The Trend Report™: Home of Phobias
Looking at the recent homophobia trend, a round up of hot items, and a newsletter that is way too long this week.
Who Are The Unvaccinated In America?
A great profile of people who aren’t vaccinated, sharing their reasonings and general sensibilities. What a world (Country.) we live in.
a massive MA Covid outbreak, CDC study finds
This is interesting, as these were with vaccinated people. A reminder to ~be out here being safe~
Hospitalizations Rare Among Vaccinated
But also? Vaccines do work! Things are not as severe, as this study says.
Can I get 'long COVID' if I'm vaccinated?
The answer? Yes. Don’t call it a comeback 😔
Will Covid End the French Bise Forever?
I didn’t think about this but the French kiss-on-the-cheek greeting is very much on the outs, because it’s very much not-Covid safe.
With a Gardening Column, He Documented Climate Change.
An interesting first-person account of how one garden columnist’s logging of local plants tells the macro story of the warming planet over forty years. Woof.
Maui to Tourists: Find Another Place
I have seen this all over the place, particularly as I keep hearing from multiple people that they’re going to Hawaii on vacation. Maybe reconsider that trip.
"Gallup asked Hispanic respondents"
About the word Latinx and most people said they don’t use it. Good for them! I keep seeing dunks on this and, as noted before, the word isn’t perfect but it’s trying. I use it! And will use it until something better comes my way.
What Cori Bush Taught the Left
You gotta shame the fucking Left to get some change. Thank you Cori for doing that, and for fighting for people to not get evicted!
Who knew this year would yield such a comeback for homophobia?
It started with the buzz and backlash over everyone’s favorite homosexual: Lil Nas X. With a series of increasingly gay videos, he pushed genres, religions, and people to think differently, to be confronted with unabashed queer sexuality.
Then, this week, we were treated to the messy saga of Dababy’s homophobia, which has been pointed out as the exact opposite of Lil Nas X’s message again and again and again this week. This led to multiple apologies and a series of meme-style dunks where “da” was added to everything related to DaBaby, from dabookings he lost to the daapologies he gave. There were too many rich observations, all ending in a queer white savior moment, courtesy of Miley Cyrus.
Happening concurrently was a crossover moment that leaped from queer twitter to the mainstream: the Demon Twink. Once or twice a year, an isolated by-and-for queer people story breaks into the mainstream in a similar way that @gaysovercovid did late last year. This go around, the story is about a messy kid on a Britney Spears party boat who got fucked up, ruined the sound system, and literally got his butt munched in front of everyone. There are receipts too, proof of this Demon Twink. It was a whole to-do of explaining this mini-moment to straight people this week, let me tell you.
Then, god damned dumbass dad Matt Damon kicked off his press tour for Stillwater by proudly announcing that he only recently stopped saying f*ggot at the behest of his daughters. Literally. Of course this caused the news to spinout, working overtime to bring all these stories together with thinkpiece after thinkpiece after thinkpiece. I’m exhausted.
I only point all this out because, for every Lil Nas X and Demon Twink story, there’s a DaBaby and Matt Damon story, even if we don’t literally see them with our eyes. As queer people, we know this because we live this. I still get called a faggot sometimes while existing in Southern California! Just because people can use the bathroom they want and get married doesn’t mean persons like myself aren’t the target of queerphobia in Los Angeles. What’s forgotten is this is, for every homophobic instance by so-called liberal celebrities like DaBaby and Matt Damon, we get a peek into the raging anti-queer network that is thriving right now. Case in point: this far right wing story which blamed gay men partying with the rise in masking. It’s a wild world we live in – and it’s easy to forget in the buzz of our lives and the internet that hate is thriving right now. Just because we got a non-”conservative” man who wears sunglasses in the White House doesn’t mean anyone is any better!
Alas. There are many lessons here, but I will leave you with one from Lindsay Lohan: “I’ve pissed off a lot of people in my time. But never gays. I’m smart like that.”
Corny Quotes Attributed to My Mother
I love this and have long held a gripe against the Internet’s unfactual clickhole of misquoted quotes and inspirational texts.
SKYLIT: MFA Panel
I was on Skylight Books’s podcast this week, talking with some friends and literary folx about MFAs and writing life. Spoiler alert: I think MFAs are overrated and I say “whatever whatever” a lot.
Movies aren’t going to be a thing
For younger people, myself included. At least according to “f-word enthusiast,” Matt Damon.
how much Olympic athletes earn from medals
In case you were wondering what athletes win, cash-wise, for the Olympics. The biggest and smallest paychecks are surprising and not!
Raven Saunders throws up X
The silver medalist in shot put became an instant icon for sharing support for queer, Black, and persons with mental health struggles. An icon.
"Dolly Parton reveals how she spent her earnings”
Dolly Parton invested in black neighborhood
From what money? From the profits of Whitney Houston’s cover of her song “I Will Always Love You.” This story went semi-viral last week because ~Dolly is an icon~
The First Fenty Perfume Is Here
The scent is “floral and woodsy, and slightly juicy.” I need this scent from the new billionaire.
Beyoncé's 'Formation' best music video of all time
The Rolling Stones named “Formation” the best video of all time and I agree with that!
Jennifer Juniper Stratford did a new music video for Allie X and Violet Chachki and it is so good. Perhaps the best drag queen song and music video ever?
We’re in a moment where a lot is happening, as you can tell by this gluttonous newsletter.
I saw so much trending, weird shit this week that I’m going to list them and give little explanations. These are both online and offline things, items that have been popping up in our (And my.) world that deserve some pointing out. Enjoy! Some are gay! Deal with it.
