You and I, dear reader, we are not strangers to the strangeness of Planet Earth, and being on the Internet has made us even more familiar with all sorts of oddities. But every once in a while, you find yourself confronted with something so weird you think it must be weird on purpose. Guys, let’s talk about Killin’ It With Paul Crik.
His advice is illustrated on screen with “amazing” physical feats, beautiful mountain scenery and big poppy text; he offers up Zen koans for his followers like “This is it, f**k it, it is what it is.” He is, in short, entertaining but ridiculous.
But here’s the thing I can’t really be sure of — is it an act, or is it real? Both sides have weight.
The evidence for Paul Crik being a fake:
He’s just too good at this: On camera, Crik (if that’s his real name) is awfully entertaining — even when you have no clue what he’s actually saying, he manages to be personable and engaging. Those are the sorts of skills that you’re more likely to find in a trained actor than in a “expert on the human condition.”
Paul Crik doesn’t appear to exist in the real world: According to the official Paul Crik website, the reason you won’t find any info on Crik prior to the launch of the Killin’ It “life calling” is that in the summer of 2006: “He committed digital suicide. Every file, every photo, blog, accounting, record, email, cell phone account – every single electronic byte of information involving Paul Crik – was destroyed. He Killed it.” Riiiiiiiight. It’s a great story to explain why a fictional character doesn’t have a digital trail, but the greatest stories tend to be made up.
The Swearing at Children episode: Just watch it. It’s pure farce. (NSFW for language.)
He’s not making these videos alone: Killin’ It With Paul Crik is a Goatsilk production, which according to its official site is the work of the collaborative art duo Ben Bloch and Caroline Peters, who bring decent and constantly evolving production values to each short video. One wannabe guru acting alone — that’s believable. Multiple people buying into this theme — less so.
The evidence against:
Over a year is a long time to keep a joke going: The first Crik video appeared on YouTube in July 2009; since then, 74 videos have been produced and uploaded, with views never really popping. The YouTube channel has received 66,700 approximate views total, with the most-viewed video topping out at 15,000 and most never crossing the thousand mark. There’s something adorably earnest about that kind of persistence.
And if it’s satire, it’s missing the mark: The “Killin’ It” concept is funny for a while, but there doesn’t seem to be any deeper point to what they’re trying to achieve than simply creating a strange character and letting him rant. However, if Crik is in fact a highly motivated public speaker looking to connect with his audience, though, then Killin’ It makes more sense.
Goatsilk might actually be true believers: On their website, their themes include: “immateriality, magic, cheap ugliness and human/animal consciousness.” Crik’s blunt approach to metaphysics seems like it could appeal to the right kind of artistic crowd.
It’s a really weird world out there: And while Crik is weird, he is hardly the weirdest thing in it.
What do you think, though — fact or fiction? Sound off in the comments!
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