The Trend Report™: Speaking Engagements
Some theories on how the generations speak and some thoughts on ~change~
Biden to signs Juneteenth bill
Somehow, out of nowhere, we have a Juneteenth national holiday. This is a net-good, even if it means a commercialized muddling of its meaning.
What is Juneteenth?
This Is How We Juneteenth
How to Throw a Juneteenth Party
And, to that, get into it! Reflect! Donate! Celebrate! We’ll be having some barbecue, as we’re in Texas (where the celebration originated). This is America’s real holiday.
Make Juneteenth Great Again
Make sure to read The Root’s guide for “caucasians” hoping to celebrate. It’s very funny and very informative!
Dining out? Have some patience.
Bars With Vax Requirements Get Bad Reviews
As we are in the thick of ~returning to normal~ know that things are not ~normal~ and to have some grace and kindness to everyone around you.
Newsom details upcoming vaccine verification system
I feel like we’re going to keep talking and keep talking about this.
California’s Fire Season Might Be Worse.
Not looking forward to this!
Earth Absorbing 'Unprecedented' Heat
Temperature Records Put Power Grids at Risk
Pandemic may be at bay but, woo, that is going to be the least of our problems very soon.
Why the world is in a shipping crisis
I don’t know why but, when I see stories like the wood shortage the week before and Starbucks shortage last week and this shipping story, I think the world really is collapsing and that we in “developed” countries have the luxury to smile and buy something else. It feels like so much is failing. Like, the aforementioned climate change items are killing us – but this shit? Bigger signs that we’re in a state of decline.
Remote Work Could Change Rush Hour a Lot
This is obvious but someone had to say it! And it would help our Mother!!!!
Why American Women Delay Motherhood
Also this is obvious! And is helping our Mother!!!
Conservatives to Commandeer Southern Baptists
Uh. This is something – and one of the more interesting recent socio-cultural stories.
"Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit accusing Nestlé"
"Supreme Court sides with Catholic agency"
Interesting. The Catholic one: why are we surprised? We live in a theocracy and the Catholic church hates queer people.
Kim Jong Un appears to have lost some weight
Kim Jong-un Calls K-Pop a ‘Vicious Cancer’
Just some geo-cultural somethings for you. Does Kim Jong-un want to be in BTS or something? What are you telling us, Kimmy?
Because of work and because the world keeps talking about it, we should talk about how the generations communicate. Less the nuts and bolts of speaking, the copy of it all, but more the sentiment and mediums for messaging. I’m hatching a few theories that I want to work through here. We’ll work backwards, getting younger and younger.
Gen X. While Boomers and those before lived in the age of printing, Gen X were the age of tapes, CDs, VHS, phones and chat lines, Xerox’d paper items, rudimentary emails, and other ephemeral entertainment and communication items that occupied both the you just had to be there feelong and the if you know, you know feeling. How Gen X speaks is a result of the mediums available to them and the exclusivity that came with them: they were trained to make and speak in a way that only select who were lucky enough to witness can hear. This isn’t about being exclusive to be exclusive but more about word of mouth, traveling sentiment through talk and talk alone. They weren’t sending letters but sending mixtapes. There was a one-to-one that bred and a slight snobbery. The best example of this is early Pitchfork, whose reviews were fairly repulsive and snobbish as they didn’t realize, oh, anyone can read the Internet, not just people in a certain geographical location and of a socio-cultural persuasion. Thus, a thinking and speaking that evolved into the hipster, a way of being that rubbed off on the next generation and resulted in brands like American Apparel.
Millennials. They came of age online and offline, one literal step inside and one literal step outside. Neither here nor there, they grew up with the text and the email and the IM as well as the DVD and the VHS and the TV and the other-things-from-before. This is a growing pains generation, one who were excited to connect online but still wanted to connect in-peson. There is an earnestness here, a curiosity, a hope to understand, but realizing the limitations of both the mediums of irl and url: the pros and cons are the limitations of life. This led to a very vulnerable generation, who earnestly vlogged and replied all because they wanted to connect. They spoke in ALL CAPS and attempted to speak like cats, all efforts to contain multitudes in a gesture, expanded into the long form of blog posts or confessional video with a web cam. You could walk away from all these things – and you were drawn back. FOMO, as we were told. No wonder this generation invented cringe culture: they’re too honest, airing all their emo energy online without stopping to think about how this might be coming across. There is a blind caring, a longing for love. This is why we had brands like Toms: they spoke to the broken heart of wanting to help, while still being deeply invested in capitalism, as the distraction of something prettier steers them elsewhere.
Zoomers. This is the truly don’t-give-a-fuck generation. Not because they are “unfiltered” but because they grew up with the internet, a better system of education than any parent or school could give them. Have a question? Look it up. Want something? Text someone. Have a feeling? Talk about it. Nothing is to be kept indoors, in the body or mind, because it can be given away, shared, purged. This isn’t a TMI set like the Millennials, nor are they the angsty set like Gen X, but these are a self-aware pastiche who have seen all of our shit before, aspiring to play-act at the past without entrenching themselves in history (or entrenching themselves to-a-point). They are not ironic like the previous generations but are more authentic. Their communication and style is all about the one-to-one. TikToks that use different mediums – closed captioning, filters, tags, hashtags, etc. – are used to reach out and grab someone, anyone. Text messaging where you can show your thoughts, your learnings, your imagery in seconds are preferred. As Ariana Grande sang, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.” – and they do get it. They’re the pro-active, non-bullshitters who believe in group think. Again: one-to-one. This is why we have depop. Why go to Forever 21 when you can buy Olivia Rodrigo’s old clothes? It’s to be determined how they manifest as a real brand but their style is intimacy. Their style is understanding, listening, and then giving it all back to you.
