This week, the kids are stealing things from school, giving away outrageous sums of money, and nerding out over the reboot of The Matrix.
Who is Mr. Beast and why is everyone watching his videos?
“Famous-only-to-kids” YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, aka “MrBeast,” is the king of YouTube endurance stunts. The Kansas native mastered the art of punishing and ridiculous trials, like his first breakout video that was a 24-hour long video of himself counting to 100,000, setting the stage for his bigger-is-best style.
Among many other feats, he’s spent 50 hours in solitary confinement, buried himself alive, and driven through the same drive-through 1,000 times. He also likes to give away money—tons of money—to his viewers, his viewers’ moms, random restaurant workers, his dumbass friends, and even to trees. MrBeast’s charity, Team Trees, has spent over $23 million planting trees.
All the hardship and philanthropy has earned Beast 113.4 million subscribers across his YouTube channels, over 12 billion total views, and an estimated 25 million bucks. MrBeast is 23. When I was 23, I worked part-time at a miniature golf course.
TikTok meme of the week: “Devious licks”
School’s back, and the hottest new trend among students is stealing ridiculous things and posting videos online. It began with TikToker @dtx.2cent, who showed off a purloined bottle of hand-sanitizer and captioned it “only a month into school and got this absolute devious lick.” Others licks followed, with copycats nicking microscopes, fire alarms, the basin of a water fountain, and that clock that’s on the wall of every school on earth.
The grouchy old man in me is like, “That’s my tax dollars, punk!” but I can’t help but love the absurdity of stealing completely useless items for absolutely no reason. (I mean, what exactly is this TikToker going to do with hundreds of COVID test kits?) And I can’t deny my own youthful devious lick, like when I stole the flashing lights from a construction site, brought it home, and thought, “What the hell am I going to do with this?”
This week in movies: Back into the Matrix
If you haven’t already, join over 11 million others and click the link for the first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections. It’s amazing. Why isn’t Laurence “Morpheus” Fishburne in the movie? Is the pill-giver shown (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) a younger Morpheus? Does the movie portray what would have happened if Neo took the blue pill instead of the red one? Can we pretend the original Matrix sequels never happened? Is Neo actually a grown-up version of Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Matt from The River’s Edge? Isn’t living in a simulation and being a living battery actually better than living in the real world?
The film-loving parts of the internet are going wild with fan theories based on the stylish clip, and all these questions and more will be answered in December 22, when literally everyone on earth sees this movie.
This week in public service announcements: Do not swim in floodwaters
With flooding in major cities likely to become a depressing seasonal event, authorities are issuing warnings against swimming and otherwise recreating in floodwaters. Residents of Philadelphia (god bless them), have been going viral while getting viral infections from swimming in, diving in, and otherwise enjoying all the extra water that flooded into the city from Hurricane Ida. But according to public health agency scolds, this is not a good thing to do. Swimming in floodwaters is not cute. It’s not making lemons into lemonade. It’s how you get cholera.
Adam Thiel, Philly’s dual fire commissioner and emergency management director, said, “Stay out of the water, stay out of the mud. It’s not something you want to go swimming in, or tubing in, or any of the other things we’ve seen folks do,” before adding, “If you did that, I would certainly advise you to go get a tetanus shot, among other things.”
Internet fights back against Texas abortion ban
The Supreme Court crippling Roe vs. Wade will surely result in high-profile legal battles and millions of angry boomer Facebook posts, but younger people are doing more than throwing out status updates. Led by influencers, Satanists, and randos alike, online denizens have totally destroyed a Texas website designed for reporting on women who get abortions.
The site, www.prolifewhistleblower.com, was made to take advantage of the civil “bounty” citizens can collect for snitching on someone who performs or aids in an abortion. As soon as the site launched, it was hit with a DDOS attack and flooded with countless reports of abortions performed by Dr. Nick Riviera, Dr. Funkenstein, and other members of the fictional medical community.
Internet host GoDaddy.com responded to public pressure and pulled their support, leaving the site in the hands of right-wing hosting company Epik. Before long, even Epik refused to host the site, as it violated their terms of service by non-consensually collecting third-party information.
The creators of the site, Texas Right to Life, vow they’ll return, but for now, their snitch website is gone.
Viral video of the week: Blues Clues host explains why he abandoned us
In a video that gave an emotionally ravaged nation closure, Steve Burns, the original host of iconic kids show Blues Clues, finally revealed where he’d gone, and why he left us with his eerily similar brother Joe.
Steve, looking time-machine-young, said, “I realize that was kind of abrupt. I just kind of got up and went to college. And that was really challenging, by the way, but great because I got to use my mind and take a step at a time, and now I literally am doing many of the things that I wanted to do.”
The video puts to rest the long-running rumors that Burns left the show because he was in a car accident or addicted to drugs. Shockingly, the rumors that Steve got semi-ripped and became an indie rocker are totally true.
Despite reports to the contrary, I did not get all weepy over this video, and there was not a lump in my throat when Steve said, “I guess I just wanted to say that after all these years, I never forgot you. Ever. And I’m super glad we’re still friends.”