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New MrBeast charity tantrum dropped
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MrBeast Is Upset Again That People Are Weirded Out By His Charity Videos
MrBeast released a series of new videos over the weekend filmed in “Africa”. He put one on his main page titled, “I Built 100 Wells In Africa,” and another titled, “We Powered a Village in Africa,” on his Beast Philanthropy page. And, of course, almost immediately people were posting about how weird the videos are. And, of course, MrBeast had a temper tantrum about it.
“I already know I’m gonna get canceled because I uploaded a video helping people, and to be 100% clear, I don’t care,” MrBeast posted on X, clearly caring quite a bit. “I’m always going to use my channel to help people and try to inspire my audience to do the same.”
I stumbled across a thread of users trying to articulate why MrBeast’s vibes are so off. The consensus is that he’s got dead eyes and doesn’t feel like a real person. But one user wrote, “whoever is first to successfully articulate why the MrBeast vibe is off gets a million likes.” Well, I’ll take a crack at it.
In the past I’ve referred to MrBeast as an “algrothimically-optimized charisma void that looks like someone who would wear pants that zip off into shorts.” I was really cooking. Now that I’ve had some time to really think about it, though, I’ve decided that MrBeast’s main issue is simply we simply don’t trust virality.
MrBeast is a first in a lot of ways. We’ve never had a creator get this big, this consistently viral, and be this digitally native before. And it turns out, if your entire gimmick is going viral, it starts to make people really uncomfortable. An easy way to think about him is the Olivia Rodrigo to PewDiePie’s Taylor Swift (lol sorry). If you aren’t familiar with his lore, he started as a teenage PewDiePie fan making gameplay videos. In 2017, he had a breakthrough of sorts and released the video “Giving A Random Homeless Man $10,000,” complete with the now-iconic MrBeast font on the thumbnail, and slowly shifted to only making stunts — which usually include some kind of baked-in money amount. By 2017, he had pivoted entirely to stunt-based content. He’s since become the first big creator to beat PewDiePie in terms of views on YouTube and is much more committed to staying at the top of the platform. MrBeast is willing to leverage all of his time, energy, and resources (and hometown) to make bigger and bigger videos.
On a recent episode of the Colin and Samir podcast, however, he talks about his frustration about trying to work with “Hollywood” and streamers like Netflix. He’s adamant that he doesn’t “have an ego” and just wants to make cool stuff, but then pretty quickly starts rambling about how he keeps getting accused of “gaming YouTube” (because he is). And it’s a telling moment, in my opinion.
There have been rumors circulating for years that Hollywood studios don’t want to work with MrBeast, most likely because they don’t think he can actually make something successful beyond the confines of YouTube. But it goes deeper than that.
Being unnaturally viral is all MrBeast really is at this point and it tarnishes everything he does. And it’s most noticeable with his charity work. Mostly likely because at this point we all know that making purely viral content and chasing audience-agnostic mass appeal, as MrBeast does, requires, in some sense, being a complete sociopath with no concept of what it means to artistically or creatively express something. Which is why most creators that go viral eventually settle into a baseline. They find an audience and start figuring out what their niche is beyond traffic. But MrBeast never did that. Because traffic is all he seems to want or care about. If he truly cared about philanthropy, for instance, why not just do it and never film it? Well, that’s because philanthropy is just another type of viral content for him.
And, based on how touchy he gets every time he tries and fails to be taken seriously, he’s clearly aware of how limiting this has become for him. Yes, he dominates YouTube, but he also can’t figure out how to cobble together enough lowest-common-denominator content to escape it.
Dril Did Not Tweet About Chandler Bing
—By Adam Bumas
Hi there! Adam here. I’ll be sharing some cool stuff that’s happening in the Garbage Day Discord every week. Let’s talk about the fake Dril tweet.
This was shared by user ihatehorses. Even before Dril’s comment, though, the seasoned posters in the Discord could tell the first post was a fake. Yes, famous shitposter Dril has a reputation for predicting all the world’s stupidest developments, but his posts have a style that’s pretty unmistakable if you’ve seen enough of them. Even if that style has changed a lot in the past few years.
Dril has had to become a lot more reactive recently, dropping the character more often as he reacts to Twitter/X’s constant changes and commenting more on current events. Paul Dochney, the formerly anonymous writer behind the account, spoke about it in an interview with The Ringer earlier this year, which described him as “particularly irritated by [...] the ‘you didn’t used to be topical’ line”.
Dochney, in that same interview actually, also acknowledged that Dril, as a character was never something that was meant to exist in a vacuum, telling The Ringer, "I was always a product of what was going on around me.”
So I suppose it’s fitting that as Twitter has slid into irrelevance, so too has Dril’s cultural force to some degree. It doesn’t mean Dochney or the account aren’t still funny, but it’s harder to feel like Dril when the rest of the site is Dril-ifying itself.
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AI Optical Illusions Are Getting Real Good
If you want to know how this works, there’s a couple ways to do it. Like all interesting things happening with AI content right now, it started in the Stable Diffusion subreddit. The main app for doing this is a Stable Diffusion plugin called ControlNet.
The easiest way to try a version of this yourself without installing Stable Diffusion, though, is probably by using Hugging Face’s Illusion Diffusion. You give it a source image, feed it a prompt, set the illusion strength, and voila.
While we’re on the subject of AI, OpenAI’s DevDay was today. The most interesting announcement was probably the launch of an app store, where devs can build and launch their own chatbots.
A bunch of Bored Ape Yacht Club members went to ApeFest in Hong Kong this weekend and more than a few woke up temporarily blinded due to prolonged exposure to the stage lights. Coin Telegraph is reporting the type of bulbs that were used at the party are usually used for disinfection. Uh oh!
Anyways, it’s probably not worth dwelling on the irony of a bunch of members of a social club based around buying images losing their ability to see those images. Oh, also, here’s a video of what ApeFest looked like, which will certainly make you wish you had temporary vision loss.
The Sexy TikTok Food Man
I’ve been meaning to talk about the TikTok chef who makes super horny baking videos and seeing as how one of his videos has been stuck in my For You tab on X all weekend, now seems like as good a time as any.
His real name is Anthony Randello and The Cut interviewed him back in July. He says his family thinks the account is very funny.
I was going to write a whole thing here about how algorithmic video eventually breaks down content types into the porn version of whatever it is, incentivizing less and less context and more and more visual stimuli until it’s just hypnotic images and sound. But I learned while reading Randello’s Cut interview that he’s Australian and, honestly, more than any sort of growth hack, this actually just feels like a very Australian way of making content.
Spotify Enshit Itself
Starting next year, Spotify will be changing how its monetization works, only paying artists that reach 1,000 plays. According to music trade Music Business Worldwide, the current royalty rate on Spotify is about five cents per 200 plays. So you need about 4,000 plays to make a dollar and, now, 1,000 plays to get paid at all. Which is very bad!
It’s funny, when platforms make this sort of change, they usually insist it’s to make the platform healthier. And, sure enough, according to Spotify, the 1,000-play ceiling is meant to demonetize spam.
But there’s another way to view this. According to Spotify, if 1,000 people hear your song, it’s not even worth paying you. Which makes me just think that a “play” on Spotify is a lot more worthless than we think it is.
Gas Station Hardcore Show Goes Hard
According to a thread over at r/Hardcore on Reddit, it was played at an Exxon station and the owner was super cool about it.
Some Stray Links
P.S. here’s a good cooking fact.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***