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here's why boomers hate us 😤
Theorizing the return of boomer hate – and what it has to do with friendships.
Aerial objects shot down by US believed to be balloons
Understanding the UFO War
China says at least 10 U.S. balloons flown over airspace
The White House Wants You to Believe UFOs Weren’t Aliens
What is…going on? Seems like nothing but it’s gonna become something stupid. (Lisa Murkowski ain’t happy about it.)
Senator Dianne Feinstein to Retire
This is major! Finally!
Nikki Haley Taunts Rivals With 'Mental-Competency Tests'
"GOP should move past "stale names""
"liberals got me out here defending NIKKI HALEY"
Unfortunately, she’s right your honor. (If there is one Republican who could maybe change the course of the party, it’s Nikki.)
New Cars Are Only for the Rich
Oof. But also: we need some major public transportation upgrades! Help, Pete Buttigieg!
The Ohio Train Derailment Is a Disaster of Misinformation
A great take on this. If you do want more, Alissa Walker and Washington Post got you.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is leaving
What is going on??
Fox News stars blasted election fraud claims they peddled
Is anyone surprised?
Microsoft's Bing AI Prompted a User to Say 'Heil Hitler'
Why a Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Unsettled
Bing Chatbot told reporter it ‘can feel and think things’
This week in “AI is going well!” (And also a reporter trend of trying to make “Gotchas!” out of silly AI conversations. Get a life.)
The New York Times Continues To Make Its Priorities Clear
New York Times Sign On Letter
Another journalist trend: calling out the Times for being transphobic. Good! Finally. Chase Strangio’s thoughts on this are quite sage.
Brianna Ghey: UK charges 2 teens over murder
Oklahoma judge transferred a lesbian mom's parental rights
“This is terf rhetoric”
This week’s big news in anti-queer actions.
I got a surprising message from one of my siblings this week: a screengrab of what was believed to be a Boomer close relative’s Instagram burner account.
They found it by accident. There were no elicit accounts followed, nothing illustrative of curious sexual proclivities or depraved interests; instead, it was all right-wing accounts that seemed to confirm an IV drip of ugly information we’ve suspected for years. There were the usual suspects (Mike Lindell, Fox & Friends, GOP) but also a few wild cards (Russell Brand, Maria Bartiromo, Rand Paul). Most surprising and not were a string of traditional Catholic accounts (Pope Francis, The Catholic Register) which tied into the user handle: a reference to a 1930s anti-communist encyclical.
This is less alarming, but a symbol of a trend we’re seeing the sequel of as it repeats something that happened a decade prior: The Boomer Hate Machine.
If you’re an American Millennial, or someone who was aware of cultural discourses a decade ago, you will remember the frequent attempted crucifixion of young people. They were the “me me me generation” who “have no work ethic” and are “whiners” living to “be jobless.” This naturally led to the great Millennial-killing-things trend that contained the truth of economic disparity and inheriting the ruins prepared for us by our parents, whose peers ostensibly hate us.
The conversation is returning today, not trained at Gen Z but the more amorphous “young people” – meaning Millennials and Gen Z (and likely Gen A too, as an extension of the education wars). The largest exhibit of this is the recent Roseanne comedy special, featuring such quality lines like “my pronouns are kiss/my/ass” and “Your gender is ‘get a job’, that’s your gender.’” Far from isolated, you also have people like Ben Stein (“We’re getting into a racial dictatorship.”) and Tim Allen (“Do wokees have a club house in someone’s backyard”) spinning yarns about the state of life today, with every shade of too-good-to-attempt-to-understand mixed in.
While there is an porousness of this thought (think Jeffree Star, Ben Shapiro, conspiracy culture, machismo) and an ongoing “OK Boomer” tension years in the making, this second-coming seems to be the result of Millennial and Gen Z ideologies (drag, BLM, socialism) having shifted cultural norms – and they’re big mad about it. We know this: that is not new, nor is it “the trend.” The trend is much sadder and darker, a reality that many of us play out in the theaters of our homes: our grandparents, our parents, our aunts and uncles, our families raised us to pursue knowledge, to live better lives – and they are apoplectic with who we’ve become.
