The Trend Report™: American Princesses
Looking at the connection between Meghan McCain and princess culture – and why one Madonna album is making a comeback.
15% of Americans worse a year into pandemic
A reminder that this year has been tough for a lot of people
‘A tsunami of cases’
India is having a lot of troubles right now with Covid, leaving their healthcare system overwhelmed. A lot of this has to do with new strains aggressively passing through communities.
Only 30% of L.A. County men got vaccine
MEN ARE SO DUMB YOU CANT STRONG YOUR WAY OUT OF COVID OR DEATH YOU MORONS GET A LIFE YOU ARENT IN AN ACTION MOVIE YALL THE SAME DUMBASSES WHO DONT WEAR MASKS BECAUSE IT LOOKS GAY GOD YALL STUPID
Bill Gates Impeded Global Vaccine Access
Like we noted last week and the week before, a part of the international suffering related to Covid has to do with American greed.
The Daunte Wright Sr. Memorial Fund
How to Demand Justice for Adam Toledo
Police who pepper-sprayed soldier fired
Gunman kills 8 at FedEx facility
This week was hard.
Black Woman Arrested
Why? Because her bank accidentally deposited over a million dolllars into her account and she refused to give it back! She did the right thing! I hate this place!
Plastics Now Spiral Around The Globe
The short is: microplastics have ruined everything.
French lawmakers approve a ban on short flights
Hey, some are trying to make change.
Mike Rowe, oilsplainer
I hate this man. (And, because I know it would make his conservative dumbass mad, I definitely watched episodes of his show where he was topless as a child because of repressed homosexuality.)
We Got a Monkey to Play Pong With Its Mind
What does this mean??????
Every few weeks, Meghan McCain trends. The daughter of an almost-president, she is the fading face if a fading political party. She represents a lot of things. The complicated culture of white women, the faux working class, nepotism run wild, and public figure as celebrity as non-expert expert. She’s a lightning rod, as we see in her trending week after week. And I think I know why this is.
For background, I know Meghan. She’s nice, for the most part, and is the sort of person who considers themself a rocker, a pseudo-counter culturalist who does things like call New York “Gotham.” She truly believes in the best for people – unless a camera is on. I know this from working with Meghan, producing her for a before-it’s-time Millennial talk show as a producer and occasional correspondent. It was one of my favorite jobs.
I’ve digressed, though, but I say this because, love her or hate her, Meghan is a uniquely American fascination: she’s a princess. She – like Sasha and Malia Obama, like Ivanka Trump, like Chelsea Clinton, like Jenna Bush Hager – is an American princess. She is a vessel with which a non-monarchical society lusts for someone who is in charge and blonde and beautiful and is known for doing nothing but being adjacent to power. Why else would she constantly remind us of her father? She’s a princess. She’s doing her job.
This is stupid, yes, but America is stupid. We’re a culture where the Disney princesses have paved the way for weddings to be equated with becoming a princess. Princess culture is Disney culture is American culture, where a man will spend $15,000 to visit a theme park during a pandemic only to get kicked out and arrested for refusing to get a temperature check. There’s a synergy here. To be a princess is to be privileged. People love Disney because it allows fleeting privilege, indulgence, and fantasy.
Everything from the wedding complex to gender reveals play into this, making obnoxious weddings and botched reveals viral bait. Gender culture is wedding culture is princess culture is Disney culture is American culture. It’s all the same. Why else was a woman hired to be a bridesmaid 125 times? Why else is one woman’s cancelled wedding stained her digital life? We princess therefore we are.
Perhaps the larger connective tissue here is an entire nation’s daddy issue with our colonizer, our desire to be British when we never will be. Meghan McCain in so many ways is a vessel for this. Our anger, our frustrations, our desires, our image of ourselves. Yes, Meghan Markle is actually an American princess – but her legitimacy and self-awareness makes her much less satisfying. What Meghan Markle did was fulfill the premise of fantasy, of The Princess Diaries and The Prince & Me and A Christmas Prince and The Princess Switch and The Royal We. What’s Meghan McCain doing? Living privileged reality, one popularized by movies like Chasing Liberty and First Daughter and My Date With The President’s Daughter.
We’re fascinated with Meghan McCain because we’re jealous. She gets to do nothing but profit off of being American. We have to work and struggle and suffer to get to go to Disney and have our weddings and be forced into gender binaries. Meghan? She gets to go on television and talk about her dad while reaping so many benefits, paving the way for someone like Ella Emhoff to take her place.
Adam Perkins Tributes After Vine Star Dies
The too-brief life of Adam Perkins, and Vine
This really, really hit me. Adam was the sort of funny, absurdist, queer, fashionable type of online person who I followed because I thought they were so cool. His death was surprising and sad and the sort of almost undeserving sadness that is hard to put into words but represents something unique to the internet. I’ve written about this before and the feeling seems to persist. What am I to do with this tertiary, aimless, undeserving, minor-but-existent grief?
