The Trend Report™: Get Unready
What back-to-normal ad campaigns miss and a further normalizing of the sexual private going public.
What To Know About the Delta Variant
I’m obligated to share a story about this, after failing to do so for two weeks. Be careful! But also: do you!
What’s causing outbursts of rage?
A very smart read on why our suppressed traumas are leading to mass act-outs on planes and in stores.
'I Quit' Is Signal of Economic Recovery
workers are quitting at record rates
Back to the office? These women’d rather quit.
People don’t want to work unless it’s from home
Workers’ rights! Workers’ rights! Workers’ rights! Been talking about this for weeks and months!!
Supreme Court Rules Against Union Recruiting
And here’s the opposite of workers’ rights.
"I want to understand white rage"
Tucker Fearmongers About ‘Anti-White Mania’
Two sides of a coin, which is interesting, given my own family’s involvement with the military and the cultural differences that come with that as…some believe Tucker.
DC Parties Popping, Even Without Biden
What It’s Like to Work in 115 Degrees
I spent a few days in El Paso, seeing family, and it was intense heat with little escape. This story captures what life is like when you have little but still must endure the heat.
Buying a Car Improved My Life. It Shouldn't.
Speaking of the two above.
Cancer-Like Parasite Emerging in North America
I don’t mean to scare you but we’re going to get lots of weird diseases as climate change unearths weird dormant diseases and creatures!
Special Straw May Be Reliable Cure for Hiccups
Government can't explain 143 of 144 UFOs
I would be bad at my job if I didn’t include this.
I got a PR email a few days ago with a subject line including the phrase “Ultimate Post-Pandemic Accessory.” It was for some spray. I didn’t even read what said spray did: I just archived it. I did not care.
Half a week later, I still don’t care. Remember last year, when there were shows like Connecting… and Coastal Elites and Social Distance, all not-about-the-pandemic but about-the-pandemic, shot to imitate video chats, in a time when all we did was video chat? Remember that? That is happening again, but in a different way: we’re being reminded that it’s over and that we should be running out into the post-pandemic world, arms open, eager to get back to all the shit we used to do, most of which involves spending money. Or something? I don’t know.
It’s not just that product either, or the fact that I keep getting similar PR emails every week, every day. It’s also Groupon’s “So @#$%ing Ready” campaign and AXE’s “AXEination” campaign and Extra’s “For When It’s Time” campaign and eBay’s “Get ReOpen Ready” campaign. We’ve been feeling this for months but we’ve reached a fever of sorts, where we’re one foot in and one foot out, where the corporations are yelling at us to “BUY!!” even if many of us are still just trying to figure out what we want out of life. It’s about safety still, yes, but also about easing in, taking your time, taking a measured approach. We are still discovering ourselves and, yet, the economy is making demands, like a friend who you keep trying to ghost but will not get the hint.
These ads are neither helpful nor successful. Yes, some people are probably seeing the aforementioned ads and getting horny for going out. I, on the other hand, get repulsed and bored, unsurprised by people trying to grab around in our pockets to force us back into the “old world,” which was a world that was literally not-great. It’s as if whoever made those ads lived a very different time, perhaps a time where they didn’t learn anything. That’s the feeling.
These ads will continue. A few weeks back, I saw posters for some brand boasting about wanting us to push our faces against each other. Funny! Or something? I’m not sure who these campaigns are for but they exist – Or persist. – and they won’t stop. It’s seeming that to be alone, to not spend, is an act of resistance. Such is American life though.
Just wait until next year, when there will be advertisements about “Remember that time? When we were on video calls…?!” We’ll see this, as we sit in offices, as we’re stuck in traffic, as we attempt to breathe with boots on our necks, longing for a different life, wishing we had all learned the lessons about fundamental change and a better life. Sitting with that greater loss is what we will be dealing with. That is what this is all about.
Britney Spears’ Full Statement
This was the story of the week. If you missed it, read Britney’s thoughts on her conservatorship.
RTDs to become second biggest alcohol category
In the US. And what’s an RTD? “Ready to drink” drinks, a category including everything from beer to hard seltzers – which have pushed this category’s popularity. It’s going to surpass wine!
Sha’Carri Richardson’s Big Olympic Moment
"tiny nacho cheese Doritos bag earrings"
I’ve gotten progressively disenchanted by the Olympics but these two athletes are definitely going to bring a lot of style to these summer sports. (Also: Sha’Carri is queer!) (Also also: USA has a badass trans biker!)
