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The Trend Report™: History Fatigue
Theorizing why it's exhausting to *consciously* live through history.
Welcome to The Trend Report™ where you get a capturing of what happened this week.
This week we’re talking about the fatigue that comes with history interrupting your daily life and how one major magazine botched an otherwise easy cover story win. There’s more news from the end of America (LOL.) and a tech company who made a mask that changes colors as you talk (Bleh.). You’ll also find a reimagining of the Champs-Élysées, an architectural site besieged by suicides, some great Devil Wears Prada memes, and a way to remove Donald Trump from Home Alone 2.
Surface Pro X,
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Everyone is tired. The left is tired. The right is tired. Young people are tired! Old people are tired. City people are tired! Country people are tired!! We are all tired!!!!!!
Why? Because, uh, the affairs of the world are seeping into everything. The personal is political, yes, but that also means politics is now everywhere, making your work also your play and your play also your work. Vegetables are deserts. Deserts are vegetables.
For example: there is a recurring joke on Tumblr where people create memes in a moment of historical significance that inevitably result in someone finding out major world news via meme. It happens again and again and again. This is a great example of one looking for funny internet escapism only to be rewarded by the news leaking in.
This piggybacks on a phenomena of our recent cultural consciousness called “living through history” and being tired of it. Since the beginning of the pandemic, people have expressed in so many forms that this pile-up of historical events is a lot. The virus and political collapse the racism and the environmental ruin and the inequity: it’s too much. The past week alone has been a chapter in a future AP American History, so much so that The Smithsonian is collecting ephemera. What started as “This is fine.” in the early 2010s has progressed to “Damn...I’m kinda tired of living through these major historical events.” We all want to be ignorant again. We crave an empty brain.
How do we deal? There are no answers. If there were answers, I wouldn’t be writing this. There are think pieces on how social media managers can grapple with news burnout and stories about apps to help you distract your brain from the 2021 nightmare and Twitter conversations bonding over the fucked-up-ness of the past half-century of (American) life. No coping mechanisms are adequate for the world right now – and that’s…okay, I guess? Again: this is what happens when the personal is political.
For those of a specific lifestyle, for those who are always online, we’re at the center of a perfect storm that has been in the making since the dawn of contemporary internet culture. If we’re looking for ways to temper this fatigue, perhaps we need to invest in rebuilding the internet and learn from the newly two-decade-old Wikipedia, a site well known for managing and fighting misinformation. People are looking to this website as a sage for help navigating the future of online discourse. Perhaps we’ll learn a lesson here.
Notes from the apocalypse, political edition.
11 Journalists on the Capitol Siege: ‘This Could Get Ugly’
A play-by-play of what went down on the Capitol from those reporting on-site.
"Troops quartered in the Capitol, the Civil War vs now."
“…TAKEN IMMEDIATELY TO SAVE THE…CONSTITUTION”
Spotted via sharp shooting camera, some notes from a Trump meeting – that seem to insinuate more coup activities.
Can Republicans Bounce Back Post-Trump?
Trump Is Blowing Apart the G.O.P. God Bless Him.
Trump’s Cronies Will Try to Redeem Themselves.
There are a lot of think pieces about the GOP and Trump but the trend I keep seeing are the stories wondering how the political party will bounce back. I am not sure they ever will: they’re going to stay the same, continuing deeper down this sordid path.
Cops From All Over Were in Coup Attempt
Black Police Describe Racist Attacks
Officer Eugene Goodman hailed as 'a hero'
Officer who was on duty during the riot has died by suicide
Officers Wouldn’t Be Surprised If Congress Helped Attack
Another trend this week: talk about the cops at the Capitol and what they went through, whether to protect Congress or help the attacks.
3 Have COVID-19 After Republicans Refused Masks
The selfishness. If you want to get even more furious, watch the video of Republican congress members refusing to wear a mask, as to “not get political.”
