The Trend Report™: You Know This
Looking at two things you know about – Covid and patriotics – in the hopes of understanding ourselves better
"#DixieFire now the largest fire in California history."
"people in Greece being evacuated from the forest fires"
What else is there to say? Apocalypse now, friends.
A Hotter Future Is Certain, Says UN Report
Why can’t people just make decisions and make change? I hate it here.
Who Wants To Return To The Office?
Spoiler alert: it’s white men, as remote working helps other demographic groups feel more comfortable and less anxious on the job. I still don’t get why we’re talking about offices and passé office culture when the world’s ending! The way we used to work was bad for everyone, the planet included. What are we not getting!!!
1 million more job openings
This story is interesting for many reasons, but mostly that pet insurance is being a “perk” offered to allure people apply for jobs, which is funny because my friend Kate and I were just talking about this and I was saying that pet insurance through a job is ridiculous because we all barely have healthcare in this country but here I am eating my words don’t mind me and pass the ketchup spinch!!!
LGBTQ target political power via redistricting
A very interesting story, which gets at something that couldn’t be done for queer bars and queer spaces: using the government to keep these zones in one place.
Google’s new phase: Time crystals
I have seen these trending and I am too dumb and gay to know what this means but I am obligated to share this with you.
a few ideas for the Constitution
I had no idea that it’s been fifty years since any real updates to the Constitution. These ideas are great and goes to show how stupid and antiquated the American system is.
Plastic pollution is arousing hermit crabs
At least someone’s having a good time because of pollution!!
Was there another meme more present this week than the “My Fall Plans / The Delta Variant”? There was not.
This was the week when the inevitable Covid dread returned, when people finally stopped looking away from the ugly baby being born in the other room and realized that, wow, that baby is up and running, soiling everything in the house. The freedom(s) that we had, the “post-pandemic,” “new normal” house of cards that capitalism pushed upon us, is vanishing. All is not lost, no, but it appears the delusions of being able to turn back time are flimsy, at best. Those who started sentiments with “Well, now that the pandemic is over…” have many hats to consume.
I don’t need to tell you all this. You know this! What my job is is to share the trends, look at the current storylines of culture, in the hopes that we can all zoom out and think about how to write (and rewrite) the coming pages. As far as the Covid storylines, here’s what we saw this week –
"various forms of COVID-19 disinformation": This was a big week for misinformation. We’ve seen this trend in various capacities, about various subjects, but the answer is very clear: Americans are very impressionable and dumb, which pairs poorly with desires for individualism and the feeling of exceptionalism.
Anti-Vax Nurse Injects 8,600 People With Salt Water: And, yet, we have stories like this. This isn’t an American situation either: this person was in Germany.
Kids Struggle With Long Covid & Living with Long Covid: Long Covid stories are having a moment again! Largely as more types of people are getting it – children and the vaccinated – which is all to say that the potential for a permanent disability in your life is very real.
Breakthrough COVID Cases May Be a Bigger Problem: This is the hottest subject, the attempt to assure and breakdown the validity of vaccines. Yes, vaccines are the best bet – but they aren’t silver bullets. I don’t know how else to say this but the moral here is: be safe. I also have lost track of what to think about “breakthrough cases,” personally, but I know the answer is to just be smart. Delta ain’t fucking around!
We reviewed three at-home covid-19 tests.: I saw someone buy one of these at a CVS recently and had no idea this technology was available. The results are mixed but, either way, this is a step toward some sort of freedom or knowledge
Do with this what you will because I am tired of writing about it. It is what it is, my friends.
The Epic Style of Kerry James Marshall
I meant to share this profile last week but I ran out of time! It’s long.
The Mascot Whisperer
Every brand should have a Gritty, a figure who is arguably the most important cultural creation of this century (rivaled only by Spongebob, in my opinion).
What’s funny about those two stories is that I read them with my ears as I recently discovered this app, which reads long articles for you. Bless audio reading because I have become illiterate when it comes to reading with my eyes. This is not a sponsored entry, I promise!!
The merch of 'Immersive Van Gogh'
Barneys Is Becoming a Spirit Halloween
Pour one out!
websites are just digital movie theaters
From my favorite newsletter, Garbage Day, some great insight into how all the biggest social sites are just the same thing and that’s just not-great. Capitalism breeds monotony!
Warner Bros. Launched Deepfake Campaign
Speaking of movies, yet more proof that deepfakes are entertainment’s future.
ALMOST A YEAR
My friend Jamieson’s movie is screening at Outfest! It’s very good and you can screen it online!
TikToks developing the same fake accent?
Interesting. I’d also describe this accent as “Rich White Girl Antagonist In 1990s Kids Movie.”
I Refuse to Be a Prisoner to My Pants
I almost wrote a Trend Report™ about the death of formal a few months back (and even drafted it, only to scrap it). This is all to say: agree with this.
'Hard Mtn Dew' is Alcoholic Mountain Dew
McDonald's & The Chicken Shortage
Saweetie’s got a new meal with McDonald’s – but apparently it’s a bit in limbo because there’s a big chicken shortage. I had no idea! All related to severe winter storms earlier this year, which is all to say: this is technically a climate change story.
