Spooking The Beast

MrBeast spent his teenage years figuring out the master formula for algorithmic attention extraction and commodification in this age we might as well call goldfish swimming in a digital idiocracy bowl.

This won’t be another tired moan about a guy who uses his money to do good things, and films it, so he can make more money in order to give more of it away, even if his videos of hyper cuts for ADHD sufferers induce greater ADHD and are all about worshipping material things and money, and all the trappings of being a half-witted consooomer in a late stage empire.

We don’t have time to waste on anything like that.

Besides, Jimmy seems like a good kid.

He cracked the code.

The game show-ification of pranks with strangers who express their eternal gratitude for Jimmy’s generosity.

He’s generous for sure. So were Bob Barker’s bosses at CBS, but games shows are so 1970s.

Jimmy took The Price Is Right, and inseminated it with Fear Factor and Jackass, except he took out the edge, the risk, and even any effort.

Random strangers win money and things while cameras are rolling.

It makes him feel good to see others feel gratitude. People like watching it.

Good on him.

Human behavior is a peculiar thing in late-stage collapsing empires, where medical bills can bankrupt 70% of the empire’s debt slaves overnight, and where there are certain incomparable excesses to any other period in human history that need wasting: time, attention, and funny money backed by nothing.

That’s actually a lie. So was that! There were really two lies before.

There are no excesses of time, only choices on how to occasion its passing.

There are no excesses of attention, only choices on where to focus it.

The economy of attention is not the same thing as the attention economy but people just don’t have the time to pay attention to any of that.

They hardly know why they pay attention to what they do.

They rarely stop and ask.

They don’t seem to place much value on time anymore.

Perhaps they never did.

Rome never had algorithmic curation, dancing nurses during a fake pandemic, or nanographene-laced injectables to turn newly arrived slaves from Gaul into shackled transmitters and receivers if not victims of SADS.

But Rome did have the philosopher Seneca, one of the wisest men of his time. He thought a lot about time and attention and wrote a book on the shortness of life.

It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested. But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness, when it is devoted to no good end, forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing.
So it is—the life we receive is not short, but we make it so.

— Seneca

Two thousand years of time separate two distinctly dysfunctional empires that embraced fascinating distractions.

Bread and Circuses.

The Roman poet Juvenal said, “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.”

Give them Grubhub, victimhood, and Self-castration and they will never know their purpose.

Give them BPA, phthalates, chemtrails, thimerosal vaccines, multiplayer worlds, high fructose corn syrup, drone delivery, La-Z-boys, fluoridated water, autopilot, AI, VR, fantasy sports, nightly arena games, crypto mooning, gender “affirming” clinics, SSRIs, pocket computers with GPS to locate chemical castration centers, plus fireworks and hot dog eating contests and they will never have time enough to spare to know who or what to revolt against.

When MrBeast posted his first YouTube video there were five gender “care” clinics for parents to take their groomed and indoctrinated children to be sacrificed to a cult of wickedness and debasement.

Today, just eight years later there are more than fifty. Doctor$ just love all that “affirmation” of confusion.

Human Rights Campaign Website On Child Abuse Clinics

How did that happen so quickly?

Wasn’t anyone paying attention?

When testosterone was still measurable in men, Rome’s Circus Maximus and Colosseum hosted chariot races, gladiator brawls, and savage lion feasts.

Today androgenous simps whine about speech being ‘literally violence’ on Reddit.

Discord hosts bizarrely organized chat-a-thons.

Zoom hosts corporate WFH snooze fests so China can use every face to update its global AI recognition software.

OnlyFans reflects back to coomers their self-worth as they send the last of their Amazon warehouse check to a tatted-up thot with swollen lips and ass implants in Jersey.

TikTok and Twitch are clear signs of end times.

If they were around during the cold war people would have begged for an end to detente with the Soviet Union and just one guy with slippery fingers.

Everyone under thirty-five aspires to be the ultimate attention extractor like MrBeast. Each iteration of robotic aspirants knows they’re special, and are certain that what they think and feel, and believe will be worthy of sharing with others.

They know this because their teachers and parents have affirmed their “lived experience.”

The more ‘non-conforming’ the more special they feel, and the more valid their “lived experience” appears.

People used to have reading rooms and libraries at home, but now they have green rooms and neon-lit gaming setups, with periscoping $500 microphones for gender confessionals.

In the fifties, kids wanted to be astronauts, in the sixties they wanted to be movie stars, by the eighties rock stars, and after the digital dispersion of cultural consumption and production, nobody wanted to have any creative talent anymore.

They just wanted to share and be seen and heard without having to do any work.

Guitar Hero replaced strings with buttons and simulated an audience that affirms the brilliance of the guitar-button-presser in their own living room.

Reality TV made acting redundant. Why have drama and stories performed when they can be curated for fractions of the cost from desperate people seeking celebrity?

Now we have an entire generation of “Influencers.” Historians will look back on this era and see that influencers were simply attention extractors on algorithmic curation platforms for goldfish.

Today there are more podcasts than all the dead goldfish ever flushed down toilets.

I thought about going that route here but immediately nixed it when I searched a database of existing podcast names and found the two names I wanted weren’t available.

You know there are too many podcasts when Not Another Podcast (NAP) and Not Another Stupid Fucking Podcast are already taken.

I’ll stick with bleatings through the written word.

The written word has survived many tests and it’ll be around long after all this madness collapses in on itself.

Substack is a fine refuge from the late-stage empire distractology and gloom.

Attention extraction here is different. It’s served with minimal cyberbegging.

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