Cars As Billboard: I know this isn’t new, and likely is something as old as the car itself, but I keep seeing cars being used as very specific billboards. From viral vaccination posts to Venmos for one’s party, I’ve been seeing in different forms for months as I regularly spot Venmo decals on cars, typically with a qualifier that someone has graduated or is moving or needs some other support. Additionally, I’ve also been noticing an uptick in very aggressive anime decal’d cars like this and this. Again, this is evergreen, not of this moment, but I’ve been seeing them more and more and it’s definitely an extension of person-as-brand culture. Foucault would hate this confession culture.
Let Them Eat Cake-ism: As mentioned at top with Cori Bush and her holding Democrats accountable, we’ve gone beyond the neo-liberal breaking point, where the truth of the left being just as bad as the right has become glaring. From not raising minimum wage to not cancelling student debt to not fixing Flint to not closing ICE, there is so much that the Biden White House and Democrats have done nothing about – and people are tired of it. They had their chance and are being revealed to be modern day Marie Antoinettes. A storm is brewing on both sides of the aisle and the results aren’t going to be pretty. This is the calm before the storm.
Emma Roberts: You’ve seen her at the drive thru, as the CDC, flirting at a bar, as a detective’s dead wife, checking out at Target, ignoring someone banging on her window: the Emma-Roberts-giggling-at-the-beach meme is here and it is a great way to manifest your dumb bitch energy.
Everything & Nothing: From politicians to good friends, from digital talking heads to co-workers, I’ve noticed that the default for most right now is to know everything and only offer critiques. Everything is bad and the Internet empowers us with knowledge, yes, but I am tired of everyone being an expert and everything being a debate. This definitely has something to do with contemporary individualism but let me tell you: less gets done and more people look stupid when we all feign supreme intelligence. I hope to write about humility as a trend in the future. Until then, we have this.
Very Specific Theme Parties: This has trended for a while on TikTok but I keep hearing about and seeing super inventive theme parties happening. From “Dress Like A Celebrity Named Steve” to “Dress Like Your Middle School Self” to “Dress Like Your Favorite Britney,” these parties keep happening and I love them all. Please invite me to one if it’s outside!
Butch Femmes: From Bretman Rock to Rickey Thompson, this TikTok person to this TikTok person, Milk to Bimini, we’ve reached an interesting point for queer male and male-adjacent figures where you aren’t a twink, you aren’t a twunk, you aren’t buff, but you are a butch femme, a very femme-leaning person who is still subscribing to masculine ideals via muscles. The goal is to be an adonis while being Artemis, the masculine and the feminine contained in a crop tops. Think bikinis with bulges, drag with muscles, blazers without shirts: this is all that. I love it, yes, but it also subscribes to the binary in a weird way, which I can feel in my body because it makes me feel terrible about myself. Body positivity win I guess :(
New Spam: Spam emails have evolved from “XXX 💋💋💋 watch H0Le NOW” to “hey kyle it’s jessica herrera.” They’ve been slipping my filters – and some of my co-worker’s – but there’s a sort of “new phone, who this” energy happening now with catphishing. It’s kinda fun because the spam is evolving! I’m sure they’ve always existed in this form but only now do they feel like text messages, as if a Gen Z contingent is programing malware.
Reclaiming Black News Stories: YouTube comedian James Bates went viral this week for a comedy video where he pretended to be the stewardess from the Frontier taping incident. Two things happening here: first, (white) talking heads like Piers Morgan were duped into thinking the video was real while, second, what James does with this video and his entire schtick is reclaim the exploitative and racist past of viral stories like Antoine Dodson, Sweet Brown, Whistle Tips, Leprechauns, and more, which online comedians like The Christi Show, Mike Epps, and even Key & Peele have also done too. This moment represents the closing of a circle, where such stories are no longer shared around, for white laughter around the office. Instead, the genre of internet video has been reclaimed and rebuilt.
New Month, New You: Is August a special month? I would say no. But, for whatever reason, this month saw an uptick in sentiments of this month being your time to “start over,” as if this is a traditional new year time. There were many a viral Tweet, whose significance was so large that very online celebrities with good digital teams like Halle Berry got in on the trend. I’ll be watching in September, to see if this happens again in a different way, but my theory here is that this aligns with the end of summer (More on this in a moment.) and the start of the school year.
Summer Robbery: Something that I keep hearing colloquially, saying it myself and hearing it in emails, is that many were robbed of a summer this year. Remember in May when we were talking about being “back to normal” and being “busy” because shit had opened up again and most were vaccinated? The result was a June and July that were spent working and having to do dinners and parties and weddings and weekends away and other “normal” items that we were unprepared for. Now, in August, many are looking back and feeling that the prophesy of a chill summer wasn’t real because no one got to get away. All this is to say: capitalism and America need to take a fucking chill pill. My books are closed to extracurriculars.
"I’m losing my mind over this"
I’m sure you saw this but incredible monkey-in-glasses content. (As Bobby said, “Is that Joe Biden?”)
Woman dies after sweltering hike with man she’d just met
I did not even edit that headline.
"uncropped screenshot and the ‘text’ box. queen."
"this one little tip changed how i think"
An incredible baking tip.
Truck slips off boat launch into lake
Incredible self-yeet. Incredible climate chaos metaphor.
"welcome to my basic sister's house"
People like this are real! They live in their house with this shit and think it’s art!
"just remembered these wild 9/11 disney propaganda"
I will gladly forget.
“this one’s for monarchs”
I lost sleep over this TikTok.
"What do these car emojis mean"
Gays and cars: a love story.
“the moon is in gemini”
Not me but me.
Hank Hill has reached his final form.
I don’t want to pet it.
"Elektra showed up"
I don’t think we praise Dominique Jackson enough! She is an icon!!
And, finally, why I am religious.