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STAIN SWAG LET'S GOOO 💦💋〽️
Exploring why stains are the coolest accessory of the moment, and trying to figure out the bizarre silence regarding trans rights.
Tucker Carlson’s Private Contempt for Trump
Once an albatross, Jan. 6 is now taboo
Two things unrelated and seemingly “devastating,” but will amount to nothing. (Speaking of Tucker and January 6, this Fox item was absurd.)
Elon Musk grills former Twitter worker online
"Halli is an award winning designer whose company was acquired by Twitter. "
"plaintiff lawyers looking at elon like he’s a juicy ham"
“the sowing, the reaping”
“any company that Elon Musk has”
The second biggest story of the week, yet another example of the moral poverty of billionaires and the raging stupidity of Elon Musk. (If you missed this Twitter saga, the tl;dr is Elon picked a fight with a former employee – while outing and slandering him for being disabled.)
Catholic Group Buys Grindr Data to Trace Priests
This is related and…absolutely disgusting.
Before abortion pills, Walgreens customers were denied
Police prosecuting abortion seekers using digital data
Third biggest story of the week, about corporations propelling pro-life agendas (and the persecution of those seeking abortions).
Arkansas is set to roll back child labor protections
This is so unhinged and, of course, is the work of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
New Study Shows Air Pollution is Literally Everywhere
Is anyone surprised? I’m not. This is going to be an ongoing conversation for the rest of our lives.
Restoring rights for felons a rare bipartisan voting change
Similarly major, if true!
Mental-health crisis from Covid was minimal
This is comically wrong.
Studies on Teen Social Media Use Only Look at White Kids
An excellent point and excellent study!!
6-year-old who shot teacher won't face criminal charges
Award for most deranged post of the week.
Where are all the celebrities and public figures talking about trans rights, standing up for drag queens, and speaking up for queer persons?
If you’ve somehow been offline, away from politics or generally “ignoring” queer conversations, anti-trans rhetoric and general queer-phobia has been overwhelming in recent months. Three months in, 2023 holds a record for anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in the United States, building on already concerning laws against queer children and adults. The literal and metaphorical violence is organized, all in the service of galvanizing evangelicals and the religious to curry biblical hate. From being harassed in public by proud TERFs to promoting the (Nazist) eradication of people, what was once a “love the sinner, not the sin” attitude has turned directly into direct hate-the-sinner ideologies.
As has been pointed out, nothing has changed as far as queer people: instead, the culture has changed. Maybe that vibe shift The Cut was longing for wasn’t about heroin chic, but instead about more and more exaggerated forms of bigotry returning, creeping into the cultural system in bolder ways. While incidents like what happened at CPAC this week are isolated, the trickle-down is emboldening larger attacks on queer persons in big and small ways, in ways that micro or macro aggress. We had Pulse, we had Club Q: what’s next?
This brings us to public figures, to celebrities who love to post black squares and rainbow flags: what are they doing right now? This week, the “eradicate transgenderism” (and ensuing gaslighting) happened on Monday and yet…it was a story that seemed to swirl around queer and political spaces, without larger crossover. As many have asked in this, where are Miley and Dolly? Where is Tyler Perry? The B-52s have spoken out, along with artists like Maren Morris and Hayley Williams (and even Azealia Banks), none of whom are as big or as recently queered as artists like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. Is it that…support for a community only works when it’s profitable? Or that this could either isolate a ticket-buying audience? Or that this group is “too small” to stand up for? Is this inconvenient for an album rollout? Are there fears of protestors at your shows? Did saying something sooner not make sense with your MTV show? Does the trans pride flag not make sense for your promo aesthetic? What does support, allyship, and pride (corporate or not) even mean, if not a sales opportunity?
Yes, there is a fatigue about “all this,” that our intersectionalities seem to burden us. We’re all human, after all! But if we hang our pride flags and say that Black or trans or undocumented lives matter, that we stand with Ukraine and believe that science is real, what are we actually saying? That we “believe this” but only selectively act upon this? This is the smallest big deal and biggest small deal: if there isn’t a denial or condemnation, then is that indifference? Did this email asking for validation of humanity find you unwell? It’s moments like this, in witnessing the blemished face of hate so clearly in direct lighting, that require work. Otherwise, one of a thousand cuts goes untended, all because it didn’t seem like a big deal.
More Craft, Less Provocation
Balenciaga Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Crucify me but I have long been a Demna stan and glad to hear he’s back, doing what he does best: making great, forward-thinking clothes that are built with history in mind.
BetterHelp shared data while promising it was private
Not this. I love BetterHelp and this makes it a bit shitty!!
Deepfakes aren't as good as you think (yet)
The deep fake drag show thing is a layer of techno hell that no one wants but this finger-pointing is a new norm. Buckle up! Shoutout to
The Korean Flavors of My Youth Star in Party-Ready Recipes
Cheesy French Toast With Kimchi Recipe
"mac kimcheese w/ chili crisp breadcrumbs"
Fusion food is making a comeback. I’ve been seeing it everywhere in adjacent ways and it’s time to say it: fusion food is back. (Largely by infusing kimchi and Korean foods.) (This could be a larger trend story, which is to say…stay tuned.)
