Discover more from The Trend Report™
CONFIRMED: there's too much info
On the suffocating too-muchness of now (and the need for curators) along with attempting to name 2023's song of the summer.
Wildfires wreak havoc with hottest months ahead
Smoke Grinds City to a Halt With Relief in Sight
"each city has it's worst day of wildfire smoke"
“Have we tried an electric vehicle tax credit”
This was the story of the week and, unfortunately, it wasn’t isolated. In other awful news for the planet, there was…
The Arctic may be sea ice-free in summer by the 2030s
This completely devastating something. But, not to be outdone…
"Life-threatening heat today in Puerto Rico"
Historic heat roasting Puerto Rico, feels like 125
This nightmare!! Awful. And what else?
Corn Crop in US Deteriorates by Most Since 2020
This. Pour one out for the corn kid, because prolonged non-rain means a lot, a lot less crops.
Finally, a solution to plastic pollution
Coastal Animals Are Thriving on Plastic Pollution
And these too! Yes, an end to single-use plastics may be in sight. However, a very bittersweet reality is sealife is thriving on plastic ocean trash, which then gets carried to other parts of the world and potentially collides with non-native ecosystems in other parts of the world. Foul but interesting stuff!
Dam creates Ukraine’s worst disaster ‘since Chernobyl’
In a different variety of man-made environmental crises, this was a particularly cruel week in Ukraine at the intersection of war and the planet.
Oklahoma Approves First Religious Charter School
This is a very strange thing!
Atlanta City Council Approves 'Cop City' Funding
The Atlanta “Copy City” saga ended with…Copy City getting approved. That means $31M of taxpayer money to build a training center. Yeesh!
"Times investigation shows how Trump stored documents"
"Trump’s indictment has been unsealed. And it’s hilarious."
I honestly do not care about the Trump indictment stuff because it will mean zero in the bigger political picture. That said, this news is too comic to not behold.
Self-driving car stops in the middle of mass shooting
“A robot taxi seems to have blocked first responders”
Oof: brutal – and something that happens quite often in San Francisco, between these taxis and first responders.
Half of multinationals to cut offices in three years
Oh, this is a win. Fuck offices!! (Also Martha Stewart has spoken out on this for some reason. With all due respect, queen: fuck your take.) (Also companies are just not getting that offices are the not-future.)
Why is Japan redefining rape?
Some good news! This change would shift the legal definition of rape from “forcible sexual intercourse” to “non-consensual sexual intercourse.” (Also interesting, which I didn’t know until reading this story: the age of consent in Japan is 13. That’s wild.)
A few years ago, after I’d get really high, I would lay in bed and watch Vine compilations. This was after Vine had shut down and before TikTok’s supremacy, which meant my idle, pre-sleeping hours were spent giggling at people taking selfies with calculators and kids crashing their bikes down stairs and cockatoos playing a keyboard. There was a simplicity to these videos, that someone had collected all my favorite 4 to 7 second clips and put them into one place. I could turn off my brain to the excess of media, allowing an unseen hand to shepherd me along the shores of content.
My TikTok For You Page put my Vine compilations out of business, taking the coveted spot of pre-bed entertainment – but I also get the same quality of entertainment from YouTube channels like Daily Dose of Internet and UnusualVideos. Zooming out further, this is also why shows like Queens Who Like To Watch and UNHhhh are so successful and how creators like Khaby Lame (TikTok’s most followed user!), That Little Puff, Tanara Double Chocolate of “Everyone’s so creative!” fame, and Shabaz Says are so popular: they sort through media so you don’t have to, while providing Mystery Science Theater 3000-style commentary for you to laugh and comment along with. Every day more versions of this emerge, from Ayamé’s shredder reactions to Blake Rosier and Paula Sharpe’s 5 Minute Craft instructionals, which collide with a culture of stitches, reactions, and other made-from-other-content gestures of now.
