The Trend Report™: Holidaily
Examining why a different holiday season may mean smaller, more frequent holiday affairs.
Welcome to The Trend Report™ where you get a capturing of what happened this week.
This is a special, early Wednesday report because I plan on not-looking-at-a-computer for the rest of the week. So! This week we’re talking about every day being a holiday from now through 2021 and outdoor dining monstrosities, Covid bubbles run wild and the agony and ecstasy of Rudy Giuliani, a great Netflix recommendation and a few grandmothers who aren’t taking your shit this Thanksgiving.
X ft. Karol G,
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On this Thanksgiving eve – which you should not be celebrating – it’s important to note that getting together, gatherings, holiday commemorations and festivities are going to be different this year. People may be flying home at alarming rates, bringing home sicknesses that have brewed since Halloween, which means whatever is brewing this week will bring an awful Christmas: today’s high-infection rate is tomorrow’s high-death rate.
But I digress. One thing that I have feeling is coming is a more scattershot version of “the holidays.” Since no one should be having a normal holiday party – despite what some parents and the White House might say – we are likely to see a rise in more intimate affairs, meaning one night with fifty people will now be fifty days with one person. The holidays will be daily and, judging from Christmas trees being up and lit for the past two weeks in my neighborhood, Christmas has come early.
Given Zoom fatigue and a general eh feeling associated with big digital gatherings, people are going to get inventive, with and without technology. You may find yourself making something or gift giving online, according to Fast Company, while the Los Angeles Times sees everyone moving outdoors with easier opportunities to skip out on things in general. The New York Times wonders how people will rethink rituals, knowing that small gatherings don’t (but do) drive up infections.
I’m seeing this in my own conceptualizing of the holidays. Do we send out a link so people can set a one-on-one holiday something with us? Do we hold a Zoom telethon? Should we send out a newsletter and call it a day? To be determined. Some inspiration is coming from Alex Prager’s recent installation Farewell, Work Holiday Parties at LACMA: the indoor installation is now outdoor, smaller, turning ritual of the holiday party into something that feels improvisational, exciting, different. There are so many ways to reimagine this moment – and we will – and a big part of this is indulging in holiday indulgence, in the effervescence of seasonal offerings: this time of year is already extended and we can expect celebrations to be smaller and more bountiful, intimate, meaningful. Maybe that will be the gift we give each other this year: a swell in holiday activity with many more personal touches, the little conversations you steal away with a friend at a party now intentional, one-on-one, happenings held outside or digitally. (That is, unless we all succumb to pandemic fatigue.)
As we stare down the barrel of end of year moments, so will come the stories about rethinking the holiday party. Some will listen, some will not – but you will hear about it.
Somewhat interesting science stuff.
I Traced My Covid-19 Bubble and It’s Enormous
In case you’re wondering what having a bubble means, it means that everyone in the bubble is also bringing any person they encounter into the bubble. Be mindful! And know that, if you have kids, this becomes infinitely more complicated.
TikTok Is Doing a Better Job at Predicting Outbreaks Than the Government
This is a tech story, sure, but an interesting look at how contact tracing and monitoring illness is happening on social media in ways that the American government fails at.
Are Covid Patients Gasping ‘It Isn’t Real’ As They Die?
This is a great story, one that pokes very sharp holes at stories about Covid patients disbelieving the virus as they die. These sorts of viral stories are great, as they raise awareness of dangers, but they also deserve more scrutiny that many outlets are giving.
Coronavirus Is Capable Of Causing Brain Damage, Too
If you’re in the “It’s just the flu!” camp of beliefs, let this make you reconsider such a notion.
Computer Controlled Shackles Hold You Prisoner Until You Finish a Workout
What we all need in quarantine: a relentless robot trainer.
Calling Bullshit On a Study Claiming That Women Make Bad STEM Mentors
Yes, this study is literally fake news.
Looks Like the Aliens Dropped Something
This is someone’s art!!! I don’t think this is actually alien shit!!!!!!! Although I want to believe!!!!!!! I bet it’ll be some media company’s ad campaign stunt. The monolith’s being close to where movies are filmed confirms my suspicions.
More politics, more problems.
"Pretty bizarre for Murphy"
Trump “conceded” and, as Maggie Haberman notes, there are a lot of excuses.
Feinstein won’t seek top Judiciary Committee spot
After complaints from progressives for, say, enabling Amy Coney Barrett, Diane Feinstein isn’t going to be as pronounced of a Democrat in the future. Good! We need some young leadership for once.
What Happened When a School District Banned Thin Blue Line Flags
A very, very interesting microcosmic look at what police support and dissent looks like.
Some famous rappers backed Trump’s campaign. Did it matter?
An attempt to understand if rappers-who-support Trump actually had an effect on anything. Short answer: not really, for either the rapper or the politics.
