in our climate denial era ✌️🥺✌️
On inaction in the face of catastrophe and why there's a new TikTok controversy every week.
13,500 weapons surrendered in Serbia
“not going the thoughts and prayers route”
This is wild. It’s like there’s a lesson here to be learned!!
Indonesia Plans on Building Nusantara, a New Capital City
I haven’t read this full story but it’s wild to me that 1.) the original capital is sinking because of climate change and 2.) the president’s answer is “Fuck it. New city.” Like…what?
Cities Priced Out Low-Wage Workers, Graduates
Woo wee, cities down bad.
Montana’s TikTok ban
TikTok Users Sue Montana
They were making threats about this a few weeks ago and actually did it!! This doesn’t “happen” until next year and, with creators suing the state in return, we’ll see how this plays out.
“calling you trash isn’t the same thing ”
“You hate him more than you love your family.”
"a quick comeback"
Democrat brought receipts to the GOP
Nebraska Senator Megan Hunt and Texas Representative Jasmine Crockett had a breakout week. (Not that, for Hunt, her colleagues are investigating her for a conflict of interest since her child is trans. Trash people!)
All of Ron DeSantis’s Crimes Against Good Etiquette
"why did no one tell me this is what the video looks like"
I feel like there is a lot of talk about Ron DeSantis’ poor behavior, especially his awful laugh.
Disney scraps plans for Florida campus
lmao this is a giant L for both as, if you lived in LA, you heard about people who were going to have to make the move. All that planning eaten, thanks to Meatball Ron! Loser behavior!!
Won't Hold Tech Companies Liable for User Posts
Key Moments From Hearing With Creator of ChatGPT
Two big tech-and-politics stories this week.
Andy Warhol Ruling Limits Fair Use for Copyrighted Images
This is something – and it’s going to make creative projects for pay tricky for some!!
L.A. Sees 69.5% Decline in Production Permits
SAG-AFTRA Board Votes Unanimously For Strike Authorization
Also nice! But note, reader, that SAG and its current president are historically very whack.
There is a picture of a man, shirt around the neck, appearing bloodied and dirty, reaching beyond the camera. The band of his underwear reads UOMO, a very common, very European choice for male undergarment, peeks out from black pants. In his other hand, he holds a deflated hose that extends, like a lazy, unfurling U to the fireperson a few steps away. Of course, he isn’t the point of the image: it’s the fires. It’s the trees burning, the bright patches of orange that turn white with heat, the smoke and ash gathering around to make the time of day impossible to discern. Is it night? Morning? The warmest part of the day or the coolest? Dry weeds and branches reach out in the foreground, curious to be touched. They lay over his bare chest creating a trick of the image, that turn these dried flower heads into EKG pads stuck in the wrong places, in the armpit, too far off the abdomen to take meaningful measurements.
This picture is from August 2021, taken of a local resident helping a firefighter on the Greek island of Evia extinguish a massive wildfire. This picture appears at the top of a Guardian story with the headline “World likely to breach 1.5C climate threshold by 2027, scientists warn.” Pictures for similar news varied by publication – The BBC shows the planet with a ketchupy glower at the equator, Al Jazeera looked to a field of pistachio trees with only one tree in bloom, the New York Times has the Dixie Fire with silhouetted trees before a glowing orange sky, NewScientist has classic melting ice floes, Reuters similarly features an icy island with a confused polar bear, Financial Times graphs a jagged red line cresting higher and higher as if soon to break through the ceiling – but they all tell the same story, about the planet’s highest degrees coming sooner than expected, as insufficient measures crash into El Niño enabling more climate chaotics.
Are these pictures, these headlines, enough? How do we make this news interesting? How do we make this story sexier? How do we make people care? This is always the question, one that I’ve heard for a decade in covering the subject and is all that came to mind in encountering what should be the biggest story of the year – but won’t be. No matter the newsroom or the way into the subject in my experience – talking the metro and biking for Los Angeles Magazine, getting Kermit The Frog to talk about it for TakePart Live, opting for sensational SEO stabs (Donald Trump vs. The Weather Channel, California “sinking”) for attn: paired with trying to skew the issue toward hope, softer Earth-friendly resolutions and newsy Doomsday warnings for POPSUGAR, revealing how wasteful Hollywood really is for Vice, little newsletters on private jets and the sun and protests – it never feels like enough. We clearly do not care. We’re tired! We have no attention span. My house isn’t on fire, but I can send you $10 when yours disappears.
