The Trend Report™: Simulated
Bad things, as we live in a simulation.
The Story of the First 10 Years
A robust look at the decade of Black Lives Matter, as we hit ten years since the death of Trayvon Martin. A great timeline with great stories.
Factors That May Increase Chances of Long Covid
Long Covid remains elusive, but we’re finally starting to get some answers as to why (and how) it exists.
Your Local Epidemiologist: “Denmark’s out-of-this world cases”
This newsletter is always good, most interesting of which is how bad things are in Denmark, who were all of a sudden like “Let’s pretend Covid doesn’t exist!” and then things went wild. Keep some precautions, people!
Amir Locke ‘executed’
Sad. Don’t give me any pro-cop anything! Take that thin blue line and stick it fully up your ass!
Biden sending more troops to Europe
Don’t like this!
Congress's Big Tech Stock Trading
Don’t like this either! Hate our rich aristocrat ass politicians!!
Change by Apple Tormenting Companies, Especially Meta
“this is triggering.”
lol fuck Zuck
“I ask Amazon drivers about this trend”
Terrible trend. Terrible capitalism!
These Influencers Are Quitting Instagram
Related to the above. People are over it!
Student Walkouts Over COVID
Perhaps this is the newest Great Resignation trend? Or, if anything, it’s an extension of it.
“TikToks of Americans living abroad”
Read the comments. A sharp look at how US work culture is literally enslaving and killing people.
Suicide hotline shares data with for-profit spinoff
And people wonder why or how America is bad!! Because this sort of shit happens.
The Thursday before last, January 27, was International Holocaust Day of Remembrance. This month, February, is Black History Month. These are occasions meant to remember history, to learn lessons and prevent hate, to celebrate life and the figures who taught us and continue to teach us.
So what does that mean in 2022? Not a lot, because both anti-semitism and racist activity seem to be trending in myriad ways in North America. This is less of a trend-I-am-reporting and more something-that-is-being-observed. If you have been missing these stories, here they are, for you to witness. While not chronological, I’m trying to work these backwards from most-recent-to-least in 2022.
As anti-semitism grows, so does its dangers to everyone. Here's how you can fight against it
Whoopi Goldberg isn’t the only one who doesn’t understand antisemitism: A huge story this week, about the misunderstandings of what antisemitism is.
On the First Day of Black History Month, More Than a Dozen HBCUs Receive Bomb Threats: Thankfully, the persons who did this have been identified.
National Butterfly Center closing indefinitely after threats from right-wing conspiracy theorists
Anne Frank's betrayal: Dutch publisher apologises for book: Now why the fuck would they publish this book? Morons.
Bored Ape Yacht Club finally responds to neo-Nazism accusations: This was a big story, given the flashiness of this organization.
"The display of racism and anti-Semitism we witnessed by the flying of Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas is vile": While this was in Canada, it was echoed in America (See below.) but came to a head last weekend thanks to a “Freedom Convoy” of antivax truckers.
“Today in Orlando”: An example of how antivaxxers converge with antisemitism and white nationalism.
"Anti-Vax protesters in Canada’s capital with Nazi flag!": The intersectionality of hate is just awful.
He Spent 25 Years Infiltrating Nazis, the Klan, and Biker Gangs: This was a huge story this past week. It’s awful, for many obvious reasons, but also dovetails into how Facebook allows poor behavior as such.
Ezra Miller Targets KKK Chapter in Video Post: ‘Kill Yourselves With Your Own Guns’: One of the strangest beefs of the year somehow played into this.
University of Nebraska updates Herbie Husker mascot to change hand gesture associated with white supremacy: The hand gesture in question is the OK that has been appropriated.
Why So Many People Still Don’t Understand Anti-Semitism: Weeks before the Whoopi Goldberg incident, this story came out. The framing of anti-semitism as a conspiracy theory is vitally important, given the state of American delusion.
Jewish Americans are 'terrified' amid rising anti-Semitic attacks. How can they feel safe?: A grim stat for you: “Despite the fact that Jews are less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, 60 percent of the faith-oriented hate crimes target Jewish communities across the country.”
Why aren't Americans more alarmed by white-supremacist violence?: The short of this is that white supremacy in America often items are seen as “worse” (like antifa) when they’re distractions from the actual problems.
NAACP head: White supremacy beyond Jan 6 is shrinking voting rights
…and this was just my high-level look into these subjects. I hate to say this, I hate to share this, but this conversation will continue. What is there to do? Anything to curb hate, to stop history from repeating itself, would be ideal. I wish I had more concrete answers but the tools being used to stop this – The FBI? “Voting”? Sharing the truth? – are proving to be only so effective. Knowledge is power though, which is why I’m documenting this awful synergy.
The Misguided Empathy of Dana Schutz
From the Black Lives Matter coverage in Vulture: this piece on the never-not-interesting Emmett Till painting by Dana Schutz, which caused many a hullabaloo over the years. What’s so great about this is the rumination on the price of (white) empathy and who it really helps, if anyone. How does one help in a helpful way?
McCormick Wants Hot Sauce Supremacy
Who knew hot sauce was having such a moment? I guess we are really trying to feel something. More on this in the next essay!
Temple Grandin Wants Us to Think Differently
One thing about me? I love Temple Grandin. This interview explores the importance of visual thinking and how many who are articulate or verbal-forward fail to express the literal image of something. Interesting stuff! I love how “No politics!” she is. Icon.