"a peek at what gear i carry every day"
And I thought I was prepared! Apparently Chelsea Manning is the most prepared.
Raiders player comes out as gay
First active player in the NFL. Ever! Also: I saw many jokes about how Colton Underwood is definitely going to try to get on this dude. White gays. White gays!
How to Exercise in the Summer Heat
After recently being in a very hot Texas, where I went for runs on very hot mornings, I thought this story was interesting.
Streaming Pays? Musicians Pin Hope to Twitch.
My friend Lauren was recently telling me how Twitch has helped mitigate gigs when playing as a musician is scant. It’s a whole other skill set that keeps musicians afloat.
Marilyn Monroe statue is an offense to Pride Month
This has been an ongoing saga in the Palm Springs / Los Angeles area and this review of the old, ugly “sculpture” puts the nail in the coffin: it’s bad art. Plain and simple.
Give Up On Hopes And Dreams
One of my favorite musicians, electronic luminary Terre Thaemlitz, has a documentary coming out about her philosophies and processes – and it seems quite sharp. Should be a great salve for helping to dismantle your toxic positivity.
Mark Peel, Who Forged a New Culinary Path, Dies
Another local-ish story, the chef Mark Peel helped to craft the contemporary food landscape in Los Angeles. His very under-loved The Tar Pit is maybe one of my all time favorite LA spots, where I have some wonderful memories from my twenties.
"I look at my mum’s old house on Google maps street view”
This went very viral and is <3
Drew Barrymore launching a magazine
Truly impressed how Drew leapfrogged Ellen to be daytime’s Ms. Nice so quickly – and is playing by Oprah’s playbook.
California’s wellness community has a QAnon problem
who is surprised
Everyone who is online is having sex online in some capacity.
And, while there have been normal people sex “scandals” (a la, Katie Hill), few situations where someone’s sexuality has been thrust in public have been handled with grace. There’s always an aspect of shaming, of puritanism, as if people don’t have sex or cannot seek pleasure however they like, privately or in public. The liminal space that is the internet doesn’t help this.
But we have a new hero, someone I wanted to highlight as I feel like this story didn’t get enough traction this week: Zack Weiner, a New Yorker running for City Council. Weiner is your average, aspiring civil servant, someone with a past in filmmaking (and a father who co-created Dora The Explorer) running as a Democrat. His platform includes better care for the homeless, small business support, education equity (including literal financial investing in students), and augmenting the police force with therapists. He seems like a great guy!
Yet, because Zack like us all, is sexual, the New York Post published a story about his participation in a BDSM sex video. The news was seeded by his own campaign to get ahead of bad press, which the Post’s initial story attempted to do by going into detail about the video’s content (“a gagged Weiner,” “subjecting himself to various abuses,” “clips his nipples with clothespins,” etc.). What’s interesting here is Zack’s response, which gets at the heart of us all being sexual and being online.
As his (Notes app) statement reads, “I have grown up in a world where some of our most private moments have been documented online.” He shares that this was a recreational activity with a friend, for fun, that it was a private video – and that he’s not ashamed. He didn’t want anyone to see the video, no, but “here we are.”
Who knows if this will help or hurt his chances to win his election but it does represent a small turning point in our sexual lives online: there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, this is a form of revenge porn – but we all have sex, many of us having sex in a documented fashion, thereby becoming witting and unwitting porn stars in our own right. There is a new playbook being made regarding having sex and being a person in public – and this helps to contribute to that. Do I want the world to see my bits? No. But, should said bits surface, I won’t be embarrassed nor ashamed – and neither should anyone else. So long as the situation was consensual and pleasurable, this can inspire a greater conversation, helping this strange non-theocratic theocracy that we live in a bit less sexually self-flagellatory.
Karen Movie Teaser
Huge this week but...this will be a camp masterpiece.
"ACAB includes this mf"
Hate kids, especially narc ass kids.
"Telling my kids this was Sheryl Sandberg"
brb spooning my eyes out
"STARTED A PRESIDENTIAL CONSPIRACY"
house deemed 'little slice of hell'
Favorite local news story of the year?
“these tweets are all cousins”
All great Tweets. Good job, everyone.
"pissed yet powerless gym teacher"
I’m somewhere between these animals!
"bring some coke to the party"
Live, laugh, love.
"most carefully written wordsearch"
Truly a mesmerizing, anti-anal feat.
"these 4 dads are dating"
Happy Pride to all these gay dads.
And, finally, what I’m listening to all weekend.