The Trend Report™: Sold Out
Looking at how the personal has recently changed from the political to the corporate.
U.S. and Europe Diverge on Covid Path
After Clubbing in Bangkok, a Covid Outbreak
The Invisible Dead of COVID Colonialism
The Covid narrative is changing again, as ideas of “colonialism” and vaccine FOMO are being rolled around. These stories give a taste of what’s being said.
The Tokyo Olympics Are In Peril
With just 3% of Japan’s population vaccinated, it seems quite problematic to have people from around the world participating in the Olympics. This isn’t going to end well.
The Question Of The Pandemic Is Shifting
As California readies to reopen, we’re getting to a point where the private versus the public are going to collide. For example: I was at a restaurant where a server explained that, after June 15, customers don’t have to wear masks – and they also don’t have to disclose vaccine status. It will be interesting how things shake out.
People Who Transformed During the Pandemic
I feel like this story is about me. Maybe not physically but definitely mentally.
A pandemic love story: Parents & adult children
Interesting! And quite a sea change, from the late aughts lazy-Millennials-move-back-home narratives.
Starbucks Is Running Low on Ingredients
Workers Are Gain Right Before Our Eyes
Remote working’s been life-changing for disabled people
A lot is happening around workers rights. The tides might be turning! We shall see.
Why Your Uber Ride Is Suddenly Costing a Fortune
As I took my first shared ride in over a year last week, talk about how long and expensive these rides are came to mind. Why? Labor shortage.
Cincinnati driver says cicada caused him to crash
Be safe out there, y’all!
West “Mega-drought" means threat of extreme fires
This is very concerning!
There’s a moment in the past season of Drag Race that I think caught a piece of the American id.
Quirky, Christian, midwestern queen Utica spent much of the season making sure people knew how politically correct she was. From feeling uncomfortable dressing as a B.AP.S. character for Symone during a makeover challenge to not wanting to wear an afro to play (white man) Bob Ross in The Snatch Game, Utica went above and beyond to do the right things, to be branded as the season’s “nice” queen. The irony here is that, when pushed to roast, to be mean while having fun, Utica bucked her niceness and revealed her truth: she’s got some questionable beliefs and doesn’t quite practice what she preaches. Making very rude jokes about weight and age, the queen was unnecessarily harsh – and revealed that her PC-policing of the self wasn’t that deep.
What this reminds me of is a sort of personal incorporating, of public and non-public figures trafficking in the please-everyone manners that one might assume a global company may be giving. From closed captioned TikToks to making sure your language isn’t appropriative, we’re in an era of extreme consciousness. This is a great thing! But it makes one wonder: who is this all for? Yes, it is to signal to (few) followers that you are aware and that you are empathetic, that the Internet is inhabited by all types of people with all types of experiences. This is a good thing.
The thing, though, is that these mental gymnastics are taking an almost unhinged turn, which comedian Caleb Hearon seemed to capture with a recent Tweet pointing out that being sensitive to, say, one’s timezone is a meaningless liberal gesture. Should you be aware that certain people are living in snow while you live in the sun? Yes. But does that mean you have to police yourself, bragging or self-flagellating on the off chance someone in snow reads your non-snow sensitive post? Maybe not.
I’ve started to realize that such moves, particularly by those out of the loop of cultures and persons being affected by language, are less about understanding and more about signaling a virtue. Like brands getting into Pride, rainbow-washing themselves for a dollar, people and the way they speak online seem to be shifting simply because it’s good for their brand. We all know we’re online. We all aspire to be the next viral star, to become a brand. To that, we all need to be speaking in a way that is correct, so that people will continue to shop our content without turning into Justine Sacco. We have all become small corporations trying to court followers to help us increase our bottom line. The end goal is goodness and awareness, sure, but it’s using so social currencies that are starting to feel more trendy than open-minded.
Conversations around appreciation, awareness, offensiveness, and appropriation have been circling a drain for years and we’re approaching a fever pitch. Current conversations around white sage and palo santo seem to get at this, as we’re simultaneously hearing “Don’t appropriate!” and “Well...it’s kinda nice to share a ritual?” This is a very contemporary cycle: doing something, getting in trouble, retroactively doing the work, and never interrogating what was wrong to begin with. No wonder people get confused and kerfuffled when the word “woke” is brought up.