Neither TikTok nor Vine invented this behavior, nor did StumbleUpon for that matter, but these formats all have coalesced an increasingly familiar feeling made manifest by watching seventeen things at once: there is so much content and so much media that an economy of creators and products dedicated to guiding you through the mess has emerged. This isn’t technically new, as this in some ways has always been the role of the critic and of publications, but now the curator, the editor, the whatever-we-want-to-call-them is the star of the show. All the world is material for Talk Soup and we are in need of many Joel McHales, Hal Sparks, Greg Kinnears, and Aisha Tylers.
This feeling has been percolating for months now, with Mint Lounge and’s Link In Bio and Dirt musing in different ways. It’s easy to think this is simply an entertainment thing, but the writing on the wall here is that all of our lives are trending in this direction: look at your group chats and texts, where all you do is share and re-share things you think people will like or need to see. Think back to dinner parties and conversations with families, where the conversations always dead ends in show and movie recommendations. Consider the top jobs of 2023, where a “quality auditor” – someone who reviews the output of items – is the third “top job” of the year. And then there’s AI which, yes, we’re striking to subdue it’s effect upon myriad industries because they could “take our jobs.” But what’s really going to happen here? In every job, in every industry, we will go from doing-the-job ourselves to curating AI selections of “the job”: we will be the expert, the one who curates, while AI is the one who cranks out shit that we have to sort through. That is what’s going to happen and it will be mindless.
And why is this the case? Because there’s too much shit in the world! Everything is in excess, especially information: as Eric Schmidt posited in 2010, every two days we create as much information as all of humanity made up to 2003. Undoubtedly that number has increased since 13 years ago! In Claire Dederer’s recent Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma, a central thesis is that so much of culture has become complicated because we know everyone’s full biographies. “Biography used to be something you sought out, yearned for, actively pursued,” Dederer writes. “Now it falls on your head all day long.” Even (and especially) in the art world, where content and creation is an industry’s bread and butter, shows and artistic practices are being dedicated to the combing of information via “research-based art,” a culture that “convey[s] a sense of being immersed—even lost—in data” according to Claire Bishop in a recent artforum essay. If we zoom out, thinking of everything from the popularity of thrifting/antiquing/flea markets/vintage to the increasingly precarious ecological impact of too much information, we witness firsthand our suffocation of information. There is just too much of everything and our entire lives are now built around “managing” this too much-ness.
Just look at this newsletter. Look at all your newsletters! Many are full of unique ideas and unique takes, but so many are doing what I’m doing: baby birding information to you because there’s too much to take in. Thank you for subscribing and sharing, yes, but also: how does this end? Will we ever be able to live a life without the constant joy and suffering of being constantly info dumped? I hope so.
‘The Simpsons’ Is Good Again
The television must read of the week. I keep seeing clips from The Simpsons that are quite funny – but I had no idea a lot of it stems from the new life breathed into the show. A playbook for aging brands too!
Apple Vision Pro: What we learned so far
"Apple has unveiled the VisionPro"
These are very dorky and Tim Cook sounds like a South Park character. But? I’m intrigued. I think of all the metaverse, etc. shit, AR is a feasible, useful future.
Prosecutors want Tory Lanez to serve 13 years
BYE!! Justice for Megan. Finally!
Tyler James Williams Response About Sexuality
This is allyship. But this behavior also goes both ways, with queer people making fun of people (who are straight) whom they think are gay. That is very toxic! Here’s an example of what I mean.
"TERFs and alt-right fanatics bullied Oxfam"
“all people should be able to make decisions”
"people saw a raggedy person"
"recognizing this as jk rowling is a hilarious burn"
There was a mini-queer drama this week, as Oxfam made a great “Support queer people!” video and included a moment bashing TERFs. Then, the TERFs came and complained and Oxfam caved. The funniest part? The item in question was a scraggly, evil looking person with a TERF pin – who people said was JK Rowling. Hilarious.
