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The Trend Report™: Loser Attitude
On our recent cultural appetite for being losers.
"There’s more to Angeli Gomez’s story."
A huge story later in the week: a parent in Uvalde stormed the school, breaking through cop barriers to save her children. Now she’s telling her story – and putting heat on law enforcement. They’ve been threatening her as a result which, obviously, proves her point.
Parenting in the Time of School Shootings
“There is a hell, and it is spending 78 minutes in a locked classroom with a gunman, smearing your dying friends' blood on yourself.” Wow. This is an absolutely brutal quote, from a crushing piece.
More Than 130 People Were Shot This Weekend
Oof. Not just mass shootings, but because of the proliferation of guns. (I’d also say…the temperature is so high up that people are mad and out of their minds, the result being needless murders and deaths.)
Voters Want Gun Control. Votes Say Something Different.
An interesting story, which I believe points out how the issue of guns is certainly hot but the intangibility and invisibility of the subject – Background checks aren’t sexy! – makes them a lackluster prospect when voting.
Rise of Body Armor in Mass Shootings Like Buffalo and Uvalde
Not that this is an upper but a fascinating something related to mass shootings and the difficulty to “stop” shooters: body armor.
You Are Going to Get COVID Again … And Again
As someone who just had Covid, after escaping it for over two years, I am making peace with my inability to “stay healthy.” No one’s fault! But we all will get it and we will get it again. Be cautious!
How to Prepare for a Recession
Are you ready for the recession? I’m not! But I’m hoping we can weather it together.
“the US is getting crazy rich off the war in Ukraine”
As this TikTok points out, a storyline many of us seem to have missed is how our funding the war in Ukraine is getting some congress members a major paycheck because they are investors in weapons contractors. Really bad people!
A new media group is buying up Spanish-language radio
This has the potential to change some things! Will be interesting to see where this goes.
Hate swallowing pills? This new MIT invention is for you.
Get ready to eat your pills because scientists have developed a gel that could replace swallowing pills!
We are in the era of the loser and it sucks.
This came to mind after reading a recent Garbage Day, where Ryan Broderick pointed out the relationship between Star Wars shitty fans being racist and the awful shitty corporate “reaction” to this, which was having Ewan McGregor record himself in a car saying racism is bad. Are you serious? That’s it?
This is one example of how we, as a culture, have hit a wall, of admitting defeat while signaling progressivism. Another example is the entire tenure of the Biden White House. Whether in addressing inflation (“We can’t take immediate action.”) or gun violence (“I can’t outlaw a weapon.”), no solutions can be found but, you know, he and his team are working for us and want us to vote and want us to believe that they will handle it, despite any proof. It is aggressive loser behavior, of having you run into the wall while saying it will feel better soon.
Then you have the Johnny Depp / Amber Heard thing, which is all very bad. The loser-ism here is less about the situation itself and more about the handling, the reactions, the pure stupidity of the “takes” supporting Depp. It dovetails in a brutal way into Kim Kardashian saying she’d eat shit to look younger, as critic Jessica DeFino points out: all this emphasizes to people that women are to be objects. They are to be the loser, because our systems are designed to shrug toward the issues they face (and that were designed for them to face). It also very much relates to how the love of bad art is making us increasingly uncomplicated people. We are in a crisis of taste.
I think this is what happens when we self-select to be stupid. I think this is what happens when we agree to sit back and outsource everything. We’re a culture of consuming and, if something bad happens, we think the answer can be found by dialing a phone number to feel important, as if you are being helped, even if the reality is that no sustainable solution was made and little you were appeased in a moment. There is no “macro” for any of this: it’s just little you, being the loser, feeling like you’re the winner because your individual life “is fine.” This is rebranded defeatism. We’re so divorced from each other and so ignorant of how to solve problems that we’ve instead opted to go on a hamster wheel of loser behavior. Losing is the new winning, indeed.
"the founders of Soul Cycle just started a new cult"
I got a lot of messages about the empty vessel essay I wrote, regarding what happens when we become post-religion. As expected, the creeping feeling that people are trying to fill our vessels is coming true: enter Personhood, a company designed to “sell” connection. Oof. They want us to pay to be around people? This is all very stupid.
an artist shattered Victorian ideas about disability
An incredible story about a Victorian artist without arms or legs who challenged the era with her painting talent.
Crip Rave Is the Revolutionary Collective
I love this story about making raves accessible!!!!!! Being able to sit and rave at not-4AM really does make the fun available to everyone.
No Grandchild? These Parents Are Suing
This is wild. I mean, I get where the parents are coming from! But also…what the hell do you expect, taking money from parents? No money is free! Be financially self-solvent, people!!
What Really Happens When Mercury Is in Retrograde
An interesting look at the astronomy of what actually is happening in the sky when Mercury goes into retrograde (which, now, is over) (thank god).
