The Trend Report™: Small Scale
A meditation on why we need to rethink the scale of conversation.
Elon Musk probably won’t buy Twitter
Elon Musk boosts criticism of Twitter executives
As I write this, the news has probably changed again. Either way: I’m over it.
Trump's Truth Social top of App Store
Why? Because their waitlists cleared. Should we all join?? (I’m kidding.)
"whatever is going on with madison"
I’m obsessed with the Madison Cawthorn scandals and Jamelle Bouie had the best recap and explainer on it.
'Get up off our rear ends'
Queen Elizabeth Warren has been trying to wake up the Democrats for a while but, unfortunately, they are too stupid to do anything of note.
Biden's student loan debt forgiveness problem
Related: quote retweet dunk-of-the-week, courtesy of some conservative goon who is mad people might have their debts cleared.
“50-year-old Wynn Bruce”
climate activist set himself on fire
This was a major story, which was misrepresented by many a news sites but: climate activist Wynn Bruce set himself on fire to protest climate change, on Earth Day. People treated this happening as if this were just a regular turn of crazy, when it is in fact a deep, sad political statement.
'Forever Chemicals' Might Be Hurting Livers
Historic Water Restrictions to Los Angeles
If you live in LA, this isn’t new for you. But, after years of “this,” I wonder when the city will just stop being the city, because of its water deficiencies?
Antisemitic Attacks in NY at Highest Level
"after Laura Ingraham's false accusations"
You know this but hate crimes and xenophobic acts continue to trend in America.
Guns leading death for youth in 2020
Oof. It doesn’t pair well with the viral little league gunfire video.
Gen Z does not dream of labor
If you have been reading The Trend Report™ since the start of 2021, you will not be surprised by this story as this has been a repeating refrain since early last year.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are too big. Not literally, not in the super-size-me variety, but in the sense of us willingly placing ourselves in the middle of massive systems, but fully expecting our voices to be heard and to be treated fairly.
Yes, you could say this about the American government. But what I’m really talking about is social media like Twitter and Facebook, about how we rely on websites that mean everything and nothing to everyone and no one, where we’re always talking in a forum instead of in more discreet, quiet spaces. This makes a situation like a billionaire fucking with how we speak or another billionaire pushing the system to propel poor, nefarious content all the more frustrating. Why do we put up with this?
Here’s the thing: we really don’t have to. I don’t mean this in a “Get offline!” and “Unplug!” way but instead in a reduction of scale. We don’t have to play globally. We don’t have to play nationally! We don’t have to participate in these big systems that we have no control over. So often, in the US Americas, we’re trained through capitalism to seek the largest scale possible, to try to win at the game everyone else is playing instead of attempting to reinterpret and reimagine success through more abstract metrics (connection, conversation, just sharing something). When we think about this, it’s fucking moronic.
The remedy is simple, and something I feel like we’re reaching the threshold of: small scale creation. We have this in so many ways, from supporting small businesses to shopping locally to helping a small creator become a bigger creator, but on a communication and entertainment scale we just aren’t doing that, especially when it comes to the online systems. Everything is now corporatized! Yet all the corporate things we participate in – the movies, social platforms, music – can be remade in our own ways. Why support X Hollywood Megastar Rocker when you could support your local rock band? Why would one aspire to make a television show on NBC that speaks to everyone when you can make a show you upload to a website about specific experiences in your neighborhood, intended to be watched by those in your neighborhood? Why do we continue to self-flagellate on Twitter when we could, instead, create more robust group chats, join Discord servers, or get into a forum?
These things are possible! And, yet, we feel we have to dream big or else we have failed. Make for your specific geographic location! Create for those with a specific ideology! Do something only for those of a specific experience! Less is more when it comes to scale, especially in a world where we all will have to work until we die. Why not “It takes a village.” your creative pursuits? The results are the same – Communication and sharing! – but the effects are likely much more, as the scale is reduced
We’re all tired of billionaires. We’re tired of hustling, we’re tired of working, we’re tired of yelling, only to go unheard. And yet, to define insanity, we go back for more, subjecting ourselves to the exact things we hate. Yes, that show you think someone should make would be hosted by YouTube and, yes, that glorious big group chat would be conducted through Apple. Yes, obviously, we’re not going to invent our own Truth Socials because we’re tired of Twitter – but also…you could. That’s exactly why we have fandoms and fan fiction, why niche hobbies and fetishes have thriving digital communities, but also why Parler and Truth Social exist: because operating on such a massive scale is dumb. Might it isolate people? Sure. But we’re already isolated! Why not instead seek quality, peer-to-peer, small scale communication instead of the overwhelming shitty quality en masse that we’ve been exposing ourselves too?
