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The Trend Report™: Pace Yourself
On the appeal of Lee Pace and why sexy language is popping.
Much of the US Will Be an 'Extreme Heat Belt' by the 2050s
Will you live on America’s ‘extreme heat belt’ in 30 years?
“Same street a tent is on”
China's heatwave strains economy
Crying, vomiting, throwing up. Bad!
Voyage of the Gross: Where New York City’s Trash Goes
A very interesting story about the voyage trash takes in New York, all of which seems excessive because people produce excessive amounts of waste. How much trash do you produce?
Inside the IRS ‘Pipeline’ used to process tax returns
Many have been shocked that the IRS got “so much money” in the climate act, saying that it’s all going to tax the rich. That may be true but also know that the IRS is so severely backwards and underfunded. I know this personally as I owed some money this year, sent in a check, the check was cashed, but they said I still owed. I had to call every week for two months until they could track it down – and even then there’s still a big “what if” as far as if my payment is settled.
The Culpable Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney’s election loss was big this week, signaling that Trump truly owns the GOP. But, while that seems to be the dominate takeaway, Cheney isn’t completely innocent: like her peers – Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, George W. Bush – she comes from the GOP generation immediately before, who pedaled the same shit Trump pedals but in more elevated forms. She’s just as bad. (Speaking of Bush, you can take a “leadership” class from him.)
Man rams barricade near Capitol, fires shots, then kills himself
“FBI bulletin warning of an increase in violent threats”
Armed man was worried “communists” will turn kids transgender
I don’t like this conspiracy state! All seemingly related to the FBI, post Mar-a-Lago search.
"This is how we all feel"
Thank you, Ana Kasparian, for capturing our national feelings about the Biden White House, Democrats, and others in power now. (This said: good on Biden for cancelling loan debt for those with ITT Tech loans.)
Home Appraised With a Black Owner: $472,000.
This story about a professor – who is a redlining expert – getting his house appraised for hundreds of thousands of dollars lower than his white counterparts captures a lot of the very obvious racism in America. As Jamelle Bouie of the Times points out, we sometimes focus on obscure prejudices like implicit bias when clear discrimination like this exists out in the open.
Post-Roe, more Americans want their tubes tied. It isn't easy.
Google Maps Is Leading Abortion Seekers to Pro-Life Centers
Two stories about pro-life advances: one, on the rise in child bearing persons seeking to get their tubes tied, only to be met with hurdle after hurdle; second, on the likely way that people can change or add to a business via suggested edits on Google Maps resulting in misinformation.
"Finnish PM Sanna Marin defended herself"
Finland prime minister takes drug test as populace ponders
“Solidarity With Sanna”
In case you missed it, the Finnish Prime Minister is “in trouble” because photos of her out partying with friends leaked and now people think she’s ill-equipped for the job. Huh? Since when have we gotten so conservative that someone can’t go out dancing and drinking without being able to do their job? I’ve worked with people who are fucking drunk on their job! Anyway, it’s sparked a big outrage in both directions and is very silly. Let people live! They’re people: not gods! (On the other end, this got me thinking about Madonna’s recent Paper cover and that, despite being a musical vampire, there is such a power to being an “older” woman partying and having fun so publicly. I support it! It reminds of the old-lady-makeup thing from last week.)
The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score
I hate this story, because it shows the reality of being a worker right now. No matter where you go, you are being surveilled. (Related is this narc in the story.)
Founding a business while working remotely somewhere
What is 'quiet quitting'
What the fuck is it with these recent stories that are trying to over-explain and over-intellectualize things that have been so extremely common for the past decade? I have done both of these things since I left college, at almost every job – as has everyone else I know! This is called a “side-hustle” and “doing the bare minimum.” Can we shut the fuck up now? We live under capitalism. Why else are we doing this? Work is fake! We’ve reached the ceiling of growth and yet, we’re continuing to push forward, at the planet’s expense!! On the other hand? This has seemingly led to ”overemployment,” which is one of the most insane things I’ve seen in a while.
Lee Pace is hot. A 6’5” townhouse of a man, Lee is aesthetically somewhere between country boy next door and high society prep sweetheart. With shaggy hair and defined – But not overbearing! – muscles, he smiles and winks his way into your heart even if you can only maybe name two movies he’s been in, none of which you have seen.
He’s the celebrity’s celebrity, the doll of the dolls, the type whose appearances are rare, affording him novelty status while being common enough that you can craft a large enough sexualized image to keep coming back to drink from his fount. Lee is the type who is “above” social media, posting once, maybe twice, a month with esoteric but specific captions that conjure pop culture playfulness in a few words or string of emojis. The posts are always upsetting: infuriatingly sexual looks at his back muscles while in nature; glimpses into his high-brow but accessible literary interests; views of his long legs, asking you to top his mountain; sharing a dog as shaggy and sophisticated and statuesque as he is.