The Danger (and Ineptitude) of Trump’s Failed Coup
This is long and I haven’t read it all but let’s all make sure we remember that a dumb or failed coup is still a coup. People are going to try to make us forget that. Remember. Remember.
"the dangerous consequences of turning public health into identity politics"
There’s a lot of stupid shit happening. Conservatives and right-leaning people making the dangers of Thanksgiving a matter of liberal cry wolf is one of them. Again: Christmas is going to be a disaster.
Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth
It’s all about money and money has made Facebook very, very, very bad.
"romantic moonlit scene in RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY"
Let this cleanse your palate. I hate any Trump adjacent media creations but I would definitely take a satire that looks over Rudy’s shoulder amidst the Trump nightmare. He’s the vehicle I’ve been looking for to get the story of the now.
"An absolutely epic, unrivaled one-month run for this king."
Speaking of Rudy.
I initially planned to bypass a second deep dive but the media is forcing it upon us: the state of outdoor dining as winter approaches with Covid, as cities like Los Angeles are ceasing operations.
Everyone is talking about this, from doctor hunk James Hamblin of The Atlantic, who observes outdoor dining efforts are becoming indoor efforts, to Patrick LaForge of the New York Times who has dubbed them “Covid Cabanas,” from internet soothsayer and NYT reporter Taylor Lorenz questions if people understand what “outdoors” means anymore to noted cool public figure Chrissy Teigen, who jokes how these absurd indoor-outdoor efforts are will kill you.
The question about these cabanas are if they’re safe. The “indoors” outdoors seem bad – but are they? NYT says such structures offer the virus an environment to hang out in. The Wall Street Journal stresses how airflow is key – and a lack of open windows, open air, is dangerous. Business Insider highlights the obvious: air flow is stagnant in a lot of these cabanas and that is basically a dangerous indoor situation. AP repeats that tents, with plenty of airflow, as those can be safe. And the Los Angeles Times editorial board is more worried about the closure of outdoor dining making more people move indoors.
Should you eat in a Covid dining cabana? No. The scientists, the media, the smart people highly advise against this trend.
Good culture and good times.
A bittersweet Thanksgiving for the grandmother and teenager
The yearly meme-turned-dinner story about the white grandmother who texted a Black teen to come over for Thanksgiving has taken on a sad, Covid turn. But the two still met up!
How To Keep Your Hands Busy — And SFW — During A Zoom Call
A recent story I wrote about how to hack Zoom calls by doing something fun that people can’t see on-camera. Love our dystopia!
Pete Davidson to Lead It’s a Wonderful Life Table Read
Who 👏 is 👏 getting 👏 Pete 👏 Davidson 👏 work 👏 because 👏 Pete 👏 Davidson 👏 sucks? (If you say Cazzie David, unsubscribe now.)
Why 'Head Empty' Memes Are Dominating 2020
A meme that yearns for simpler times. It’s perfectly now!
We Are The Champions
The best documentary show I’ve seen in a long time and it is just so fun. A most perfect form of escapism.
Jenna Lyons Is Back
And I’ve missed her! Will the former J.Crew creative genius be the same? This feature claims yes and no. What’s most interesting is she now has a reality show coming to HBO. A reality show with Jenna Lyons. The show is basically We Are Here meets Queer Eye but one queer lady and a multicultural cast using fashion as healing tool. Sure, this should have came out five years ago, at her hottest, but I still cannot wait.
Turns Out It’s Pretty Good: Fall
Writer Brandon Taylor explains his love of Fall. It’s delightful and makes me want to only wear sweaters, which is usually how I always feel.
"not me breaking down + crying reading children’s letters to santa:"
This is just……….beautiful and so, so heartbreaking. Happy holidays ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Is to Enter White House Collection
Not only is Noguchi the first Asian American artist to have work in the White House but also….Noguchi is going to be in the White House, under a Trump presidency. Huh?
A bit of giggly things.
"This amazing, probably AI created nonbook is #173 on Amazon."
"The title is literally the search term “Barack Obama book.”"
"Thank you for this gem of our current cultural moment."
Please, please look at this fake Obama book that is stealing buys from the real Obama book. The book has been pulled, likely due to this attention, but we’ll remember it for the techno-absurdity that it represents.
"This may be the strongest optical illusion I’ve ever seen."
I wish I was high, looking at this.
"I would rather put bees in my hole"
Speaking of hole damage! Hard same.
“How god made Lil Nas X”
Your weekly Lil Nas X fan cam.
"I hope she’s doing well. Thanksgiving legend."
Truly an icon. Speak your mind! Manifest.
"I’ve been laughing at this TikTok for 24 hours.'
I have watched this so many times at this point.
"Grandma out here taking NAMES this year"
Take a note, people. STAY HOME.
"death in the backyard while everyone is making their take home plates”
This is what the aforementioned grandma was talking about.
And, finally, me watching all y’all traveling this week.
Next week, we’re talking about everyone talking about Zillow and, finally, talking about Cameo.