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The Trend Report™: Other Minded
Yes, we're talking about aesthetics.
Verdict Cause for Tears, Relief
G.O.P. Bills Target Protesters
While there was some relief in the sentencing of the police officer who murdered George Floyd, news travelled around that 34 states with GOP lawmakers are working on anti-protest bills that would do things like “grant immunity to drivers whose vehicles strike and injure protesters in public streets.” As Cori Bush said, if we learned anything this week, it’s that this is not yet justice.
The Raiders, Social Managers, & Internet Hate
A good read on hate online, the happenings this week, and the toll it takes on people who work in social media. (Which is also to say: the verdict on the murder of George Floyd yielded a 9/11 style point of consumer culture, where brands tried to speak to the moment – and many failed.)
Keep Wearing Masks Outdoors?
The Forever Maskers
Are Outdoor Mask Mandates Still Necessary?
Why do so vaccinated people remain fearful?
Israel drops outdoor COVID mask order
TL;DR: look at the graphics in the first story. Beyond that: the big Covid story this week was about if we have to wear masks forever, particularly in relationship to being outside. For vaccinated people, you’re mostly safe! Take it off! But also: who cares if you keep masking? If you want to wear a mask and stay safe, wear a mask. People still got gross shit coming out of their mouth – not to mention polluted air in general! I’m going to keep my masking, as I wanted to mask before all this. Now it’s normal and it’s my normal. Sorry!
1 in 4 New Yorkers Were Infected
Yikes. I am sure the stat in LA is probably worse.
There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling
The word this article is getting at is languishing. This story was everywhere this week and seems to continue on a trend of trying to give more specific names to loss and boredom.
Trippy hallucinations influenced prehistoric cave art
Speaking of getting high!
As extreme weather increases, misinformation adapts
The short is now that, in ways, climate change is actually being acknowledged by dumbass deniers – but these morons have shifted gears, saying climate change is real but not that bad.
GOP deliver a commonsense climate plan
Finally, fucking morons.
Flour Made From Leftover Bread
This was fascinating! And a smart way to reduce food waste by “recycling” food.
Zoomers are talking about Y2K, a catchall aesthetic shorthand for the years surrounding the year 2000s. This is a specific late 1990s style that started with Clueless and dragged through the mid-aughts via shows like That’s So Raven. This trend plays into the larger, inter-generational trend of styles from twenty years ago being stylish now. For Millennials, this was the bell bottoms and bleached hair, runoffs from the 1970s and early 1980s. It’s the same thing, different time period.
What’s interesting about this is that the Zoomers aren’t looking at Y2K style at large but at a very specific version of this style: tween style. They aren’t riffing off of Sex & The City or Dawson’s Creek or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: they’re looking at the shows that they watched when they were kids. Think Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana. Lindsay Lohan and Destiny’s Child. There are lookbooks dedicated to Y2K Disney style and Y2K cartoon style. This makes the Zoomer retro fashion craze unique: they’re turning to the things they enjoyed as children for inspiration. They’re projecting themselves to a simpler time in their lives.
It reminds of the Charli XCX’s song “1999.” This 2019 song seemed to catch this spirit before it began or, in a way, declared it a thing. “I just wanna go back, back to 1999,” Charli sings. “Take a ride to my old neighborhood / I just wanna go back / Sing ‘Hit me baby, one more time’ / Wanna go back, wanna go.”
This is the fundamental difference in aesthetic cultures of then and now. For Millennials, style and aesthetics was a filter to associate people, a visual code to show which group you were a part of. For Zoomers, this is increasingly blurry given how access to clothing and style items are more accessible. But the one thing that aesthetic culture – from cottagecore to royalcore – have in common is a desire to travel to a different time, to disassociate, to dress the cultural part of your life when internet and modern problems did not exist. What they are saying is: “Life is too hard now. Being an adult, being a human, is complicated. I know I cannot escape any of this – but I can pretend, I can yearn, I can manifest through what I wear on this dying planet.”
This is only reinforced by aesthetic posers (Millennials.) self-selecting themselves from the aesthetic authentics (Zoomers): the ways in which Y2K culture is represented. Millennials are like “rawr remember the 2000s?” while Zoomers are like, “If I’m going to live in a plague, take me to 1360.” This isn’t new though: the missing 2013 meme came from 2017 and jokey 1300s lusting had a point of clarification in 2018.
But this is all about hindsight. When we say “I want to go back, to being stupider and less connected,” we acknowledge the double-edged sword of modernity: it is so great to have more information, to know that religion is dumb and socialism is good, but, with that, we have to grow up and acknowledge things like death, racism, sexism, ableism, queerphobia, colonialism, and so many more crippling facts of life. If we were all 10 in 2003 or 1303, we wouldn’t have any of these problems. We could live blithely, unaware, wearing butterfly clips or bonnets, living for another sunny day.