But what is it about him? He has the same sort of je nais sais quoi as a Dakota Johnson, as if Armie Hammer but more approachable, less nepotized, and non-problematic. He has a familiar mysteriousness going for him, in that he’s been a very employed actor for decades (He was in Pushing Daisies and The Hobbit and is in the Marvel universe.) but he isn’t anything near a leading player. At 43, he is coming into his own at a time of life when people should have already “made it,” representing a very real working-class-something, showing that success can and does come late in life. This also firmly places him in daddy territory, bewitching children in Bodies, Bodies, Bodies and drawing grown ass adults to consider his starring Apple TV+ show Foundation. He’s homegrown and decidedly anti-rich kid, growing up in Oklahoma and Texas (And Saudi Arabia, because his father worked in oil…No one is perfect!) (But, to suck the poison out of this, Lee appears to have gotten his parents extra roles in The Hobbit. What a man!) before parlaying his acting craft to Juilliard. Above all things, the fact that turns the screw, he is neither man nor god: he is gay.
This is the summer of Lee Pace, as GQ Hype proclaimed this week, with a story that didn’t quite break the internet but did stop Twitter to trend for a few hours because the dolls were hot and bothered as it had all his hallmarks: Toplessness! Outdoor ruggedness! Meditative musings! A reveal that he is married to a man! Lee definitely is a celebrity crush, capturing the imagination of those in the orbit of A24, but he’s more than that: captured imagination. Be it from his tempered taste, his resisting the lure of the internet, his enigmatic fashion, or how he’s a late blooming success, the draw of Lee Pace is that he’s somehow on the inside but very firmly is positioned as an outsider. He’s one of us, but hotter and taller and somehow able to share the experiences related to the luxe life. Whether by design or not, it works – and he has us all in place, primed for his next move.
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Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022
Surprising and not: the site most used by teens is YouTube. Why? Because it’s their television and their school and their MTV and their radio station and their church and their repair person. It has everything! This isn’t that complicated. Imagine if you had access to any video you ever wanted in high school? Yeah. Exactly. (That and…they’re probably lying about other sites, as Instagram and TikTok have clear age limits.)
TikTok now offers a very basic text-to-image AI generator
"how important this new TikTok effect is"
We talk a lot about DALL-E but we need to talk more about how TikTok is enabling creators to become one-person production studios! Death to Hollywood!
“The danger of minimalism”
I’ve talked about this for weeks now but the conversation about the death of color and design continues on!
The most-regretted baby names
This made me laugh until stuff came out of my nose: the most-changed baby names? “Issac” and “Chole.” And the most adopted name, a la the name a baby’s name is changed to? “Isaac” and “Chloe.” (“Conner” and “Connor,” on both lists, seem similar too.) This is killing me, but is an interesting story that also notes where young people are moving in the states and where people are more likely to not-move from home.
A magazine hid relics Cambodia says could be stolen
A great metaphor for how the rich get away with things, all via a magazine “retouching” out stolen artifacts from a rich person’s house.
The internet can’t stop talking about Andrew Tate
I would be lying if I really, truly knew who Andrew Tate was but I am obligated to share this explainer with you because he is everywhere right now.
It Was Always Addison Rae’s Destiny To Become A Gay Icon
I can’t believe this story got published because it’s a non-story? Basically, a bunch of gay men and queer people started to roast Addison, joking that she’s now a queer icon. Then, Buzzfeed took the bait, over-intellectualized the meme, and now we’re going to have to suffer through Addison at Pride for the rest of our lives.
There’s No Artist Like Nathan Fielder
Are you watching The Rehearsal? It’s not perfect but it will be studied, analyzed, and (rightfully) over-intellectualized. Also: Angela is one of the best on-screen villains of the year. Also also: this scene was so good. Nathan’s really doing something here! (I have not watched the finale though!!)
Should Non-Jewish Actors Play Jewish Roles?
Related to the last episode of The Rehearsal, there is a big discussion right now about non-Jewish actors playing Jewish roles, which many are calling Jewface (a la, Blackface). It seems justified but also not, especially given the overlap between Jewish and Italian actors. Maybe we just start making documentaries only from now on? I mean that seriously and not.
Some Ideas for a Fourth 'Before' Movie
Before Sunset is maybe my favorite movie of all time and I would definitely pay to help crowdfund Before Dusk.
Q Lazzarus, Cult Favorite, Dead at 61
One day, this interesting musician who scored obscure but beloved songs like “Goodbye Horses” and other songs for director Jonathan Demme, will get a proper release and be a revelation.