There is the feeling that a large swath of vocal Boomers are living the life of Dr. Frankenstein, eager creators who now live in constant terror and anger at their creation. Naturally – and most ironically – these people may not “hate their kids” in explicit ways but hate everyone else around their age. Yes, they will fund their adult child’s lives but they will also vote against their interests. I’ve thought about this for over a decade, that someone who could ostensibly be my parent – who pushed their kid to go to school, to be educated, to be an individual, to be self-reliant – is outwardly hateful at young persons because they aren’t living a life that they “agree with.” It’s very “love the sinner, not the sin” which constantly puts the Boomer on a pedestal of more money, more experience, more “life.” It’s immature and invalidating, a holier-than-thou act that some think is based in unresolved trauma.
Moreover, it’s becoming increasingly impossible to be taken seriously by Boomers because our adulthood is so different from their adulthood. We are continually redefining what adulthood literally looks like, are having less kids (and are very vocal about it), many of us don’t have houses or are living without a partner, the relationships we have are atypical, from being more queer to sleeping in different rooms, and we generally indulge in kid-ified things like sleeping with stuffed animals. This is all to say: it’s been a decade – and we still haven’t grown up. This is a matter of respectability politics, but a matter of translation: our lives are hard to understand. No wonder my relative’s burner account is full of so many hateful things, no wonder so many boomers are seething: they don’t get us, despite making us. So, instead of turning to curiosity, many turn to hate.
I feel like talk about “hagsploitation” has been happening for months, if not years, and this Dirt story does a good job at exploring it. One can’t help but draw a line between A24’s “ugly” old women and the treatment of Madonna.
Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia
I don’t normally share celebrity news like this (Honestly? Don’t care. This isn’t US.) but I do think it’s interesting and important to talk about the cognitive loss of major figures, to help amplify the need for us to care for these issues and our elderly as a society. And, yes, I am reading Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal.
Professor Suggested Mass Suicide for Old People
“capitalism: from cradle to grave”
Speaking of. This is unhinged and ridiculous that we’re even having this “conversation.” (Again: Being Mortal feels more present than ever as a cultural analysis.)
Selling Out Still Sucks
The Inescapable Inevitability of Fan Service Fatigue
These all feel related and get at finances being placed over creativity!
Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and the loss of fashion magic
Pharrell for Louis Vuitton and the Celebrification of Everything
This is so lame and boring and capitalist. I tell Bobby this all the time, when he complains that people line up to get into stores like Louis Vuitton: these are brands who aren’t concerned with being interesting. They are instead reduced to a stupid status, manifested by uninteresting, expensive, needless products.
The Balenciaga Designer on the Brand’s Controversy
I wanna see Demna back at it again, but much of this feels like someone sucked the life out of him and replaced him with a PR AI. Very sad! (I am eagerly awaiting the March show though…)
17-Year-Old to Direct A24 Horror Movie
I’ll be honest: I don’t have high hopes for this. But I do think this represents something big for the creator-to-Hollywood pipeline, a la: seeing creators as creative visionaries (or curators) instead of “talent.”
"Are there acceptable uses of blackface?"
I love Dara Starr Tucker’s videos and this is a great breakdown of why so many shows and Hollywood products using blackface as a means to “teach lessons” often fall flat.
Catapult to Shutter Online Magazine, Writing Classes
This was major and sad and wild, largely because of the layoffs and that so many people were able to be amplified by Catapult which was a legit literary scene online. But also? Catapult was a Koch brother billionaire pet project. Eat the rich.
I was going to write about Drag Race and how this season has been suffocated by Paramount’s synergistic greed. But that seemed myopic! Instead, a sequel to the first essay – but let me know if you do want a deep dive on Drag Race season 15 because it may be the worst season ever.