Inside Vogue’s glossy game of thrones
Remember last week’s news that Edward Enninful was getting a “promotion” at Vogue? Well, not as it seems according to this DRAMATIC article. I still believe Edward will take Anna’s job and ultimately “win.”
‘ANTM’ Contestants on How It Really Was
As a recovering Top Model obsessive, this was a balm. “I felt like I was in a women’s penitentiary.” is an incredible quote.
Anna Sorokin sued by her lawyer for unpaid fees
Anna strikes again!!
Now Hold On, Who Is Kelis Reportedly Dating?
In case you missed it, Kelis and Bill Murray are dating and it is maybe the most wtf celebrity pairings of all time.
"Saturday Night As An Adult"
Anne Carson is a genius and this poem really captures the je ne sais quoi (Tragedy? Mundanity? Frustration?) of adulthood. What’s wild is how it ignited a sort of “THAT’S NOT MY EXPERIENCE!!” response on Twitter.
“Crash Course is only free”
icymi Hank Green came out as bisexual in the most Hank Green way.
It’s basically summer and, while this summer is going to be one for the rat girls, I’ve been trying to answer a very difficult question: what will the song of the summer be? It most definitely won’t be something by a white woman named Peighton sitting in her car made, but it might be one of the following. Or not? It simultaneously feels too early and too late to “know” what the song is. So why not theorize? Let’s dig into it.
Something from Barbie. This is the clear frontrunner, which has the power to create multiple hits and a “Lady Marmalade” moment. Will that happen? Unsure! The contenders are: consistent summer hitmaker Dua Lipa and her same-old-same disco schticky “Dance The Night”; TikTok hitmaker PinkPantheress and the impressively sweet “Angel”; FIFTY FIFTY’s yet to be released “Barbie Dreams”; and Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice teaming up again to do a new version of the Aqua song “Barbie Girl.” I am certain all of these songs will be successes; however, given the title of the movie and the regurgitative quality of music now, my money is on Nicki and Ice. It’s the most obvious breakout success, so long as it isn’t too sanitized!! If not, Ice Spice will claim part of the summer. Perhaps with…
An AI Ice Spice Remix. This is Ice’s year. We know this. She’s also a main target (“target”) of AI remixes due to her popularity – and I think one of them is going to take off and be the first AI hit! Let’s look at some contenders: there’s Obama and Biden covering “Boy’s A Liar” and Michael Jackson’s version of “Munch” and Drake and Kanye West’s rendition of “Princess Diana.” There are lots! My personal favorite is Peter Griffin doing “Munch.” They are all bad though. That’s part of the joy! I hate them all and love them just as much. Show me every version and none.
A very dirty rap song by a woman. The sequel to 2020’s glorious summer of “WAP,” a really filthy rap song feels right about now – and we have two very strong contenders!! The first comes out of TikTok, which Wired is already claiming as the season’s titleholder: Angel Laketa Moore’s “One Margarita,” about drinking margaritas and putting it (A dick.) in your mouth, puss, and tush. A very relatable song, which has created some incredible TikToks (while creating a kinda-sorta dance). The second comes from Love & Hip Hop’s Sukihana: her song “Eating” from March, about going down on each other, ends in an incredible expression of tossing salad and is rising on social media. I will let these perfect TikToks recount the lyrics to you. (If we want to add a late contender to the mix, Sexyy Red’s “Pound Town” from January could make a move.)
Something regionally Mexican. If you watched or went to Coachella for the past few years, you know that regional Mexican music is having a moment. Chill and yearning, this genre is poised for a breakout – and it’s going to come from one of two directions: first, from the all of a sudden ubiquitous Peso Pluma, who has released four new songs in 2023 that have each gotten 30M+ views on YouTube and whose newest song “Bye” seems to be following similarly; second, from the obvious non-Mexican powerhouse Bad Bunny, whose duet “Un x100to” with Grupo Frontera is one of the most charming songs you’ll ever hear, with a beat that’s groovy enough to command crying sessions and dancefloor grinding.
