The Trend Report™: Not Working
Nearing the grim end of the unhappy worker trend along with a trend round-up that all ladders back to fluidity and rethinking society.
Bitcoin Uses More Electricity Than Many Countries
Technology requires a lot more energy than we all think. Here is a perfect example of this, which is quite egregious. This is stressing me out!
7,000 California preterm births linked to wildfires
Problems with the environment aren’t just about the literal landscape but about the environment, meaning literally every living thing occupying a given space. This includes babies and, woo, this ain’t good.
Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico After Ida
foil-wrapped home survived Caldor Fire
Animals ‘shapeshifting’ to climate crisis
Cool and sad!
Why Heat Pumps Help
Cant say I really know what heat pumps do but I’m all for helping the world with smarter, more careful, more clean energy!
Aussie ducks can say 'you bloody fool'
Listen to this duck say “You bloody fool”!!!!!
Mexico's Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion
Bin Laden Won the War on Terror
You’re in the thick of 9/11 stories, I’m sure. A lot are declaring not-America as the winner and...they’re not wrong!
A Small Town Silenced Neo-Nazi Hate
A very interesting story about culture and conflicting ideologies in America.
Here we are, talking about work again. Do I want to talk about this? No. But as one of the week’s biggest stories were about “Why America has 8.4 million unemployed when there are 10 million job openings” and “Jobless Americans will have few options as benefits expire,” we have to zoom into the working world once again.
The short of it – as this Tweet says best – is that the jobs that are available are “low income, unsustainable” jobs that value profit over people. This feeling has been building for months, in many ways, from workers calling bullshit on “offices” to people quitting en masse to budding “lying down” anti-capitalist movements to everyone being overworked and burned out: jobs suck. When the freedom of life has been removed – whether because of Covid or income inequality or racism or any other oppressive forces – one can’t help but want out of it all. We’re at the end of the rope and no one wants to climb back up it.
(Unsurprisingly, union interest and approval is soaring as we keep seeing and seeing and seeing.) (And, unsurprisingly, this image of a real Amazon Center in Mexico has gone viral because it’s just so disgusting and cruel, summing up this conflict with an image.)
What’s more frightening is another trend I keep seeing in stories and stories and stories: unprotected workers are literally dying on the job. As obvious (and sad) as it sounds, teachers are dying from Covid, from 13 in Miami to 8 in Tennessee to 2 in one Texas town. There’s lightning murdering workers – in Florida, in Wisconsin, in Montreal, in Rangpur – which is something tied to rising temperatures (and is already seen as the biggest natural disaster killer in India, with 68 deaths in a single day). Then there’s the heat, which comes for unprotected fieldworkers again and again and again. I highly recommend spending time with this Rolling Stone story on the death of Sebastian Perez, which details how easy it is to succumb to extreme-heat (even in unlikely places like Oregon).
What these stories, what these economic trends, are telling us is that this is much more than a desire for fair pay or equal rights: these are matters of life or death, for us as individuals and for us as a planet. As we’re seeing, as workers continue to be pushed further and further, the negotiation of risking one’s health to be human collateral in corporate machinery is yielding workers walking away. We only have one life to live. Why spend it literally killing yourself and the planet in the name of someone else’s dollar? It’s gotten to that point.
Caffeine Addiction Changed History
This video is fascinating, as Michael Pollan draws a link between the rise in coffee consumption and capitalism.
TikTok Users Have Overtaken YouTube Users
oop (but, this said, I thought Marques Brownlee put it best: “Turns out a lot of people find it easier to watch 30 quick videos in a row vs a few longer videos, when on their phone.”)
High Fashion in the Eyes of Gen Z
This story is most interesting because it’s how this is a story about Gen Z and fashion communities on………….Facebook.
are Shein hauls making our planet unlivable?
Shein came out of nowhere and everyone seems to hate this neo-Zara. This Tweet caught the feeling most accurately: “why tf are people doing shein hauls like haven’t you shein haul this global warming going on?”
An Open Letter to the New York Times
Woooo weee, I missed this but the Times goofed this up.
Guardian Pulls Judith Butler's Comments
In a “Hold my beer.” move, The Guardian doubled down on being TERF-friendly.
Rihanna: who is she to you?
My queen. And the influence that Symone has (who Ri is a fan of).
"I’ll find words soon…"
Obsessed with Aaron Philip on the runway for Moschino!!
'I Was Born This Way' vocalist Carl Bean dies
I almost interviewed Bean a few years ago. RIP to this icon!
Willard Scott Dies at 87
I’m sure you saw that Willard Scott died but did you know that he played the original Ronald McDonald and Bozo the Clown? I had no idea! (And, if you wanna see something horrifying, gaze upon the original Ronald McDonald.)
Experience: a stranger secretly lived in my home
"competition series 'The Activist'"
I absolutely cannot. Read the comments. They’re great.
