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The Trend Report™ 🍌 Snoopy Bop
A look at how Gen Alpha might make and honoring a new meme queen.
Georgia Win Gives 51-49 Senate Majority to Democrats
The big “win” of the week which, of course, will be squandered.
DHS warns of domestic threats to LGBTQ, Jewish, minority communities
This is concerning!
North Carolinians recover from outages, investigators probe terrorism
EXPLAINER: US power grid has long faced terror threat
Related, as far as domestic terror: this completely missed my radar, but apparently some people are trying to take out power in the country. That would be bad!
German police target far-right plot to overthrow state
"Germany just averted its own Jan. 6"
This is bad. We are reaching some sort of tipping point around the world that is…dangerous, to say the least! (Also related: Peru’s president tried to dissolve Congress.)
Elon Musk, Hunter Biden, & The Twitter Files
“any day now”
Musk's second "Twitter Files" claims "secret blacklists"
BREAKING: Trump was censored by Twitter
"Sneak peek at Twitter Files 3"
The Twitter Files are agenda items without an agenda, which have enlisted extreme flops like Bari Weiss to “help” lend credibility. Wilder, now that the “fourth” drop has happened, few seem to care – and Elon is losing the virality game of his own design. Good for you to know, as far as (far) right-leaning 2022 happenings, but it captures Twitter stepping closer to becoming Parler (except Parler isn’t being investigated for having employees sleep at the office). (Apologies for the next-to-last item being a Fox story. No even-sources are reporting on this.)
Meta faces record EU privacy fines
Give me Zuckerberg’s head!!
Trump calls for the termination of the Constitution
"John Bolton is considering a 2024 presidential run"
This week in GOP antics. The Trump stuff is obviously stupid-bad, but the bigger thing is that they seem to be wandering into the “Everyone’s running for president!” problem that the Dems had in 2020.
Supreme Court to Back Web Designer Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage
“Did a Supreme Court Justice reference Ashley Madison? Yes.”
Not to victim blame but…all this could have been avoided by going to a queer web designer, which there is not a deficit of.
Sinema switches to independent, shaking up the Senate
"using her clothing to get away with harmful things"
gtfo loser (Related: AOC’s ethics investigation is a distraction.)
Grant Wahl dies after collapsing at Qatar World Cup
This seems…sketchy. Do I think he was murdered? No. But something smells!
These Home Appliances Are Using Power Even When Turned Off
This is something! The internetting of everything is actually not-great. Obviously!
Which states have the highest living standards? (And more!)
An absolutely fascinating look at which states have the highest standards of living. It’s not who you think it is at all!!
I had previously written an essay about reality television and social media but it was too dry – and I wanted fun things this week! If that interests you – or you are a glutton, or my mother – read it here. There’s something bigger about reality television that I want to write but…that may be a book. Stay tuned!
If kids could make art, what would they make? I don’t mean paintings or television shows or content – but I also do mean that. What would their point of view be? What will the hallmarks of Gen Alpha’s voice be?
I think we have a small clue, thanks to a viral TikTok. “My little sister,” the post starts. “She doesn’t use any social media whatsoever. All she does is go on her phone and make edits of Snoopy.” The video goes then show an edit, where Snoopy the dog does little things that Snoopy the dog things like eat a giant ice cream, all pulled from 1978’s What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown!. It’s all set to a vibey TikTok song.
It’s cute, it’s simple, it’s something, it’ both funny and adorable. It’s a window into a world more peaceful than ours, without the weight of responsibilities under capitalism. There is no conflict. There isn’t any drama! It’s a slice-of-life, just a dog walking around, eating an indulgent dessert, then going to bed. There is no moral, there is no “point.” It just is. It’s both bigger and smaller than what is happening. It has a simple goal: to make you smile. To fill you with warmth! The little sister knows something we don’t, as a commenter says. Or, as others say, she found peace.
There’s a problem though: the sister created an account because of the popularity, where she has started uploading more edits, sharing she’s technically a Zalpha who recently took a driving test. In effect, this type of expression is no up for sale, where it will quickly be extinguished. These creations are and aren’t unique – the Roblox rant and little brother recipes come to mind as similar – but they signal a for-us, by-us-ness that we’re starting to see represent Gen Alpha: they are simple stream-of-consciousness stories with video that uses video and editing in a seamless way that other generations have never had access to before. Perhaps of-an-age or perhaps truly of the generation, it marks something about young people. But this moment also captures how the new public-ness of this type of content diminishes it, via the verified persons in the replies and the branded eyes watching, all foretelling the incoming Snoopy-edits from the official Snoopy account, which will ladder into brand-owner Apple doing something with this and Looney Tunes and DreamWorks and Target following the style, imitating the re-posts, turning something so authentic into a trend, into a sale, into corporate joy, a gaze of a point of view.
Yet, for this moment, the joy remains. It is a glimpse into how a children create and what they care for, a suggestion of Gen Alpha’s gestures. How will this voice develop? Will it ever be allowed to exist? Or will adults, brands and businesses and writers like myself, always be there to steal via reposting? Quite a question, as children grow up in a surveillance state. What will they see, share, and have taken from them?
The top destinations in 2022 and 2023 travel trends, revealed
2022 on YouTube: Top 10 Trending Videos & Creators
Year on TikTok: 2022, truly #ForYou
Year in Search 2022
All the brands are releasing their very algorithmic 2022 lookbacks and 2023 forecasts. The Pinterest one is good because it’s always good.
'Absolutely Fabulous' Is Still Untouchable
I cannot believe Absolutely Fabulous is thirty and, yes, it is relevant than as it is now. As the article posits, it predicted the present.
