ElJay... where to start.
While technically I came to the TTV channel because of one of Var's BIONICLE Autopsy videos, and stuck around because of Ven's "On EBay Today" series, I really found enjoyment on the TTV channel when I started watching ElJay's reviews. I never thought I'd ever enjoy a review series, especially not on a series I knew so well and with sets I owned a fair amount of, but something about ElJay's style was so... charming, so intriguing that I sat down and watched every one.
I watched TTV go from its earlier days in 2012 to its current endeavors, I remember Invi leaving for his mission, and the days when there was content on nameunavailable (for the short period of time that the channel was active). In all that time, I never thought I'd see ElJay go. I know you have your reasons, and this is probly for the best, but it's still a bit of a shock.
This is the part where I get sentimental, so a fair amount of you might want to stop reading here.
My first interaction with ElJay was, perhaps unsurprisingly to some of you, an argument. I stated on one of his videos on the TTV channel that I thought he was biased when it came to CCBS versus the older G1 BIONICLE system. I was long-winded about it, jumped to conclusions, called ElJay condescending, and was not exactly professional. Perhaps I wasn't in a good mood that day, as I typically try to act professionally.
ElJay didn't respond angrily though, but he didn't take my accusations lightly either. He responded confidently, factually, logically, and intelligently. He didn't insult me like I did him, and as we continued the discussion, I realized I was wrong to assume some of the things I did about him, and he knew that sometimes he came off as a bit blunt. We agreed in the end, and I'd like to think he came away from that discussion happy it wasn't just a long, drawn-out argument, but rather a fairly short, and civil discussion. I know I certainly did.
What makes me think he walked away from that discussion without hard feelings is his day-off streams. I could gush about how great those streams were, and about how ElJay was so interactive with the community, and how important that is, but I want to bring up a specific event that made me respect ElJay so much more than I already did.
Towards the end of a day-off stream, ElJay was gonna invite a guest on, as he usually did in the last hour or so of the stream. When asking who to invite, the chat responded "not someone from TTV." Probly as a joke, who else would he invite?
Well, as it turns out, me. I certainly didn't expect that, but he decided to invite someone from the chat, and he made up his mind that he'd invite, me, of all people. The guy who's only interaction with him up to that point (other than the occasional joke in the chat of a day-off stream) was an argument. I hopped on Skype, we chatted for a bit, I introduced myself, yadda yadda. What was interesting about that event to me, was how incredibly kind and relatable ElJay was. I know a lot of people get into arguments with him on the Boards or whatnot, but talking to him on stream was nothing like that. We made a joke here or there, we disagreed on a topic respectfully without so much as a hint of hostility, and he even asked me "What would you like to say to the BIONICLE community as a whole?" to finish off. Sounds like a question in a political debate or an interview, but it was cool of him to want to hear my opinion, even if only for a little bit.
ElJay wasn't just one of my personal favorite content creators on TTV, or an inspiration to the community and to my own personal work, but he was a good man. A genuine, kind, silly, and respectful person, and if I had the ability to interact with him more, perhaps even a friend. He's obviously a good friend to the people at TTV, there's no doubt in my mind about that.
Good luck, TTV, and good luck to ElJay. I'll still follow and support both of you, as I have since 2012.