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The Trend Report™: Toxic Mains
On toxic main character syndrome and some sPoOkY predictions.
Greenhouse gases reach a new record as nations fall behind
Please do something about this, literally everyone!
Sunak favourite to become next UK PM
We kinda sorta almost have a new Prime Minister! He sucks but…kinda cute?? But he sucks. That’s my take.
Seoul: Dozens in 'cardiac arrest' after Halloween stampede
Awful! And, if you know Seoul, this is a hot spot for young people and Americans who live in the city. This is also the second major stampede tragedy in a year! I don’t think we talk enough about crowd crush and stampedes, particularly in light of Love Parade and Phnom Penh in 2010, along with Al-Aimmah Bridge in 2005. Very sad stuff!
What’s the non-obvious reason Fox News is talking about crime more?
Armed Individuals In Tactical Gear Are Showing Up At Arizona Ballot Boxes
Right-wing roadshow promotes Christian nationalism before midterms
“I will literally buy a plane ticket”
A perfect storm.
Pelosi’s Husband Is Gravely Injured in Hammer Attack by an Intruder
Accused Pelosi attacker David DePape spread QAnon
"the president promised to bring down the tenor of political discourse"
"if some far-left radical had tried to assassinate McConnell"
…and that storm created this! The attack of Paul Pelosi and attempted attack of Nancy Pelosi doesn’t seem like “that big of a deal” until you place it in the context of – I don’t know. – mounting violence from the right on people who have different beliefs.
Meet the mega-donors pumping millions into the 2022 midterms
Note how many are Republican!!
House Republicans introduce national ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
This would be…bad.
Kanye West Presidential Campaign Was a Warning Sign
More antisemitic hate in L.A. after Kanye West's comments
Anti-Semitic Group Rallies Support for Ye
Kanye West’s Antisemitism Obliterates His Net Worth
Adidas terminates Ye partnership, Gap removes Yeezy
Kanye West Shows Up Uninvited to Skechers Headquarters
Kanye West’s school Donda Academy has closed
I’m really tired of all the Kanye shit but here’s a round-up of all the big stories related to him this week.
“the swift response to kanye’s antisemitism vs. the silence ”
“One last time”
“two things can be true”
"Kanye West too toxic for Adidas"
“little to no consequence”
But: why did it take so long? And why is this more about business than about actual change? As many, many people pointed out, why wasn’t it enough when he came for Black people and women? Complicated yet simple and stupid. (Relatedly: why aren’t we holding others who do the same things accountable!!!)
California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy
This is major! And, unlike Germany, California has Nazis now. I guess this makes sense.
Apple confirms the iPhone is getting USB-C
Finally. Hopefully this extends beyond the EU! Planet first, profits second!
White covid deaths increasing in U.S., surpassing death rate of Blacks
A fascinating, somewhat obvious story about how “personal choice” is causing white people to die of Covid.
In forecasting 2022, an unlikely addition made it into my round-up: neo-neo-conservatism, people who aren’t conservative but are easily offended by literally anything other people say that “violates” their personal experience. This is less about snowflake-isms and more about something I’ve been calling Toxic Main Character Syndrome, the evolution of “Main Character Energy” from 2021 but now spiraled into people not understanding that everything isn’t about or for them. While this phrase has been used before, this definition positions the behavior as a symptom of heavy social media use that is amped up by our nosiness, combined to see most other people’s updates as opportunities to speak about the self instead of someone else.
This week, there was an explosion in this phenomena, all via a woman who wanted to share how she loves her garden despite people on Twitter feeling otherwise. None of this behavior is new (Exhibit A, B, C) but each of them exhibit the rise in Toxic Main “This is about me.”-isms that seems to be a new offshoot of call out and cancel cultures filtering into personal communications. It’s one thing to call out Kanye for being antisemitic – it’s something else entirely to critique someone for enjoying their garden.
The story got a lot of coverage – this week’s Garbage Day, Rolling Stone, The Independent – in relationship to these “How is this about me?” feeling and about digital, algorithmic learned digital behaviors – but it seems to be bigger than this. It seems to be our habit to give a take in exchange for the dopamine hit of validation, our own personal likes and subscribes for existing. It’s about playing a platform’s game, yes, but it’s also about the loss of attention and self-interrogation. My thoughts – and your thoughts – aren’t actually that great. We might think they are perfect in the chambers of our mind, but like anything created in isolation, it takes on a new context when shared with the world – and supposed greatness crumbles. Our comments are the perfect example of this, which we seem to have forgotten.
If we think back, recalling how history repeats itself, this behavior is what drove websites like NPR and Popular Science to close their comments sections, as these spaces to share ideas became toxic stews of personal protests. (Looking back, years later, this move to close comments seemed to have worked because that toxicity didn’t really migrate anywhere.) In a better world – which we do have glimpses of via Twitter Circles and Close Friends – only select people can see and comment on things, as both a form of insulation and self-care, harkening back to “the old days” of Facebook and MySpace where mutual following/friending is required. For those who are compelled to comment? They’re forced into the quote retweets, for better or worse.
(For Twitter, where this happens the most, the obvious wrench now is President Elon Musk, whose recent leadership boosted racist tweets. This whole situation and general toxicity has caused Twitter to lose active users [“Heavy Tweeters” lol], inspiring a pre-migration of archive downloads and memories of jokes. TBD on what happens, if anything.) (Also: I hope Elon knows that he will never be funny.)
