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The Trend Report™: Stale Mates
A look at how Democrats have lost, and what trends we may see for the rest of the year.
what could happen now
Read Liberal Justices' Supreme Court Abortion Dissent
Clarence Thomas Threatens Contraception, LGBTQ+ Rights
Collins, Manchin suggest they were misled
"your app data is not private”
You had to have been offline or asleep since Friday if you didn’t hear about this brutal ruling. This is the beginning of a lot of things, likely a huge push from the left in ways that aren’t “voting” and the rollbacks of rights by the right. (That last Tweet is interesting though and, while hyperbolic and science-non-fictional, is something that is feasible in the current state of things.)
“CEO of Dick’s”
“Meta bans staff”
“this is interesting”
“deleted but I’m still amazed”
“A real post from Donald Trump Jr.”
“the democratic process is a cruel joke”
"I don’t want to misinterpret @JohnCornyn"
"how Dems can + must do more"
“Musk is only ‘Libertarian’”
A roundup of all the good, bad, and interesting takes in reaction to the reversal of Roe.
"Cops are allowed to spray abortifacients"
Tear Gas Is an Abortifacient. Why Won't Anti-Abortion Movement Oppose It?
This is one take that deserves it’s own call out, as it speaks to the oxymoronicisms of the right, and how you can have an abortion – but only on their evil terms.
The Wildest Revelations From the January 6 Committee
I keep hearing “biggest trial since Watergate” and I guess that’s true. Everything is so elevated now that I sometimes have no idea what’s actually important or newsworthy or historical.
Chile meets controversy in remaking the role of first lady
I love this. This is what happens when you elect Millennials and Gen Z officials: progress is made!
World swimming bans transgender athletes from women's events
The hits against queer people keep coming!
Despite Another Covid Surge, Deaths Stay Near Lows
Good news: deaths are low! Bad news? You will get Covid right now. Be careful out there…because you don’t want it more-than-once!!
$650 to More Than $700 Is Now Average for Monthly Car Payment
"living in a 70 person house"
What the fuck is happening? We gotta rethink the system! This is unsustainable!! Why did we break our more sustainable society for this??
Nuclear Power Is The Future.
Do I know if this is actually a good take? Unsure! But, if it can help the planet and us all who are living on it, I think we should (safely) pursue nuclear power. Maybe? Someone smart explain to me the pros and cons.
FDA orders Juul Labs to remove products from US market
Huge news this week!! Kiss them Juuls goodbye!!
Failure to Stand on One Leg Linked to Increased Risk of Death
A fascinating story about how middle-aged persons who cannot stand on one leg are more at risk of dying. Why? It has to do with balance.
Here’s one thing that is definitely out: the Democrats. I know this, you know this, we all know this – but no one seems to know what to do about it.
The overturning of Roe vs. Wade is not necessarily a sign of this, but the House Democrats singing “God Bless America” definitely is. It’s not Texas attempting to secede, but being told again and again and again that voting will fix things. It’s not the inability to make gun reforms, but the reading of poems and poems and poems. Yes, the right is anti-every-sensical-thing – but the Democrats have created the trend of saying “Action!” and then holding out their palms for money, waiting for the right to continue their abuses. Voting isn’t enough – which has now become a very apt meme – because our leaders ignore all the actions they can take to the point of gaslighting their constituents. We feel helpless! Because the tools they keep telling us to use are bringing zero results. We have gone beyond glorious defeatism and are now just applauding the fires around us, hoping our claps will blow out the flames. That is what inaction looks like (that and, you know, rapidly losing support when they need it most).
And yet. We must persist or whatever. Nevertheless, we need to be civil or something. It’s a nightmare! It doesn’t seem to necessarily be that beliefs like feminism are disappearing: it’s not that. It’s that the Democrats have crafted a myopic, hollow platform that they claim is so wide-sweeping that very much is Republican tendencies in a new package. It’s not quite cowardice, but perhaps a variety of telling us to eat cake. It’s only stating the progressive without making progress. It’s all loud signaling instead of bold action, which is pushing Millennials and Gen Z (and some who are older) into a malaise and frustration at their narrowness that they are giving up on the system(s). Nothing is being looked at holistically, intersectionality, or creatively. Instead, we are not taking apart the masters house with the masters tools but are instead reinforcing that which we hate. It was Ginsburg not retiring early, it was Obama carrying on Bush’s legacy, it was Biden continuing to keep kids in cages, it was Gavin Newsom keeping a slave law just this week: it’s a failed playbook that we keep clinging to, hoping for change. We deserve the antiquated jokes about Handmaid’s Tale.
Yes, the dog may catch the car, the Democrats seeing a boom from this bust in November. But, if the trending tea leaves say anything, it’s that this loser behavior will continue, that support will wane, and we will wander off into a theocracy with less and less rights.
A League of Their Own inspiration Maybelle Blair comes out at 95
HAPPY PRIDE, QUEEN!!!!
Meet the Peecyclers. Their Idea to Help Farmers Is No. 1.
Why aren’t we “peecycling” all the time??
Will Arbery Puts Art, Family and Down Syndrome Onstage
Plays and theater are increasingly not-what-I-care-about but I do want to see this! (And A Strange Loop!!)
