This week we’re looking at the dark, scary side of youth culture, including Russian trash-streaming, deadly TikTok dangers, and, most frightening of all, Elon Musk doing comedy.
The dark world of “trash streaming”
Earning clicks (and money) by taking things way too far is a time-honored internet tradition. While this kind of thing is mostly harmless pranks and stunts like YouTuber Mr. Beast filling his brother’s house with slime (and then buying him a new house), the other side of the “extreme” coin is “Trash Streaming,” which is way darker.
Coming out of Russia, these video streamers are like the internet’s version of radio shock jocks. They basically get drunk, stream video, and take tips from viewers in exchange for antics. Drunken Russians paying each other for debauchery? What could possibly go wrong?
How about this: Sixty-year-old Yuri “Grandfather” Dushechkin died back in February after drinking 1.5 liters of vodka during a livestream, reportedly after being offered money by a YouTube channel host. Belarussian trash-human Andrey Burim smashed model Alena Efremova’s face into a table while thousands watched, then he mocked her in the press for good measure. Nice dude. Stas Reeflay, a Russian streamer, was sentenced to six years in prison for killing his pregnant girlfriend after a viewer reportedly paid $1,000 to watch him abuse her. The Russian authorities are supposedly looking for ways to outlaw the content.
Warnings of the week
If you’re looking for something new to stress out about this week, here are some juicy dangers. Warn your kids to avoid all these things…unless you really don’t like them.
This week in TV: Elon Musk hosts SNL
Since I’m giving warnings this week, let me add this one: If you are a charisma-deficient plutocrat, do not host Saturday Night Live. In his hosting debut, Elon Musk, controversial Tesla CEO and prominent Twitter shitposter, earned big ratings, angered activists, and tanked a crypto currency market. Not bad for 90 minutes of late night TV.
Musk began the show by proclaiming himself the “the first person with Asperger’s” to host SNL (I guess he forgot about Dan Aykroyd), then he performed in a number of sketches where he made previous worst-host-ever Nancy Kerrigan look positively fantastic. He starred in a sketch that offended woke twitter, then he called Dogecoin “a hustle,” causing the cryptocurrency to sink by 22 percent. The best moments of Musk’s SNL debacle were when he introduced Miley Cyrus. (Miley Cyrus is the best.)
Viral video of the week: I Survived On $0.01 For 1 Week
I’m a sucker for videos where people try to live off their wits and hard work, and YouTuber Ryan Trahan is doing the genre proud with a multi-part mini-series. He challenged himself to survive for a week in a small Texas town starting with only a single penny, documented it all on YouTube, and managed to raise nearly $12,000 for Central Texas Food Bank (as well as nearly four million views on his videos).
He started by trading the penny for a pen, sold the pen, and then he was off to the races with all kinds of schemes from selling candy to passersby to delivering for DoorDash. I like the idea that a person can still get ahead with old fashioned moxie, gumption, and elbow grease, although I gotta imagine being a charismatic, energetic, and handsome kid with a winning personality is a definite advantage when trying to hustle street sales. Anyway, it’s worth checking out.
This week in movies: Ultraman is coming to Netflix
If you like gigantic monster fights, Netflix has a movie for you. The streaming service is teaming up with Japan’s Tsuburuaya Productions on an Ultraman movie.
Ultraman, who originally appeared in America in an impossibly awesome 1970s TV show, is a household name in Japan, and the hope is he’ll break through to an international audience. Sadly, the new version of Ultraman is CGI, so it won’t feature dudes in rubber suits throwing each other around in model cities, but it does promise Ultraman’s alter-ego, baseball star Ken Sato, raising a baby Kaiju, a cuddly little monster offspring from his greatest enemy. There are definite possibilities to this idea. No word yet on a release date or casting, but stay tuned.