For the past four years I've loosely followed William Tapley on YouTube. William Tapley is a musician, artist, art critic, and author based out of upstate New York. He is the self-proclaimed "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse and Co-Prophet of the End Times." He's one of YouTube's most prolific end-times cranks, but he also has an eye for design and mise en scene. He's one of the most interesting online characters I've come across.
I take obscure pride in the fact that I followed him long before he became the only person to make it to Anderson Cooper's Ridiculist 3 times. I also followed him before he was expertly lampooned on Stephen Colbert's show. When I learned that he gained some pop culture attention through these mass media shows, I was able to legitimately counter, I knew about him already. Heck, I'd even ordered his self-published book. I don't know where it went, but I received it in the mail back when I lived in Hope, BC.
[William Tapley calls himself the] Third Eagle of the Apocalypse, aka Co-prophet of the End Times. He explains these titles in tl;dr detail, but I shall summarize. God told him he was the Eagle of the Apocalypse; his own research revealed two previous “eagles”, which naturally made him #3. His predecessors were the 15th-century Saints Vincent Ferrer and Bernardino of Siena, who sounded the alarm about the church’s first woe, the arch-splitter Martin Luther, precursor of the false prophet. Tapley’s own assignment is to cry doom for the second woe, World War 3, while a fourth eagle will warn about the third and fourth woes, the Antichrist and Armageddon. As for the refreshingly modest “Co-Prophet” title, it seems every prophet needs a co-prophet to tell the world what the heck the first prophet was talking about; Mr Tapley has the honour of being partnered with the Old Testament’s very own Daniel.
Chronologically, he has adapted to new elements in his videos: in his first video, he speaks directly to the camera, but he holds a microphone by his fifth video; for his early outdoor videos, he moves to a different location for each video; for his indoor videos, he stands in front of a flannelboard with Bible verses printed on coloured sheets of paper, always with a slightly different background; I was a little disappointed when he started using a green screen, but he's started to become quite adept at interacting with its images and mixing digital and handmade elements. He adapts to new technology quickly, but also appears to have a good "get things done" sense of quality control: if the flannelboard and Comic Sans printed papers are more effective for his purpose, that's what he'll use.
I'm not saying that his videos are "high quality" or anything like that—they're exceptionally cheesy and lo-fi. But there's a quality to them that's certainly more interesting than the "talking to a webcam" style that pervades a good portion of the videos on YouTube. He's actually trying to produce a show. He's doing his best to set up a way to get his message out there.