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does anyone want to be an adult??
Investigating who wants to be an adult, and what a lack of jump scares says about culture.
Hurricane Otis’ toll remains uncertain
Then this! There was a lot being said about the Western Mexico hurricane, but I also feel like most attention was absorbed by the shooting, conflict, and Speaker.
States sue Meta, addictive and harm children's health
33 states are suing the tech company for manipulating “its most vulnerable consumers: teenagers and children.” Hopefully this does something, but I am doubtful!
Canada’s Year of Fire
Oy. I’m also reading the book Fire Weather which speaks about how modern forest fires are becoming literally living things, which is very interesting and illustrates how “small” fires can raze entire parts of a country.
Lowest level in 121 years amid severe drought
Have y’all seen how low the Amazon River is? It’s really bad!! I don’t care if old faces were found there!! Related and not but…did everyone also see the video of wind picking up an entire forest?
Young Europeans to quit driving, have fewer kids
All to save the planet. I would say this is not-just-Europeans – and I’d also say these numbers are a little conservative too? I could be wrong but a lot of young people are ready to help, in their own worlds. Now, to organize these people to push against corporations and make informed decisions.
A cute thing about my alma mater is that they interview prospective students as a part of the application process, to get an idea of who the person is “beyond the application.” It’s encouraged but not required, and I’ve volunteered to t do these interviews for almost ten years. I’ve met very interesting kids (and the occasional adult transfer) who are hoping to get into a good college so they can pursue their dreams. It’s refreshing! And reminds of why college can be important.
I recently had one of these meetings and this student, like all the students, was nice and interesting saw the world as if it were a meal – and they had enough stomach to eat it all. The student checked a few recurring interests boxes (hoping to help the environment, an interest in DJ-ing), while also confirming the biggest interest I’ve heard from students over the years: they want to be entrepreneurs. They want to go to business school and make an app. They have (or are about-to-have) a small online business they started in high school, usually to sell clothes. Some have “entrepreneur meetings,” where they meet with friends to talk about their business ideas. Some already know people in business school, where their friends hope to scale ideas. They all want to be a new type of business person, even if they don’t know “the business” that they want to conduct. This trend has been building for years, as a fitting alternative to regular jobs that fits alongside drams of being an influencer. Take creator Max Reisinger for example, who documented being a high schooler with a business while sharing his process of picking colleges. Cut to now: he’s dropped out of college and is making videos about what it means to be an adult. This might seem specific but even in my family I have a teenage cousin who started an activewear brand on Instagram to share her love of Bad Bunny and Puerto Rican culture. Now? The web store no longer exists.
Obviously kids want to be adults. But what about the adults? Let’s look at this week for example: a right-wing Twitter mob attacked a Gen Z person who shared how fucking stupid it is to work a job that takes your life away. While the right saw this as a “We’re doomed.” snowflake situation, it plays into the larger trend of Gen Z realizing what older adults have realized: “You want us to work until we’re 65? HAHAHAH FUCK OFF.” As for the older adults: Millennials are trying to figure out aging as they navigate their youth being culturally recycled while managing being cringe and being free; Gen X are digging in heels and not listening to younger generations as their counter-cultural tendencies pave the way for them to become boomers; and the actual boomers are just…staring at people. To be an adult now is to ping pong between being young and being old. Gen Z’s faces look older from cosmeceuticals while Gen X plays around with younger fashion styles. Gen Z fights to make corporate life better while Gen X quits corporate money for fulfilling their dreams. It is human to want to grow up as fast as you can. It is also human to want to go back, to be taken care of.
Why is this? Why are the young-being-old and old-being-young? My guess is that it captures how upward mobility – which, by extension, means the growth economy – has driven us to mania. That means young people – Let’s use Emma Chamberlain as an example. – are trying so hard to fill a credibility gap by chasing “work” before they have to work, which in turn means they miss the time needed to develop critical thinking skills in spaces like college. For older people – Let’s use, um, you as an example. – that means fantasizing about living the exact opposite life that you live now, to run away and open a dog rescue or coffee shop, but you struggle to make that reality happen because of analysis paralysis and, uh, being broke. There’s this hope that if you pick a career and run for it, via education or other means, you will succeed. Is that true? Just ask the majority of workers who are at record levels of unhappiness and disengagement after going to school and taking risks to get jobs that they depend on (and actively hate).
Maybe the kids will have it different? I hope so! If anything, movement is being made according to three years of Trend Report™ coverage on the subject: 2021 was about laying down because no one wanted to work; 2022 was about the never-ending spiral of burnout; 2023 has been about recognizing the system’s flaws as unions make moves. It feels like a bubble is about to burst. A good barometer will be if kids no longer go into business – and adults actually want to stay in their businesses.
Hollywood A-Listers Sign Letter Thanking Joe Biden
Dua Lipa, Michael Stipe, More Urge Biden for Ceasefire
Do we think these letters do anything but make noise? It feels very “Matt Damon” and captures the macro version of the micro fights playing out on all of our social feeds.
Israeli museums appeal for ICOM to condemn Hamas
Statement criticising Artforum letter
Bed Bath & Beyond Pressured Artists to Retract Gaza Call
Artforum Fires Top Editor After Its Open Letter
Top agent at CAA steps aside
Banning Palestinian Flags Is Beginning for Sports
“example of what propaganda is”
“starting to lose my mind”
More madness at the intersection of the Israel-Palestine conflict and public life. It really feels like we need to revisit the era of the “views do not reflect my employer” bios.
