Freedom Storytelling Videos

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Freedom Storytelling Videos

I want this thread for storytelling videos about freedom in general, but I want to kick it off with what prompted me to start.

I ran across a couple of ancap storytelling videos that do double duty as book trailers. (I presume they are ancap from the tenor of the message.) I never heard of this guy Larken Rose before, but the following video, "The Tiny Dot" is really cute:

He also did another video called "The Jones Plantation" that uses a different visual style. This is not as good as "The Tiny Dot" since the ending misfires a bit. Oh, he makes a metaphorical point about killing dissent, but he does not wind up the story very satisfactorily and leaves a lot of loose ends hanging.

I think it is a good idea to start looking at this stuff and see how it's done, then do some ourselves (for those interested).

These videos did not go super viral, but they did get tons of views. As of this post, "The Tiny Dot" has 321,417 views and "The Jones Plantation" has 78,645. That's a crapload of eyeballs.

btw - Here is the book Rose is plugging (he wrote it). I have not read it, nor do I know if it is any good. But based on the videos, it probably is entertaining and intelligent. I'm not sure I would agree with everything in it, but it looks like it would reward the reader by making him or her think.

Most Dangerous Superstition


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Here is a video I found interesting despite some glaring flaws. It is called "The Story of Your Enslavement" and is by

Stefan Molyneux.

Like the videos above, it is a voice over, but instead of original graphics (mostly with Ken Burns effects, which means panning and zooming over still images to give movement), Molyneux made what is called a mashup. He took a huge amount of short clips from all over the place and simply strung them together, so visually, there is no graphic unification. Not even a unifying principle. It is literally a mishmash in the spirit of a collage.

But look at the number of views he got: 2,645,855 as of this post.

That is a number that is considered viral.


What's so great about this video?

Why do people like it that much?

I believe it is due to two things other than his fame (and any possible publicity I am not aware of such as a celebrity recommending it).

1. Mashups that include celebrities and extremely familiar visual culture cues. This technique leans on their fame.

We are already used to this format by watching the news on TV where the newscaster keeps speaking over what is called a B Roll (the clips and stills). Also, in today's world, we get such an humongous variety of rapid-fire disconnected cultural images on electronic screens that neuroscience specialists are worrying that we are rewiring our brains. There is an awful lot of ADD floating around these days. My point here is that the lack of form in the visual presentation does not detract from what viewers want.

However, there is a sneaky part. By using this mashup form instead of a disciplined visual design, Molyneux is able to "borrow" the credibility and audience interest of the vast array of celebrities and culture cues. If he had used a tighter visual concept, his number of these things would have drastically decreased.

2. The text is not a story per se, but a propaganda-like article. It is a mixture of truths and ideas with holes that I, personally, could drive a truck through. So why is it so powerful? And here we get to the power of a storytelling element when it is done right: metaphor. Molyneux attached the image of the elite to farmers, workers to livestock and the market to a farm and he developed the entire article around this metaphor. He did an excellent job of it, too.

So you see, you don't even need a good story to tell a good story. All you need is a strong metaphor that you pound to death, a consistent message (and note, I can disagree with Molyneux here and there, but I cannot fault him for inconsistency), and an entertaining wrapper like the mashup of clips.

I think a good story is more satisfying, but I cannot argue with the numbers.


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Another rabbit hole.

Believe it or not, I got here from Real Clear Politics. They posted a shortened audio-only version of an interview by Bill Frezza of RealClear Radio Hour with John Papola, producer of the “Keynes vs. Hayek” rap videos. But I found a YouTube video of the entire 30 interview.

I think this discussion is highly motivating for people who want to do storytelling about freedom ideas with today's media opportunities. (At least, I found it motivating.) Granted, Papola produced videos that are far more elaborate in production values than a person starting out, but his story of how he connected with others at the beginning is certainly one way to go about it.

It's not necessary to do all that to get going, but I will deal with this issue in later posts as we go along.

Here are his Keynes vs. Hayek videos with millions of views each.

And part two:

These are rap videos and not normal fiction stories, but they are hybrid with fiction. They tell the story of economics in a manner I haven't seen done before. This is a valid form of storytelling.

Besides, I think they are fantastic.

More on Papola coming, but in other posts. I don't want to blow the high of these rap videos. And, yes, I recommend them even if you love Rachmaninoff. :smile:


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