No wonder we all feel crazy: we’re quite literally yelling at the entire planet, expecting every other person to reply. If I had to guess where content and creation was heading, in this stage of monopoly, it would be a greater emphasis on even smaller batch creation.
Olivia Wilde Envelope Mystery
A big fucked up story of the week! Even if Jason Sudekis didn’t “know” (Bullshit.) Olivia Wilde was going to be served papers in front of an audience, in this way, it speaks volumes regarding how “good” Ted Lasso is.
Why Brittney Griner was in Russia
A great read on the Birttney Griner-Russia situation and what it says about athletes who are women, from her agent.
A Referee Shortage
This represents so much.
A Nonbinary Swan, on Pointe
A very cool story about ungendering in ballet, to make room for non-gendered roles and space for non-binary performers.
When Smoke Gets in Wine
A fascinating story about how wine grapes in California, long a fruit that can tell time and reflect a place, are starting to taste like smoke. We really fucking goofed this planet!
"why Netflix is losing subscribers"
If you haven’t heard, Netflix is struggling. This explanation why is fascinating, which made me come to one conclusion: YouTube, or some similar digital entity, is going to buy the flailing streamer.
“make eco bricks with me”
The idea of “eco bricks,” plastic bottles filled with plastics, seems to be taking over as another way that people are, you know, going above and beyond trying to save the world as our governments, leaders, and corporations do not-much. Learn all about this movement on the movement’s website.
The Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic
This is very funny to me. Everyone become Ina Garten!!!
“do whatever you want”
Obsessed with the idea of “body neutrality” and undoing the idea of “flattery” from clothing.
“people who are good looking…are boring”
This Jennifer Coolidge interview really speaks to my soul, even though I am a good looking person. The “it doesn’t help people” bit is so important as that’s what we forget in the pursuit of beauty: it really helps no one.
"an antonym to jealousy"
Trying to practice compersion, which is the opposite of jealousy!!!
He Was 5'7". After Surgery, He'll Be 5'10".
Speaking of jealousy………we don’t need surgery for EVERYTHING!!!!!!!
"Jerrod Carmichael on a break from his mom"
If you haven’t seen Rothaniel, it is a gem. One of the year’s best media items! A lot of it has to do with Jerrod Carmichael and his relationship to his mother, who he recently stopped speaking after coming out – and that really hit home for me. Backstory: a few years ago, I stopped talking to my brother because of his own anti-queer attitudes – only for my dad to be mad at me about it, thinking it’s an act of taking apart family. Not the case! As Jerrod captures (and the person posting says), sometimes it’s better to cut someone off and live happily than to allow yourself, your people, and your beliefs to be denigrated for the sake of someone else.
Soundtrack of Love and Loss
This is a very sweet story about found tapes and Fire Island, how these mixes were the soundtrack of queer life in the time of AIDS. Listen to the tapes here.
How life-drawing became more inclusive
This is def a trend, as I attended an inclusive drawing class earlier this year. (And you can too!)
"I Hate People"
Still obsessed with Willow Pill’s final performance song from Drag Race.
“Misha Collins rates the LGBTQIA+”
The reviews are in! Also, if you missed this saga, the actor “came out” but didn’t and had to clarify that, yes, he is straight.
“a naked girl will get”
SUPPORT THE TROOPS
"a titanium cock ring"
PSA from a doctor to always wear sex toys with hinges and easy-outs, because you may end up in the emergency room with a diamond saw aimed at your balls.
“dude it’s just a pun”
This captures a very “now” something, of non-Gen Z persons over-intellectualizing and overthinking how they express themselves. It drives me wild.
“his whole jungkussy”
"Who would you rather smash"
Make sure to scroll through the replies, when reviewing the best Elon Musk/Ellen Degeneres content of the week. Related: this was a very bad week for theatre kids.
“put a finger down”
One of the best sci-non-fi short stories you’ll hear this week.
This is funny but, as the quote retweets say, this man is Shrektina’s human male equivalent.
“i had no idea”
Why are puffer fish so big? Their bodies are full of TEETH.
“needed to let off a little steam”
Love a screaming bird, love a happy bird.
And, finally, how I watch and what I watch.
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