How to speak like a local in the French capital
I feel like this year has seen a lot of stories about how cities are reshaping language. In Europe, that is definitely true because local languages collide with non-local languages all the time. But also? See Miami. Mixing people means mixing languages!
Atlanta's 5 Best Restaurants Have Michelin Stars
…and none are Black chefs. One thing that Michelin does piss poorly is actually considering local culture in their ratings.
Same-sex marriage remains banned in Navajo Nation
The story that made me go “Oh, interesting.” most this week, considering how expansive Indigenous American cultures view gender. A big sticking point for queer Navajos? They think the culture has been influenced too much by Christianity, hence the queerphobia.
Why Apple’s weather app isn’t accurate
Why do weather apps suck? Because they aren’t specific enough. The moral of this story, which seems obvious: your local meteorologist has more information than any app.
Taylor Swift Tops Scorsese
I have been saying this for a while, but the Hollywood we knew is long gone. This is not only a dunk on Martin “I hate Marvel!” Scorsese but on the audience itself. The walls fall, as theaters become venues for watching people watch live performances. (See also: how creators Sam & Colby sold out theaters for their new video. And, because the video game movie also beat up Martin, we’ll undoubtedly see a lot more Gen Z bait movies like Five Nights At Freddy’s too.)
"Minhaj has produced the recording of the interview"
I do not care about the Hasan Minhaj “emotional truth” debate, but I do care that he basically poked a fist-sized hole through the New Yorker’s journalistic standards with many receipts. I support journalism and believe in the media – but they can’t fuck up shit like this and wonder why people call them “fake news.” Morons.
"Mr. Beast wants to get on the phone with me"
Related and not, the Mr. Beast drama isn’t about his videos being “fake” (We done knew.) but more about him being shady, trying to pretend an industry vet like Rosanna Pansino is stupid. Nice try!
Doss Is The DJ Playing Extroverted Sets For Introverts
A gift from the lords of nightlife! Finally a feature on one of the best DJs right now.
Pau S Pescador - When The Home Becomes Body
I am so bummed I didn’t see this sooner but my friend Pau’s latest show in LA just wrapped and is a meditation on her transition through the lens of the domestic. Incredible stuff, with the “When the home becomes body” series becoming a deep visualization of past, present, and future via personal effects.
My uncle sent me this story about jump scares that I thought was so interesting because jump scares – scary moments in a movie that make the audience literally jump – have been on the decline. Here’s what it has to say –
To track the rise in jump scares from single-jump classics like “Carrie” to more modern, jump-laden films like “Insidious.” We expected to find filmmakers steadily increasing jump scares to crank up tension for jaded viewers. Instead, we found the average number of jump scares per movie decidedly on the decline.
Jump scares reached an early peak in 1981 with the release of movies like “The Evil Dead,” which averaged a jump scare for every four minutes of run time. Another big revival started in the early 2000s and lasted more than 10 years.
But jump scare frequency hit a near-20-year low in 2021. Audiences are still seeing more jump scares than they did in the less-startling 1990s, but the shrieking alley cats, slamming doors and lurking killers of the movie world appear to be fading into the background.
This is absolutely fascinating. Why is this happening? The article posit elevated horror (a la, A24) is responsible, as movies like Get Out and Midsommar have become so trendy. I, personally, feel like a huge stone is going unturned in this story, which we would have no way of being able to qualify: the world is just crueler and more scary than it’s ever been.
The article points out how the dip in jump scares happened in 2014 and, knowing that it takes years for a movie to get made, we can infer that this dip relates to 2012 and 2013, if not earlier, the time when these movies went into production. What was the context of those years? In 2012, there was the Sandy Hook shooting and Hurricane Sandy and the murder of Trayvon Martin. In 2013, there was the Aurora movie theater shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings and Typhoon Haiyan. Also happening in the 2010s was our reliance on social media for everything and the emergence of push notifications. This is all to say what I know you know and what I know you feel: bad, sad, scary news is (and has been) very easy to come by, often coming by surprise, delivered to your palm. Take into account 2016 and 2020 and countless more shootings and racial, hate-driven criems and you know where this is going, which is the same issue that befell media like Black Mirror: the world has broken the limits of fiction, being far scarier and more ridiculous that we can imagine. Why create more horrors when we live with so many horrors?
That is my very obvious but needs-to-be-said theory. This also reminds of a passage in Fire Weather: “One reason so many of us are attracted to disaster movies — beyond voyeuristic catharsis — is because they offer ways to visualize, and perhaps prepare for, such events ourselves.” Horror and disaster movies “prepare us” for tragedy and terror but, in a world of tragedy and terror, it seems that not even a jump scare can rise to the occasion.
“Debbie and Fester”
“puppet from Saw”
“dressed as a fridge”
“ima regret posting”
”was it Krispy”
“the reinforcing steel”
”crosswalk button era”
“don’t make me drink alone”
A few of my favorite Halloween costumes.
“i cannot breathe”
“you aren’t getting drafted”
Pranks of the week: the Trisha Paytas family Facetime and girls-gone-drafted. (Also no one is getting drafted because they can’t protect rich kids from drafts.)
"Critical support for the beautiful javelina"
This week in animals fighting against climate change, meet these Arizona javelinas who hate golf courses.
“you know the vibes”
In case any young people are wondering, yes, this was exactly what 2009 was like.
"the 'poor person's house' backgrounds"
Unfortunately, this is probably nonfiction, especially considering I’ve worked with many a corporate executive and company head who very flagrantly show off their Santa Barbara pads behind them.
"The Glaswegian accent"
Fuck me up, Glaswegian accent. I had to watch this three times because I thought a hangover made me deaf.