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is this mediocrecore??
On the mediocre uncanny, and why Coachella is now Flopchella.
What Do the Leaked U.S. Intelligence Documents Say
Leaked Pentagon Document
Leaked classified documents were posted Discord
This is clearly an emerging story, which…we will see where it goes!
Macron Returns From China to Allied Disma
Europe must not become ‘America’s followers,’ says Macron
Macron’s really beefing it these days, huh? But I do agree with his anti-America screed!
"a black bear punching Winnie the Pooh
This Taiwanese military patch is incredible.
Economist fears ‘end of capitalism’ amid ‘Greedflation
Blaming Capitalism Is Not an Alternative to Solving Problem
We’re talking about capitalism again! Both stories are interesting!!
Banking crisis to cause a recession this yea
Are we done yet?
Dianne Feinstein to give up Judiciary Committee sea
Dianne Feinstein Absence Is Holding Up Judicial Confirmation
"preventing us from confirming judges
Feinstein…has got to just convalesce. Go be old, dude! You don’t need to keep working, especially if you are in a position of power. America’s killing people through overwork at all levels, which hurts everyone. I’ll write more on this one day as this trend sucks.
An entire county's election staff quits in Virgini
"find out who works in their office
Bud Light marketing VP hit with crude smear
I was going to write about how everything is politicized now – but we know this. What’s new is that it’s making everyone’s life hell. We are all losing here! But I get it: we’re beyond the point of civility.
Drama Lover's Guide to the Coronation of King Charle
This is a mess and I hope it clarifies international anger against “the rich.”
I keep hearing songs that don’t sound real – a jazzy cover of Spandau Ballet, a bossa nova version of Rihanna – and I wonder if anyone else can hear them. Or did I imagine a soundtrack to accompany the food I am eating? I cannot tell. I lift my phone, to find proof that I am indeed hearing these made up song: I find “True” covered by someone named Jamie Lancaster and a 2008 Ri hit by way of Tatha Menezes. The songs aren’t like the ground-down, edgeless Muzak but instead, as other songs like Apollinare Rossi's version of Billie Eilish and Bossanova Tribute's take on Dua Lipa show, they are curious musical doppelgängers, sculpted to bend the ear, to make you wonder if you are indeed hearing correctly.
They’re not good, instead sonic pleasantries for you to stand while eating okay calamari as God intended. It reminds of the yearly TikTok super bloom: this is the time when young white women sit in their cars and forecast that they have “created the song of the summer.” The songs all sound the same, a version of nursery rhyme turned pop track. The vocals are mumbly, feigning as much drama as one can while waiting for your order at the Dunkin Donuts you’re parked at.
It’s all flavored water, liquid with just a little flavor: the songs are “waters of the day,” like piña colada water and Skittles™ water and birthday cake water, which are all of a sudden are on everyone’s feeds and made to feel “like water.” They’re also the conservatives beers that are the same beers as liberal beers, set against demonstrations of beers being destroyed which are actually from another country doing a visually similar sacrifice. Like songs and like the water and like the beer, channels and brands are also somehow strangely confused for entertainment products or people: movies about Super Mario and Nike and even the military can be both entertainment and advertising. It’s like corporations making anti-corporate media. Which makes you wonder: can a brand really be woke, if you’re just making the same product to take from different people? It’s all the same. It’s a mirror looking into a mirror. Synonymic definitions only slipping so far from each other – but there are differences. There are! Aren’t there?
This is a contemporary feeling. Have you been feeling it too? I’ve been calling it the mediocre uncanny, the sensation that something is attempting to perfectly represent another thing but only putting in enough effort to become the idea. It’s like in the movie The Thing, where you can see that the monster is trying to be a dog and, if you didn’t know better, you too would think that is a dog. But it’s not a dog: it’s a disgusting creature planning to kill you, or at least the object it is attempting to be hosted by.
We can also blame the aesthetics of AI. I do not mean AI itself, the benefits or the barriers that such technology presents, but instead the increasingly common idea that media and entertainment expressions and gestures are trying and failing to be something else – but we allow it to exist in this mediocre way because someone (A billionaire? A company?) told us it is a good idea. Many things these days feel like Dall-e generations, close but not right. Instead of ending a conversation, we stay in loop. Instead of creating vehicular solutions, there are barriers to public transportation and pedestrians. We await the great new pivot (which will yield nothing). This isn’t to say “AI is scary.” but AI is enabling a fuzziness between, a mimetic culture where smoke means fire (but is actually steam).
It’s an almost-the-real-thing state. We’re almost whole, we’re almost broken. We’re almost alive, we’re almost dead. Almost rich, almost poor. Almost friends! Almost enemies. The mediocrity, though, is the point. No change, no difference. Everything is soft and the same, too round for us to stop and thing “Wow. Things could be better.”
MrBeast’s Chris Tyson Went On Hormone
"HRT, and it’s only been 2 months 😱
"they done fucked up and made mr beast mad 😠
I am not a Mr. Beast enjoyer but he really said trans rights this week. Seems like a big moment in this stupid saga!
The Black culture platforms that push right-wing extremism
A fascinating story about how gossip account The Shade Room and similar sites are becoming hosts for right-wing theories. This is so fascinating, and is going to be the new Facebook-pushing-right-wing-content.
"local news? something really different
A very interesting little TikTok from a Washington Post reporter about the somewhat surprising differences between national news coverage of shootings versus local.
