The Trend Report™: Temp Check
Drawing a map from fatigued workers to cancel culture to resort horror to heavenly music videos, in an attempt to see where our heads are at now.
Memorializing the fallen
Some details about the lives of the persons who have died in Afghanistan.
Wave of Young Patients Struggling
A sad look at pediatric wings, where children struggle with Covid.
"Reddit banned largest antivax subreddit"
This is a big deal!
Allergies or a Breakthrough Infection?
Something to help give you a little mental peace.
Why Some Booming Cities Lose Population
Some interesting shifts are happening in cities.
"pleasantly surprised by foreign policy Biden"
Love that geriatric president of ours.
I ran out of time this week which means you are going to be treated to a sampler platter of trending ideas that I would have loved to build out further, into essays, but they weren’t evergreen enough subjects to wait on. Thus, a temperature check of where our heads are at, based on headlines and culture items.
Some context here: this all is building off of stuff we’ve talked about before, like history fatigue and job fatigue (non-careers, quitting jobs, anxious work). This has created an environment that is increasingly heated, literally and figuratively. The below are all separate, different trends, but they all seem to be strangely related, building off of each other. Follow this strange path I’ve constructed for you and tell me what you think. I’m all ears!
Jobs across the board are giving people leave because everyone of all collars are tired. We’re facing an epidemic of fatigue, of dealing with the pain of this world whilst capitalism continues to suffocate. If it’s not influencers quitting because of hate, it’s workers feeling overwhelmed without an exit. If it’s not delivering food in a flood, it’s death by overwork. If it’s not Nike giving employees time off, it’s Bojangles giving time off for employees to breathe, to reclaim themselves, to have a life. The result is multi-tiered but leads us to something bigger: we’re hurtling toward a world where work is overrated. Why have a career when you can just be happy? “I simply do not dream of work,” continues to be the mantra.
Which brings us to those who manage, those who have some power: they are sweating because it’s almost too late to fix shit. Sure, they might be sweating in a Prius, sipping some tropical juice, but they are sweating. Whether you’re the writer Maggie Nelson investigating privilege or the the creative class creating false equality, all the signs of their psyche are there. The curtains of delusion are lifting, particularly for Gen X. This brings us to the very flawed but somewhat helpful new era of mob justice, where the internet logs and never forgives a person. The breaking point, the tipping point, the end of the line: cancel culture.
This takes us to the apocalypse. As viral Tweets from the week show us again and again, everyone is mad and tired and has no time for bullshit. The tie to cancellation is less about “You did repeated bad.” but more about “You rich idiot: how dare you fuck up this egregiously while we suffer on the planet you ruined without any opportunity for advancement.” That is what this moment is about.
Which all ladders back to the feeling of a lost summer, where everyone thought they’d getaway and have a good time and see friends again but only ended up robbed, placed further in the hole that we’re already in. We’re seeing this happen in a few ways, mourned in a strange-but-bright media melancholia. The prime example? Resort horror. Vulture’s story covers this best but there is a lot of media about fucked up getaways, from Nine Perfect Strangers to White Lotus to Old to Luca even: (fictional) people cannot escape to good without the bad coming along too. There is no escape, not even in summer.
Funny enough, this is probably why every music video this summer was desaturated, illustrating a longing to be happy but failing to fully rise. Shawn Mendes’ “Summer of Love,” Lorde’s “Solar Power,” Bad Bunny’s “Yonaguni,” BTS’ “Permission to Dance,” Steve Lacy’s “RYD / DARK RED,” "Xenia Rubinos’ “Working All The Time”: nothing had bright colors, everything was warm, with people in weird, alone places trying to vibe but only ever achieving the performance of happiness.
