MrBeast is Postmodern GoldRead time in minutes: 12
Author's note: I've been going through a lot lately. This Monday I was in the emergency room after having a panic attack. I have a folder of writing in my notes that I use to help work off steam. I don't know why, but writing this article really helped me feel better. I can only hope it helps make your day feel better too.
The year is 2019. Politicians have fallen asleep at the wheel. Capitalism controls large segments of the hearts and minds of the populace. Social class is increasingly only a construct. Popularity is becoming irrelevant. Money has no value. The ultimate expendability of entire groups of people is as obvious as the sunrise and sunset. Nothing feels real. There's no real reason for people to get up and continue, yet life goes on. Somehow, even after a decade of aid and memes, children in Africa are still starving.
The next generation has grown up with technology and advertising. Entire swaths of the market know to ignore the very advertising that keeps the de-facto utilities (though the creators of those services will insist that it's a free choice to use them) they use to communicate with friends alive. You have to unplug your cigarette (that your friend got you hooked to) to charge your book. Marketing has driven postmodernism to a whole new level that leads McDonalds to ask Wendys if they are okay after Wendys posts cryptic/confusing messages. Companies that just want to do business get blocked away by racist policies set by people who all but have died since. What can be done about this? Who should we turn to for quality entertainment to help quench this generational angst against a nameless, faceless machine that controls nearly all of functional civilization?
Enter MrBeast. This youtuber has reached new levels of content purely by making capitalism itself the content. With his crew of people and their peculiar views on life, they do a good job at making some quality content for this hyper-capitalist world that they have found themselves in.
One of the main ways that YouTube creators have been under fire lately is because of politically or otherwise topically charged content. MrBeast is completely devoid of anything close to politically sensitive or insensitive. It's literally content about money and how it gets spent on things that get filmed and posted to YouTube in an effort to create more AdSense revenue in order to get even more money.
I don't really know if there is a proper way to categorize this YouTuber. He really brings a unique feeling into everything he does with such a wholesome overall experience. Sponsorship money gets donated to twitch streamers and he makes videos of their reactions. He bought a house and had his friends put their hands on it, with the last one touching it to get the house. He went to every single Wal-Mart in the continental united states. He drove a lego car around his local town until he got pulled over by the cops. And yes like the YouTuber legend goes, he started many years ago doing Minecraft Let's Plays as a screechy-voiced teenager.
Consider videos like this one where they spend an absurd amount of money eating five star meal food. "This first steak is called 'Kobe (pronounced /ko.bi/) beef' and we wanted to experience it because it cost [USD]$1000 and we wanted to see if it was worth the price." Then they eat the steak and act like it's no big deal, joking that each section of the meat is worth $30-40. "Alright bros, I'm PewDiePie and we just ate kobe (pronounced /ko.bei/) beef.
Then they go to another place (which has walls that are obviously plywood spray-painted black) and he offers one of his friends $100 to eat some random grasshopper. Chris eats it almost immediately. Everyone else in the room freaks out a little, commenting on the crunch sound. "That's pretty good". Garrett turns it down. Chandler also eats it without much hesitation, later commenting on the crunch of the chitin shell of the bug.
Then MrBeast offers a plate of crickets and grasshoppers to the three. He offers eating it for $1000. Chris sounds like he's open to eating it, but offers the rest a chance. Garrett IMMEDIATELY turns it down. Chandler eats all of them at once. He has some issues chewing them (again with the crunch eeeeugh), but Chandler easily eats it all; instantly becoming a thousand dollars richer.
The room gags and laughs, the friendship between the boys $1200 stronger.
Then they go get goose liver served on rice and a hundred year old egg. Uh-oh, both of these are delicacies. How will they react?
The goose liver comes out first. MrBeast eats the hors d'œuvre in one bite. Chris has some trouble, but manages to take it down. Chandler is heaving. His friends cheer him on with loving words of compassion like "you don't like liver?"
The "century egg" comes out. They make the mistake of smelling it. Oh no. MrBeast eats it just fine. Chandler spits a $500 item of food into the trash after gagging. Chris ejects it into his napkin while MrBeast chants his name. Chris gags while his friends act like they are congratulating him. "It's like someone hocked a loogie into your mouth."