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Spitting Off the Edge of the World
Obsessed with the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs song and video, which my dear friend Lynn helped direct!!!! It also…got me a bit emotional?? This is a band I listened to a lot in high school and, nearly twenty years later, they release this song about being yourself and it just hit me. Especially the end of the video!! It’s good. Maybe it’ll touch you too!!
Are the Movies Liberal?
This is an interesting story – if not obvious – because it reminds very much of how “liberal” the Democrats are, which is to say: they aren’t. Hollywood’s job is to appeal to everyone and make money, which you cannot do by being liberal. Same can be said for the Democrats!
"don’t directly engage with it at all. It is bait."
This is very much a thing! Twitter viral-scams are ways to game the algorithm to hack some money. Don’t fall for the bait!! Brands to it too, with their open-ended Tweet questions, gamifying Twitter so that they get Likes and get more views and seem “successful” even if what they’re saying is garbage. No wonder Snickers is tweeting about their dick vein!!
"having journalists that grew up poor in a newsroom is important."
While I agree with this Tweet – and the fact that the Times discovered…….roommates – this is another example of bait. Of course they know what fucking roommates are!! But, if the frame the story as such, they are guaranteed attention and clicks. This is all to say: Twitter has created the second wave of Buzzfeed headlines, which is all based in rage baiting. Don’t give anyone free publicity!!!
Is the Ambient Music Streaming Boom Helping Artists?
A needlessly long story about the give-and-take between commercial success for ambient music via “sleep” playlists and the like. It’s interesting! And I love and have been listening to most of these artists but it’s all to say: silly playlists like “music for sleeping” divorce music of its context, especially the more abstracted and non-literal.
"A moment straight out of a movie 🥲"
teen learns her late mom was boyfriend's teacher
A very viral TikTok and story about how a girl’s boyfriend actually met her dead mother – because he was her teacher.
“alright it’s funny again”
In case you didn’t hear: the dumbasses behind Morbius thought the meme moment via “It’s Morbin time.” meant they could make money. So! They brought it back to theaters and…the rest is history. Truly incredible Hollywood move here, flop behavior rivaling that of Quibi.
I have a theory about tabs: everyone has so many open because they offer the illusion of productivity, of success, of intelligence, of getting things done when you have in fact gotten so little done.
I think about this when I group tabs in Chrome, or in encountering a story about a startup trying to organize tabs: this is all a way to shuffle around the things you are not tending to. This relates to things like Gen Z not organizing their computers, the illusion of organization despite the chaos. If we all took a step back and looked at ourselves and our digital situations, we would rightfully think, “…damn, bitch, you live like this?”
There’s something culturally, especially for Millennials, that there is a “coolness” to being casually unorganized and messy, if it is in service of “looking busy” – because busyness means productivity. It’s really bad! It’s the empty calorie equivalent of actual progress, making you feel like you really did something when all you did was added another story to the read-later list that you don’t ever check. It’s like every day we buy thirty pots of single flowers, place them in a closet, close the door, and assume they are all growing perfectly. Why do we do this? Just close the tabs. Monotask! All we’re doing is hoarding, albeit in an intangible way given technology.
There are ways to make our lives easier, to de-stress, to become uncapitalist. We shouldn’t go full unplug, or fully embrace smooth brain stupidity: it’s not that. Instead, just…do less. Close the tabs you aren’t looking at. Let that shit go. Be okay with not being productive – or use this as fuel to be productive. While, yes, a newsletter like this encourages opening tabs, look at this new page – and let it go. Or don’t look at it! Think about your tabs and what they say about you. Does the picture look pretty? Or is it a bit of a mess?
"USMC takes #Pride"
I firmly believe Pride is the new 9/11 for brands. No, I will not write an essay about this.
“yellow moon emoji”
“born to slay”
A few recent TikToks to show that Bismuth is having a moment. And, in watching so many of their TikToks, I had the realization of what the new era of creator is: people who read Tweets to a camera, sharing fortune cookie adjacent silly thoughts in bite-sized videos. This represents, in a lot of ways, a generational difference, where you go from behind the camera to in front of the camera. Main character energy, personified.
The Spice Girls in Spanish.
"hello Britney Spears"
"obsessed with this women who recently freebirthed in the ocean"
This was all over my timeline, which is to say: look at the quote retweets.
“aluminum foil does wonders”
How to yeet a cat.
“Grandma Got Pipes!!”
This isn’t funny but it’s also very funny to watch a wheelchair grandmother lose control of said wheelchair.
“thirty year old vending machine”
I, too, thought 1970s.
“i didn’t anticipate a single frame”
This TikTok went massively viral this week, for good reason.
"but i got an amber alert"
Amber alerts make for great content.
“i just choked”
Good luck, nineties babies!!!!!!! Let the chaos begin.
“can you say magnetism”
You’re doing amazing sweetie.
And, finally, me sharing a snack with you.