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The Trend Report™: Performed Pleasure
IG Struggles With Losing ‘Pipeline’: Young Users
Here’s the thing: so many companies – tech or not – are thirsty for young, Gen Z users. To me, this is less about monopolizing their time and more about greed. This is obvious but, like, this is the biggest app in the fucking world! Are you not satisfied? Like we talked about last week, with nothing ever dying, the never-ending-ness of capitalism is not only boring but detrimental to our health. Snap out of it! Is this the movie Old or something?
Facebook to change company name
Teens Report Concerning Changes From TikTok
More bad social media items from this week! The name change is a ridiculous deflection – but the latter is very concerning and ladders back to the Instagram “pipeline” and need to change the name. We in a bad place with tech! I write this with a headache, one that I get toward the end of the week from staring at a computer for too long. Please log off.
"Trump launching “TRUTH Social”"
"Was just able to setup an account"
"Trump's TRUTH Social already been hacked."
Sign up, girlies! Even though the hacking wasn’t entirely real, this is going to be a wild ride.
Can an Iron Ore Tycoon Save the Planet?
Anyway. As a salve to social media madness, enjoy some (SOME.) hope for the world as it relates to the greedy by this story of an iron tycoon shifting his business to renewable energy. Naturally, this is a non-American. We – Americans. – are going to kill the world – for what? So you can live in a house that looks like a strip mall? Pshh.
Plastics To Contribute More to Climate Change
Than coal, that is. This seems like a “No shit.” sort of story but the heart of it is: from fracking through incineration, the process is wholly awful, resulting in more toxic gases getting into the atmosphere. Plastics make it impossible!
Biden’s Climate Agenda Likely Cut Because of Manchin
Case in point! I would be honored to spit in Joe Manchin’s face. What a selfish spinch.
See How the Dixie Fire Created Its Own Weather
I know this is technically bad but it’s also kind of cool.
Zillow Pauses Homebuying as Tech-Powered Flipping Hits Snag
A viral TikTok warned about this a few weeks back! Turns out: it’s true.
Covid risks to older Americans
Sure, Colin Powell — but bigger news is that older folks have to be careful, vaccinated or not!
In-N-Out vaccine fight may trigger CA battle
#IWillNotComply Trends on Twitter
The second item is old but re-trended this week for myriad reasons, largely tied toward noted conservative West coast goof brand In-N-Out letting people not-wear-masks. This will never end! Get me out of here!
Surprised by census, Puerto Rico reconsiders race
This story and its finding capture the complications of Puerto Rican identity and race that I literally feel in my body every day.
"Alec Baldwin fires prop gun, kills"
If you didn’t hear about this, this story is wild – and sad.
The brands are at it again on social media, to the point where the internet’s auntie Dionne Warwick has kindly asked them to shut the fuck up. Why? Because, in the stupid uncanny valley of first person “This is the social media manager lol.” brand accounts, comes a new variety of brand speaking that is somewhat sexy (Literally!) and screaming for attention just to scream for attention. Everyone loses here.
The first major iteration of this this year was 7 Eleven’s teasing feet of pics. Stupid, yes, but also the sort of sordid vagary that no one asked for, be it based in pothead or internet humor or not. You are a convenience store. No one cares.
Fast forward to the past month and you have “nut game” from family sandwich cookie brand Nutter Butter. This viral Tweet was followed up with talk of “Brazilian nut lifts” and being in their “nut era.” This is admittedly funny and great word play but is...gross. Nutter Butter is ostensibly for kids, intended to be eaten in “life’s most memorable moments” according to their website. Does that include ejaculation? It does now! Particularly as they inspired gas station brand Kum & Go to share “in my kum era” (to which they replied “reductive,” which is actually great) (but we’re not here to praise).
Now, in the past week, we’ve seen the Celestial Seasonings bear mascot post a “thirst trap” of the painted character looking like an IG baddie taking a PG-13 selfie while Chipotle is talking about how they’re watching their ex’s stories from their brand account.
Sure, the internet. Sure, crude humor! Sure, sure, sure. The thing I don’t understand though is the end game: who is this for? You can tell me Gen Z all you want, that Zoomers want to hear this. But, as this largely takes place on Twitter, I’m here to tell you that that generation isn’t there and that they instantly see through’s a brand’s bullshit. This is arguably Millennials posing and posturing for attention, behind the curtain of branded follows.
As mentioned in the previous section, capitalism has brands like Instagram (and 7 Eleven and Nutter Butter and Celestial Seasonings and Kum & Go and Chipotle) acting wild for attention, as if they are your needy friend who posts TMI selfies because they’re empty, looking for some sort of connection and attention. Brands are saying this quiet part loud, that they are not confident, that they are scared shitless of being irrelevant, and that they need to speak against their core values, working blue for likes. It’s sad, it’s desperate, and no one cares beyond a tiny fraction of people in this world who happen to be online at a certain time, long enough to see a brand show their ass crack for attention.
