Recently I interviewed UK YouTube star Daniel Bostock.
Joshua – You’re one of my favourite YouTube stars. I love that you use humour to mock and parody those who would seek to silence us. I feel comedy is a very powerful weapon in today’s battle to maintain our liberties to mock, critique, comment on and scorn individuals and ideologies that would seek to limit our vocabularies. What drove you to steer your comedy in the direction of politics and other current social issues? Was it any one thing in particular, because you really do seem to have found your niche?
Daniel – Thanks for the nice comments, it means a lot and makes it all worthwhile. I’ve always loved history and I feel a deep gratitude to those who came before us, those men and women who, against all odds, managed to carve out a somewhat free society for us while being slaughtered and sacrificing themselves in the process. I’ve always felt a duty to carry on that march towards liberty and justice in order that future generations can have the same rights and freedoms I have so far enjoyed. Initially, I started out making videos that would help people fight unfair parking tickets. Then I noticed larger social issues that needed to be addressed, and I felt I was able to tackle them with comedy. I had a lot of success educating people on how best to fight having been given unfair parking tickets, and it’s my hope I can be equally successful speaking out against Islam. It wasn’t until people told me I was funny that I embraced my inner idiot and ran with it in relation to Islam and other social matters. I was very happy to make a fool of myself along the way, and parody and comedy seem to be better venues to get my message across to people. You can watch my videos and laugh, but you will also be aware that there is very serious message behind each one.
Joshua – What, if any, abuse do you suffer on the street? Although your parodies are very well thought out and impactful, it’d be hard to imagine someone being enraged by you since you do it all with such good humour, and I imagine even the most devout of Muslims or far-left idiots would be able to keep a straight face for long having watched one of your sketches. You’re unlike the political left-leaning comedians who are all very one-note and not at all funny, and who are in reality quite spiteful. You are absolutely hysterical and not at all mean-spirited.
Daniel – As of yet I haven’t received any abuse on the streets or at work. The abuse usually comes from online social media platforms, and even then it’s only very occasionally, perhaps one comment out of one hundred. This can be quite annoying because it seems like I’m preaching to the choir. I would love to get some hatred or any kind of vitriolic feedback. I’m interested in hearing the views of a multitude of people, both good and bad. The only real backlash I get is from my mum and my wife. My mum worries for my physical safety, and my wife simply gets annoyed. What makes it worse is that most of my wife’s friends watch and love my stuff, so she doesn’t stop hearing about it, and she isn’t political in the slightest. And you’re right, I haven’t got a mean bone in my body, for the best part of 15 years I was a full-on new-age hippy, meditating, always contemplating the universe and all that type of thing. It makes you realise how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time how incredibly important life is on earth, and the human journey, which is the pinnacle of achievement in the universe. Humans are a miracle that are formed from a miracle in my opinion. We matter. Society and culture are the launching-pad for human beings to blast off into space and colonize it.
Joshua – Your new video Living Next Door to Ali is causing more than a few people to feel inflamed. If you were living in the USA, you’d have CAIR hitting you with a lawsuit. Do you expect there to be any legal ramifications for you having made that video in the UK? I meanm you could easily have made it about living next door to a white chav (poor and uneducated white youth) on a council estate with the rave music blaring all night, and no one would have batted an eye-lid. But you chose to make the video about Islam, and you rightly include aspects of Islamic culture that Islam is becoming noted for, particularly with the rise of social media allowing us access into other cultures’ ways of life — stoning women, child brides, suicide bombing, FGM, beheadings, etc. And because of this, people are creating a fuss, because truth is the new hate speech.
Daniel – Whenever I worry about punishment for my speech, I instantly think back to the horrors my ancestors went through to get me to this point, and my worries quickly evaporate. I feel pathetic for worrying about the consequences of my videos, but it’s hard not to worry about my family members who would be distressed if I ever did get hauled in by the cops for “wrongthink.” The spread of Islam in Britain is something that I and many others worry about, because it’s an ideology that is clearly incompatible with the enlightenment values and ideas that our somewhat free society is built upon. So mocking and laughing at it, in my view, is necessary. This is how bad ideas have always been treated in England, because the alternative isn’t pretty. The song is about a person (an extremist) who holds radical and extreme views, and although Ali is probably the exception to the rule, there are many Alis out there who should be mocked and laughed at. I simply channel it all through music and verse. We can all call Ali a degenerate piece of filth and get angry, but there’s nothing more effective than laughter in the face of bad ideas. The chav next door would be funny because it’s okay to laugh at chavs, that isn’t a taboo subject. If you aren’t controversial, you aren’t gonna change the world.
Joshua – I notice you’ve moved your social media platform from YouTube. Is this because you were being demonetized or censored? Have you experienced any other form of censorship in your life due to your religious and political views? Have the left tried the usual tactics of calling up your work or your kids’ school (if you have any) or children’s services, in order to have you investigated as a racist and an abusive father?
Daniel – I moved from YouTube to other platforms because YouTube deleted some of my videos under false copyright claims, and to begin with, I didn’t realise that parody came under fair use, so I accepted the claims. I laid low on YouTube until my strikes had gone, but I am now uploading there again.
Joshua – What are your plans for the future? Do you intend on performing at some of these Free Tommy rallies, and can you give us a hint as to what we can next expect from you? Do you have a song or an issue in mind that you’re ready to tackle?
Daniel – I was asked to perform several times at Tommy’s events, but I didn’t feel ready. I’m planning on getting a 15-minute set together with some songs and jokes for future events. I’ve been in rock bands, and was a DJ for about 10 years, traveling the lengths of the country every weekend. I won the 2004 UK beatbox championships too, so performing has always been my thing. Sod knows where all this is gonna go, I’ve never been good at sticking to one thing, and I find myself moving on to different projects all the time. But as of now, Islam has my attention.