Friday, 29 July 2016


My 'Eminem' Dream Incubation Experiment
As readers of my Blog will be aware, I am currently conducting a dream incubation experiment entitled: Dream Incubation Experiment - Eminem / Marshall Mathers III Dream. Click HERE (post will open in a new window) to see the details of this Dream Incubation Experiment, including the methodology and results of previous Dream Incubation Experiments.

Basically, the Dream Incubation idea is that I am aiming to meet Eminem in a dream. I started my dream incubation experiment as a way of adding focus and goal-orientation to my current dream practice, as I have had a lot of difficulty recalling dreams recently. This may be due to disruption in my sleep pattern caused by a recent heatwave, a change of accommodation (with a mosquito problem!) and other factors. The dream incubation experiment was an attempt to re-motivate me to conduct good dream practice on a daily basis and would provide me with material for blogging/making Youtube videos, which is needed during times when I don't have much else to write about and feel that I am letting my regular followers/subscribers down. 

I chose Eminem because he is a regular dream characters and I have greatly enjoyed my previous Eminem dreams - as you can see if you check out my main page for this dream incubation experiment, which contains links to all of my previous Eminem dreams - click HERE and the link will open in a new window. 

Also, I wanted a dream incubation theme which was simple and going to be pleasurable (I assume this based on my previous dream experiences, where I have been romantically/sexually involved with Eminem, which randomly, made me find him much more attractive in waking reality - I had never been interested in him before my dreams made me re-evaluate him and also encouraged me to try and like his hip hop production, given I used to hate his beats - sorry for the tangent there, I just want you guys to see the weird context behind this dream I had, which seems so significant, yet - confusing!)

I have found previous successful dream incubation experiments have also led to me becoming lucid when I realise the dreamsign of the theme and remember that this is a dream incubation, which triggers consciousness. These successful experiments have typically involved themes of simply meeting famous people, and therefore Eminem seemed like an obvious choice on all counts. 

I was keen to avoid making the theme too prescriptive or complex, and didn't want to accidentally incubate a negative dream, because recently I have been writing horror fiction - strangely, I had begun a trilogy of short stories, or 'novella'-length fiction, all involving elements of 'media' whether it be radio, TV, phones, the internet - or Youtube. I had been writing a story called 'Kandy Snapz' which features a young female Youtuber (a beauty and lifestyle vlogger) and the effect watching this channel has on a teenage girl who spots odd and unexplainable messages in the videos. Writing - and reading/listening to horror fiction to get inspired - often leads to me anticipating a nightmare, and in fact I had one recently, which you can read here: Dream 666: 'Abnormal Penis Size'. Therefore, again, Eminem seemed like the obvious choice for a dream incubation experiment!

The Marina Joyce Story
I then heard about the Marina Joyce controversy - the sudden change in a popular Youtuber. In my own Youtube video, the second update for my Eminem Dream Incubation Experiment (recorded on the same day that I had this dream and the conversation with DL - see below), I made an offhand joke about how I hoped my viewers were enjoying the new upbeat nature of my recent videos and reassured them that I wasn't in a situation like Marina Joyce. I then repeated a number of rumours I had heard in articles circulating the internet - I had not at this point watched an entire video by Marina Joyce - only the clips contained in the online news articles about her.

Marina Joyce is a 19 year old London-based vlogger. Her global fan-base began a hashtag campaign, #savemarinajoyce, after her behaviour seemed to become increasingly strange - in some of her videos, she begins crying and speaks of near death experiences and extreme high and low moods. These videos seem to point towards a mental or emotional disturbance and coincide with a dramatic decline in Joyce's editorial production and general articulation and demeanour on camera. Her confidence and sense of humour has seemed to vanish and she often seems disorientated or distracted, repeating herself a number of times. Comparing videos of how she was in her vast number of previous videos, dating back to 2012, she is very different to her typical bubbly, funny, irrelevant self - her hand gesticulations and facial expressions have also notably changed and become more awkward and unnatural. The overall quality and coherence of her videos has drastically decreased.

Fans begin spotting 'clues' in her videos - in one video where she is advertising a dress, she turns so that bruises are visible on the backs of her arms, above the elbows and she can be apparently heard/seen whispering 'help me'. A finger can be seen directing her to move slightly, and she often looks off-camera, as if communicating in some way with another person. Her viewers have pointed out that 'help me' is heard in other videos. Allegedly, some videos show a shot gun in the corner and chains can be heard clanking when she jumps up and down. Some viewers have made claims that her bedroom window looks like it has bars on it, and that in some scenes you can see a masked man in a reflection. 