A Lil Durk song. Technically, of all the artists listed here, Lil Durk seems the most obvious of everything here with a remarkable fifteen songs currently on the Billboard Hot 100. The title most likely to steal hearts is the very sentimental “All My Life” with J. Cole, whose children’s chorus verse SCREAMS mass appeal and midnight beer tears. I can hear this song blasting at college parties, as people cry and hold each other, thinking about how beautiful life is and how they don’t want this summer to end. And honestly? I want to be there. Sounds great 🥲
A song from Winter 2023. It would either be Karol G and Shakira’s “TQG” or Miley’s “Flowers.” Somehow these songs are still everywhere. There is no time and endless information online: I can see one of these continuing to reign into summer. But by that hand…
A really old song, likely from Sade . Someone’s gotta steal this summer’s “Running Up That Hill” contest and I would place my money on Sade. Fresh off being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier this year, she’s in the perfect spot as she’s not oldies and on the cusp of a new generation discovering her. The specific song would be “Smooth Operator,” which is having a quick rise given a popular house remix that’s trending on TikTok. If we want to go the safe, extremely caucasian route: perhaps The Chordette’s “Pink Shoe Laces,” which has inspired a supposed TikTok trend via the show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Padam Padam. If you are gay or have been online, you know what I’m talking about: the return of the pop queen Kylie Minogue and her new single “Padam Padam.” The song is cute and danceable enough, about feeling someone’s heartbeat in the club with a hook consisting of a madeup word. It’s also generated an incredible amount of memes: it started with the gay (Millennial) internet running wild which fed into active online people, which created a certified meme. This has inspired many, many, many great covers of the song and has contributed to something remarkable: Kylie’s gotten her first top ten hit on the Hot Dance chart, which is wild considering she’s a fiftysomething year old artist promoting her sixteenth album. Like?? Iconic. Given the underline storyline, aggressive queer support, and slow burn of the song, it’s gotta be “Padam Padam.” No further questions, your honor.
Now! What do you think? What song are we missing? Which of these do you think has potential? I want to hear!! Let’s place bets!!!
Is Baby Gronk the new Drip King
“I just rizzed you”
"baby gronk saga"
"baby gronk has committed"
If you do ANYTHING this week: please watch and read all the Baby Gronk stuff. Every entry of this I am obsessed with. (I would write more on this but I’m not: why is this happening? We can never forget that there is an entire economy of by-and-for tweens digital content which Baby Gronk falls into, given his viral posts. I feel like the NFL is also frothing at the mouth at this, given their child football propaganda. Unrelated/related, even the New York Times covered this story.)
Next, stop what you’re doing and watch this “AI Generated Movie.” It’s probably fudged but, regardless, it is so fucking funny for the wrong reasons. I am not concerned about AI media “taking” creative jobs, but I am going to watch shit like this because its so bad it crests goodness.
"Welcome To Hell"
"The view from my window right now!"
“I’d rather be dead”
“yall are NOT”
"The air quality in chicago is terrible"
"at what cost"
“Canada I just wanna talk”
“Kamala Harris right now”
The best (“best”) memes about New Hell City and climate collapse.
"2023 theme for #Pride Month is WELCO-ME!"
The wildest brand Pride post you will see this month. That is all I will say.
“What are you mad about today daily mail?”
Oh we’ve lost it. Science isn’t real and there are only two genders that are too firm to question!!
"Is it the devil’s hand up their bums?"
They really do stand like they are fully diap’d up.
"You see it right"
I didn’t watch The Idol, but I saw this Tweet and I laughed.
This is so dumb but I have watched this so many times. It’s Janelle Monáe’s delivery, really.
"trained your dog to let you play american girl dolls"
As someone in the comments said “Abby Lee Miller?”
And, finally, how I think The Trend Report™ sounds like.