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The Trend Report™: Death, Subscribed
A quick rumination on our glut of non-upper information.
Modern conservatism is just being mad
The GOP realignment matrix
the GOP’s have-it-both-ways approach to Trump
"QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley's attorney
Let me tell you something about me: I go to therapy. A big reason why I go to therapy was that, one day, while on the bus, I realized I was mad all the time. I realized that: what depressed people have for sadness, I have for being mad. I worked on this, thanks to therapy. I changed. I say this because: modern conservative culture is just being angry. When a person is angry for no reason, it is a plague to the body. It is exhausting. It is useless. It is a mask for real problems. It corrodes from the inside out. All these stories get at the personal plague that the GOP and conservatives are dealing with.
Working Too Much Is Literally Killing Us
According to the World Health Organization, overwork is literally killing people. We know this because we work. Will this change things? Probably not. I wish it would! I wish it would.
You Can’t Trust People
My thoughts exactly on not-wearing-a-mask.
New Coronavirus May Jump From Dogs to People
"We're effectively in a race against time"
Turns out, as the planet warms, permafrost melts – and releases a lot of carbon dioxide. Cool. Cool.
Climate Change Forces Choices at Parks
We were recently in Joshua Tree and noticed burned Joshua Trees. We’re in a very interesting natural time.
"Idk if I was shocked but.. the differences"
An interesting look at Tel Aviv versus Gaza via Snap Maps, which reveal how different these worlds are: brunches in one city, bombings in another. Very sad.
Why captchas are getting harder
The fascinating history of Captchas is fascinating, including: the person who made the technology is the same person who founded Duolingo.
Okay. Google’s holographic video chat is...incredible. This is the future I wanted!
Most Terrifying Things TikTok Says Will Kill You
lol TikTok you crazy
When we eat too much, when we drink too much, when we stare at the sun too much, you reach a point where you cannot stand it anymore, be it in that little moment – “I’m full!” – or in the larger, grander scheme of moments, where you shift your diet, opting for smaller or healthier portions. I’m at that point with information. Specifically, I’m at this point with hearing about people dying.
There is a lot of sadness in the world. We hear about it every day. People are still dying from Covid. 212 people died in the bombings of Gaza. A storm in Louisiana has left five dead. Paul Mooney died. Charles Grodin died. One of the Queen’s corgis died. This Tuesday is the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s very brutal, very public murder.
This is all that I’ve encountered this week alone. If I had push notifications for news outlets on my phone – Which I do not. – I am sure that I would have heard about so many more deaths, so many more tragedies, so many more sad things that I have to pile upon the other sad things that I have to carry in addition to the sad things in my own life.
Information is a form of power. It’s joyous to know things! But there’s something about the way in which information about death, about people dying, about general sadness that seems to drive contemporary news and discourse. Like the ubiquity of random and useless holidays, a way for brands to capture your attention and add additional empty cultural calories to your cultural plate, conversations about death and the amplification of dying now feels similar, mundane, almost powerless. There is the sensation that death is nothing, to take power from this great end. That’s wonderful, in a way. There’s also a trivialization that happens, an inability to mourn, a constant compartmentalizing as you add another death and another death and another death into your trash compactor of human emotion.
Should we know about all the tragedies that happen on this planet and beyond? Yes, in a way. But we should also practice a diligence, a shielding of yourself from the news. I’ve mused on this before, mostly on Twitter, but I feel like I have so much in my cup in so many ways. To be a modern person is to live with the feeling that you are overflowing, dribbling everywhere. I have my partner and my dogs and my family and my writing and my day-job and my friends and my hobbies and my causes and the things that I want to do and want to read and want to see and want to be – and then I have all this information, mostly sad information, that the world insists that I see. I can shut out the world, opting to adopt forms of luddism, but I cannot afford it. I work online. I write online. I cannot not be online. To traffic in this space, to be someone who must give themself to the machine, is to also allow the machine to give to you – and what it gives is a lot of bad news. Yes, the memes are great. Yes, being able to talk and share is great. Yes, being able to organize and amplify is great. But to have to encounter, I don’t know, a state’s Twitter account using emojis to justify genocidal acts? Like...what?
I’m not saying I am tired. I am not. I am saying that to be healthy in a time like now is to know when to log off, to know when your head is hurting, to know when you have been staring so long at the fire that your eyes are starting to bleed.
“put the number in my cashapp”
Want to do a quick background check on someone? Put their name in Cash and see who they really are.
The Silence of My White Friends After Atlanta
My friend Esther wrote this great essay about friendships, race, and challenging (white) friendships.
Billy Porter Breaks a 14-Year Silence
This story is so great, offering the actor a platform to speak about his life – and what it means to be HIV-positive.
The man who didn’t invent Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
This was a big story this week: the origin story of Hot Cheetos, where a janitor came up with the idea, is apparently false. Here’s the incredible backstory behind this an urban legend.
Salma Hayek Almost Died From Coronavirus
Seven weeks in isolation! Had to be put on oxygen!!!!!! What a story.
Saweetie Wants People to Eat Filipino Food
I recently found out that Saweetie is part Filipino and hadn’t heard anyone talking about that (on my Internet, at least). This story covers her culture through food, perfectly timed as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month begins to wrap up.
Crowds at street corner for rare corpse flower
This is cool: a plant owner, who had been raising a corpse flower, brought the flower out to share the bloom with the world. How lovely! This is a great story of people being (((good))).
Everyone Is Beautiful And No One Is Horny
This story is old but I keep seeing it. It’s so great, as it maps how so many movies – superhero movies, action movies – feature sexy people with great bodies but are almost completely asexual. No one is horny. It’s bizarre and such a great observation.
Champagne Tries to Fix Its Problems
A very end-of-Taurus-season story for you.
You know where this is going but that doesn’t mean it’s fucking funny.
"He’s the genius of love!"
So you know, Bob Baker is on TikTok and this TikTok sums up the vibe I’m trying to manifest this summer.
"The world is cruel"
The best piece of meta-filmmaking created in 2021.
"She's coming, she's coming"
Obsessed with these extremely stylized how-to craft sketch videos of old people making anything out of wood.
"good comparison are the 90’s/00’s vs. 2010’s"
This is fascinating. I’ve been meaning to verify this recession-equals-long-dress observation but I believe it, sure.
Name a better comedic form than the news blooper.
"Things were different"
Have I shared this TikTok before? Even if I have, it’s just so great.
And, finally, a photo of me every night.