This month, Joyce invited her followers (via Twitter) to join her for a dance event - at Bethnal Green, London at 06:30 am - which caused huge concern amongst her internet followers and other Youtubers, who thought this sounded extremely dangerous and inappropriate. Panic meant that many people began claiming Bethnal Green was a very rough 'ghetto' area and this must be some kind of 'trap' to lure people to this area. Bethnal Green is actually a very gentrified part of East London, and there was an event held there - but Joyce had suggested the meet-up on the wrong date. She has since tweeted the actual date of the event.

Joyce's weird behaviour has caused many conspiracy theories to emerge to explain what is happening to her. These have included her being kidnapped or held hostage, and forced to make Youtube videos to give the impression she is OK - and her putting subtle cries for help as hidden messages to the outside word. Some sections of the internet even went as far as to claim she might be being held by ISIS! Other rumours include the idea that she is in an abusive and violent relationship (when followers ask her to make 'signals' if she needs help, she is often seen to perform these signals and fans have interpreted her wearing 2 blue lines on her cheek as a sign that she is the victim of domestic violence). Alternatively, other explanations have focused on mental illness or trauma, drug use or her recent spiritual quest. 

People connected to Joyce - such as her mother and offline friends - have come forward to provide statements or comments denying there is any problem with Joyce. The MET police were encouraged to perform a welfare check on Joyce after her fans contacted them with their concerns. She was reported to be safe and well. Clearly she was not being held hostage, or at any immediate ascertainable risk. I state this very cautiously because, as a lawyer, I am keen to keep an open mind as to possible explanations and do not wish to rule out a range of scenarios which may not be simply negated by a single police check. The police are only able to assess the immediate risk of harm to Joyce, and would take steps to ask questions to reassure them, but this wasn't a thorough investigation of the situation.

In her 'explanations' for her odd behaviour, which have been made by way of Youtube videos uploaded onto her own channel, statements made on social media and one video interview she does with an American Youtube personality, Joyce still seems to act strangely and give vague answers to questions about drug use. She states that her bruises are from an accident while out exploring nature.

The situation has made worldwide news, with the traditional and social media publishing on the story - with regular updates. Many 'conspiracy theories' still abound, as well as more reasoned suggestions, such as mental health issues. 

Some have suggested that this is a hoax orchestrated by Joyce in order to gain more subscribers for her Youtube channel. Joyce has suggested that if this is a 'publicity stunt' it is one which has been created and carried out by her fans and she re-emphasises that she is happy and well. Unsurprisingly, Joyce's Youtube channel subscriptions and video view counts have reflected the mass interest in this story - at first, it is said that large numbers of her loyal subscribers (she originally had approx, 600,000 subscribers) have unfollowed her due to the change in her behaviour, this being confirmed by Joyce herself, in her video reaction to the situation. But now, as the story grows, Joyce has more than 1 million subscribers and her videos typically have over 1 million views each - someone with over 150 videos on her channel, trending on twitter and making worldwide news is now a significant commercial interest. People close to Joyce - including her manager (Joyce states in her 'explanation' vido that she has been advised by her manager to be more careful about the content she uploads) will be aware of how valuable Joyce's Youtube channel is and therefore it is easy to assume that some control or at least management and quality checks will become necessary - but the direction her channel will take remains to be seen.

I had not heard of Marina Joyce up until this point, despite being an avid watcher of Youtubers - she was maybe too young for my demographic. As soon as I heard - via social media and the news - about the Marina Joyce story, I watched some videos by other Youtubers about why #savemarinajoyce was so important, and pointing to their 'evidence'. I then watched the Marina Joyce interview with Philip DeFranco and thought she seemed very strange, but at this point I had not seen any of her earlier videos, which fans would say were 'typical' Marina Joyce videos with her 'normal' personality and video quality. I watched the Date Outfit Ideas video - the one where Joyce models a pink 'Lolita' dress and is heard/seen to whisper 'help'. This video has spawned countless video responses from other Youtubers - I watched the top rated ones, but they mostly recycled the same facts and rumours. After this, I watched a couple more videos in which Joyce's behaviour was said to be problematic, or messages and signals could be witnessed. I was directed to which videos to watch by the time frame given as to when Joyce first began to change to see what I thought. I still had not watched a single video of pre-change Joyce in its entirety - I had seen short clips on some of the other Youtubers' response videos. 

