The Trend Report™: Break Yourself
Looking at burnout and dreams, and why these things sustain us right now.
Ukraine's Mariupol descends into despair
If you read one piece about Ukraine, let it be this piece about life and tragedy on-the-ground. This will win some awards, not that it’s about that.
Fox News' Pierre Zakrzewski & Oleksandra Kuvshinova
Zelensky writes letter to family of journalist Brent Renaud
There are a lot of awful things related to this war but I’ve been struck by the deaths and tragedies related to journalists, people trying to share the truth of this situation.
Russian TV employee interrupts news broadcast
Many Ukrainians finding comfort in pets
“Meet the hackers fighting Putin”
"American preachers telling them to accept Jesus"
Other Ukraine stories round-up (the last one is wild).
The Beefing Boogaloo Boys of Ukraine
"drama as the Reddit Volunteer Battalion"
"put this short story in the New Yorker"
This is not funny but it is so funny. Background: US soldiers who “thought they’d save Ukraine” are being fed to the war machine. What the fuck else did they think would happen? Oh, also: a lot of them are white supremacists.
Why Is the World Ignoring the UN Climate Report?
Oy. My guess is *looks up and down* a lot is going on. (Also: corporate greed and capitalism.) (My armchair, running theories tho)
Europe's New Omicron Could Be a Sign for the US
Shenzhen imposes lockdown & Shanghai restricts travel
"how bad the Covid situation is in Hong Kong"
"just got COVID for a third time"
“not China going into lockdown again”
"they be just turning this virus on and off"
We talked about this last week but…brace yourself for the next wave. Everyone’s feeling it and talking about it! April is gonna be interesting, with Coachella and Easter and so many “things” that may spread sickness. Anyway, I’m gonna be like NPR Mark and continue masking. (Also btw NPR’s TikTok has been popping with big stories in small bites.)
A 2 Year, 50M-Person Experiment in How We Work
Stories of “the office” have been trending like woah. It all points back to power plays and, as oil is both bad for the planet and so expensive, you can see how much “business” cares for the environment when given an opportunity to reduce their footprint. We’ll touch on this later but this shit does not help our collective burnout.
Oldest US Latino civil rights group backs Puerto Rico statehood
hmmmm. This is a complicated one but…I’m not sure statehood is the move!!!
CIA black site detainee served as training prop
This is truly fucked up. Don’t become a state, PR!! Don’t fully join this mess!!
“Do not come.”
"White House is warning it will have to wind down"
The week in bad moves by the Biden-Harris administration.
"Speaker Pelosi reads #StPatricksDay poem by Bono"
THIS ISNT HELPING!!!!!! THESE FUCKING IDIOTS!!!!!!!
Senate Approves Making Daylight Saving Permanent
Finally some good fucking news. But, somehow, they’ll fuck this up.
On this first day of spring, I have a question for you: did everyone forget about Spring break?
This is something I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been mentoring a few college freshmen, trying to help them figure out majors and careers, as they share how they are getting ready to be not-in-school, to be on break. None of them have elaborate plans – One is going home, another is being visited by family. – but they all talk about how they are going to do nothing. They’re ready to rest and relax and do not-school. They’re tired! One even said they were burnedout.
This isn’t isolated either, as we know burnout continues to have a major moment. (The word “work burnout” has been on an upward trend in the past five years, save for a spike when it became an official medical diagnosis in 2019. If only we knew how that conversation was to evolve!) On Twitter, people are still spring breaking as they always have been, despite those who are saying, yes, spring break is just more work. All this is to say: yes, there are different worlds and this is very much what the kids talk about versus what adults talk about. Or maybe the algorithm is tired too, forgetting to surface this seasonal content.
Either way, this first-week-into-the-third-year-of-Covid, burnout is on the mind and the only thing breaking this spring is ourselves. Whether it’s a book on the subject or ways to clean your mind, the only thing on our third spring set against chaos and pain is how we are falling apart with no end in sight. What an era! What an ongoing, never-ending era.
"Fiona Apple is on fire right now"
One of the best uses of celebrity and one of the best explanations of how to call a congress person. Well done, Fiona “Court Watcher” Apple!!
Dolly Parton 'Bows Out' From Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
What's your 5-9 routine?
Love and hate this! Talk about burnout culture.
As a Crisis Hotline Grows, So Do Fears
This is objectively good, but seems to bury the lede that we need a suicide hotline of this scale. How off are we that this is happening? Again: burnout culture.
Art With a Point
I’ve missed this but Washington Post’s “Art With A Point” series is a sweet and nice time capsule.