Table from 'Parasite’ to be shown in Milan
In case you wanted to buy some furniture from the much lauded film, now you can! I had no idea it was such a design item. Bong, you good at what you do!
Do You Remember the Headset?
An interesting look at TikTok, the Mandela Effect, and collective cultural consciousness.
The Parallel-Parking Job That Ignited the Internet
Somehow completely missed this episode of Cancel Culture.
I’ve been thinking about American culture, ideas of patriotism, and how they are a mess right now. The pursuit of America exists as an undecipherable deformity, perceptible but too abstract to recognize in its forms. We’re deep in patriotic culture, as if every day since September 11, 2001 has evolved notions of “Never Forget” toward something more extreme. We know this but let me count the ways and reasons why.
This week we were party to MyPillow creator Mike Lindell’s shoddy quest for election truth, which dragged and implicated so many people on this fool’s errand to save the country. This culture extends toward brands like We The People Wine, who are aligning certain acts of capitalism with patriotic extremism. Representatives like Rand Paul and Majorie Taylor-Greene were banned from certain social networks, which some are calling anti-American.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, are celebrities and their shower habits being put on display, inspiring thinkers like Roxane Gay to muse on the subject, to question the American privileges on display of going unshowered. Then there are figures like Alec Baldwin bemoaning the resignation of noted sexual harrasser Andrew Cuomo. Benny Drama and Sign Guy went to the White House too.
And then there’s Covid. You’re a good citizen if you get the vaccine, you’re a good citizen if you don’t. You’re a good citizen if you wear a mask, you’re a good citizen if you don’t. An issue like this represents the multiple personalities of identity in America now, of our patriotic culture turned bizarre. There’s no winner here. We’re all patriots and we’re all defectors.
You know this already, I am aware. I put this here as a log, as testament to these lose-lose times. We’re locked in this room together and it’s getting hotter and hotter.
Here’s a round up of meme-trends that are pushing through basic audio memes to become something new, something less about a format and more about a conceptual space. Those are –
The Fat Ass White Guy Dance: The song “Stay” by Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber has taken over just about everything and there’s been a variety of white-dude-TikTokers dancing to this song, with emphasis on their fat asses. It started with fitness-fat ass creator maxtaylorlifts, which then exploded via normie totouchanemu adding a drone to the formula, putting this butt dance in 360º. He went on to do this dance with Bella Poarch, which has evolved the dance toward comedy iterations, country iterations, grandpa iterations, grandma iterations, Minecraft iterations, Dr. Phil iterations, etc. This may seem random but it’s not: TikTok has long been obsessed with fat ass dudes for a while, largely as a means to skirt straight-men-flirting-with-gay-men (or, generally, to serve cake to the gaze that desires them). I’ve written or talked about this somewhere before (but can’t track it down) but this is a larger, more sanitized echo of the queerbaiting going on TikTok from creators like officialstephenlomas, whose videos flirt with heterosexual bro activities as a form of queerness.
“My Pronouns”: Speaking of interesting queer co-opting, there’s a meme going around now where men take an audio clip that says “My pronouns are he, not him, because I’ll never be him.” and use it as a way to show better men than they are, often as a joke. From Nacho Libre to a very strong baby, a funny dressed child to porn actor doctors, this is a silly play on a now-normal queer identifier that is neither homophobic nor antagonizing: it’s pokes fun at one’s inadequacies or similiarities, via the absurd. (Yes, this has already been adapted to she/her and will likely turn homophobic – but the fact that pronouns are being shared in such a way does represent progress.)
“Burnt”: People are “burning” animals, via this robotic sound. The videos are the same: a white animal is placed on a pan, someone pretends to cook, and, via editing, the animal is now “darker” (i.e., “burnt”), replaced by another animal. It’s cute! And how do y’all have so many animals?! Anyway, I gave this trend a try.
Mundane Mirror Messages: Gays are using the signature Drag Race exit of leaving a lipstick mirror message to share basic truths, generally as a joke. From scolding your straight roommates to critiquing parental homophobia to telling someone to flush to messaging coworkers, this is a funny way to express a specific (and queer) forms of passive aggression that is definitely going to crossover to wider culture.
"El REPUGNANTE anuncio PLUMÓFOBO de Snickers"
I know this ad is homophobic but I am also obsessed with it! But it is bad! Homophobia is still trending!!!!! And that doesn’t mean I can’t find it funny!!!!!!!!! Live laugh love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“this is your sign”
I love this very gay dog.
“customer service did sumn when they dropped this”
"can't believe caligula actually said this"
calig wild for that
“Shark Tank edition”
If you want to see a really bad take on a viral trend, look no further than Barbara Corcoran’s “The Magic Bomb.” I’m obsessed and concerned.
“never listened to them”
Bless the teens.
“green Shrek man”
and people ask me why Tumblr is still relevant
"Facebook really the wild west"
New beauty routine just dropped.
"cosplay as your husband's dead mom"
are british people okay
And, finally, what I do every weekend.
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