Dalai Lama Apologizes Over an Exchange With a Bo
I accidentally watched the video of the kiss (via this analytic TikTok, if you’re interested and which she warns is coming) and it is so nasty. It’s all as weird and bad as it sounds!
This Elephant Taught Herself to Peel Banana
Let her run for office. I’d vote for her!
Man who became trapped inside Edmonton public ar
Now that you have met a smart elephant, meet a very dumb man.
The Marvels trailer brings Kamala, Carol, and Monica togethe
I…feel like the ideas of multiverses (and metaverses) are reaching an end. There is something so joyless, if not completely rote, about The Marvels. More of the mediocre uncanny!
Manhattan Is Awash in Empty Therapist Office
A fascinating look at how therapist offices are increasingly empty – and very hard to re-sell!
A comprehensive list of 2023 tech layoff
Companies can't do layoffs right
"I would shut my ass up
I will write more about layoffs at some point (Too close to home, at the moment.) but the thing that I’ve said and others have said before: you cannot simp enough at work to “save your job.” Money, finances, business: they are emotionless creeps.
"the US is like Regina George
"the gossip writes itself
"i'll show you how to unionize your workplace
I am obsessed with these creators: one whose schtick is brilliantly explaining world news through bimbo affectations and pop culture metaphors, the other who explains economics and unionizing through Sonic animations. This is the future! Which is also to say: it’s School House Rock for Gen Z and Millennials.
I think this is the year Coachella officially entered its flop era. I could theorize on and on but I wanted to try to give a specific, evidence-based look at this idea. So!
The days of Coachella driving two week’s worth of trends are over. It used to be about the headliner creating stadium-show experiences worthy of docs (Beyoncé) or surprise guests who made the experience worth it (Madonna, *Nsync, the Tupac hologram). While K-Pop act BLACKPINK made big waves, non-performers like Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello made bigger waves. The guest acts were there but the difference is they’re not longer special, are predictable, and are generally eh. (Then there are the technical issues, like Becky G’s mic problems and Bad Bunny and Post Malone’s audio issues and the Jai Paul streaming confusion.)
The headliners – Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK, Frank Ocean – feel algorithmic, at best, both bigger and smaller than the festival, while also very clearly targeting audiences (latin, stan, “indie”) while maintaining none of the charm that can come from solo shows. Why go to this expensive, distant, uncomfortable experience when you could watch the livestream from home?
Related to the influencing is the economics of it all: Coachella is obviously now the American Express, Fortnite, YouTube, Casetify, Discord, Revolve, Clinique, Neutrogena capitalist sponsored experience – and that’s lame!
There seems to be a desperation to sell tickets. While ticket prices have dipped low, the tickets have not sold out for the first time since 2010. This is a surprise since last year’s “post”-Covid show sold out fast, likely because it was many person’s first big festival since 2020.
Coachella is wildly expensive for people who are not-local. This is not a new story but, given our economic state, the price tag is a sticking point. What has become a trend is ogling at the lavish and stupid luxuries you could have.
There are the politics, as the owner’s very expensive anti-abortion and anti-queer practices have not stopped. The festival, like all festivals, is also an environmental nightmare with a problematic relationship to local community.
Worst, people have no clue the festival is happening this year. No one knew about it, it’s in its flop era, confusion that it’s happening, and not even Vanessa Hudgens is there. For the second year in a row, the festival is in its flop era.
My theory is twofold: we’ve hit saturation point, where talk about Coachella just feels like advertising. It’s not a festival but a marketing experience! Now that things like the Museum of Ice Cream has died, so has the corporatized music festival. Moreover, Coachella is an extremely Millennial product that has not changed with the times, opting instead to become a more excessive, exaggerated version of itself.
It reminds of the viral Lee Tilghman influencer story, that the festival, the brands, influencers, and audience attending are using an outdated playbook: in an age where excess is out and quiet luxury steps in, who cares about indulgent weekends at music’s Disneyland? Sounds lame as fuck. I said this last year, but Coachella is Walmart – and it seems people are realizing the diminishing novelty of spending money to be uncomfortable and unhappy. Death by over-saturation.
”worst client experiences
"i didn't want to ruin her business"
"she wants to be TikTok famous
"maybe it's just this cake
The TikTok cake drama helped me get through the week. These cakes are all bad!! Short story is: cake artist ranted about bad customer, bad customer showed up cake artist, and everyone is laughing.
"#ToniCollette reflects on her time on the set of #Hereditary.
If you haven’t seen Hereditary: keep scrolling, as these have spoilers. Anyway, the wildest news of the week is that Toni Collette’s iconic “I AM YOUR MOTHER.” monologue was largely unrehearsed. (Related: a very good Hereditary TikTok.)
"you married into the fam with the original shining twins
Speaking of horror movies, look at these icons.
"how tf that little alien know
In my opinion, we need that little alien to be breaking more news.
"that one friend that tells you too much
Best lip sync on TikTok this week.
"is it avo?
You will not hear a better mispronunciation of “guacamole” this week.
“what shocked me as an aussie
PSA for white people: wipe your damn faces.
"This is a fake baby.
More motherly content.
Neighborhood petting zoos > kids selling lemonade.
"won’t be taking him to see the easter bunny
Happy belated Easter post from a very “Fuck them kids.” post.
"73 Questions with Vogue!
The best entry in the series!!
And, finally, me poking my nose into your inbox.