Trump Made the Stupidest Possible Argument on Mike Pence
In case you missed it, Trump called Pence a “pussy.”
FBI warns 'armed protests' planned at all 50 state capitols
I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again: this shit ain’t ending for a while.
Trump supporter who died followed QAnon conspiracy
Woman Killed in Capitol Embraced Trump and QAnon
There were many tragedies last week that began well before the Capitol attack.
Charlottesville Tried To Warn You This Would Happen
Who is surprised?
The $3,000-a-month toilet for the Ivanka & Jared
Long story short, these rich assholes wouldn’t deign to let “the help” shit in their house. What evil people.
NRA Files For Bankruptcy
BYE GIRL (From New York, that is.)
A Horrific, Tragic Story Ends in Execution
If you didn’t hear, the first federal execution of a woman in 70 years took place late Tuesday night. This is a story of mental health and trauma that ended in one of the worst ways.
"I couldn’t say or move much.”
In an alternate universe, reflecting on the tenth anniversary of the shooting of Gabby Giffords would have been this week’s top story. Alas. Here we are.
“the weirdest & dumbest sh*t our failed dictator did”
Because this momentary hell of leadership is days away from ending, enjoy this bonkers thread of the ridiculous things Trump did while in office.
Some concerning science and tech items.
How Does the Coronavirus Variant Spread?
Two Worrying Coronavirus Variants Local to U.S. Flagged
Coronavirus variant to become dominant in U.S.
I don’t want to be that guy who stresses you out but the new variants of coronavirus are very concerning!
CNN's Sara Sidner cries during Covid-19 report
This went extremely viral – and rightfully so. Because it’s fucking brutal and really an indictment of how LA is handling Covid.
Parler's Implosion, Explained
The conservative social platform completely blew up this week, as everyone expected.
Someone Wrote ‘Trump’ on a Florida Manatee
What are people not seeing here about the cruelty of Trump supporters and, in many respects, Republicans?
The Bitcoin Dream Is Dead
Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires From Bitcoin Fortunes
The Sperm Kings Have a Problem: Too Much Demand
This story is far from new, as queer persons have been finding their own sperm donors for years. Perhaps this represents the dawn of artisanal sperm donation?
Worlds Smartest Mask
Y’all high if you think I’m wearing this cyberpunk rave cosplay accessory.
2021 Will Be Shorter Than Normal
THE EARTH IS LITERALLY SPINNING FASTER WHAT DOES THIS MEAN (Nothing for most people, unless you work in astronomer, computers, or other, similar technical fields.)
Last weekend, the February cover of Vogue leaked. It featured Kamala Harris – Cool! – but the photo was not great, making the cover feel too casual and non-celebratory. It was an overstepping, something that deprived the first female Vice President of the United States – a person who is arguably the most powerful woman in the world – the respect she is due. As the genius, Robin Givhan of the Washington Post, noted, “a bit of awe would have served the magazine well in its cover decisions.”
The fallout has been big. Harris’ team was quick to note their distaste, that they were “blindsided” by the cover. The photographer, Tyler Mitchell, subtweeted the magazine by only sharing the alt-cover, which Harris’ team had consented to be used for the cover. The magazine went from “Look at our cover star!” to “Uh, here’s the digital cover too.” on Instagram. Anna Wintour, the antiquated presiding figure at the magazine, is directly to blame as she made the decision to change the cover – and she has defended her action, saying, “I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the vice-president-elect’s incredible victory.” Wintour’s former right-hand-man and style icon André Leon Talley has come to her defense, saying, “It’s positive. It’s modern. It’s as minimalist and modern as a Madame Vionnet bias-cut dress from the 1920s — and we’re in 2021.”
