The Trend Report™: Queer Chaotics
On queering the video edit and trying to understand why old music by old people is having a moment.
“Bridgerton” Among Several Shows Shut Down
AHS’s Newest Horror Story Is On-Set COVID
Replacement athlete on gymnastics team tests positive
Coco Gauff withdraws from Olympics
“Marina has tested positive”
I keep hearing people starting sentences with “Now that the pandemic is over…” but, clearly, it isn’t. I would dedicate more time and breath to the larger vaccinated-but-positive trend (A coworker’s roommate just tested positive, despite being vaccinated! I keep hearing stories from people about friends getting quite sick while vaccinated!) but this would just depress us all. Yes, we’re safe and vaccinated but, no, you probably don’t want “it.” Be careful and smart!
"the impact of Delta in the US."
A good thread and, again: not good news. Please be safe and smart. Make good choices!
Extreme Weather Batters the Wealthy World
lol no fucking shit did you all think climate change would, uh, only affect places like India and Central America and random islands? Have you lost it?
Bezos: Move All Polluting Industry Into Space'
god i hate this man
Bezos’ News More Than Climate Change All Last Year
GOD I HATE THIS MAN
Fear Among Asian Americans in San Francisco
While the Stop Asian Hate movement has gained traction this year, there continues to be a problem of hate crimes (particularly against older Asian persons) in San Francisco. Just awful.
Texas Senate Drops Teaching That KKK Is ‘Wrong’
We need to reboot this country.
Trans Allies & Activists Met With Riot Cops
This trended big last weekend – but all that police brutality in Los Angeles? It was directed against protestors in support of transgender persons in relationship to the LA spa story I shared a few weeks back.
New FIRE Followers, With a Difference
FIRE is the “financial independence, retire early” movement, which sees you making your own rules and living independently from the traditional workforce. This article definitely inspired me to ~make a change~ (Also: if you need a financial planner, I have a great rec. Ping me and I’ll hook it up!)
I want to take a moment to talk about the “chaos edit” because it’s one of my favorite parts of the internet that I feel needs more discussing, as something profound is happening that isn’t being discussed properly.
The “chaos edit,” as Vulture pointed out a few months ago, is a style of video editing that is “a music video of a series of memes” that are manipulated and juxtaposed to create a new experience of a given content, typically in honor of the subject at hand. They say this phenomena is endemic of Twitter in 2021, pointing to this Charli XCX and Kim Petras video as the best example of this. This is both very correct and incorrect.
The key is Kim Petras, a trans alt-pop star known for making music that celebrate queer sexuality and general fun, who trafficks in and around meme culture, which yields manipulated versions of herself in return, along with general queer jokes. What she’s doing – and what she represents – is in conversation with Arca, an extremely online queer experimental electronic artist and producer from Venezuela. Arca’s online presence has long collided bondage and mutilation art as a part of an art practice that seeks to discover and work through the queer experience and queer body, whilst juxtaposed with wild dog memes and the like. Arca’s digital tendencies came to a head last year, with quarantine bringing together her interests in her best medium: the internet. “I was raised on the internet,” she told Pitchfork in May 2020. “I let go of my life being online. And now there’s this weird return to that, though not by choice.”
What does this have to do with the chaos edit? Arca, a tech adjacent artist who uses technology to reveal herself, has built an army of stans who are trying to discover their identities through the tech at their disposal, finding beauty in low end pop culture and manic, almost bipolar, curation of what parents may share on Facebook. The feeling is that, in this queer body, in this non-queer world, nothing is right and I am wrong – but on the internet? All of my mes are valid. I can take the lowest common viral item and turn it into an item of queer joy. Through technology, I can reveal my most true self.
The result is chaotic juxtaposition. We’ve seen echoes of this online in different forms for years, via hectic edits like this that seemingly come from South America and has lead to the observation that “the B in LGBT stands for Brazilian gays who make these edits.” Their hallmarks are queer dance music and manipulated time, extremely accessible memes and mundane visuals that get at the performance of femininity, and forced smiles on artwork by neo-queer pop icons like Arca, Sophie, Shygirl, Charli XCX, Björk, Kim Petras, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and more, typically served up with a side of Aphex Twin. These videos are notable because they take non-viral viral videos of everything from street performers to monkeys wearing makeup and turn them into comic masterpieces that seek to find the self. They’re associated with queer communities, specifically non-binary and transgender communities, as they’re a means to understand and unpack the self by citing the sources of the things you want to be like but may never be like given the limit of your body, your wallet, and the world. These are jokes, yes, but there’s also a sadness here, the tragedy being that your avatars and online expressions are more you than your offline self can be.