Hua Hsu’s Stay True is a book that will define a generation. That generation – Gen X? Millennials? Gen Z? All of them? – is to be determined, as it’s less a product of the (Gen X) writer and more a product of what readers and the world want in this moment: stories of fierce friendship.
The book is a lean 208 pages that paints a delicate picture of Hua – a pre-hipster textbook alternative of Taiwanese parents – and his friendship with Ken – a Japanese American frat boy – that transpires in 1990s UC Berkeley. While the happenings of the book are readily available, I’m not going to go into detail (and would implore you not to read into specifics) because what happens between them is exactly what makes the book one of the strongest entries in the canon of friendship tales, one that is less about the literal friendship and more about the fingerprints a friend leaves on you, about how their words echo in the hallways of the mind.
Stories of friends have been an ongoing subject of interest – The Banshees of Inisherin, Insecure, Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar, both The Friend and What Are You Going Through – as are stories that analyze what it means to be friends, from musings of platonic love to friendship distances , the emergence of Galentine’s Day, and the dissection of “big” friendships. This naturally crashes into “chosen families,” families consisting of friends and people who you cobble together to be your support given the closeness of the relationship. This has similarly trended – the Times loves a chosen family story, Rina Sawayama wrote a song about it, new stories are published every few weeks on the matter, and RuPaul loves this talking point – and gets at something that is very obvious: friends now mean more than families.
While a subject like “chosen families” was formerly an anthropological term couched in queer conversations, the idea has gone macro. Yes, we still have families and, yes, so much of media is “about family” – but our cultural differences and geographical distances create a lived experience where tensions further divide who we were then, to family, with who we are now, to friends. The subjects of friendships and chosen families aren’t “so big” now because friendships got stronger: they’re so big because our family relationships have weakened – and we’re looking for strengthen these replacements.
Culture is appropriately hungry for narratives on friendship. This is why there is a constant anxiety about friendships: like stories about what to eat to “be healthy,” stories of friendships have taken the place as our constant thing to preoccupy ourselves with. Are we hanging out enough? Are we in a loneliness epidemic? Should we use friendship apps? What strategies are good for making friends? Are American men in a “friendship recession”? Should you use work to make friends? Should I get a friendship coach? Why is making friends so hard? All and none of these stories have answers.
They suggest the loss of greater community (a subject I have written about for years at this point) and how friendships are our top priorities, despite eluding us. Friendships are unofficial and confusing, something more complicated but more rewarding than family. All this media-about-friendship emphasizes exactly how being a friend is modern life. The narrative thread in culture isn’t about being a child, a parent, a sibling or any other family member: the narrative is about being a friend. As Stay True suggests, life is hard – and being a friend may be the hardest part.
"if i am jack"
"Presidents Play MW2"
"what ai voice generation is meant to be"
"dragged down by these twink allegations"
This was a big week for AI generated presidential debates. The twink death one is killing me.
"bye bye to the 🤢"
The latest TikTok “it” product is a straw you use to take shots without feeling like you want to vomit.
"what about the planet?"
Re: deinfluencing from last week.
"No link. No sources."
It’s giving Gen Z Boomer TikTok conspiracy.
“don’t care for flowers”
That really is the former Princess of Wales.
“they yassified barney”
In case you missed the buccal fat-removed Barney.
"Checking & Comparing Two Pouches"
I had to look at the inside of a kangaroo pouch so you do too. I promise you’ll hate it!
"Thinking about Susan from Guess Who’s glow-up"
Speaking of makeovers.
"William Eggleston over here"
This is killing me. Add some cute couples posing and you may even have some Deana Lawson pics too.
"health message warning"
New goal unlocked in Wii Fit.
"Why would they do ice spice like thissss"
I have watched this Ice Spice Mii makeover so many times.
"When I am studying"
This dog was all of us this week.
And, finally, me turning up this three day weekend.