Today, I had a revelation. I think Wet Tubing has taken a wrong turn, and hopefully, in this essay, I will lay down the reasons why to you, the Wet Shaving fan. When I think about various things to write about in this blog, I think more in lines of the culture and what I understand it to be, so no question, this is meant to be an analysis that I am not sure many will agree with, but oh well. Here I go…
I have been watching TSE for over 2 years, I think. He used to be really opinionated and would flat out tell you if he didn’t like a product as he even has said in his videos that when he got free product sent to him that he would in turn, be honest about the product. He did this because he called it “integrity”.
Now, the opinion of himself has turned into opinions of which Artisans have integrity and he doesn’t mention those he judges as without integrity. It is implied through his exclusion of them in his exclusive lists via his YouTube channel here.
Someone addressed it with him and he did respond, however, there is this sense that he is refusing to discuss at length why he will not disclose who he feels do not have integrity. In prior videos, sometimes even Twitter posts, he has been very open about his journey, so this surprises me.
I got a note back from him and it was quite curt – saying for me to quit projecting and listen. Oh boy! Here it is, the response I was totally expecting. Rather than respond to what I would call a serious but helpful criticism, he chose to evade the question and deflect it back on me.
What I am going to ask you all to do, and this is totally up to each of you, is to look underneath the motivation. Why would someone who is a Blogger that tries different soaps from all the Artisans to suddenly say which Artisans have integrity at this stage of the journey? Ask yourself, “What does he have to gain from this assessment of them?”
What I understand this to be, is a passive attack to the Artisans he doesn’t mention. There’s no listing of what qualifies to be an Artisan of Integrity as he calls it, there is just the judgement of it – so the Artisans in question have nothing to go by. If the Artisans in question don’t have anything to go by publicly from a well respected Blogger from the Wet Shaving Community, then how are they to improve and better yet, why shouldn’t they be able to respond to this passive attack? It’s like a half-assed complaint.
Something I came across today was a brochure I picked up at a local Antique dealer, as I love checking out things “in the wild,” as you never know what kind of great deals are out there. The brochure was an association that was for Antique Dealers for Illinois. The purpose of it is to “promote public interest and education about antiques while conducting honest business dealings in a fair and friendly manner.” The Antique Dealers register with this association that has strict membership guidelines and requirements, which then a customer knows they are members of and is aware of the guidelines.
I think the Wet Shaving and Personal Care Industry needs something of this sort. I know there is the Better Business Bureau, but I don’t think that cuts it. I think the Artisans have free reign right now to conduct business as they see fit, which in turn caused issues with a YouTube blogger (also countless others).
I see what TSE is shooting for, and believe me, I am on the same page when it comes to the fact that Artisans should have integrity. In order to make a change, something has to be changed, so this is my suggestion to the Artisans, and it’s this: You should create a network between yourselves and hold each other accountable. Don’t allow an Artisan to get away with not having integrity and basically putting a YouTube Blogger in charge of judging through his soapbox who has integrity and who doesn’t.
To sum up, it is in my opinion Wet Tubing has turned a corner for the worse but it is not as bad as when guns were pointed at the screen to the viewers. What concerns me more than Artisans who lack integrity, are Wet Tubers who use their channel to divide the Artisan community who work so hard to bring us quality products and services. In order to have great service, it is our job as consumers to keep the Artisans in check and share your concerns and experiences (both positive and negative) so we can all benefit from their growth.
Let’s not hate, let’s CELEBRATE what fantastic work these Artisans are doing. I kind of thought that was the whole purpose of being an influencer was… to not only influence people into checking out products but to ALSO influence the Artisans to be the best they can be.
Happy Shaving, ya’ll. I would love to hear your opinions about this to see if anyone feels the same way, or if you don’t, cool with me.
Matt Gray @mkgray69 can be reached at WetShavingTimes@gmail.com