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The Trend Report™: Z to A
A lesson from the Minions on how Gen Z is growing up.
UPS workers demand heat safety amid record temps
"sharing thermometer reads from inside their trucks"
This has been an ongoing theme for workers, where their day-to-day is colliding with the demands of business which is colliding with climate change. This is why intersectional causes are important: environmental struggles are worker struggles! Your fucking deliveries destroy the planet – and the lives of people! Who has to die so that you/me/we can get a box of tissues overnighted?
The End of Snow Threatens to Upend 76 Million American Lives
How the Global Food Crisis Is Affecting 13 Locations Worldwide
The Manchin Climate Compromise Doubles Down on Car Culture
Postcard From Thermal: Surviving the Climate Gap in Eastern Coachella Valley
Climate change: How harmful is tourism for the environment?
A weird evolutionary quirk in the human eye
"DOD is the largest institutional emitter of greenhouse gas"
Here’s the thing: all these stories were being alluded to and written about years ago (a la, look at these examples from a dumb website I used to work for: example, example, example.) but now most of these warnings from less than a decade ago have become a reality. We’re in a dark place with the environment! This should be the biggest story in the world but somehow…seems to not be. The UPS story speaks to this emerging trend too: post-climate disaster media, in which we have embraced the end and look forward to generations in hell. How lazy of us!
" a twist as good as "Alex Jones' lawyers "
“Do you know what perjury is?”
The Alex-Jones-lawyers-revealed-his-lie-to-the-Sandy-Hooks’-parent’s-lawyers saga was one of the richest sagas in recent memory. (Spoiler: he now owes the families $45M.)
Cops Tied to Breonna Taylor’s Death Arrested and Charged
Another instance of justice this week!
Three people dead after lightning strike near White House
The metaphors? They’re getting more and more literal every day!!
Nursing homes are suing friends and family to collect on patients' bills
This is top-tier America content. Nursing homes are bad, sad places and we gotta take care of our elders in better, more equitable ways!!
Californians and other Americans are flooding Mexico City
While this story is about Mexico and America, you could swap in any cosmopolitan people moving to a not-as-cosmopolitan area. The moving of people form one place to another isn’t bad, but the lack of contributing to the community, the capitalizing and preying upon others, is bad. Don’t be the ugly American!
Nigerian Street Vendor Beaten to Death in Italy
As people just stood by, and did nothing. I’ve seen instances of racism in Italy for some time via my TikTok and this makes manifest the issues there (and in so many places). An awful tragedy!
Spain orders temperature limits for businesses
Can you imagine if this were to happen in America? People would lose their minds!! But this is a great way to save energy, save the planet, and think more critically about our use of energy. As discussed last week, the me-things matter for the planet.
"TEN SCENARIO SPOILERS"
Related: a wild clipping from Wired 1997, envisioning what would happen in the next 20 years. It’s very ~ eerie ~ and also big bad and…our reality.
new battery could help solve our e-waste problem
This seems promising: a battery that largely “runs on water” and paper, that is roughly comparable to alkaline batteries (albeit not as long-lasting). What a creative solution!
Earth is spinning faster than usual and had its shortest day ever
As I saw someone post on Twitter: and? I trust you, girl.
Given that Minions: Rise of Gru came out at the beginning of July, you would think the memes about Minions would be over. For better or worse (I think better!!), the memes have not stopped: #Gentleminions became visual puns became makeup pranks became high-end content became creative fodder. There has been a marked shift this summer for this children’s brand, evolving them from Karen meme to non-binary symbol, which was predicted back in June. And, as with all things cool for the in-the-know, parents are attempting to understand the discourse whilst embarrassing themselves (a la, Kim Kardashian’s meme attempt and Grimes’ terrorism accusations).