To suck out the poison, to get people to stop this brain rotted behavior, there have to be obstacles to posting, a moment to stop and think and challenge our attention by adding in a filter. These things exist – “Undo Tweet” is a great example, as is anti-bullying AI to a lesser extent – to give you space and a moment to reflect on what you’re going to say, working much in the way photos of dying people help deter smokers from smoking. Are they 100% effective? No. But are they a proactive step forward in protecting us and others from our ugliest selves? Absolutely. And the world needs so much more of that!
🔻 SMASH THAT TRENDSCRIBE BUTTON 🔻
Discovery on Australian Beach Could Be Whale Penis
No notes here!
Steal My Couch: 34 Expert-Recommended Sofas
I love this sweet little story about people and the couches that they recommend. I love the quilt couch!!
"A small deli in Cleveland, Ohio, has gone viral"
Obsessed with the chicken salad lady and the deli and their story
Matthew Perry reveals weird, bitter feelings about Keanu Reeves
Matthew Perry Opens Up About His Addiction Journey in New Memoir
Matthew Perry Estimates He Spent $9M on His Journey to Sobriety
Like Demi Lovato, the news cycle around Matthew Perry is always the same when it cycles. I’m over it, dude!
“Julia Roberts is a MOVIE STAR”
“we’d still be recovering”
”the late Martin Luther King paid the hospital bill”
I feel like we’re about to enter a new era for Julia Roberts. Watch this space! She’s about to boom again, as the unproblematic fave that she is!!
You Don’t Even Realize These Products Have Lifetime Warranties
Capitalism will not save the world but you can at least buy products that have lifetime warranties.
Thai transgender tycoon buys Miss Universe contest
Very intrigued to see what she does!
Adele says she'll study English Literature after Vegas shows
I love this. I hope this is true! More celebrities and rich people need to live quiet lives.
Leslie Jordan Remembered
The loss of Leslie Jordan was really, really sad. A shock! The Meghan Mullally tribute will make you cry. To have someone who thinks about you like that!! That’s love, that’s friendship. And, while he may be our class clown, he was also such an unabashedly sissy queer figure in times where that was really, really hard. There will never be another Leslie Jordan!
Stay Close To Music
I have heard ~no one~ talking about this so I must plug: the new Mykki Blanco album is so good. It’s queer and full of soul and features superstars like ANOHNI, Michael Stipe, Kelsey Lu, and Devandra Benhardt, amongst others. It’s really a fabulous, touching, fun album! Highly recommend. It’s like Yves Tumor, but streamlined a bit.
Happy almost Halloween!! To celebrate, here are a list of a few scary-ish and scary-adjacent things that I think could happen in the coming future. I mean all this seriously and unseriously. (Mostly unseriously.)
A Halloween movie about both Laurie and Michael trying to find each other despite their respective cognitive losses. This would be more of a drama, in the style of Michael Haneke’s Amour. (Also: here’s a great Halloween Tweet.)
After funding, there is a Mr. Beast Burger in every American city. They become hubs for content and for local influencers to “create,” effectively turning each location into a new generation’s America’s Got Talent.
Gen Z turns to Facebook as their new platform of choice out of nostalgic aughts post-irony, fully embracing and fusing with their “I hate everyone but pretend I’m nice!” Boomer sensibilities. They become Republicans shortly thereafter.
Social platforms swap out users for advertisers, turning these spaces into digital malls that have lower entry points than Meta’s metaverse. Nobody uses either.
Beyoncé never releases the visuals. People complain.
It is revealed that Taylor Swift is actually a Lena Dunham character. Neither are cancelled, but given a late night talk show where they exclusively interview nepotism babies.
Madonna dies live on TikTok. She goes into cardiac shock from huffing.
Local, small city economies collapse alongside Airbnb and Zillow as poached housing are left abandoned, unable to sell, due to tech companies preying on vulnerable markets.
America becomes more walkable, as autonomous car pursuits are abandoned. People protest in their cars and by burning shoes.
Adam Mosseri eats literal shit on an Instagram Live, in an effort to show creators that he cares about them.
Web3 yields to technofeudalism. People give testimonials of their love for Amazon via their Ring cameras.
Rihanna’s second new song is also a lullaby. She goes on to promote a children’s album at the Super Bowl.
AI Joe Rogan becomes more popular than living, human, actual Joe Rogan. They interview each other, eventually getting gay married.
Julia Fox deletes her TikTok, causing Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick to cry for days and weeks and months before writing a Trend Report™ in memoriam.
"someone said this Sophia Grace song sounds like 2014 Tinashe"
"just found out that sophia grace"
Sophia Grace had a week.
"bro there is no way alec baldwin thought it was a good idea"
Incredible. What a fucking idiot, that Alec Baldwin. (And, as you see in the replies, no one thought this was a good idea save for other celebs.)
Yes. Mine are Timothée Chalamet and Antoni Porowski.
"the way jeffrey talks about ina"
"and the way Ina talks about Jeffrey"
Anyway, I have the opposite feelings about celebrities with this! The second Tweet will make you emotional, as if the first wasn’t enough.
“trying to find the name of the rupaul song”
Google just trying to help!!
“people over the age of 30”
Not the hand. Not the hand!
"remember when trump called your wife ugly and you loved it"
I love this song!!
More wife content that will make you go woah.
And, finally, me sliding into your inbox to deliver The Trends™.