I am telling you now: we’re very close to midnight as it relates to brands showing elicit photos or going on Only Fans “as a joke.” Stay tuned.
China's Scripted Homicides Become a Popular Pastime
The next generation of escape rooms have arrived! Which is more theater than anything else.
The Cruel Paradox of Linda Evangelista's Fate
The ongoing Linda Evangelista-CoolSculpting horror story is one of the most interesting stories of the year because, as many things in recent days, it represents a very clear metaphor for the inescapability of age. It’s a good read, if you aren’t familiar with how this famous model has become “disfigured.”
Merriam promoted word game with offensive terms
Interesting story on a somewhat timeless problem: bad words popping up in places they shouldn’t be.
Please stop using this lame phrase for “Halloween.”
Thank you. God, “spooky season” is so Millennial and cheesy.
The Believer Literary Magazine Shutting Down
This is major! Pour one out.
red flag meme is a red flag for accessibility
Great reminder to be accessible in your writing!
The Real Meaning of the 'Please Come to Brazil' Meme
I love this story and I love this gay Brasilian meme.
Jonah Hill asks fans not to comment on his body
I meant to share this last week but forgot. I feel like I say this to myself but I don’t listen!!
I got these non-alcoholic “wines” recently and...I actually like them! It’s not wine at all, no, but that’s not the point! This said: they’re the closest approximation to (natural) wine drinking that I’ve found.
Ruth Ozeki :: Zen Meditation
A Tale For The Time Being
I’ve done this meditation a few times and it led me to Ruth’s book A Tale For The Time Being which I just read and found to be a mesmerizing reflection on time and life (and “time travel”). Get meditative, y’all! What a wonderful person, that Ruth.
I was going to try to connect the sexy brands-on-Twitter story with this story but I decided to separate them. They’re connected, but not sexually.
If you’re unfamiliar, Netflix has built a fleet of niche accounts that reflect the communities they hope to connect with. @strongblacklead is for Black audiences, @contodonetflix is for Latinx audiences, @netflixfamily is for family audiences, @netflixgeeked is for “nerd” audiences. The list goes on and on!
For queer audiences, there is @most. This is weird until you think about how, at Disney, mouse ears are created to suit an identity. This is a company – who you are paying – making it seem like your dollar is community. That can be true, yes, but the assumption here is that this isn’t marketing and that we don’t live in capitalist hell.
This is a trendy brand function that becomes complicated by something like Netflix’s ongoing transphobia debacle. In light of this, in between meme posts and thoughts via their properties, the account has become a platform to share how all this sucks and to support coming out. These are good things. These are human things! And, in keeping with this storyline, the account Tweeted this week that they were walking out as a part of an organized walk-out against the company’s enabling of transphobia. That’s great! I support this.
But where it gets uncomfortable is how this brand account handled a brand moment since they continued replying to people ostensibly while in the act. Again: this isn’t bad, per se – it is just incredibly odd, to use brand marketing to protest said brand in a way that feels like (and is) marketing for the brand. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, because the credibility and earnestness has now been flipped to many doubting the account. As one person observed, this feels more like crisis comms management than an authentic statement. As has been said, more important activism in this situation – at Netflix and beyond – isn’t happening on Twitter. In doing this, @most set a trap and then fell in it.
When brands become people, assuming the first person to speak in a one-on-one manner, massive capitalist corporate enterprises are given fingerprints to touch us in ways that confuse the personal, the real, and the non-financially motivated. @most is the perfect example of this, illustrating how credibility is auctioned off for cultural clout – and that said clout can disappear in seconds, despite months and years of work. Yes, we are in the throes of walkouts and resignations. Quitting is en vogue! But this is something else entirely.
As Audre Lorde said, the master's tools will never dismantle the master’s house: they only allow us to temporarily get a win, to regain said clout, before everything crashes down at your feet.
“how our dog likes to be brushed”
“thinking my pictures came out cute”
“me and my sleep paralysis demon”
I can’t get enough of these iterations of the now-iconic “You know it’s your girl.” Keke/Meghan TikTok audio.
"the read of her life"
This take on Candace Cameron was all over my TikTok. It’s good!
"kyrsten sinema as dumpsters"
lol fuck her
New way to spell “Tony” just dropped.
"Mini rihanna and rocky 🤧😭"
Show me a better kid Halloween costume. I love these children!
“why r u subbing me”
Love call out culture.
"bro fb funny af"
I love that this dog’s name sounds like “Beyoncé.”
"let her invent a banana corn dog"
I need more of this person’s commentary on their Tasty videos.
"i love errands"
On the origin of Gilmore Girls.
"entranced. Terrorized by this"
The waste. The drama! The beauty.
“They really should teach people how to cook”
This made me cry.
And, finally, my mom posting about me.