Celebrity YouTube style
Saturday evening we enjoyed a dholki (pre-wedding festivities) for a young Palestinian-Kashmiri couple in the our extended family. It was a beautiful elegant event for the Palestinian guests and the Kashmiri host family- both large and lively! The weather was perfect, the food sumptuous and the ambiance festive. What I enjoyed most is sitting by the pool enjoying the dances, and learning debke — the traditional Palestinian folk dance- which is among my most favorite!
As we sat down to eat our dinner, my oldest grandson Saif approaches me and says: “Dadhi (paternal grandmother), you live near American Dream right?” American Dream is a gigantic mall/sports complex that opened a few years ago. I said yes. So he asked if he could come home with us to sleep over and I could take him to the Mall to hopefully see Mr. Beast early next morning. He had just found out 2 hours before about this event which was planned.
Who is Mr. Beast I asked? “He has 100 M followers and recreates events, e.g. Squid Game, and he is a philanthropist and he is opening a Beastburger restaurant at American Dream!”
As Saif will be turning 14 in a few days, I said yes — even though we had a beach plan that afternoon, and I could see the reluctance in his parents’ eyes! We got up with great difficulty at 7 am and got to the mall by 8am. The mall looked empty in the parking lot, but as we got closer we saw a long line of people snaking up and down the whole mall and its three levels. It was hard to find its beginning or end. What time did they come I wondered? I even saw a woman waking up on a sofa mall- she must have slept there! We went to the event desk and they gave us a band to get on the very long line. As we were waiting, I asked an organizer what time will the restaurant open? And they said 11am. And given the spot you are in, you will be lucky to get to eat in restaurant- and see Mr. Beast- at 3 pm earliest! Sadly, we left and came home to sleep some more before the beach plan, which was totally fun as we all swam together in the ocean at Sea Bright.
What amazes me how this new fame phenomenon works! YouTubers get famous doing innovative YouTube channels, and then branch out into different businesses, such as restaurant chains, as the article below shows. Social media has created a whole new culture, instant celebrities and diehard fans who will sleep in a mall overnight to get on line! It reminded me of the Beatles craze in the 60's- not much different- but started by LP’s not YouTubes. Times they are a changing!