I like to think of life as a story, continuing over years with chapters and character arcs emerging in hindsight. You can analyze these narrative after they pass but, if you’re lucky, you can analyze them in-real-time to understand and learn live. What is the moral(s) in this instance? What opportunities are there for growth? A year into the pandemic, it was clear the lessons weren’t learned, that we wanted, craved, desired to kill ourselves for the sake of “how it’s always been.” The answers are obvious – Stop buying shit! The growth economy is bad! – and yet things are the same. Remember when nature was healing? We don’t care about that anymore. We refuse to learn. The subjects aren’t appealing and we are too busy to change, to live with any discomfort. We’re too smart to ignore these implications but, for whatever reason, we do nothing. At this point, we’re all climate deniers.
One day, we’ll have our reward for this lesson going unlearned: standing in ashes, shirt around the neck, crying for help to extinguish the fire as everything burns around us. What will your fire be? And did you learn enough in time to prevent it?
When Extremists Crashed French Drone Festival
At the intersection of politics and the arts, this great coverage of the shocking You Origin disruptions by
Hollywood moved to automation long before AI
“YOU CAME UP WITH QUIBI”
“again with this”
"we just got NBC's proposed lineup"
Maybe next week I’ll write about the long tail of executives and business people and MBA types killing creative worlds (especially Hollywood), but this Fast Company piece really does an excellent job of it. A must read!
How ‘The Office’ Solidified Their Connection
The best gay wedding story that includes a Supreme Court Justice that you’ll read all weekend.
Martha Stewart is Sports Illustrated’s cover model
May we all look as good as 81 year-old Martha Stewart in Sports Illustrated this summer.
Dodgers withdraw Pride Night invite
"This is a pathetic capitulation to bigotry"
As if baseball weren’t already irrelevant (They recently changed the rules to make it more exciting!), they go and do this shit. Shame!
Pop star changes his name to Abel Tesfaye
“The assistant in the record store”
Weeknd no more! Whatever you say, Abel!
Loreen - Tattoo | Sweden 🇸🇪
I watched part of Eurovision last weekend, as if obligated because I’m a new European. It was…something! The winning song’s pretty good. I give you that, Europe! I will probably never listen to it again but you should listen to it, in case it plays somewhere so you can give a “Did you know…” speech about as it was the bisexual singer’s second win.
Beverly Glenn-Copeland is back with a new song from his new album, the first in twenty years. It’s good! If you want to know more about him – or love good documentaries – please watch Keyboard Fantasies about him. It’s my favorite music documentary of all time!
ANOHNI and the Johnsons - It Must Change
Speaking of big returns! AHNONI announced her first album since the classic Hopelessness. She said a lot of the album and songs are responses to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and you can feel that in the new single, both in sound and sentiment. Get ready to think about the world and cry!
"How I cut up my t-shirts"
“you asked a guy in a cropped tee”
All the TikTok boys are cropping their t-shirts to fit better and, reader, I am getting very close to being influenced. (Maybe I will try and…write about it? You tell me.)
Also trending for men: toupées.
Every week on TikTok there is a complicated controversy with storylines that emerge by the hour as users weigh in on, turning yesteryear’s “main character” into a worldwide mystery to be solved with truth. We describe them as a “-gate,” a silly echo of an echo of an echo of Watergate, a controversy named after a DC hotel-apartment complex that now describes everything.
The latest “-gate” was #Tattoogate which, if you’re not familiar, was a situation where a woman shared her troubles getting a custom tattoo where an artist charged her thousands of dollars for a subpar design. It unearthed a tattoo world of micro-transactional scams originating from one tattoo artist’s teachings to (over-)charge clients. The saga has more or less ended, as the original poster is now getting a free tattoo and multiple people have sent her free designs.
Like gossip, situations like this spread fast – and are fun to watch – because anyone vaguely related can participate. This happens a few times a month, with #Cakegate (Baker complained of bad client, client shows receipts, client outdoes baker, everyone exposes the baker.) and the non-gate #Kentroversy (Guy named Ken convinces TikTok of serial killers in certain cities, he starts claiming to be private investigating, which people discover is pushing his app, unsavory Tweets of his are revealed, he attempts to atone) breaking out from the app to the real world. As of this writing, the latest in this string is the yet-to-be-titled #LexieJate, where content creator and Monty’s Good Burger co-founder (???) Lexie Jay was exposed for her privilege (Read: being rich.) via gleeful sharing the story of a seeming enslaved a woman who her family employed as a servant for thirty years without helping her emigrate. Only now, decades later, is she returning to her homeland for the first time in decades because she’s too old to work. Right on cue, Lexie is attempting to “set the record straight” with an apology.