The Rise of the Sped-Up Remix
This social history of the sped-up remix is interesting. But: I think a big reason this is happening is because we need to consume more content, a la the watching-five-things-at-once effect.
A Dick-Shaped Lipstick
A deep dive on the “lipsdick” from
Men Out-Talk Women in the Movies, Study Finds
Cue “men talking” jokes.
MrBeast Disciples Eagerly Clean Up at Walmart
"think about the wider context in which all of this happens"
”The emperor has no clothes”
Speaking of dumb men things, Mr. Beast is at it again. This was the best take on the matter though.
The Kids Who Had Their Childhood Made Into Content
Your must-read creator story of the week, which I’ve said before and will say again: child social media stars are a variety of fucked-up-kid way worse than Hollywood child star.
If you are a lover of clothes that have lived a life, these vintage wears with vintage tears, you’re in luck: stains are in baby!!!
This feeling has been building for years, a decade’s long yawn from the Filson workwear days landing us here in the Carhartt streetwear days: gone is the off-duty worker, here is the I’m-on-my-break worker. There’s a lot that goes into this and why we’re seeing this phenomenon, which was recently declared the trend du jour byand explained as things that “communicate un-preciousness on behalf of the wearer while simultaneously indicating that you have been busy doing fun, interesting s**t.” The short formula is: paint and wine, good – ketchup stains and blood? Bad.
Why is this happening? You know why: the resale market is growing, making resold, well-loved clothes something that costs less and looks better. Why pay for marketing and styling when you can figure it out yourself? This is the egalitarian, working-class view of things. Stains rise – and so do unions. When we have the stained-goth crossover, we’ll be in trouble though.
The rich view of this is the inverse: wearing “stained things” makes the wearer feel more approachable and not-rich. It’s economic drag, a subject I’ve long been attracted too. The biggest “star” of this is someone like Kanye who, while “canceled,” ushered in an era of down-dressing for people of his status, resulting in cursed pictures like this. It’s no coincidence that the rise in the stained and distressed is happening as the BBL-enhanced plastic surgery body is on the decline: the rich are dissolving overt signals of the rich. This is why old Hermes bags are now cooler than new Hermes bags. This is why Emma Chamberlain is thriving.
The last part of this – and arguably the most important – is what I like to call Creative Cosplay™, where non-creatives can buy in on the credibility of a creative life through worn signals. As customized, one-off clothes rise and give the middle finger to the mass-produced, we have started to see that not everyone has the talent to distress and paint and stain their clothes, ending up with non-swag Etsy products. The fashionable smoking gun is obviously Emily Bode, who singlehandedly ushered in senior cords, hand-drawn corduroys based in Indiana Americana tradition. The hunt for Bode’s fashionable influence is less about the clothes but more the vibe, the long tail of the drip rocket she launched in 2018.
All this is the context for our fabulous stains. There is a spectrum though, a universe beyond Blackbird Spyplane’s taxonomy that extends the not-new-looking clothes genre: we have the dirty (Mishbv, Magliano, Balmain), the drawn-on (Collina Strada, Come Tees, The Row), the bad-dyed (Elder Statesman, Stain Shade, Wooyoungmi), the painted (Études, Paul Smith, Margiela), the quilted (Sea, Carleen, Kapital), the hole-y (Margiela, Marni, Balenciaga), and the cut-and-pasted (JW Anderson, Junya Watanabe, Dries Van Noten, Acne). There are more in this lore, yes, but this is all to say something else too: trends come around and take new shapes. The stain is to the 2020s as the bedazzled and ripped were to the 2000s. This is simply the second coming of Ed Hardy, this fused with class consciousness.
Obsessed with this Twitter bot that will draw what the original tweet you tag it in is.
The best International Women’s Day tweet.
"Scientists estimate they will bring back Woolly Mammoths"
"Donald Trump has earned his first #1 on US iTunes"
The pop accounts are desperate for views. (Related: the new Pop Crave slang runoff that we’ll be hearing soon includes “moved” and “ancestor,” the latter of which I am obsessed with.) (Also: floptropica.)
"you will need only one onion"
“what to make for dinner”
I’ll be honest: I am already annoyed by this creator’s “thing,” but this brand of chaos edit pastiche combo culture is the future and we’re going to see it everywhere.
"staggering how culturally distant three years ago is from today"
This is giving me extreme brain damage. Remember when everyone was like “ok boomer”?
"in love with the cover art of monthly halloween"
Now this is an aesthetic I can get behind!!
“Rating Husband calling”
Another week, another husband calling contest goes viral.
“zodiac signs of US presidents”
The thing I hated most this week.
"The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind"
I have said this for roughly two months now but: we have some confirmation of Pedro Pascal’s queerness.
"taking some risks"
I’ve taken the same risks as Mario Kart.
"love my daughters"
I would watch an entire ball of children voguing.
And, finally, me and Bobby having a conversation.