While Talley’s sentiment and perpetual eye for historical detail is always welcome, this defense may be clouded by his Vogue Stockholm Syndrome: Wintour is a dinosaur whose racism and mishandlings have been noted again and again and again and again. The decision to undercut and “soften” the image and significance of a Black woman in power isn’t happening in a vacuum, neither as it relates to Wintour’s personal history nor as it relates to the history of white women mistreating Black women. This is a Karen problem of the champagne variety.
Good and bad cultural efforts.
Tourists Return to Cancún. Workers' Covid Fears Don’t.
Americans escape to Mexico to avoid COVID-19 restrictions
Here’s a bad travel story! Sure, covid shaming is passé but you can go ahead and delete my number if you’ve been participating in this bad-trend. Who are these people?
Champs-Élysées to become "an extraordinary garden"
This will be very beautiful! And should happen in more cities!
150-Foot Sculpture at Hudson Yards Closes After 3rd Suicide
Yikes. I wasn’t even aware of the other suicides!
Disney and Pixar’s Soul
Bobby and I watched this recently and it is a very, very good movie. I don’t hear enough people talking about it! The film is artsy and weird, a beefy reflection on what gives your life meaning. Come for Pixar’s general goodness, stay for Modernist art via technology multiplied by a soundtrack by Trend Reznor.
End Of Year
Cool music forum 555-2020 has a really interesting 2020 review that features many an artist and music figure speaking for themself.
Ten Long Years Of Trying To Make Armie Hammer Happen
Instead of sharing anything from the current headache of the Armie Hammer news cycle, I am res-haring this 2017 story. Rich people! I can’t!!!!!!!!!!
Louise Linton Has Made a Movie
“Steven Mnuchin’s Hollywood Wife,” they mean. The movie features Ed Westwick too, noted accused rapist. Why the Times thinks this is notable, I do not know. Perhaps it’s the same reason why so many corporations support Republicans?
Siegfried Fischbacher, half of Siegfried & Roy, dies at 81
I was recently chatting with a friend, who said obituaries are some of the most interesting reads. This is an example of that.
How This Drag Race Contestant Sourced Her Wardrobe
I do not think Kahmora Hall is going to go far this season (Which sucks!) but her wardrobe is so good.
Pig Painting May Be World’s Oldest Cave Art Yet
And it’s at least 45,500 years old!!!!!!!
“I’ve Never Had Any Ambition As An Artist”
In case you missed it, Tilda Swinton came out as queer.
Nickelodeon’s Wacky NFL Game Ends With Coach In Slime
This pro-kids-concussion production made a splash! And seemed like fun, despite sports’ dying breaths.
"@HaswoodForKS sworn into office wearing traditional attire"
Let this TikTok brighten your day!
This week’s sillies.
Truck Hauling Wind Turbine Kinda Hurts Your Brain
I had a dream had earlier this week about a giant wheel that rolled over parts of buildings to help demolish them. Anyway, this reminded me of that.
Here are all 70 puppies competing in Puppy Bowl XVII
Look at all these babies! I LOVE FLUFF.
CLAIRE SAFFITZ PARODY
This is funny, but five minutes too long. (It’s eight minutes.)
Do people really care about the Sex & The City reboot? It will be bad and try to incorporate social media and work really hard to be woke and discover people of color and we will all be embarrassed and mad – and be deprived of Kim Cattrall.
Normies Are Getting Creative
I cannot get enough of this song.
I am gay and I will not write about the fucking sea shanties. You can read about those here.
"Oh no, Ariel Pink. wyd"
I love how far the right is reaching to claim this pile of meat.
Me, since March 2020.
"every charli xcx song playing at once. i'm so sorry"
Is this 100 Gecs?
My brain is melting.
Speaking of Devil Wears Prada!
"something that’s happening on Latin American social media."
Homophobes collide with Baby Yoda. The “G” in LGBTQ+ stands for Grogu!
"the role of [redacted] will now be played by Hatsune Miku."
This made me cry.
And, finally, me trying to tell Christopher Nolan that I hate him.
Next week, we’re talking about drops and…probably more political turmoil.