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The Trend Report™: Real Estates
How little parts of our bodies are used to "express" things.
Where do these “heat domes” come from?
"the public has soured on climate. Nonsense."
"Why the 2022 heatwave is quite different to 1976."
"Exceptional heat is sparking wildfires"
“The planet we think we're living on no longer exists.”
This week in very doomer but the reality of climate change. This is a nightmare! What are you doing to make changes? You should be asking yourself this daily. That means more than recycling but pushing for change locally, nationally, and internationally. A close distance related: climate criminal billionaire Kylie Jenner taking a three minute flight (all for better parking).
Walgreens allows employees to pick and choose who gets birth control
This week in abortion-related horror stories.
Christian Nationalism Drove These People Out of Their Churches
Speaking of: Christian nationalism is a huge thing right now.
Betsy DeVos calls for abolishing the Department of Education
Ted Cruz says Supreme Court ‘wrong' in legalizing same-sex marriage
I don’t know about y’all but these two things feel related. (On the same-sex note, know for the moment that the House has voted to protect these marriages – and it somehow seems likely to pass!)
Joe Manchin Isn't Democrats' Only Problem
A great musing on Joe Manchin, on how he is a problem but that he is more emblematic of bigger problems: he’s the best of West Virginia can do, now or maybe ever. Who comes next will be worse!
"we can't shut down private prisons"
Hyundai subsidiary has used child labor at Alabama factory
This week in weird and wild takes and backwards news: Arizona state officials doubling down on slave labor in prison because it’s too important for the economy, while Alabama were “employing” children as young as 12 to work in their factories.
“Gen Z actually hates working from home”
While I don’t think this take is wrong, I do think it’s a bit forced and this meme sums it up.
Netflix loses subscribers, but stops the bleeding
A wild, defiant, proud L: “Netflix reported Tuesday that it lost 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2022 — a number far lower than its own forecasts, which had projected that the streaming giant would lose two million subscribers.” Why would you admit and share that?? Morons.
I got my first tattoos at 18, in 2004. First, a palm-sized nautical star on my upper left back. I was in Los Angeles for the summer, my first time in the city, where I planned my lifelong dream of moving to the city, to work in Hollywood, to be a star. I ended up getting four more star tattoos within months, as I started my freshman year, one on my wrist, one on my ankle, one behind the ear, and one on the hip. Five-pointed stars are lucky, I told people. I needed luck to be a star. You could create a constellations with my body, I would say. Make of me what you want to make of me!
My parents were devastated by this. My dad said I would never get a job, that I was unemployable, that there was nothing I could do to “fix this.” He then suggested I take proactive steps to hiding them, to do something about the mistake, by using makeup to conceal the tattoo so that I didn’t “risk” jeopardizing my chances of employment. I nodded and apologized through this scolding, thinking it was one of the top ten stupidest lectures I’ve ever received. But, as a good child, I bought the makeup for the tattoo and vowed to use the makeup when necessary for a job. I kept the makeup in a tin for when I needed it.
The makeup has now been in the same tin for 18 years, untouched and unused. Now, everyone in my family but my dad has tattoos and articles are being written about how tattoos on the job don’t matter unless you’re on Wall Street. The rise in tattoo acceptance and popularity has been well documented for years, becoming a niche culture with it’s own trends like posthumous tattoo preservation and rhinestone tats.
By extension, other taboo forms of expression have seen similar rises, coming to define these times: earring culture is being
gentrified genderfied and normalized by men; the menswear boom speaks to the death of the suit and formalwear; social media is accelerating styles, making aesthetics more ubiquitous and disposable; nail art is a new design accessory, regardless of gender; handbags continue to be enduring statements of tastes which, yes, men are genderfying; hair – from wigs to dyes – function the same.
You could keep this list going and going – Makeup for men! Gender-fluid clothing! Sneakers! – but it all gets at something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, particularly while admiring a teen boy-type with incredible nail art: our real estates of expression, zones of the body that can be customized, specified, designed to be most true-to-you, are the evolution of the personal brand, the ways that we advertise who you are offline. Real estates of expression are the places that offer a glimpse at your interior via the exterior, from earrings depicting orgies to express your sex-positivity to a dog-shaped bag to show you love dogs, all to wink at your audience to say “This is the real me.” Think Lindsay Lohan’s “fuck u” nails from her court appearances in 2010 or Melania Trump’s “don’t care” jacket in 2018, all exaggerated, multiplied, and turned more intentional: these small signals are made to say big things. They don’t just say “If you know, you know.” but suggest an entire catalogue of pop culture history with a select clothing items. The tactics and statements for our real estates of expression are not new but they have become more sophisticated, more superfluous, maximalized and optimized to most effectively say so much under the breath, through subtle visual optics that only those in the know will catch signal of.
