do you have vibe personality disorder
Theorizing causes for 2020s cultural rot and taking a moment with a very special calf.
Elections & Disinformation Colliding
Deepfake adverts of Sunak raises alarm
Another week, another 2024 trend: this is the election year, a pivotal make-or-break for subjects like the climate and misinformation.
Trump wins, DeSantis edges Haley
Anyway, Trump swept Iowa and I don’t like the phrase “DeSantis edges Haley.”
Bipartisan Screwing Homeless People
Justices to put themselves in charge
Trump to Supreme Court: keep on ballot or ‘bedlam’
This week in awful Supreme Court things.
These U.S. Cities May Depopulate by 2100
Very intrigued by this US population migration theory, that more big cities will grow but small places like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are going to deflate. (Meanwhile: Oklahoma City’s on the big list too. I’m telling you: Loopercore!!) Anyway, needn’t worry as most of us reading this will be dead by 2100 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
“can we get a dermatologist to weigh in??”
The mystery marks on Trump's hand
This was my favorite thing-of-the-week: Donald Trump’s disgusting fingers (and disgusting neck). The second story interviews a dermatologist, who said it could anything from golf blisters to dry hands.
The world is in crisis: we’re suffering from Vibe Personality Disorder. What is Vibe Personality Disorder? Let me explain!
The short is we are facing a supreme “lack of style.” Let me count the ways —
More macro-subjects from the past two years like the lack of color in the world (August 2022), all the buildings look the same (January 2023), there being too much, too similar content (June 2023, November 2023).
These are all the ways Vibe Personality Disorder presents itself. And why does this Disorder exist? Because people no longer know how to be themselves.
To have a vibe is to be distinct, to have a point of view, to stand on your own and have your own thoughts: we are describing an individual. The opposite of this is “I’ve never had an original thought.” culture, jumping off the bridge just because that’s what’s trending. There is an incredible rash of thoughtlessness, intellectually and spiritually, comes from our living unfulfilled lives chained to jobs without time to be an individual or cultivate individuality. Vibe Personality Order occurs when you take a backseat in your own life, whether willingly or unwillingly. This is when you have no time to “be yourself” so you turn to shopping instead of doing things. And what do you buy? Whatever everyone else is buying, or whatever someone tells you to buy. Capitalism, but also laziness and mental vacancy, allowing the powers that be (Corporations! Algorithms! Influencers!) to tell you what to do. What’s worse is that this all trickles down to children as modeled behavior.
While Netflix seemed to have invented Vibe Personality Order by introducing the idea of binge viewing, as if people were chained to their televisions and force-fed videos, I see two forces of our past decade (Plus!) building to this moment.
The obvious: digital marketing and “brands being people.” This has created a general confusion and porousness between how individuals versus brands communicate which is then complicated and exacerbated by the 2010s rise of the influencer and Instagram, where everyone slowly realized that to be is to be a performer. But what is everyone performing? Advertisements. Selling yourself has become synonymous with the literal selling of Stanley cups. What was once the cute moment of Blogger Shares Their Interests has become Shop My Curated Affiliate Links, whether literal or not. No wonder communities are dissolving, leaving us lonely: the job of a brand is to sell not befriend
The not-as-obvious: the global suburbs. Everyone speaking English, all distressed woods, gray surfaces, iPads, chain shops, Amazon packages at your door, unneeded skincare, athletic clothes without exercising: the aspiration of the future is to abandon your culture to become an American suburb. Why? My theory is that the world’s cultural capital — Los Angeles — shifted from cute beach-and-valley culture into a pre-Blade Runner tech-and-media projection of “the future,” where celebrities and the interesting make trends just by waking up — and this setting happens to now be the suburbs on steroids, for better or worse. Car culture, strip malls, everything at the click of a button: LA does it, now the world does it too. LA-as-media-and-trend-nucleus is another story entirely that is neither novel and has been written elsewhere, but something missing is that the highly visible culture and semiotics of Los Angeles has created a world where everything is now trending toward suburbanity. No wonder American urban planners are having a moment on TikTok as thoughts of third spaces continue: the suburbs suck and these are our canaries.