To be a part of a community is to share a mindset and sensibilities. What the chaos edit gets at is an idea of low theory, as theorist Jack Halberstam has written about years ago, that there are alternatives ways of being “in the murky waters of a counterintuitive, often [an] impossibly dark and negative realm of critique and refusal.” This theory – and the general concept of the queer art of failure – is that to be taken seriously, to attempt perfection and “cleanliness,” misses out on the chance for discovery via the “frivolous, promiscuous, and irrelevant.” That’s what these edits are doing: wandering around the low, the failed, and finding beauty in the mess. The juxtaposition is dirty – but they make us smile all the same.
He Had A Life Before Death
Emmett Till would have been 80 today. And, while his story and his death seems so long ago, his history is so recent. This interview with his cousin is so great and so sad.
My Vegan Boyfriend Dreamt of Cannibalism.
An essay that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time finally came out! It’s about how I once dated a vegan who wanted to be a cannibal. True story!!!
The Internet’s Exotic Pets
love exotic pet YouTube
Wu Tsang 'visual portrait' of Beverly Glenn-Copeland
If you are in New York, go see this for me! I love Wu and I love Beverly!! It’s also almost a hundred feet tall.
A Black American Designer Disrupts the French Couture
Pyer Moss is breaking out big time! And this collection is very cool and beautiful and so, so playful.
Composer Quits, Sorry for Making Boy Eat Poop
Now this is a wild story that again highlights why the Olympics are cursed this year.
director is dismissed over a Holocaust joke.
More news in Olympic bad madness.
Reality TV Has Remade Our Politics
This is a very fascinating read, speaking to why someone like Caitlin Jenner actually has a shot at politics.
A History of Struggle for Black Spellers
We’re not done talking about Zaila! Her win is historic, yes, and there is a deep history of Black spellers denied access or given more hurdles toward the finish.
Pornhub Launches Guide for Classical Nudes
And the museums who are mentioned in it? They mad. I love how chaotic and smart Pornhub is, this being a great example of their ingenuity and branching sexuality into culture. Long live Pornhub! (Save for when they allow abuse.)
An interesting analysis of the rise and instances of same-sex lyrics in pop music.
First Look at Biden in Disney's Hall of Presidents
look at this idiot lmao
There are billboards all lover Los Angeles for the new John Mayer album. For the unfamiliar, it’s called Sob Rock and is a bit of yacht rock eighties nostalgia from the white male artist. It’s fine. It exists – but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
That’s because the Foo Fighters, an otherwise good rock band, have made a throwback disco album in the style of the Bee Gees. And, of course, there’s Weezer, who have long terrorized the zeitgeist with their brand of guy-you-went-to-high-school-with musical tendencies, from hair metal to alt-pop to general top 40 cover albums. There is a thing for white male musicians of a certain generation – Gen X – to make music that isn’t theirs, adopting styles and sensibilities more interesting than them but watering them down so much that the style becomes an echo of an echo, the sonic equivalent of Chili’s fajitas.
While this isn’t a new trend, it’s something that feels particularly now in that it’s at the intersection of capitalism and a variety of nostalgia that is particular to Gen X, an irony as Y2K is trending so much for Gen Z and Millennials. The creation of this late seventies and early eighties nostalgia speaks to those on the outs and a late to the party-ness that people like John Mayer and Dave Grohl (or the audiences that support them) traffic in. Whether those are male, whether those are non-urban, whether those are white, is irrelevant: what I know is that the creation of such music is ten steps behind the larger trends, as we were talking about disco and general synth nostalgia literally a year ago. (And also ironic as culture now is about building upon the past versus regurgitating it.)
Like John Mayer’s proclamation of which heart emoji is more suitable for men, we now have retro non-dance-dance music created for people who think Dua Lipa and BTS are “gay.” Has this been successful? No. Why? Because this audience is on the outs, is a bit irrelevant, and generally isn’t leading culture, happy to relive old days in college, singing Toto’s “Africa” as if it were a brand new discovery.
"It'sk Nonbinary Day!"
Popeye, the sailor, is nonbinary apparently.
"We heard you walked purse first"
The TSA, but make it gay. What a caption.
Please watch this video of a teen getting hit in the face with a seagull while riding an amusement park ride.
This is killing me.
I want to kiss this alien.
"He said ✨pawp✨"
These parents really went “Fuck that kid.”
“2000s mens fashion”
God, I fucking laughed. What a time! Gen X, y’all wild.
“this movie is pretty weird”
Best sell of Space Jam so far.
"Imagine getting bewitched & being turned into a dog"
There are so many dogs on TikTok that I’m worried about.
"laid up watching Frances Ha"
My thoughts exactly.
"the most deranged synth demo i have ever heard"
CRANK IT THERESA
"The fact that we’re both vegan musicians"
Lost count of how many times I watched this.
“this lamp is haunting my nightmares”
Really? It’s nice looking.
And, finally, me logging in.