This behavior is very human, related to call out and cancel cultures, but I think there is more here: we are creating justice in a world where there is so little justice. Situations like tattoo artists softly robbing people, a questionable baker making questionable cakes, aspiring private investigators misrepresenting their skills, and a rich girl who rich girl’d too close to the sun are not things that any traditional court or “law” can remedy. There is no justice in this modern world but, in the people’s court of social media, there can be peace as people can root around online, speaking to reality and sharing their experiences in the pursuit of truth – and this pushes all the bad actors in question to cave. So much of society simply doesn’t work (If you want change, call your representative!) which has us starving for consequences. As the rich and corporations can run wild and free, we seek the satisfaction of a good comeuppance online since the courts, our representatives, and our countries just don’t care. The “-gates” are less about ruining someone’s life but about having people eat reality sandwiches: you can’t publicly share poor choices without being held accountable. These are the “-gates” of justice, which will continue to swing until larger systems in our society actually work.
“a man is dead”
“support public transport”
“let me mute”
The “serving cunt” trend was absolutely insufferable this week, but here were a few highlights.
"if he remembered how to skip"
“that’s how you skip?”
Adults on TikTok are trying to skip and are failing fabulously.
"Harris appeared in public in a very strange state"
I don’t know what Kamala’s on but I want some of that giggle storytime juice!!
"wildest possible fit"
”I am crying”
I need more George Santos court content.
"Grindr has officially Gone Woke"
Liberals have gone too far. ENOUGH.
”try a Bioré pore strip.”
The only influencer post you need to see this week, about how Bioré will help you through a school shooting.
"i love the internet"
A lot of takes on Taylor’s problematic relationship but this one sums it up quite well.
“Omg I remember”
This is one of the best Twitter pranks in a while.
“Johnny Depp's teeth are literally ROTTING”
I had to see this gross man’s disgusting teeth and so do you. (Yes, they are real pictures.)
“quit and garage sale”
Just some practical financial advice for you.
"Elderly circus bear"
Remember that old bear from last week? Here’s her backstory. She is an icon!!
“every doge deserves a chance”
If you do anything, watch this video of the ugliest “dog.” I wish I knew where this was from.
"havent forgotten the bonk"
Two animals on some bonk behavior, both of whom made me laugh very hard.
“my eyes getting wider”
This is…a wild AITA which, for those not in gay world, is something that has long existed and is akin to “no fats, no femmes” etc.
"AI could never have written this"
One of the strongest anti-AI positions.
"Alien: the Musical and unfortunately it looks incredible"
Okay, AI generation did something right. I would watch this! (Actually that’s a lie: I would look at a few more pictures of this “idea” before getting bored.)
And, finally, me at the end of a long week.
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It's funny because I really anticipated at least a few comments on your "No Lessons Ever Learned" section and...crickets. It's almost like living in a parallel universe where a few of us have the ability to see the future and the rest are just oblivious. Initially it was frustrating just trying to get people to SEE (kinda like Patrick Swayze in Ghost) but I've become resigned to the fact that whether or not we've been personally responsible, our species continues to think it can fuck Mother Nature six ways from Sunday without her (rightfully) doing the same thing to us. It's a shame, really. But it certainly makes me appreciate what we have now (not to mention giving me the time to stock up on the necessities we'll need when it all goes to shit and everyone is SO surprised :) .
Lots of good stuff, especially the "automation before AI" thread. Frankly, ever since fan service began in earnest in the '00s, Hollywood sucked. Plus Internet content has long been drudge work in service of The Algorithm.
Frankly though, the whole "comeuppance" narrative in your second piece, look I get it but I'm older than you so maybe I'm just exhausted with all the bickering and justice. I miss laughter, discovery. Let's be clear, stand up is in the toilet and it won't overflow out anytime soon, but i remember when viral stand up clips were either funny or they were, say, Tig Notaro's affecting tale of cancer. I guess I'm saying now the Internet is too much "YOU'RE WRONG! YOOOU! YOU'RE WRONG" and not enough "Here's something wonderful." Sorry for the long comment. Blame the ristretto shot