Where will this go? Two things to think about. While social media seems increasingly more powerful and powerless, there will be a time where these real estate zones will be sponsored. Technically, they already are, as any sponcon post for a fashion brand shows. Who’s to say that Billy’s Hot Dog stand in my town can’t pay me $50 to get themed nails? That would be obvious, incredible, and disgusting, writing on the wall that we’re already seeing happen on the other obvious real estate of expression: our cars. The second thing to muse on is where the next top real estates of expression will be. The obvious ones are temporary tattoos, teeth jewelry, nail chips, and QR codes, the first two rethinking available real estates for new expressions while the latter use old tech to create another dimension in expression.
Of course, we could continue subscribing to aesthetics and being “true to ourselves” in fashion – but we know that something as simple as style has evolved from the flip to the serious. These real estates say so much more than they were designed to and, because culture has become more accepting of them, their boundaries will expand. Who knows what that may mean, but I can foresee a moment in the future where my dad, excitedly, tells me about how he’s getting paid to wear the same outfit every day. Then, I will be having a talk with him.
Postmortem Sperm Retrieval Is Turning Dead Men Into Fathers
Want to talk about awe-driving wild stories? Here’s one about extracting sperm from dead men, to make posthumous kids. It’s wild.
"millennial lifestyle subsidy"
I would like to write more about this idea of the (now-bygone) era of Millennials getting things “easy” as companies placated to them through abusive labor practices – but I think this TikTok says it all.
From Covid to Travel Delays, Is There Hope for a Good Summer?
A fascinating story on how summer is maybe canceled forever. This reminds of earlier in the year feeling like spring break had disappeared. Where’s the joy? I know: the world is bad. The pandemic still continues, amidst literal flames and robust inequality. But try to find your sun. Take some time for you.
Blurred Vision, Burning Eyes: This Is a Lasik Success?
This may be overblown, but what is interesting is how Lasik has become a cultural norm that helped so many, making any issues almost null since…there seems to have been not-many!
"alienate casual users who still use it for sharing life updates"
How to fix your 'trash' Instagram feed — at least temporarily
I’ve heard colloquially how bad the Instagram update is, which may signal…the official end of Instagram as the “cool” platform? That’s long been lost but articles like this that attempt to outline “hacks” for making it enjoyable again signal a gap between what Instagram once was and the reality of what so many social sites become: marketing tools. For people who use the site “normally,” as ways to connect with friends and keep in touch, the app is effectively useless. Just in time for BeReal to take over!
Where to Buy Nathan Fielder’s Laptop Harness
"Nathan Fielder trolling the president of his own network"
If you aren’t watching The Rehearsal, it’s one of the most fascinating pieces of television maybe ever made. As someone described, it’s like Synecdoche, New York but a documentary. Few pieces of media I wish I made – but I wish I made this show. It’s so genius, absurd, sweet, and shocking.
Would You Buy the Time-shares Armie Hammer Is Selling?
The Armie-Hammer-As-Time-Shares-Salesperson is one of the best storylines of 2022.
Seattle museum cancels 'Amazon vs Microsoft'
Interesting art-meets-class story, as the show was by artists from both tech companies in a city where inequality is rising – and the show would have backhandedly celebrated the well off.
"If you think CGI on a Marvel movie isn’t up to snuff, blame terrible working conditions."
This has been an ongoing “thing” but the reason why CGI is bad isn’t because of a lack of talent or skill: it’s that companies are underpaying, rushing, and squeezing talent dry. Overworked, in other words! Hollywood is a stupid, fucked up industry and this is yet another example of this (and, because “everyone wants to be in Hollywood,” the issue is likely to go unfixed for some time).
Exclusive: Fake Accounts Fueled the 'Snyder Cut' Online Army
Incredible. Hollywood is doing great! Big fucking idiots!!
‘Desus & Mero’ Done at Showtime as Pair Splits
This was a shock!!
Drew Barrymore Is Truly Living
Drew Barrymore’s TikTok has been going off lately. Why? Because it’s pure joy!
"Swan’s reaction to human returning home"
Some very, very sweet animal content for you.
“this is terrifying to me”
As the person who posts says, it’s less scary that they’re drinking hard seltzers, but more terrifying that they have a refined hard seltzer palate. Seek sobriety!!!
“I don’t need to see Elvis”
I would like these creators to remake every movie.
“Alexa always struggles”
Happy almost-new-Beyoncé album.
“the cycle continues”
A modern mantra.
“100 years hrt”
So glad Finland’s Prime Minister can live their truth.
Absolutely perfect prank incompetence.
Best twist ending in a long time.
"Here’s to politicians using TikTok"
By far the best political TikTok ever.
So that’s how you pronounce “puzzle”!!
"this is too much"
You will not expect where this story is going to go. And the production is pure chaotic good! Or something!!
The only TikTok that mattered this week.
And, finally, me in my slut era.