The Trend Report™: Consume Words
How slang and turns of phrase are becoming expressionless and a trend rich girlies are turning to to seem not-rich.
Critical Moment for Roe & Supreme Court’s Legitimacy
Oy. I feel the heat and much of American legitimacy’s about to get scorched.
Biden Has Approved More Oil & Gas
White House Mocks Mailing Covid Tests
Come on, dude. Joe Byron really doesn’t want us to support him in the next election, does he? Can we just get a president who actually cares about the planet and be done with this shit?
Omicron & Holiday Travel: 12 Pressing Questions
Are you stressed about holiday travel? I am and I am not!
"pledged service to the American people"
I feel like the Reality Winner story is one of the biggest items in contemporary American history that we really don’t hear about enough. (Fun fact: this all went down where I went to high school in Georgia – and on the military installation where my father worked for 20+ years.)
"ceo lays off 15%"
Better.com has mass layoffs
First, I have no idea what “Better.com” is nor that they “are valued at” seven billion dollars. Second, this CEO sucks. What a TikTok!
New York City to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections
This is cool and hope it happens in more places!
the damage caused by deadly tornadoes
Awful and huge destruction.
"free returns are destroying our planet"
I…did not realize this!
"Is Kamala Harris a bully?"
This cartoon seems to sum up the media well.
My aunt recently told me a story about an eccentric guy she knew, whose personality was saying movie quotes. This wasn’t the standard, Millennial “I love lamp.” style quoting of pop culture but an evolved form as the guy would record entire movies to tape and, while driving, listen to them repeatedly, training to quote entire movies on command. It’s a sort of strange, contemporary story that speaks to how pop culture informs language and how pop culture language can inform one’s identity.
I feel like we’re in a moment of this happening on a large scale – and has been happening for years and years – as a result of the internet. There are so many times as of late where I speak with someone and a sentence is a pastiche of slang, internet references, and memes, yielding a speech pattern that feels both borrowed but also too concentrated for anyone slightly out of the loop to unpack. Something like “Naur, it’s giving me all the vibes even though they’re a big age flop.” or “Not me manifesting the girlies bringing mommy energy to the gig. Oop!” has become a form of collective expressionism that, while fun, seems to give up one’s unique ways of articulating yourself in exchange for borrowed words and phrases one did not make. Sure, you can quote Rolling Ray and, yes, it will be funny – but it also doesn’t say anything about you.
It reminds of contemporary pastiche culture and tomorrow’s aesthetics of yesterday, which are all about mashing things up to create something new in fashion and entertainment and art. But when this comes to spoken language? Something is lost as this way of speaking on paper becomes a chorus, as demographic turns of phrases deemed Zoomer or queer or Black or whatever signal belonging. When spoken, they become alien, out of context, like one is saying a word for the first time that has only ever been read and said-in-the-head.
This trend is less about the language itself but the act of expressing and how the ways we speak are also fashionable, that we try to mix and match words to show a new depth of culture understanding only to reveal little character. Yes, it shows that you watched enough Drag Race and follow enough meme accounts – but does it say anything about you as a person? Not really. Instead, you are placed as a viewer, a consumer, someone who stands and reflects.
Year on TikTok
A look back at the year in views. So simple and informative! I’m of the opinion that (creative) services like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and the like should send out weekly and monthly and yearly recaps of top trends, as if an actual service. Stats are always interesting! Just ask Google’s Year In Search!
Year in Search 2021
Speaking of! No surprises here.
Dictionary.com anoints word of 2021
Pinterest Predicts 2022
Other year-in-review and year-ahead items.
How to Pronounce Omicron, Chipotle, Dogecoin
Secretly Label Group Sets “Climate Positive by 2026” Pledge
This is great! And hopefully it trickles up to big labels too.
Bad Bunny Recreates Popular Dance
OKAY VOGUE!!!! This video made my week. The nineties looks! The queerness! The diversity! The suit that Bad Bunny wears! It’s perfect.
“lowest rated show ever”
'Santa Inc' Has 'Pissed Off White Supremacists'
I follow this TikToker because he’s funny and cute and makes TikToks about bad spellings (So sue me!!!) but he worked on this movie that got bombed by anti-semites. Fascinating peek into how culture (and hate) works now.