Should we watch how we speak, aiming to be as kind and aware as possible? Of course. But should we also do the homework and or having some grace and compassion with those around us? Yes. That is what all this gets at: culture – particularly left-leaning, liberal culture – assumes instead of understands, going for the rainbow paint instead of trying to understand what it means to paint the rainbow on oneself at this specific place and time. You can support queer people without a rainbow-wash for June. “This must be hurting someone somewhere,” a person like Utica may think. “So I must throw out the baby and the bathwater to appear as respectable as possible.” The challenge we should feel is to have a conversation instead, to show our vulnerabilities and willingness to learn, so that we may go deeper into a subject instead of scooping out a part of our brain, bypassing the actual work. Converse instead of correct – even if it’s to yourself.
Catholic Parishes Welcome NY’s LGBTQ
Loved this story my friend Liam wrote about queerness and Catholicism. Step into the future, old schoolers!
Burger King trolls Chick-fil-A
By giving big donations to queer causes. This was a big advancement in the chicken sandwich wars, especially as anti-LGBTQ+ dark money by Chick-Fil-A has been exposed in recent days.
Shopping With Everyone’s Favorite Dude, Chris Black
For anyone interested in men’s style, look here.
Balenciaga’s New Crocs Collab Features Stiletto Clogs
These are hilarious. I hate them but I love Demna.
Why L.A. ‘Pop Art nun’ monument matters
There’s been a hubbub about the historicizing of places in Los Angeles, one of them being the former studio of Sister Corita Kent. The space is very bland, a commercial box that could be any other commercial box. The difference, as Carolina A. Miranda points out, is that there are so few landmarks in LA protected that have to do with the arts, let alone women. Thus, the need to venerate this very California space.
Tig Notaro Digitally Added to Army of the Dead
Bobby watched Army of the Dead and complained that Tig Notaro had a weird special effects way about her. Turns out, she was superimposed into the entire film to replace a sexual predator who was previously cast. Tech, y’all!
"the way gen z uses snapchat"
How Snapchat became the forgotten social platform
Snapchat has been having a mini-moment. For example: this TikTok about how Gen Z uses Snap. It’s not that deep: it’s just image-based texting, literal image-based check ins. We’re doing it wrong. Not them.
New Yorker Employees Protest Anna Wintour’s Townhouse
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: DOWN WITH ANNA.
Briefly, let’s talk about men in shorts because they’re having a moment.
This trend started becoming a thing thanks to Milo Ventimiglia’s tiny shorts in recent months, a style that is an echo of Chris Pine’s quarantine shorts look. Tiny shorts on men has been called “thirst-trap shorts” by the New York Times while Harper’s Bazaar is begging for men to “free the thighs.” Naturally, everyone’s favorite genderqueer non-queer, Harry Styles, has gotten in on the action.
A few things about this. First off, this is not new. Men in short shorts are something that has been, naturally, championed in queer circles for quite some time and that a queer person like myself has written about for years and years. ( Men in shorts are my beat, as my friend Lindsay pointed out.) What’s happening now is that the shorts are getting shorter and, for male types, this is surprising to see. What’s being talked about is freeing the thighs, sure, but it’s also that gender norms and assumptions about what male genders can wear are crumbling.
Moreover, quarantine has given men some time to get weird with what they wear. Short shorts with an elastic waist are basically boxers. Unsurprisingly, men are emerging wearing similar styles – and we all get to see more thigh meat. And, to that, the queer answer to the boy TikTokers thirst trapping milfs, we have bros like @maxtaylorlifts, @officialstephenlomas, and other “thicctok”-ers whose presences are dedicated to their wearing short shorts while having fat asses, all to get gay guys (and women) to ogle at their nether décolletage.
The difference in the shorts narrative is: we’ve reached a moment of male body objectification. This is great! This means we’re getting closer and closer to gender fashion parity, where what people wear will be meaningless, that labels will not exist and we all will be one. Will that happen overnight? No. But this is a big, unclothed-leg step forward in the right direction (until the tables turn yet again).
Love emo Bad Bunny. It’s such a good song! Maybe my song of the summer!
Speaking of songs of the summer...This is the video of the summer. Get ready for the ending. (Also: RIP to the 101 Café, which is the venue for the diner scene.)
Pride is Here, and We’re Already Tired.
lol (Also of note: I somehow had a Tweet included in this round-up??)
"honey look an ikea"
These are not that funny but I watch every one that this TikToker actress makes and this one definitely made me actually, literally laugh.
"AirBnB: No partying allowed!"
This is……...very bnb culture.
“let's find tod"
"The nadir of a lifetime of eating cereal."
Please watch this cereal review.
"Drew Barrymore on the beach"
Meg is really gunning to be in the cast of the boomer show, SNL.
Gonna start doing this to everyone I’m mad at.
"the piece of tape"
Bless this person.
"Coal workers unionizing (1923, colorized)"
Bless these miners.
"this video will make you laugh"
Bless this creature.
And, finally, me online today.