What we’ve witnessed, in a seemingly record amount of time, is Minions reaching the status of Spongebob or Shrek, a sort of meme royalty indicative of a generation, the latter two of which captured Millennial and Zillennial cusps. All of these are unique because they have a Millennial, Zillennial, and Zoomer appeal, representing both the end of something and the gaining of something for a generation: Minions, like Spongebob and Shrek, are a brand that a generation grew up with, watching and enjoying as children when the franchise debuted in 2010, only for the franchise to reemerge as a generation exits high school and college, to rediscover the absurdist joy of these banana babies, to see this media as neither parent nor child but as people looking for a vessel to express the mania of living. Minions are no longer stupid because the generation who were once “too old” for them (a la, middle schoolers and high schoolers, annoyed at having to watch their little sibling content) can now find ridiculous stupid useless joy in something like Minions. It’s a product that is not that deep. Singing about underwear? What isn’t there to like about that? It’s fucking dumb, in a time when everything is too serious. It’s nostalgic innocence distilled.
This is all to say: Gen Z is growing up. We’re going to see more and more examples of “the young generation” becoming more self-aware adults as Gen Alpha and Zalphas (Do we have a name for Gen Z/Gen Alpha cusps??) point out that they are now old, thus beginning a new generational war (to which I say: “First time?”). A brief taste of this occurred this week as a very viral Tweet mused about being a teen in 2014, to which Zoomies reacted by saying it wasn’t special, that this notion aged them, and that this is just ridiculous. The lesson here is obvious to some: the older you get, the more things are the same. Grab your Minion meme and take a seat at the adult table, y’all.
CANCELLED by super woke internet mob
"it’s ableist to criticize someone for working at lockheed martin"
"tweeting about defense contracting lmao"
"Lockheed Martin doesn’t “affect anyone”"
This article is absolutely garbage conservative tabloid but it is the best summary of the queer-Lockheed-Martin-Twitter drama of the week. Working at Lockheed Martin is preposterous! Just bomb an emerging nation for oil, you loon!
Beyoncé confirms she will remove a lyric
Following the Lizzo-ableism-lyric-correction scandal, Beyoncé has done the same thing – and for the same word. (Happening in tandem: a Kelis interpolation was removed, with Monica Lewinsky canvassing for this too.) Despite, you know, these artists being out of touch with how people speak, it calls to mind what Jerrod Carmichael said in a recent interview: “With all due respect…that’s not an artist move. That’s a celebrity move.” A reminder that artists at these levels aren’t artists but big billion dollar businesses trying to get money form as many people as possible!! (But!!!! The “BREAK MY SOUL (THE QUEENS Remix)” is actually very good, coalescing and perfecting the vibe of the song while adding more queerness and a better interpolation to a classic track.)
The Cringe King of TikTok, 7 Weeks Later
“weird little freaks, looking for that kind of content”
A lot is being written about and talked about in regards to Jake Novak, the cringe guy who did the SNL audition TikTok. What’s coming out of this is: it’s harder and harder to be isolated online, to make stuff for a specific audience without an algorithm pulling your content and giving it to people who it wasn’t made for. This is to say: welcome to capitalized entertainment, where everything is an audition and few things can exist-to-exist (or are made just to be made). You have to chase the spotlight as the spotlight chases you. Why else is Instagram trying to force you into Reels?
Antony Gormley sculpture with ‘ambiguous anatomy’
This artist thought his “squatting” figure caught humanity when, as student’s pointed out, looked like a big phallus. Incredible.
Diner accidentally discovers dinosaur footprints at restaurant in China
How does this just “happen”?? I wouldn’t even know where to begin in identifying a dinosaur footprint in some rocks!!
how Grindr finally recognized gay men who aren’t tops or bottoms
A great story on sides, gay and queer men-type who don’t subscribe to binary top/bottom sexual activity but are more expansive sexually, largely in the domain of outercourse.
Gabriella Walsh’s decision to die
I feel like a story like this comes out every year and each one is so moving. Here, meet Gabriella Walsh, a California woman from Chile who opted to use the state’s death-with-dignity law after her cancer.
"Angelina pops up at Spelman"
“#AngelinaJolie trying out Electric slide”
A highlight of the week was Angeline Jolie taking her daughter Zahara to her first year at Spelman, a historically Black college. The video resonates too much white wine mom energy for me to finish.
Core Is The New Chic
The whole “core” thing is so corny. Are we done with this yet??
TMZ Is Home to the Last Good Computer Game
This is a very fun game, where you have to “guess who” a celebrity is via these wacky monsterized images of them. Make celebrities ugly again!