Those even-youngers. They’re going to be a mess. They are being raised with and by YouTube, evolving Gen Z intimacy toward...I have no idea. It’s too early to tell! Yeah, sure, they were groomed to be performers, because their parents take videos of them – which are movies – and they watch said videos on television – just like movies – which skews their sense of the real and the non-real. Also: they have grown up in a pandemic, on a crumbling planet, with inequality raging in all directions and extraterrestrials knocking on our sky doors. The sympathetic anti-sympatheticness of those before them will be gone. They will be higher evolved, a strange variety of Buddhists who understand meaninglessness but also know that they’re here, unwillingly, and they might as well try. Build something! Get away. Why bother? They won’t be a downer generation as Millennials and Zoomers have that locked in. They will have a bastardized hope that we have yet to understand. They will dissolve entertainment because the real isn’t real. So why not just watch someone else literally sleep? We can all dream together. So why not nap?
social media wants us to live in the moment
Influencers not sharing is becoming normalized
Stories about hiding likes and comments and not-sharing are becoming a thing! We can expect to hear more of this.
Welcome Kyle Raymond To Transatlantic!
Some ~news~ about me. Stay tuned, as I’ll hopefully have ~book deal~ happenings this year! Also, I look very Puerto Rican in these photos Bobby took.
“Thot Shit” Director Talks Video’s Horror & Humor
The story behind Meghan’s incredible video.
"National parks so overcrowded they're closing gates"
It’s nice to know that, as things go back “to normal,” people are still obsessed with national parks. Hopefully the parks are getting support from the state(s)! You hear that, Joey Bidey?!
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Sparks Controversy With Essay
This was some viral lit drama! Team Awkaewe.
ContraPoints on cancel culture and compassion
Interesting counterpoint. “The whole internet is about jealousy” is one of the quotes of the year.
TikTok Signs as VidCon Title Sponsor for 202
Taking the title from YouTube! Very interesting shift of power – or effort to take power.
The Big Oil Instagram Influencers Are Here
Who’s surprised? I ain’t. They’ve been around in different forms!
I’ve been thinking a lot about change.
New openings, new moons, new holidays, new jobs, new friends, new beginnings, new endings: everything is changing. I wrote about similar growing pains in December and in March, both of which were changes defined by tragedies and longings. Now, we are seeing change becoming available – and we’re acting upon it. Change has changed.
Last year, I planted seeds: I sent letters to literary agents about my book, I submitted stories, I started a new job, I fished a longer project for “the movies,” I started interactive projects with friends, I stopped and I started talking to people, I started thinking bigger, I went deeper inward, I planned my next few years. A year later, everything is growing. The plants bearing the fruit of the future are growing. Some might have even started budding. I’m awaiting the flowers before the feast. I still have years to come.
But the earth is breaking right now. The seeds that I planted are growing – and everyone planted their own seeds in the past year. It’s unsurprising that I wrote about change in December as all the change I was longing and working for – Like an agent! – came true around the change time in March. Unsurprisingly, friends who griped about jobs in December have left said jobs in the past month, likely seeing hiccups in March. Unsurprisingly, people who sought to upgrade their lives at the end of last year are now out on fellowships, starting businesses, embarking on new relationships. We are steeped in change. And you have to roll with it, evolve. If you do not trust the process of change, you will get fucked.
There will be ups and downs, as not all these changes are good. I’m predicting the real changes will go down in August and September – but that’s just my cosmic hunch. The moment we’re in now is change-heavy but also transitional, of us settling into the beginning of something else. I write this visiting my parents for the first time in two years, in a state they are relocating to, on a brand new national holiday weekend, a handful of weeks after one of my dogs died, as I finish reviewing my book before it moves onto publishers and as I continue to indulge a health kick that has me dropping weight for the first time in over a year. Things are happening. How are they happening for you?
This is less a specific trend but more something I’ve noticed as I listen to the world, keeping my eyes open for what I may see. What changes are you experiencing and where will they lead you? How will you embrace change instead of fighting it? How will you open your eyes instead of dozing off in the moment? As my favorite cosmic forecaster Chani Nicholas wrote recently, “When we live our life sourcing our power, joy, and wealth from within, from our connection to each other and the earth, our priorities are profoundly changed.” We’re going some place new. Change is here.
"keep cis straight male comedy alive"
"lunch breaks for slavery movies"
"part of the comic book movies that stresses me out"
Huge week for Ryan Ken. The comic book movie one is so great.
"’birthday’ in Spanish is ‘cumpleaños’"
"Gays in A Quiet Place"
The champagne killed me.
"I’ve always felt targeted and attacked"
What a brand of twist endings.
"this is truly unbelievable"
This is maybe the best Pride content of the year for not-the-reason-you-think-at-first. It went very viral this week! And talk about brands of twist endings!
This also went very viral this week for good reason.
"How is this not a Cole Escola character"
If you squint with your ears, you can hear Cole’s voice.
"James Baldwin: He was gonna sissy that walk!"
And, finally, me looking at my computer.
Subscribe to The Fox Is Black, an art and design publication from my partner, Bobby.