Rathbones Folio loses £30k to cyber scam
Apparently cyber scammers are posing as authors to steal prize money. Mean! Authors have no money!!!!!
Mexican Moms React To "Montero"
I love this channel.
Gucci Teaming up with Balenciaga
This is maybe the most exciting fashion development in a long time. Relatedly, look at this great Gucci sponcon.
Fashion Criticism Lives on Black Twitter
If you know, you know – and this has to do with how gatekept fashion is. (Spoiler alert: every industry is this way!)
Bottega Veneta criticized
For doing events at Berlin’s Soho House and Berghain, amidst lockdowns in the city. As I saw on Twitter, this is an example of how rich people continue to do their stupid shit antics despite the world.
Shantay, You Pay
This is a fascinating story that serves as a state of the union for Drag Race: queens spend thousands on clothes to make it on the show, to not look like they shop at H&M. All this is to say: Drag Race has really abstracted the concept of what a drag queen is.
Bad Bunny’s Taking Pro Wrestling Seriously
Last week’s Bad Bunny appearance on the WWE was a turning point, in a way. And it’s also pretty major that a queer adjacent Puerto Rican musician has entered one of the most performatively masculine spaces! Something bigger is happening here. We love to see it.
"Gawker's coming back"
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES COME ON
I keep seeing Madonna’s 2006 album Confessions On A Dance Floor scattered across the internet.
It started with the Moderna joke which is a Facebook gays joke. Then DJ and all around cool person Dee Diggs shared how the song “Hung Up” captures a vaccination energy. Yashar Ali longs for the Confessions tour. As “my gay guide” trended this week in the shadow of the (terrible) gay Bachelor thing, I was unsurprised to see this album cover pop up repeatedly. Even I shared in this trend in November!
So why is Confessions a trend? Let’s analyze this.
Y2K nostalgia. The late nineties and aughts are having a renaissance via Gen Z, who are dressing for this time period and turning this era into a beauty “aesthetic.” It’s not just Gen Z either as the cosmo is making a comeback as reboots of Sex and The City and Friends happen in the background. It doesn’t get more mid-aughts than Confessions.
Anniversary culture. When nothing matters, every day is a holiday. This has been a thing for almost a decade now. Now that things like Legally Blonde and the Iraq war are turning twenty, these anniversaries collide with nostalgia culture. And Confessions? It just turned fifteen.
Disco revivalism. As discussed in the first Trend Report™ ever, disco is back as a form of escapism from “all this” – and it isn’t lost on people that this ABBA tinted album inspired neo-disco queen Dua Lipa to copy Madonna in a way. Moreover, Confessions was all about disco dancing in a 2000s time when bell bottoms brought the 1970s back. Almost twenty years later, disco dancing is being revived again, as are bell bottoms.
Coming out culture. As the summer of vaccination and June’s Pride creeps up on us, the feeling is that many of us will be coming out of a closet of sorts. Queers of a certain age, who used this album as an entree into their pre-marriage equality young adulthood, see this album as the soundtrack to freedom. Unsurprisingly, as we prepare to exit out onto the dancefloors of life, to be out and proud and horny anew, there’s a symmetry in the feeling.
TIME. “Time goes by,” Madonna sings on lead single “Hung Up.” “So slowly,” she laments. Later, in the song “Jump,” she muses about how“there's only so much you can learn in one place” and “the more that I wait, the more time that I waste.” There’s a dancefloor urgency to this album and, because we’ve lost time and are anxious to get on with it, there’s a symmetry.
What does this mean? We’re going to keep hearing about this album. It’s not a perfect album, no, but it is good enough. Get ready to get hung up.
"The way I screamed"
This video is probably fake but I fucking guffawed at the final second of this parallel parking fiasco.
bad art date
My friend Kate sent me this TikTok and it feels very much like a unique gay experience.
"how did they manage to miss the ENTIRE POINT"
Yes, we’ve reached the part of the culture cycle where Christian, God-loving covers of “Montero” are being made.
“feeding my pig slop in my new Tesla”
This brought me joy. Do I hate Elon Musk more than Christopher Nolan? I think so.
Some weird birds for you. Weird animals are having a moment!
"Cause I'm not like other girls"
I can sing this song in my sleep.
“RuPaul: hello, hello, hello”
"I wish a bitch would bring that shit out"
Just say no to “popcorn salad.”
"a play in three acts, but it ends with a murder"
Recipe culture is always wild.
"Omg. I can’t."
What that mouth do? EAT BIG ASS SANDWICHES.
“on the future of media”
Will you still read this when Covid is over :(
And, finally, me @ any baby.