Before you ask, no, this isn't an initiation stunt. They literally do this kind of stuff on a regular basis. Remember that money is the content here; so the fact that all of this stuff costs ridiculous amounts of money is the main reason for these videos to be created.
Later in the video, they drive to New York to eat gold-plated tomahawk steak. I've actually had tomahawk steak once and it was really good (thanks Uncle Marc). Where else to eat a golden steak than the golden steak?
"This is the most expensive restaurant we can find. If I don't spend $10,000 all of you can punch me; because we will spend $10,000. What's that name?"
Nobody can pronounce "Nurs-et", the name of the restaurant. "None of us knew how to pronounce it, so it must be good."
It was good though.
In another video of his, he gets his friends to spend 24 hours in a horrific mockup of an "insane asylum". For a first in these challenges, they split into two teams: Team Red and Team Black. Four of his crew are put into straitjackets with no other instructions.
They start predictably acting like a stereotypical American view of insane people. Twitching as they talk to the camera. Rolling around on the floor. "What is time?" Chandler is banging his head against the wall.
MrBeast: "Chris, how long do you think you're gonna last?
Chris: "Banana sundae."
"Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome."
Much like Survivor, there's cutaways to the individual teams as they plan out their high level strategy for the "game". What. There is no strategy needed, they just need to sit in a room and be quiet for 24 hours. Reminds me of that one quote by Blaise Pascal in Pensées:
All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
And no, these people can't sit quietly in a room. You see them dancing back and forth in a line in front of the camera. They get locked into the room and the time-lapse shows 10 minutes of them walking around in circles.
The door gets yelled at. MrBeast notes the absurdity of the thing. The bright, unforgiving white walls of the asylum pierce the darkness of my room as I write this article.
"Help. Me. I. Need...I don't need anything~"
"Y'all got any beans? Y'all got any baked beans?"
They raise someone on Chandler's shoulders, not a small accomplishment considering they don't have access to their arms. Someone speaks into the security camera: "Hello? I'm about to fall please go back down."
MrBeast attempts to go into the room, go do snow angels and not say a single thing. The occupants have other plans, yelling when the door opens to alert eachother. They crowd around MrBeast, making it impossible to do his chosen task. They pin MrBeast to a corner and he tries to escape but then there's a problem. The people won't let him leave. He manages to get out.
Later MrBeast gets an idea to mess with the people. He gets a megaphone and puts it into siren mode, expecting them to not be able to turn it off. He is proven wrong almost instantly. They used their feet to turn it off. Then they start making noise with it. The megaphone is retrieved using the most heinous of weapons, an umbrella. A layer of duct tape is added and the experiment is repeated. They still manage to turn it off. They used their teeth. Low-light conditions didn't stop them. Not having their hands didn't stop them. Can anything stop these mad lads?
They attempt to retrieve the sound emitter again. The prisoners break it in retaliation. MrBeast seems okay with that, yet disappointed. However he suffers a casualty on his way out. MrBeast attempted to push back chandler using the holy umbrella. Chandler took the umbrella from him with nothing but his tied up arms.
What is this video about again? What is the purpose? These people are getting money or something for being the last person standing? What is going on?
Oh, right, this is a challenge. The last two people to be in the room together win some amount of money.
Well the people are screaming for entertainment. That's not unexpected, but that's just how it goes I guess. Quality. Content.
Let's have a dance party and then Chandler can poop. Rate who dances better in the comments section.
- MrBeast, 10:22-ish
8 hours in, Chandler somehow dislocated his entire right arm. You can see it hanging there obviously out of place. It looks like he's in massive pain. He tore a muscle. He was pulled out of the challenge. Another challenge lost by Chandler.
Chris drops out at 14 hours. The two winners are unsure what to do with themselves and their winnings. What are they again? Five grand? Chandler tore his shoulder out of socket and Chris risked ear damage for...FIVE GRAND?
What. Just what.
The entire channel is full of this stuff. I could go on for hours.
Also MrBeast if you're reading this add me on Fortnite. I'd love to play some Duos with you and shitpost about the price of bananas.