and motives, Paul Fetch undoubtedly provided us much entertainment and gave us many laughs, and for this, I must express my gratitude.
See also the Encyclopedia Dramatica article on Paul Fetch.
All written materials on this Web site are my own, and all are released under the Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License Version 2.
This page last modified on 1 May 2021.