The Trend Report™: Express Interest
Attempting to understand new means of expression based in reference, recycling, and Roblox.
China's Role in Climate Change
“China alone generated about the same amount of CO2 as the next four countries [in the top five polluters] combined.” Oy. This is a problem!
Yes, There Has Been Progress on Climate.
Some good news though! But, as this article shows, in advance of COP26, we still got some work to do.
fast-food items contain plastics, linked to health problems
Here we are again, out here eating plastic.
How to Decide Which Covid Booster Shot to Get
Informative, as many of us are figuring out whether to get the same or mix-and-match. I’m planning to talk to my doctor about this!
Jan. 6 Planners Cooperate With Congress Members
Alright. This is something, even though I am tired of January 6 stories.
Zillow's Flips Are Now Flops
Some good news, for those like myself who want to see technocrats suffer.
Third of Workers Feel Worse in Office
Than the lowest point in the pandemic! I keep seeing memes about people wanting and missing home. Again: did we learn any lessons from the past year? Oy.
California condors can reproduce without having sex
Obsessed with these asexual California condors!! Related and not: this diva big bird.
I want to welcome you to a new era of self-expression that draws on collective consciousness as a way to make more dynamic image macros and entertainment items.
Both high tech and lo-fi, building on both the rise in Skyline pings and the chaos edit, I’ve started to notice accounts pushing the idea of schmurgling into new territory. These take a few forms but all feel like Whisper posts for a demographic who were born understanding how to edit video and audio just by growing up with a smartphone. Set to mash-up sounds from accounts like @onlyshitposts2, @jonahpedro, and @legierrigel, these posts and accounts are dedicated to the extremely mundane – discussing instances of homophobia, jokes about kids on Roblox, gripes about getting detention, food orders, commentary on one’s diet – manifested as sound bites, music, visual puns, and other things that add more texture in saying how you feel (even if you literally are saying how you feel).
This is another example of media’s degradation, as we all have access to tools of expression, as everything lives on your phone, making any version of video ultimately meaningless – and powerful. We have words, yes, but now we have sounds and images and so many more dynamic ways to say what we want to say. That, plus we’re bored and have so much pent up creativity. We’re expressing ourselves in so many more dimensions now. We’re not just watching television, we’re making television as status updates. The gap of learning how do something like edit or how to create a three act structure is now much slimmer, yielding a generation of producers. Where these things may build to are accounts and efforts like Tiffany’s Drag Race, a TikTok “reality show” that uses Roblox and Discord and Twitter to make living Drag Race fan fiction.
If you’re, say, in high school right now or at a specific twentysomething moment, you’ve seen these and made these. This is normal, not new, and, in so many ways, the evolution of old school memes that Millennials can call to mind, images of cats and fails with large white words in the Impact font. What’s different is their dynamism, but not the small, particular audience, which is always how new ways of expressions emerge. This may feel like an alternate universe for older persons but is the mainstream for so many young persons, an emergent spastic form of entertaining expression that shows, yes, someone can live fifteen years and “get” all the cultural gestures that some adults spent decades learning and refining, become experts in. Everyone’s an expert now. Everyone’s interests, everyone’s everyday, is now entertainment.
The Secret Toll of Racial Ambiguity
Rebecca Hall’s Passing? This is my Joker and I’ll be much worse. Talk about feeling seen in this story, save for the reveal that Hall is a (fully self-aware) rich kid.
Zombie Barneys! The Genius of Spirit
I don’t know what it is but there’s something so macabre about this. We know Spirit stores reanimate the dead spaces of capitalism and something about this story, while fun and funny and design-based, gives me the creeps.
The Grotesque Is No Longer Shocking in Pop
This is an interesting take, about how horror has infiltrated the pop music landscape.
Way Forward Machine
For their 25th anniversary, the icons behind the Internet’s best archive have launched an interesting digital experience that lets you “look at websites” in the year 2046. What you’ll find is an overwhelming exacerbation of tech today.
Guy Spends $150 a Year to Eat
The wild story of a man who spend only $150 on food a year, by eating free meals through his Six Flags membership.
Ageism & Sexism Intersect on the Dance Floor
A great look at how older DJs who are women and femme are being pushed out, and how to make room for more in dance.
B.J. Novak’s Face Is on Products Worldwide
One of the best internet culture stories you will read in a long time!
A very interesting trend where Chinese influencers are posing in front of Costco, to elicit American luxury.
A few quick trends, because I ran out of time and not.
Joker Culture: The movie Joker has made a comeback as a meme shorthand that I am loving: the phrase “this is my joker,” to express how awful men acted when that movie came out, to express something you’re obsessed with along with “my villain origin story,” to share something that makes you mad, even if it’s extremely small.
A Horny Theory: I’m tired about writing and Tweeting about brands being horny. Since last week, when I implored brands to stop being horny, we’ve had a few awful sexy brand developments: Hulu said they were “horny,” Dr. Bronner’s talked about booty holes, and Detroit Metro Times talked about being sexually excited by a Target. Happening in tandem was the release of the Lightyear trailer which brought out a unique brand of thirsty gay man who were lusting after this version of Buzz Lightyear. These two things may seem unrelated but I think we’re at a cultural moment where people are not getting laid and it’s manifesting in how we talk and who we want to have sex with, no matter if they are a cartoon. What started as a joke is ending with the language around sex – being horny, most notably – being reduced to “I like this a lot.” This is what happens when people are too dejected and depressed to have sex: sexual expressions become asexual at the hands of brands and cartoons.
Kid Bait: Millennials should know better, that life is trolling and younger persons are here to make fun of them. This week’s case-in-point is that fucking stupid “The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds” story. People were talking about it and it story is very silly, which the writer seems to completely miss. As many have noted, articles like this are dumb as shit because they expose one’s lack of diverse friendships in age and how divested one is from other generations. Y’all corny! Get on TikTok and shut up.
Kid Dorks: As observed by Embedded, the “no bones day” phenomena has yielded an official “cringe” moment for Gen Z. It’s true! No bones day is really silly, a new branch of the “doggo” linguistics. This isn’t anything new, and is building on an infrastructure of culture that is inherently embarrassing when looked at objectively. So much of TikTok is ridiculous! And, one day, people are going to wake up and realize that, while fun, there’s something inherently silly about performing in a room for no one, dancing and singing like no one is watching because no one is watching.
"top 5 spooky fungi"
Look at these things!!!!
"Legend Martin Brundle 😂"
I love this old British man trying to talk to Meghan Thee Stallion.
"Banned Words and Phrases List. Perhaps this may be useful"
Surprisingly, Gen Z language has peaked much earlier than I thought it would. Take notes, BRANDS.
"i'm fucking distraught… "
Personally? I would take it as a red flag if someone said Sally Rooney was why we should date.
"I NEED HER.."
Anyway, here is the queen we need right now to take men down.
"the type of messages I get on dating apps smh"
Dating seems like hell.
"i don't condone violence but"
The way this is every gay man.
Speaking of gay men!!
And, finally, a reminder of how I use Twitter.