"fuck this reporter forcing Matlin to praise her abuser on tv"
"Jane Campion…explains challenges of being a white woman"
So, the Critics Choice Awards seemed like a mess. (Save for Melanie Lynskey!!)
"man this sucks"
There was a lot of chatter around this stupid Jon Stewart segment. Calling oil companies “frenemies” feels very sheetcaking.
10 Minutes With Therapy Dog May Have Profound Benefits
I see the dog lobby is successfully lobbying again.
“I feel like I’m kind of good at everything,” they say.
“But what are you great at?” I ask.
“I don’t know,” they say. “I feel like…everything?”
“Then what’s your dream job?”
They take a moment. “I feel like I should be a creative director.”
This is a conversation I’ve had not once, not twice, but so many times over the past few years that a number is no longer valuable. This talk isn’t just with one type of person either, as I’ve had it with mid-thirties adults in jobs that they hate and with interns who are still in college. This “I should be a creative director.” talk always goes the same way and stems from an assumed aimlessness and misunderstanding of both what they are actually capable of and what a creative director actually does.
Technically, a creative director is a director level position (Meaning: not entry level.) whose job is to guide a brand, while offering, executing, and ensuring quality control a vision. The job is seemingly a catchall for all who feel “creative,” likely coming to mind for so many as fashion culture has made it the job de jour, as news of new creative directors suggest that a single person is in charge of looking at things and saying “Yes…No…That in pink!...No…No…Yes…Lose the zippers!” and whatever other cultural ideas of “being in charge” that come to mind, likely also popularized by Miranda Priestly. It reminds in how in the show The Hype that some designers were unable to thrive because they literally thought the job of a designer was to pick colors and influences while seamstresses made the clothes for them. They, unlike the designers who made their clothes themselves, did not fare well.
What this all illustrates is the creative director as the hottest, laziest job that is actually neither. This week alone Salvatore Ferragamo and Missoni all got new creative directors, which shows how frequently the word is thrown around as a sexy culture item. I think this obsession with “being a creative director” is less literal and more a desire to be paid to give an opinion, to be rewarded for being creative without having to do much. This makes sense given the rise of the creative-turned-personality (Virgil Abloh, Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, Demna, Ye) or personality-turned-creative (Literally anyone.), which shows how ubiquitous this “job” is. To bring the reality show comparison back, people just want to judge a fashion reality show, despite having none of the qualifications.
Like all careers, like all youthful (or delusional) ideas, the reality is that the creative director is the site of hard work wrapped up in celebrity. I remember when I was young, fantasizing about being an actor or writer, waiting for the day when it would just “happen.” I had so many friends who thought the same way, that one day someone was going to look at them and recognize their beauty and, in an instance, immediately hand them the keys to a kingdom. That…just doesn’t happen, unless you are rich or a nepotism baby and can buy that dream. Otherwise, you have to work – and work hard – in public, doing what you do on your own terms, out of the shadow of a job or any other “place” that obscures the reality of your dream. I hate to agree with Kim Kardashian but she’s not wrong.
What this gets at is dreaming – and so many want dreams to come true easily, especially in the arts. The fact is creativity just seems easy but, as any creative knows, it’s hard fucking work. The “creative director” while, yes, literal is an empty vessel, a fake (gay) job for dreamers to drive their dream toward, while not actually articulating what they want from their future. It’s our job, as friends and coworkers and elders and creatives, to elucidate reality for them.
“sister gets a new car”
“haven’t heard from that splenda daddy”
“goes to my ex-gf’s house”
"wondering why my fiance was being weird"
“my dad contacting me”
“rly bad period cramps”
My favorite current trend is this extreme twist ending video style, none of which you can predict. The song tag has a lot more just like this. Quite a way to turn the macabre into lols, speaking to cultural notions of mental health and coping mechanisms.
“why aren’t Millennials buying houses”
The rage I have.
I’ve talked about dead celebs before but…more proof of dead celebs online being weird!! (NOTE: The Tweet in reference got deleted but here’s the cache.)
I agree with this Amtrak ad about saving on gas but, wow, do I have notes on the imagery.
"Grimace has been euthanized"
rip to a real one.
"who tryin to kiss by the Shrektables"
“person that just moved to LA”
This is……….a lot of people.
“this guy is playing Wordle”
“this is probably the worst text”
“in a rabbit hole of dog breeders”
Obsessed. But also these dogs should…not exist! They seem unhealthy!!
"does it say BITCH or am I going insane"
Yes, yes it does.
"I hate interracial content but this was funny as hell"
Like this Tweet alludes, this seems like it would be cheesy but it is so funny.
I don’t care if this is probably fake but I want to believe.
"a specific genre of call out creator that is thriving"
I love Ryan Ken.
And, finally, me and my dog Oliver.
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