The Trend Report™: Post Baby
Figuring out why little things and toy trains are having a moment.
Bad Ideas About Voting GOP Should Abandon
MLB All-Star Game will move to Denver
The Agony of the Corporate Republican
Patagonia gives $1 million for voting rights
This ongoing story represents the continuing, exhausting final breaths of Republican thinking, which mixes corporations and corporate money with personhood. As one of these articles points out, the statement they’re making is, “Corporate money is speech, but speech isn’t speech.” (If you’re looking for context here, I highly, highly recommend Stacey Abram’s book, Our Time Is Now.)
B.1.1.7 variant now the most common in the US
Stay vigilant! Don’t be like noted taint, Ted Cruz!
1 in 3 Covid survivors suffer mental disorders
Let me say it again: stay vigilant. Yes, I want to go back to normal – but I also never want this shit.
What Are We Waiting For?
An interesting story about post-vaccinated life. Short answer: your modest birthday party or book club is fine. Long answer: maybe no concerts. (This is also assuming that everyone is fully vaccinated – and two weeks after said vaccination.)
“the hand of God”
Gloves filled with warm water are being placed on the hands of Covid patients in Brazil, to make it feel like they are getting human touch. Sit with that.
Dean Pushes Against Generic Vaccines
Howard Dean, that is. And why might he be trying to dissuade Biden against making generic vaccines that would benefit developing countries? Because he’s a de facto lobbyist for corporate health. What a dick.
How to Clean a Subway During a Pandemic
Cuomo sucks and this video of one Latina woman’s experience cleaning trains during Covid captures that. (And, while it’s easy to say this is a New York problem, I can guarantee every American city has a related issue.)
TikTok adds automatic captions to videos
The brand – whose users have created the modern closed caption culture – have trickled their work up to the platform building automatic captions. This is a game changer for platforms and for accessibility, at large.
"Male" and "female" binaries aren't universal
I love this thread of different genders around the world! I feel like I’m quite like an Indonesian calabai, a feminine man.
Pregnant Woman Gets Pregnant While Pregnant
This story is wild and the phenomena is called “superfetation.” The result are twins who are conceived weeks apart from each other.
Something is happening with babies right now. Not literally babies, no, but the concept of babies. Let me explain, by mapping a few concurrent happenings.
There’s a recent TikTok trend that takes Salt-N-Pepa & En Vogue’s “Whatta Man” and focuses on the line, “You so crazy...I think I wanna have yo baby.”
Lil Mariko recently released a song called “I’m Baby.”
Evolving the YouTube trend of tiny kitchens is the TikTok trend of tiny lives, where everything gets small, from weed paraphernalia to Rubik’s cubes.
Meanwhile, dollhouses are having a moment.
You can buy a tiny Gameboy.
You can also buy a tiny washing machine for your earbuds.
After Baby Yoda and Baby Nut, there is now Baby Stay-Pufts for the new Ghostbusters.
What does it mean? Who knows!
One thing I see is that, four years ago, the “I’m Baby” meme was born. It didn’t go viral until a year later and, because both younger and older persons along with the generally non-Internet persons have trouble understanding history online, it’s finally reaching its offline, post-meme moment now.
That initial appeal has spread too: being young, being small, being baby is to be without responsibility, to live simply, to be an anti-capitalist. To be baby is to reject “capitalist productivity standards” and reclaim tenderness. To be baby is to love. To be baby is to love you, to be okay with what makes you horny (“Whatta Man”) to projecting your perfect life into toys and tiny things (tiny lives) and to find joy in infantilized versions of the adult things from you cultural memory (Baby Stay-Pufts). To be baby is to zoom things down, placing your life into a dollhouse and looking at it, making it an object, giving control to the unknown. To be baby is to be comforted, to indulge, to your life, regress, and get cozy in the womb, as the smallest version of yourself possible.
“Why be an adult when you can be baby?”: that’s what’s happening here.