"how they are selling Yeezy GAP"
This got a lot of attention this week, which is pretty cool for such a big “chain” fashion brand. That said: it gets sadder, the more you look and think about it, because it’s Kanye’s wannabe Balenciaga drag as performed at…your local, shitty mall. That’s flop ass shit.
New Hotties: Megan Thee Stallion. Nike.com
This is maybe cheesy but I do the Nike Run Club Guided Runs all the time and, while most are fine, I did the Meghan Thee Stallion run this week and it was one of the most fun, most engaging exercise experiences I’ve had in a while. Running fucking sucks but Meghan made it so much more enjoyable and inspiring. (Which…you can also say about her new album, which is maybe her best work.)
I don’t think we talk enough about how conservative popular culture is. Not the obvious “Ban abortions and gay marriage!” conservatism but conservatism of the “Don’t say that because it harms my aura!” variety. It’s a subject I am fascinated with, which seems to be the undercurrent of liberal culture. Something I think is related to this is that sex is disappearing, turning into a secondhand, a culture instead of an act.
For context: if you haven’t heard, for some time Americans have been having less sex across the board. I don’t know why – The pandemic and productivity? Hyper-exposure to sexuality? Sex positivity? – but I do think that the language of sex is starting to become akin to sexuality and sexual acts, used in ways that redefine speech as a cultural secondhand to signal the act of sex without the sex acts. This is to say: we’re engaging in sexual language which is making the idea of sex less exciting, therefore making us seem crass on the outside but chaste on the inside (a la: we talk like sailors, but conduct ourselves like nuns).
This first entered my brain last week with a Tweet observing a phenomena of sex acts mashing with self-care acts, all in jest. This trended this week via the “missionary so” phrase, which uses the act of missionary sex to be the forum to bring up serious-but-absurd things like asking if he’s mad or continuing a fight (which, subconsciously, could represent our inability to speak up or have serious conversations in a productive, adult way). You also have the mega-viral “Why are threesomes only for sex why can’t I join in a couples argument if I want to” that sees another sex act colliding with the non-sexual and personally difficult.
Yes, this is a way to gamify language on Twitter in the way that SHIRTS THAT GO HARD-style accounts and horror parody accounts have gamified the timeline. But it also shows how purposefully shocking our language is becoming because our (sex) lives are anything but. When you’re not having sex, you talk about sex – a lot. It seems to be a gesture of over-compensation, that our tendencies toward the crass and blue is to obfuscate our chaste, isolated realities. It says something about our state of being when expressions of sex are used to talk about the everyday, as a joke and not, that sex and sexuality can be talked about but not acted upon, that we can be freaks with our tongues but not with our genitals. It’s complicated and silly but that’s my theory as to why we’re seeing sex language going hard right now, something to continue as it penetrate our mouths.
(Or, you know, the opposite is true: people are on their nymphomaniac shit and are reveling in it, but somehow all the data is far behind because the scientists and reporters are saying their own quiet parts through megaphones. Who knows!)
Quickly, some silly mini-trends that happened in the past week –
“THE FINALE WASN’T THAT BAD”
“IT’S A MEME WHERE”
“CAN YOU MUTE AN IMAGE”
This meme started as fun but over-saturated in less than a day. Maybe even less than half-a-day! How quickly joy can be discovered and smothered, as we see here. As a rule: the minute something goes through the screen of Taylor Lorenz, the fun is over.
"A bear cub got high"
This story was big this week and is very funny and very cute.
"I once worked with a line cook"
Whenever people talk about The Bear and the “dirtbag” look, I think about how the chefs and cooks I worked in my server days drove drive low-rider Hondas and did whip-its in the walk-in.
"the finals of the USA Mullet Championships"
Tag yourself, I’m Rustin.
"cannot stop talking about this"
I love the gender reveal strippers.
“use my footage without licensing it”
This creator raises a good point – CNN stole his footage! – but also the footage of a snake getting robotic legs is so fucking good.
“there’s too much content”
My dude…you’re right.
“My MOUTH DROPPED”
This week in really bad friendships.
“keep saying this to myself”
As someone in the comments said, you can hear Danny Devito saying this if you look at the picture long enough.
“the pipe goes into the bed??”
From the department of awful living spaces. The more I look at this – the picture, the description – the worse it gets. (The person who lived with the pipe chimed in too.)
This is so fucking funny. As you may have found, over-intellectualizing is a mega-trend now, where people are overthinking things like…dogs eating their own shit. In our gullibility era!
"i need a good laugh right now."
Tough week? Peruse the quote retweets and cheer yourself up.
“12 year old me after getting a bank card”
Me, but after I got a Day Runner™ at age 9.
And, finally, Bobby and I celebrating his birthday today because he is now forty! Send him love on Twitter & I love you birthday bb Bobby!!!!