I don’t have a specific salve — Go offline? Become an eco-socialist? Cancel your Amazon and Netflix accounts? — but I do think we’re going to see more things happen “offline” and in non-public spaces, with an emphasis on craft and person-to-personhood. I think about 1920s lesbian house parties because their interests and company didn’t fit into the chaste, sanitized interests of businesses at the time: that feels right, although that always feels right. An example of this sprouted up this week too: the fashion designer Rick Owens hosting his latest show in his house. This is a move that says so much — Anti-monoculture! Kinmaking! Anti-excess! Process as community! — and, while not new, does seem big for this moment, especially when housed within the consumerist nightmare that is modern fashion week.
I’ll leave you with the designer’s motivations, from a recent interview.
but something is happening with Hollywood playing itself, as they lie about what shows are while dissolving quality. If you need a comment on this, ask Our Flag Means Death fans.
I decided to show my collection in my house this season because a festival atmosphere didn't seem appropriate for the times that we’re going through. Even though by withdrawing into my house, I excluded a lot of people from being part of the day […] I did ask several very special people who have a very strong aesthetic opinion and who live and breathe their aesthetic. That's always been something I admire, for somebody to commit themselves so completely and wholly to what they're doing.
Is ‘Blue Monday’ the Most Depressing Day?
Did you know that the third Monday of the year is “Blue Monday”? I didn’t! Of course I learned this from a British person in my Spanish class, who came in moping.
AURALEE AUTUMN WINTER 2024
The best show I’ve seen this season was the Auralee show. Is there a sugar parent reading this who would like to buy me these things? 😇
Fact Mix: Tati au Miel
This is a huge bummer: Fact has ended their mixes after 16 years 😢
Layoffs imperil Sports Illustrated
Nearly all the staff too. Publishing is down bad. All the aforementioned will exacerbate Vibe Personality Disorder!
The calf was white and café au lait, lying on a bed of hay against a wall, legs stretched before itself. Its hooves to the knees are dirty. The video follows the creature around, from the center of its head to its body. The calf seems to sleep — but its eyes are open. The camera pans down its body, to the tail. Is it alive? An ear twitches, the head tilts. There is a gentle, quick mooing. A deeper moo echoes, another creature reassuring the calf. It seems calm, but alarmed. It’s getting used to living. After all: this calf has two heads on its shoulders.
Newsweek wrote about it as if it was simply a natural curiosity — but that’s not why it’s so popular, why it has 6.1 million likes and over 60 million views since being posted earlier this week. The account is dedicated to this cow, with only four videos, each of whom have multiple millions of views. Each video follows the cow — walking, being fed, being placed in a pen — and each has the same comment, repeated, to the point that the account started to use the line and reflective accompanying audio: “and there were twice as many stars in the sky.”
Tomorrow when the farm boys find this
freak of nature, they will wrap his body
in newspaper and carry him to the museum.
But tonight he is alive and in the north
field with his mother. It is a perfect
summer evening: the moon rising over
the orchard, the wind in the grass. And
In 2019, the comic artist Adam Ellis created a version. Earlier in the year, the poem went viral on Tumblr. So many people have tattoos of the calf! People post their readings and their drawings of the calf. You can buy a print, you can buy a painting, earrings, a pin, stickers of the calf. As early as last December, a version of the calf went viral on Twitter. Now, we have a live feed.
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.
The comments ask — Demand! — to show the calf the stars. Some mention crying, that they are thinking of the calf, that they hope it is well, that they are beautiful, that their time is precious. The farm boys will come. Don’t they always? Aren’t there always farm boys out there, ready to take us? Don’t we all want to gaze at the stars, our vision to become hazy and heavy, swollen with view, unable to process such beauty. To process such beauty means we must process our own. But why is that always so difficult?
But tonight! We are perfect, alive, in the field with our mothers. A crisp evening, a wind on the grass. Are we ready for tomorrow?
“the YouTube in my toilet”
This is my Apple Vision Pro.
I actually feel this way about French Bulldogs.
“sea urchins have a single eye”
Speaking of fucked up eyes. Come for the eye, stay for “the eye.”
"friendship groups you have when you're 30"
True. One is more valid than the other (which I will let you decide on).
“skibidi toilet performance”
I need to make a word for this (Alpha Territory?) but there is something happening with Skibidi Toilets that is breaking out of Gen A sites. We’ll see more and more of this tweens-to-pop-culture pipeline happening!
See above. This language is going to hit brands any day now, if it hasn’t already.
I been saying this.
“thought this was a naked curly haired woman”
Wait. It’s not?
"if Crazy frog voice trained"
The voice of a generation!
“this is me”
Me, if you even cared.
And, finally, how it feels to get this email every Sunday.