Alexa will soon be able to read you stories in a loved one's voice
…even if they’re dead. I’ve been meaning to write a short story about “this,” as we’re in a world where we increasingly can encounter the dead. It’s both great and awful. Just look at your voice messages: how many calls from someone who are no longer alive are there to speak with? I have a few!
You Need a Horror Movie Friend
Everyone needs a horror movie friend!! Mine is Ross and we met writing about queer horror in the late 2000s.
Environmental Innovations Creating a More Sustainable Scene
A great look at different tools, festivals, and nightlife spots that take sustainability seriously. I would like more of this!
Megan Stalter Developing Comedy Pilot
FINALLY SOME GOOD GAY NEWS!!!!!!!!!!
Patrice Rushen: “People are leaning into sampling in a way that is not creative”
I love this interview with Patrice Rushen and feel like she is very right about sampling. See: Beyoncé. (More on this in a moment!)
"The girls can not stand hot fat girls dating hot men"
This TikTok is one of the best analyses of how society treats fat bodies. It’s just a great critique.
A very smart story by José Sanchez on why progress comes from intersectionality (and socialism).
As we’re looking backwards and forward this week, at nearly the year’s halfway point, let’s look at some trends that I keep seeing that I think will dominate conversations for the rest of the summer (and maybe year).
Where’s My Religion?: In maybe my favorite essay this year, I wrote about what to do without religion and many a reader felt a resonance. It’s not just us either, as this interest seems to become clearer and clearer, as musicians like Maggie Rogers and Lorde keep trying to figure out what our religion is now (Maggie studied this at Harvard, Lorde is cosplaying cults). Now the polls are catching up, with some musing that we’re “remixing” religion. I would bet this this will be a huge subject for the rest of our lives.
My Minions, Myself: The new Minions movie is going to reset what people think of the minions as a brand. Before, when we were too old to be kids but too young to appreciate the pureness in silliness, the Minions were seen as stupid. Now, as the movie boasts a stacked soundtrack and metaphors for labor and ace parodies, we’re approaching their redemption arc. I could go on and on about this (I love the Minions.) but just ask the memes: this will be the opposite of Mobrin’ time.
!!!!!: There’s a lot to be said about language, and about how our words are becoming trendy. Not slang, no, but ways of expressing that incorporate quoting (from TikTok) and emojis of a certain variety (think the sparkle emoji) are becoming a type of fashion. Think “crying and throwing up” and “they’re a 10 but,” or “gorgeous gorgeous girls” and “girls who get it, get it,” expressions that signal that you’re in right now. This is extending to work-talk too, with many musings over the best ways to use exclamation points, which is all pointing to how language is not only trendy now but cute.
Forever Chemicals: All of a sudden, this subject seems to be everywhere: forever chemicals – or PFAS, short for “per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” which are chemicals that don’t breakdown and are resistant to oil, heat, stain, water, etc. – are getting so many stories because they are apparently in everything we engage in. Tracked on our shoes, in our tap water, present in food packaging: they are all over the place, causing issues like high blood pressure in women. Bad! This will be a subject that rivals microplastics.
Disco’s Back: People are calling what Beyoncé is doing some sort of pop-house revival when, in fact, it is her opening the doors for disco again. People are saying this body-music is because things are bad which, true, but also it’s exactly what Dua Lip, BTS, Kylie Minogue and more did in 2020: used dance and disco to capitalize on personal sadness, which is why we’re seeing items like DiscOasis and dancing Drake emerge in tandem. (And, as the critics say, she’s entering her elder diva phase and predicting a next wave of retro-styling. Is the song great? No, but it’s fun and that’s what counts. This is her Confessions On A Dance Floor moment.)
Co-Opts For Capitalist: Two big examples of this!
Queerness Is Capitalism: This seems very Dem-thing-to-say but I keep seeing stories and thoughts like Brock Colyar’s pronoun essay that seem to realize how queerness is being used for capitalism. This is to say: no shit. If it can be expressed, it can be capitalized upon. I really need people to read Sarah Schulman and listen to Sylvia Rivera!
Working Class Drag: The other big thing with the new Beyoncé song? It’s working class drag. With unions, with recessions, with so many being pinned down by “the man,” Beyoncé and so many artists and creatives are taking advantage of our struggles to take our money. Here’s a great breakdown of how an artist like Beyoncé capitalizes, which is all to say: bell hooks is always right.
I know some people don’t like the water sommelier but I think he makes some informative content!!
"goes to a rescue"
Twist ending Pride content.
“happily dating for 2 years”
Sometimes…you don’t have to post things!!!!
“it makes sense”
I…didn’t know this actually.
"don’t hold a grudge"
This is very Taurus.
"now I get it"
The best history lesson I’ve had all week!
"go off Mary"
Give it up for Mary!!!!!
"an incredible treasure trove of bad and offensive ideas"
One day, I’ll add some projects I worked on in my early career in reality television into the Wikipedia page for Television Series Cancelled Before Airing an Episode.
“if your radio plays in a car accident”
"let's listen to him playing that guitar"
Fuck Johnny Depp!!!
“thought he was going somewhere else”
I have watched this and laughed so many times.
This baby is cursed!
"It's up to you to break generational trauma."
Doing my part to end generational trauma!!
And, finally, me to my therapist.