Ross Gay’s Dialate Your Heart
My favorite poet, a writer known for his effervescent, meditative, approachable, and effortless words about the highs and lows of life, has made a fabulous little album with avant-harpist Mary Lattimore and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, among others. It’s so nourishing. It’ll fill you with ~life~ in a similar way to Laraaji.
Keeping Love Close
I am sure you saw this but these photos – and the Celeste Ng story – are incredible. I can’t quite put into words why this made me tear up but it did. I am hoping this is in print on Sunday!
A Chinese ‘Auntie’ Went on a Solo Road Trip.
...and now she’s a feminist icon. Loved this story and took it as a reminder to be yourself and take a vacation that is for you.
Behind 5-Minute Crafts Videos
My colleague Amanda sent this to me and it’s illuminating. 5-Minute Crafts has defined a genre of the internet for its absurdity and this helped to understand how absurdity can create views – and cash.
"the top user on Yahoo! Answers"
As the Internet mainstay that was Yahoo! Answers closes, this was the most fitting tribute to the site.
TINA & Private Dancer
The new Tina Turner documentary is heartbreaking and very good. It also reminded me how great Private Dancer is. Tina is having a moment! And even has a Worn Stories connection! Give her the respect and love she deserves! And she’ll definitely inspire you to get into Buddhism.
What Happened To Tech House?
A great little mini-doc about how Tech House as a music genre went from chill niche dance style into commercial festival drudge.
'Sports Illustrated's First Male Finalist
A win for twink representation!
Wife fell off cliff but actually faked death
An actor ran a $227 million Ponzi scheme
Two great stories about grifters.
Time-specific memes find a constant.
Time doesn’t exist on the internet but, hey, go off my dude.
Cutting The World’s Longest Nails
The woman with the longest nails “in the world” got them cut. It’s technically a bad documentary – but I couldn’t stop watching!
Continuing baby talk, toy trains and normal trains are having a moment. When I first heard murmurs that toy trains were making a comeback – first on NPR, then from the New York Times – I didn’t believe it. I had no proof. I didn’t have any reason to believe that these stories were true beyond one company’s renaissance.
But train culture is here, moving beyond the toy into something else. Examples!
A man put a camera on a toy train, making it feel like you are actually riding a train.
A toy train broke a wine glass music record. (Trigger warning: the video is mesmerizing.)
The finale of the Woody Allen sex abuse documentary ends with a toy train revelation.
The Academy Awards are taking place in Los Angeles’ Union Station. People are not happy.
Joe Biden is hoping to expand America’s passenger train network.
So. Trains are having a moment. They’re a high-speed escape that you can capture and keep in your house. Trains are niche and nice and, for countries like America, it’s a luxury. It represents not only a desire to get away but a desire for life to be easier. Europeans travel with ease, thanks to trains. Do we get that? Nope.
The toy train is interesting because they seem to, say, offer a way to astral project your desire to live beyond your life, to build a new world within your home. To use a toy train is to build inward and outward, to play god, to connect the dots.
My dad played with toy trains for part of my childhood and I never understood why. They seemed like sports, an abstract thing a man searching for meaning turns to. Now, as I work and live life and feel my own existence becoming abstract and disconnected, I see the appeal that he saw in trains: you can reclaim yourself, you can build something, you can be a small god. Yes, you can play The Sims. Yes, you can plant a garden. But toy trains? You can go somewhere, commanding life in a tactile form.
It’s interesting and obvious, particularly in this late quarantine moment. Now, let us zoom away in our minds, riding away with your Chemical Brothers.
"STOP TAGGING US IN THIS SHIT"
Been thinking about these white gays who have lost track of history for days.
“the cringey phrase”
This reminds me about a time in my childhood where my brother started laughing like John Travolta in Grease and then it stuck. Don’t say or do things as a goof!
"examples of the field of mathematics"
Simultaneously obsessed and so angry at these tangled and untangled cords.\
The greatest villain of all time?
“babies instinctually avoid grass at all cost”
What do the babies know.
Obsessed with this parent.
And, finally, me @ my own newsletter.