Behind the Cover: Reasons to Love New York 2022
Amazing magazine cover and story on how they made it.
This artist is exhibiting intestines around the world
While this interview is fine, Samara Golden is maybe my favorite living artist. Interviews or “press” about her always seem rare which makes this quite special!
Carving of man holding penis is oldest known narrative scene
Well, okay! (Related and not: OnlyFans becoming an emerging platform for artists.)
You all are going to think I am out of my mind and that is okay. The price of bravery! But I have a theory about The Weeknd and Avatar 2: Daniel Lopatin, Oneohtrix Point Never, will have some hand in the score. Just listen to the music in the teaser (Which I have been obsessed with for months.) and listen to “Suite From Magnetic Rose” and tell me there is not new age symmetry. Either way: I will be listening (and maybe watching).
“The best part of Lizzo’s documentary”
"Lizzo honored activists during her People's Choice Award speech"
Great week for Lizzo! Celebrity is very stupid and useless – but it can be used for good by making space, at the right times, for those doing the work.
Brad Leone is leaving the magazine, launching channel
An era is officially over.
Twitch suffers biggest viewership drop in years
Are…less people watching Twitch?
Warner Bros Discovery closes in on 'Max' as the name
"Taking a god-tier brand name"
One of the stupidest naming devices in a while.
"choicesssss were made"
Drag performer Alexis Stone, who is known for her sculpted face, had her fillers taken out. Her thoughts on beauty seem to signal an incoming change! (EDIT: The post has been deleted!)
If you don’t know, you do now: Kamala Harris is the meme queen of the moment.
Whereas Spongebob or Shrek were the meme du jour for a time and for a people, the Vice President has undertaken the unassuming role of clap back meme, reaction meme, topical meme, and any other “meme” type that transcends generations. This is happening because, like Spongebob and Shrek, she has a large history of media at our fingertips that can be used as a secondhand for how we’re feeling. And, as most Vice Presidents are, she’s a comic public figure who may or may not “have a job.” Yes, we intellectually know what she does but, for kids and adults, the aware and the unaware alike, seeing her sing “The Wheels On The Bus” divorced from context is objectively funny.
She also works as a meme queen because she is a cross-cultural wonder. A mix of someone’s Black auntie crossed with aspirational west coast post-yuppie types with a spiritual blond-ness, she’s an every person projection of our grin-and-bear-the-disaster that is being American. She lends herself to so many genres and sub-stories of meme – the silk press, the impersonators, the never-ending laugh, the cop-ness, the gravy things, the anti-depressants, the venn diagrams – which play into a lore building from her meme-defining “We did it, Joe.” moment. Two years later, this meme is now a turn of phrase divorced of origin, placing her as a public figure doing public things, where gaffes and spectacles – “Do not come.,” “Exploring the unknown!” – are turned into secondhand expressions of bummers and out-there-ness.
(This of course is from the gaze of the culturally left, which is to also say that she is being used similarly and differently politically by the right and by the left. That is a genre of Boomer meme that I am not including in this conversation as it is not culturally relevant.)
Kamala memes are a language of the internet now. In the past week, there have been so many hits – “it’s not that funny” and “dancing like Kamala Harris until my inner demons are released” and Kamala Puff – that it’s hard to forget that the weeks before we were at the whole cereal thing or laughing about her laughing at all the school buses or Crystal Kamala. People are also digging up meme items from before she was a national figure, like when she did a “Wakanda Forever” sketch on The Late Show in 2019 or when she got dabbed on during a debate in 2016.
Everything has fallen into place for her to fully inhabit her meme-ness and we are seconds away from her image being placed with vaguely funny writing becoming a manner of speaking. I’ve already started doing it, as some people in my life have started doing it. Very soon, everyone’s going to do it – which would make the potential for her presidency very interesting.
“AI generated art sucks ass”
“Sharing my new AI portraits!”
“people who like AI art”
Can AI Write Authentic Poetry?
I don’t care what the AI wrote
A.I. just makes the old problems worse
We have reached AI fatigue, which both
"I'm 30 years old. And I run a $200M"
“I’m 29 years old”
“I'm 36 years old. And I run a $0M”
"I’m 32 years old and I run a £0 portfolio"
"I’m 37 years old and I run a £0 portfolio"
A meme this week. I initially was going to write an essay about this but I don’t want to glorify The Grind™ because that paves a path toward Elon-ification. (But I do think sharing your schedule and exposing capitalism’s sucking up of your time is very, very valid!! Even the jokes get at this!!!!)
"me and a bunch of strangers rent a 15 passenger van"
They’re gonna make this into a movie and I’m gonna be mad.
"showing how bad the cue card operators were"
We all know Patti LaBelle’s “This Christmas” disaster performance is a holiday classic – but have you seen it from the angle where the cue card people are in view? This is history, right here.
“wish you were being cheated on?”
Wildest relationship story of the week.
“sleeping on Brady bunch cringe!!”
"Bring back movies where the actors deliver lines like this"
I would write more about why The Brady Bunch movie was trending this week but I’m not. I think it boils down to lack of risks, character acting, and fun-over-profits when it comes to Hollywood now.
"Me listening to religious people"
Losing my mind, comrades!!!!
Taylor Swift to Direct Feature Film for Searchlight Pictures
“babe that's purple”
The emperor has no clothes. Reminder that Taylor and Lena are the same!!
“you can take some holiday time-off from work”
Every non-profit boss parody I watch and I LAUGH. It’s the chocolate nibbling!
"We have to prepare for this as a nation"
Beware Emrata’s giant blond son.
“I’m losing my mind”
Girl, I feel you.
None of the presidents are hot. And that’s a problem!!
And, finally, me awaiting replies each week.