Normal concussion recovery could take a month
Limiting screen time for young adults after concussion
Two concussions stories because, not to sound grim, but three personal connections in my life have gotten concussions in the past month which – along with football coming back – is a reminder to be careful. We only got one body and one mind!!
I’ve found myself without time to write a second essay, yet again. Here are the start of three ideas that have been trending.
Co-Homes: This is a very trending-in-the-Times observation of people being really tired of living by themselves. I observed this a few months ago in my own reportage about how to live on a commune (I would love an intentional community or co-housing situation. Please email me if you feel the same!!) but this idea is taking many different, lovely forms as of late. Elegant in-law houses and multi-generational properties, stylish bunk beds and cool co-houses: people want community in their homes, perhaps a reaction to being un-officed. Not an apartment complex with friendly neighbors, not extended networks of good friends, no: people want to live with people full time, having constant companionship, taking relationships beyond the surface. I think we all want that, to do away with the relational Sunday sads that come with the end of a school year or end of a job or moving away from home. Why not keep the good times going? This is what this gets at, while also being mindful of costs, resources, and the planet. This is a great thing. (Again: email me if you are into this!!!! I don’t know what I’ll do with this but, hey, the future is young.)
Retransition Baby: Earlier this year, the book Detransition, Baby, a story about a transgender woman and a former lover who retransitioned, caused so much buzz that it’s in television development. (I didn’t love the book but it’s definitely a must-read of 2021.) What’s interesting, particularly for mainstream queer culture, is that this subject is getting more and more traction from a very unlikely place: Drag Race. As someone steeped in queerness, I’m surprised by this as it’s seemingly a hush-hush conversation that goes unspoken, as to not invalidate or devalue the experience trans lives. From Akeriah Davenport to Eureka O’Hara, drag queens have been (for better or worse) raising this subject and sharing their experiences, helping to expand and diversify gender in ways that will eventually yield play but, for now, will only bring up politics. It all brings me back to something the icon Zackary Drucker said years ago that I think about a lot: there will be a future where you can “change your gender like you change a pair of clothes.”
Not My Nepotism: I just did a big presentation about Gen Z and a big theme with this group of people is that they are brutally honest, breaking down all advantages, evening out the playing field. This isn’t call out or cancel culture but instead a pointing out that you have an advantage and that you are in some ways not exactly in the “real world.” I think this is hugely important! And is something I have been writing about for years. The Licorice Pizza news seemed to flare this – and Gen Z doesn’t have time for shit like nepotism as two recent ~snafus~ capture. First, Ed Sheeran is rich. Not now, no, but his parents were curators to the rich and famous in England, despite him shilling a poor person sob story of “homelessness.” (Not true.) Second, Ben Platt is facing a backlash because he, an egregious non-teen, is starring in teen musical Dear Evan Hansen. He’s said this movie wouldn’t have been made “without him” but what this really means – which is what people are mad at – is that his father paid to make the movie thus getting his old ass got cast. This isn’t a new story but it’s easy to forget this in *looks around* all this.
"Christy Carlson Romano's YT"
"pumping out the click bait"
"Holy fuck… "
"No one: Christy Carlson Romano:… "
I don’t know why Christy Carlson Romano is trending but she is. Gay Twitter, I tell ya!!
“they really said”
“nicki at the end”
“7 year old me”
Love the Saweetie-walking-away trend.
“me and the girls”
Been enjoying the Loisenaissance, not that I watch Family Guy. That last one had me in tears though.
"no i dont listen to xiu xiu"
"how to not be afraid of xiu xiu though"
Extremely niche meme alert: fear of the alt-rock-art-pop-political-queer band Xiu Xiu. I’ve seen bigger iterations of this but I don’t have them saved. In any event, Jamie Stewart is such a babe and I’m blessed to have interviewed him in 2014.
Silk Chiffon (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)
Speaking of gay music, happy Pride!! I didn’t realize Pheobe was queer until this.
The Most Ducked Fighter in MMA
I love Hasbulla. I laugh with this and this and this and this related video a few times a week.
"Everything is a lie.… "
Intellectually, I knew these exteriors weren’t all stones, individually placed. But also: huh?
"Well…….not a single lie was told"
Perhaps the best “A fetus is a baby.” takedown.
“girl what is this”
The only Cinderella content you need to see.
"the logo theory of the pepsi"
I lost brain cells watching this. I want to vomit.
"I’m about to knock all this shit over"
Kids are so dumb.
"my dog is a circle… "
This made me cry.
“how girls be taking notes”
This made me cry. (Another version, from a creator who ripped it off.)
"Man With Bin Laden’s Old Cell Number"
The best 9/11 content.
And, finally, me telling you my truth.
Subscribe to The Fox Is Black, an art and design publication from my partner, Bobby.