I then spoke to DL on the phone, who informed me that he had also heard of the Marina Joyce story. We talked about it and he wondered if the bruises on her arms could be track-marks from injecting heroin. I said no, you wouldn't inject on the backs of your arms and she did not seem like she would take heroin. I thought she seemed like she was mentally ill, but agreed that there was something odd about the entire story. I thought that Joyce was awkward and not especially suited to making Youtube videos, as she was not naturally confident or charismatic in front of the camera, seemed to repeat herself and become distracted or confused, and made weird gestures and expressions. At this point I had still not seen a full-length video of Joyce before the change in her behaviour. To this extent, I feel that I was unprepared for exactly how different I was going to find the pre and post-change Joyce.

DL said that when he first heard about it on Reddit, he had immediately thought about me because he knew I was writing a horror story about a young female Youtuber who makes beauty videos. Because I know my friend RBA likes conspiracy theories, or at least, he likes weird, mystery type things - I messaged him and asked if he had heard about the story (at this stage he did not reply, but just as I am writing this, post-dream, he messaged me back to say that he had not heard about Marina Joyce).

I watched 2 early videos of Marina Joyce - picked at random from the first page of her uploads. She was 15 in the videos and I was able to get some sense of just how different she had become - her early videos are articulately presented and well-edited. I watched some different TV programmes on the internet and then I fell asleep at around 23:00 hours. 

My Weird Marina Joyce Dream (summary only)
I then had my dream, which was so bizarre and significant. I will not detail the entire dream here, as I wish to write it up properly in my normal Dream Journal format so that the content of the dream is separate from all of this information and discussion of the subjects surrounding the dream. 

In summary, my dream involved me thinking RBA was waiting for me outside a workplace after the lawyer I used to work for in a criminal defence firm told me there was a 'dodgy-looking guy' waiting outside for me (reflecting real life comments made by my boss about RBA many years ago when I in fact worked in that firm). I was then told that it was Eminem (so my dream incubation experiment had some success!) but I would not be able to meet him until I completed work on a file - I was handed the Marina Joyce file and told that I was the person who needed to investigate and solve it!

Listening to the Dream...
I was then awoken (at 06:00 hours) by banging on the door of my flat - and my phone ringing. It was LD2 who was very drunk and needed me to open the door for him, As he was so heavily under the influence and kept falling asleep (in the kitchen and bathroom), I decided to sit with him and check he was OK - which I did until about 09:00 hours. I then went for a walk and decided that I should listen to my dream. I want to approach the Marina Joyce issue like I would a legal case - look for the evidence with an objective, critical, rational, logical, and non-sensationalist perspective. I want to check through her body of videos, both before and after the changes in her behaviour and assess them for myself and then try to draw some conclusions from my observations and analysis. 

Apart from the fact that I listen to my dreams - and was put in a situation where my 'prize' (successful dream incubation - meeting with Eminem) was premised on my ability to unpick the Marina Joyce story (suggesting that my subconscious has some motivation for making this a requirement for getting my desired dream), I think I am in a good position for performing an in-depth investigation of the videos and then finding what evidence there is to support a range of possible conclusions. This is because:

  1. I'm a lawyer, with experience in analysing complex case files - and have developed skills in looking at evidence objectively and trying to put together a credible version of possible events based on the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence. I am able to do this in an unbiased way, with a logical perspective. It helps that I am not a fan of Marina Joyce and was not aware of her until recently - as I have not come to this story with any prejudices or strongly held beliefs about what might be happening
  2. As a lawyer, I am well aware of a number of different scenarios involving domestic violence/abuse; drug use etc, as well as other possible scenarios
  3. I am an academic researcher - so I can put these skills to good use
  4. I work in student welfare part time, which means I work with young adults the same age as Marina Joyce and have witnessed and worked with a range of different personal, mental, emotional, physical, and environmental issues which can affect people in her demographic
  5. In my legal and university careers I have witnessed at first hand the effects of a large spectrum of mental health disorders and also, drug use
  6. I make my own Youtube videos and have some insight into how this aspect of social media works (although I am very amateur). I am also a big fan of Youtubers. I watch their content every single day and take an active interest in this platform

So, I am going to write a piece - and maybe make a video vlog - based on my research into the Marina Joyce story. I am partly motivated by the fact that my dream promised me a prize if I was able to perform this task - and I want to experiment with this idea further (for the purposes of my Dream Incubation Experiment, of course!) But additionally, I find this whole situation thoroughly fascinating and intriguing and I do believe I have the right mindset and skillset to make some sense of what might be going on if I do my research and remain the level of objectivity which is missing from her well-meaning fans and other media sources who stand to benefit from sensationalising the story. 

I will upload my dream relating to this incident as Dream 668.

No comments:

Post a Comment