"this courtroom art"
The “Ghislaine Maxwell drawing Ghislaine Maxwell’s court artist” and general Ghislaine Maxwell courtroom artist storyline is wild and, yes, it’s true: here’s an interview with the courtroom artist who caught the Epstein affiliate drawing the drawer.
17th-century painting of Black woman
A painting of a Black woman and white woman has English historians and art persons alike super intrigued as it may help them understand race in the country centuries ago. Interesting!
Hanya Yanagihara after A Little Life
I’ll read anything about my queen. I love her so much because our stories – lived too many places growing up, journalist-writers, obsessed with darkness, mesmerized by finer things, particular – are very similar.
"Finland's Prime Minister is 36 years old"
Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’
I could have told you this! Feeling vindicated, even if my own book is in publishing pre-limbo limbo.
"Peacock monetized its pause screen"
Here’s a trend that I’ve been struggling to track but am seeing more and more: rich people pretending they’re suburban, trying to create the illusion they’re at their parent’s house or in the bedroom of a child.
Some examples. Grimes repeatedly does this on TikTok, making videos in a plain, small bedroom with a viral sunset lamp that appears as if she’s in her room at her parents’ house instead of a $2 million house in Pasadena or whichever Elon Musk house she lives at. Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes Leon, has made a version of this her entire aesthetic, replete with early aughts office pixelation and bedroom walls covered in posters. The feeling pops up in other ways – an Interview spread with Kali Uchis, Billie Eilish’s TikTok – via a close-camera claustrophobia that gives the feeling that what you are seeing is the only space the featured person has, that they can only afford so much.
It’s a subtle gesture. It’s less about a true visual aesthetic and is more a framing, a way of placing the camera and accessorizing images to make you feel less independent than you are. It dovetails into the wired headphone trend in which the generationally wealthy (Zoe Kravitz, Bella Hadid, Lily-Rose Depp) use the bygone tech item to appear like their parents have yet to buy them new Airpods. It dovetails into the meta-selfie, where one is confined by technology’s limits to take a photo of the self. It dovetails into the teddy bear trend, of reverting back to “the carefreeness of childhood in uncertain times” by surrounding yourself with teddies.
It’s a form of performed nostalgia, of infantilism, in a time when we’re growing up fast and looking more critically at people (like wealth, like nepotism). It’s also poor drag, which I’ve written about before, and is a means for the rich to minimize the frustrations, desires, and differences from an audience that are based on class. When Grimes pretends to be stuck in her bedroom making TikToks, it’s an attempt to make you forget she is parenting a child with an insufferable billionaire. When Lourdes Leon poses in kid’s room, it’s to make you think that’s her childhood bedroom instead of her place within Madonna’s coterie. It’s just the new trendy way rich people are pretending to be relatable, to distract you from the problems related to their status.
“ s/o to the nutter butter social media intern”
Feeling vindicated that the Nutter Butter’s Twitter got shadowbanned because of all their sexual posts. A win for people not wanting to see brands be sexy or talk like people!
"doesn't think there wasn't"
Love our former president’s use of grammar.
“Twitter for the last 24 hours’
”Where Nancy Reagan”
”explain this to them”
Because Ben Shapiro’s sister tried to slut shame Madonna, we were gifted great memes about how well known Nancy Reagan was for giving Hollywood stars fellatio along with the word “THROATUS” and “throat 6’6”.” What a time!
I keep seeing this tweet about Jackie Kennedy in different forms and it keeps cracking me up.
“past year of TikTok summarized”
This TikToker, Mikey Angelo, is gonna be huge very soon.
"defends the nerdy kid"
"defends the transgender kid"
This TikToker is really bringing you true stories of allyship.
“Olive Garden order”
These gays have been ruling my timelines and I’m obsessed with them. Eda me me.
"the new Lady Bird"
I want all talk of Licorice Pizza out of my timeline.
“a eyelash bug”
Everything in this video from last year (and new graduate Meghan) is perfect.
"if these celebs were in hallmark christmas movies"
I kept thinking the impressions were gonna be bad but they were all very, very good.
"not responding to casting calls"
Very hard out there to get casting jobs and or find proper porn these days!
"No one: Chilean campaign ads”
The kinda people I’m trying to vote for.
And, finally, talking about work.
Give a tip & subscribe to The Fox Is Black.