If they weren’t desaturated? They were in a sort of insane vibrant colored dream, off to an unreal summer akin to the place where the Teletubbies live. Demi Lovato’s “Melon Cake,” Selena Gomez’s “999,” Magdalena Bay’s “Secrets (Your Fire),” and SPELLLING’s “Turning Wheel” hit this while others cut the rainbow and went straight toward the hyper-color of hell like Bella Poarch’s “INFERNO” (and “Build A Bitch”) along with Lil Nas X, who seemed to predict it all twofold with “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby.” Candy coated hell, these all seem to say.
And if you aren’t in dreams or hell? You’re in the heaven, being the goddess that you want the world to see you as, even if society doesn’t let you reach such a place. Using the Montero artwork as a bridge here, you have Doja Cat’s “You Right” and “Kiss Me More,” Lizzo’s “Rumors,” and Normani’s “Wild Side” which all feature (black women) gods at play. If you live in a world that is dying, if you are facing every adversity in the world, do what billionaires do and leave. Ascend! Construct a new reality where you are a deity, even if only projected.
I don’t know where this will take us but, if I had to guess, it’s a sort of mania. We’re all going crazy. We can expect tensions to go higher and higher as the heat rises up and up. Where else will we go other than the wildness of our brains?
The Lasting Impact of Siskel and Ebert
My friend Justin sent this to me and it’s ~very special~ because Siskel and Ebert were of such a specific time in the world and entertainment. What a treat to have gotten to experience that moment. I miss Roger Ebert so much! He’s one of the writers that got me into writing.
What 'He's All That' Spon Says About You
Roland is back on his bullshit and I love it.
2021 Release Dates Moving
Anyway, I don’t get why theaters are still a thing but sure Hollywood.
Elisabeth Shue’s Adventures in Babysitting
Adventures in Babysitting is one of maybe three movies I watched on repeat as a child. This interview with Elisabeth Shue, who played the beloved lead character Chris, is perhaps the best director’s commentary of the film ever. A classic! And it still holds up.
This Is Hell
Brands on Twitter: stop this shit!! The fall of Ted Lasso made manifest.
Dog-Friendly City Guides
This could be cute! Donate, if the spirit moves you!
Carrie Wears Birkenstocks With Socks
Why does this new season increasingly look like the Golden Girls?
Where Do Poppers Come From?
This story is not-new but I just read it and it’s one of the most interesting queer culture stories I’ve read in a while. Suicide by poppers! Emily Blunt's uncle! A $40 million dollar business! There’s something for everyone.
How Tardigrades Walk
Look at these little microscopic water dogs. Look at them waddle!!
9/11 Gave Us Anxious Architecture
An interesting look at post 9/11 culture via architecture.
Man Charged in Death via Textss
My friend Kate sent this to me and it is WILD!!! Basically, this man killed his fianceé and made it appear that she was alive by texting her mother posthumously from her phone. Y’all!!!!!!
"did it hurt? when you majored in theater"
"did it hurt? when you flew too close to the sun"
"did it hurt? when you went to nyu"
You all probably saw this but we had a nice text trend this week! It’s still going too.
"They hoed tf outta my guy"
"the founding fathers"
" I youtubed berries and cream"
"just a little lad"
"the little lad dance"
Don’t ask me why but Berries & Creme is trending, likely because Gen Z discovered him. Related and unrelated: Creme Savers are coming back.
"guy quit 100k job to beg logan Paul"
I have a lot of thoughts on this. First, I actually agree with Logan! Second, this is so embarrassing, so white straight guy!! See earlier in the Report™ where we talked about the “manloser.” Third, I think this is the future? It’s the where aspiration and interaction and entertainment is going and it is very funny.
"subreddit that's people who work in produce"
"helicopter propeller matches with fps"
This video is fucking with my brain. Why won’t reality load properly??
"Look at my Senator dawg"
oop (also the QRTs are rich)
"i think ive got feelings for my bread machine"
this website is free!!!!
"did I hear that correctly"
What a day.
"I'm here thinking a brontosaurus coming"
I did not know what I was looking at for some time.
"Some kids pranked a school board"
Whatever is after Gen Z is going to kill everyone and I will not question it.
And, finally, why I want to be kidnapped.