Kris Wilkes Just Wants To Play Football
Must read queer story of the week.
Oscar Mayer is selling bologna facial masks
What on earth is Web3?
I keep hearing about Web3 and don’t know what that means. This explainer helped!
8-Year-Old Wrote a Book & Hid It on Library Shelf
Is this how I get my book sold? Perhaps! Guess I need to hide it in the Downtown LA library.
Gen Z is turning its back on sex-positive feminism
Is this true? Who knows! But it reveals a lot about sex and younger generations, and the pervasiveness with which it exists in the lives of (American) children.
Netflix 2022 Movie Release Schedule
Maybe this is common practice for Netflix, I don’t know, but this teaser is the most sanctimonious “MOVIES CHANGE THE WORLD!!” sort of bullshit that most people outside Hollywood hate. I hate it! And I’m in Hollywood!! Get a life. You’re playing dress up as a job!! It’s not that deep. You hear me, Nicole Kidman in your AMC seat??
Unmasking Of Rudy Giuliani On Masked Singer
Speaking of sanctimonious! In case you missed this, it was a huge story this week. I think it says less about politics and more about clout and inter-office beliefs playing out on a national scale.
**Read while listening to Róisín Murphy’s “Simulation.”**
Talk about living in simulations seem to be en vogue. Just look on Twitter! Not because a new Matrix film came and went but because these times are becoming more and more intangible and unreal, because life is becoming less lifelike. Let’s backtrack, following the thread of the current simulation stories into where I think they come from, in the hopes of identifying these feelings so we can become more real again.
There’s a lot of talk that we’re living in a fake reality. “We Might Be in a Simulation. How Much Should That Worry Us?” the New York Time muses, relating it to VR, just months after recommending the (conspiracy theoretical) idea of accidental time travel. Philosopher David Chalmers agrees, wondering to the New Scientist why virtual worlds enable us to question reality (in anticipation of his new book on the subject). Scientific American wonders in a similar but different direction, about perception and subjective experience. Funny and strange, yes, but even The Onion wants to know the answer here. Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart are making jokes about it too! Of course, this is leading to very smart stories about how we are not living in a simulation.
Companies like Facebook (“Meta”) are pushing virtual realities upon us via things called “the metaverse.” The examples we keep seeing – from real estate offices to Walmart – are like very bad video games, things that are not only redundant but offer nothing of ease. While weddings may happen in this space, the idea of the metaverse is silly and strange because it all feels cheap – and that seems to cheapen reality.
Crypto, NFTs, Web3, and other abstractions of real things are becoming huge talking points. Crypto, a form of money, is nothing one can hold. NFTs, a form of art, only exists online. Web3, a type of internet, is nothing that doesn’t already exist. These things “are real” but they exist in the abstract.
The stress we are all under has us doing new things to escape. We are nationally exhausted. People are outside screaming. Depression and deaths by suicide are having a moment, particularly for adolescent and Black males. Meanwhile, in Korea, people are in pursuit of mung, the goal being to become as “empty headed” as possible, a nothingness as a type of fullness. This is done by watching, say, movies about literal clouds passing. Our minds are running into walls, trying to figure out where to run, only being met with the increasingly abstract and unreal.
Our lives are increasingly becoming a doomsday scenario. Is this because it truly is a doomsday scenario? Or is it because we just know more than we ever have? The clock, the glacier, the satires, the aesthetics: who knows! Either way? People are feeling some sort of way about it.
So much of our lives and what we do are intangible. We write on computers, we look at humans on screens, we are in places and in situations where there is nothing to literal grasp. It doesn’t help that we’re surrounded by so many empty words that disguise every day activities as something tied to a business activity. Verbs are becoming branded.
Unintentionally, to help each other, we are apart. We’re in a pandemic. In year three of it! And we’re all a little lost and feeling a little weird – but we’re all trying. We’re making it work! We’re trying to hold onto things that are real. But what is there to grab onto in this moment?
This is to say: the simulation and discourse around the simulation is a response to our real lives feeling increasingly less-real. So much of what culture (a la, Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon) is pushing is theoretical and unreal. As disparities continue to widen, as people grasp for straws in the face of inflation, culture is pushing the unreal on us, as if we are foie gras awaiting to be fatted by the unreal. Unfortunately, few are taking the bait, skipping over the financial incentives of “the metaverse” to instead wonder: is life real to begin with? That is why simulations are trending, I think.
"who peed in the pool"
I meant to share this last week, but the latest in Brands Acting Sexy™ – and this is one of the worse entries.
“Corporations all month”
“no they didn’t”
"one of the funniest fucking things"
It’s the use of “Mad World” for me.
“not enough Pedro Almodovar's take”
The only director who matters.
“haven’t been on Facebook in awhile”
…and I shan’t be going back.
"a picture of the TV on February 27, 2020."
Take a trip down memory lane! And vomit.
“Julia Fox dresses like”
The most chaotic couple. I hate them and their garage party, Birkin bag antics.
“this is how they make shoegaze”
Now we know!
My two favorite memes coming together.
“the frogs getting dissected at euphoria high”
“just the copy of the great gatsby”
“losing my fucking mind”
Two great Wordle items.
And, finally, my take on Rihanna’s pregnancy.
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