How racism pushed Tina Turner out of America
This story is incredible. It catches something from the TINA documentary that was so understated but said so much: she left America because America and its industries take persons (women) of color for granted. Overseas? She could blossom, grow, become the star that she was. People got her overseas. Stars from Eartha Kitt to Nina Simone to Josephine Baker famously did the same thing.
What to Say When Someone Is Gaslighting You
I thought this was interesting because, while I had a good childhood, I definitely was constantly told “You’re being dramatic.” and it drove me fucking insane because it was a move to invalidate my feelings. And that, friends, is gaslighting.
Paul Pescador: PSA
My friend Paul has a great show up (online) featuring videos where they explore what citizens mean to the government. It’s fascinating.
olafur eliasson floods interiors with green water
lol you crazy Olly my bro you crazy
Stained Glass That Breaks All the Rules
What isn’t there to like about stained glass? Like neon, it’s light turned magical, divining the already divine.
The Gloriously Filthy Allure of Horny Groceries
People really need that vax so they can have actual sex.
Meet Amanda Brennan, The Meme Librarian
My colleague, Amanda, was featured on one of my favorite Substacks! Whenever I mention Amanda in this newsletter, I’m talking about this genius.
The Many Faces of Patricia Highsmith
Do Patricia Highsmith Novels Make Good Films?
Patricia Highsmith’s psychopath heroes
Patty High is having a moment. Unsurprisingly, she would have turned 100 this year.
Gucci is as pop as fashion brands come
Is Fashion Hacking the Future?
The Gucci / Balenciaga collab came out and it is great. Yes, people are calling it “hacking” – a la, one brand taking the designs of another – but I think it’s great. Will we see this happening again and again and again? Yes. Because why collab with the little ones like Supreme when you can go big? The runoff of this will be the eventual McDonalds x Burger King collab. (Also, Demna clearly was in the driver’s seat here. I don’t think people give him enough credit! We’re living in his fashion world!)
When a TikTok has Vine energy
In an alternate universe, I would write a thesis that is hundreds and hundreds of pages long about the effect of Vine on the world.
When serpentwithfeet’s “Fellowship” came out in January, the artist was making a grand statement about friendship. There is a joy in friendship, he seemed to say. No one can take these joys, that pleasure in sitting and talking and drinking sparkling wine with the people you love. You can take my rights, you can oppress my body, but you can’t take my joy.
There’s a profundity to that. This feeling is long building, as the idea of a “chosen family” has gone from niche queer phenomena to hyperpop ballad, making Friendsgivings just as important as Thanksgiving with family. Like so many things, families can be made yourself. You can DIY your life so why not DIY your family?
Friendships have been trending for the past year as we’ve simultaneously gotten closer and further away from these people. These stories keep trending and trending and trending, bringing up major questions: What types of people do I have in my life? What types of people do I want in my life? These are profound, lifelong questions that try to solve who we want to be not-alone with.
This is something I’ve been talking with to my therapist for months, which I feel is being served to me over and over again from this great Sigrid Nunez essay to stories of losing lesbian bars to this wonderful Bryan Washington essay. The arts being created about friendships are about the friendships we have but also the friendships we don’t have, the holes in our communities. How do we manifest and connect, inside and outside of a pandemic? How can life be so full and so empty?
This is what these stories of friendship are saying and, clearly, this is what we’re all thinking. Perhaps we’ll figure it all out together.
"Aries as parents"
Wait for the final second throat slitting. Absolute hero.
"dan getting kicked in the balls"
This video is going to go very, very, very viral. Stay tuned to see it everywhere!
God, Sinema sucks. The worst Millennial.
"When the beat drops in your friends honda"
This is not-new but it recently got re-served to me and I laughed so hard.
"respect the Troops"
I hope this doesn’t give you a stroke.
"impossible to predict how this video will end"
I hope this doesn’t give you a stroke.
"White people need to be STOP"
I hope this doesn’t give you a stroke.
I hope this doesn’t give you a stroke. (This last one is a mega post that is not-new that I’ve had saved for a long time. So why are these stroke-inducing images having a resurgence? It has something to do with our common understandings and expectations of language and design and, at the intersection of post-Live, Laugh, Love culture and ill-conceived posts, you have these. All this is to say: schadenfreude. Stroke-inducing bad design word soup is both a laughing with and at the item in question and therefore the person who created it. They also seem to manifest the mania of our minds, as if someone let theirs escape and it created these messes. All this to say: digital dadaism evolves once more.)
And, finally, a song and dance about me.