French Scientist's Photo of ‘Distant Star’ Was Actually Chorizo
Why are people scolding this scientist? He should be awarded! (Related: this awe-full story. We live in bad times but we also live in times of incredible awe!!)
"the solar powerfication of music"
A very interesting TikTok about how artists are making albums that are worse than the preceding album, while shifting aesthetics to a “back to basics” something a la: Lorde’s Solar Power. Very astute!
“Everyone was so colorful,” my aunt told me, after stopping by a get-together I hosted with friends earlier this summer. “It made me realize that I only wear black.”
“You thought everyone was colorful?” I asked, not remembering what everyone had worn. “I thought everyone looked normal.
She had me pull up pictures. “There,” she pointed to someone wearing pink. “There,” she pointed to someone wearing orange. “There,” she pointed to someone wearing red.
I nodded and agreed, even if I saw a more understated group, a mixture of aesthetics that didn’t particularly resonate color save for one friend who was wearing a neon mixture of patterns and textures. The whole of the group seemed…typical? But, compared to the minimalist post-grunge Gen X world my aunt lives in, you could see the group as colorful but not, um, a group of dopamine dressers.
This conversation did highlight a growing conversation that color seems to be escaping from our world, perhaps a subconscious expressionism of the dourness of the 21st century. A recent rash of viral posts that started on Tumblr and spread to TikTok have observed this via the rise in the color grey and less colorful cars in the world and the boom of mostly beige carpets. The big “Gotcha!” example of this that has pervaded culture for years is the shifting of McDonald’s from the colorful to the sleek. Why is that? Because they’re easier to sell when their life as a fast food restaurant ends, so they are easier to repackage for a new tenant , which is likely why apartment buildings look the same, leading to more and more placeless places.
The observation is less about fashion and more about the spaces we inhabit, which seems extremely true as most interiors of friends and family that I’ve seen in the past decade are a variation of “I got this at Target/West Elm/Ikea/CB2.” This isn’t bad, no, gets to the root of our colorlessness: we’re in a drought of individuality, caving to the ease of mass consumption and sales prices instead of doing the work to create something, to find something vintage, to bring things into our home that are a touch more complicated to get, things that don’t come immediately and that have lived lives before us. Americans are people who love to live off-the-rack, convenience as aesthetic. Why have the imperfection of Japanese wabi sabi or the irregularity of Moroccan Zellige or the Indigenous Mexican colors when you can get a drab version of whatever you need via capitalism? That’s what it seems like, serving as a reminder to make yourself, your home, and your life more colorful, uneven, mismatched, handmade, and rough-around-the-edges as a practice of affirming life, rejecting big business, stepping away from the aesthetics of sanitized sales. Be more creative than what a store can give you! Do the work and get your hands dirty.
Even if I didn’t see my world as colorful as my aunt did, she seemed to have seen some writing on the walls of her life: later that day, she came across a pink shirt and green pants – and she got them both. She showed them off, giving a little fashion show, noting that it was the first colorful clothing items she had owned in decades.
"tik tok was like hey check this out"
"Arthur Russell didnt die."
I am in love with this dad singer and I feel like he is about to pop. His “songs” are both avant garde absurdity and Boomer bedroom pop. He’s the David Bryne of the suburbs!
"uploading the best running up that hill covers here"
I think the person who posted this means this genuinely but, reader, let me assure you these are not “the best.” I don’t even know where to begin with which one is most worst!
"It's time to ⚠️BeReal⚠️"
This meme has been popping for weeks now but this one made me laugh-laugh.
“two honey ales”
I would not play as Joe Biden in Skyrim!
“a bad romance”
This Tweet sums up how insufferable the new Lady Gaga Joker movie will be.
“Johnny Depp fans paid $3k to unseal the court documents”
This is one of the funniest self-owns I’ve ever seen!
"one banana-shaped man and one-orange shaped man"
This is how they make television: casting banana-shapes and orange-shapes.
"this man understood the assignment"
A period-specific plantation costume party for work? Time to get a new job!
“my gay ass in home depot”
The way those lamps were the height of luxury to a 9 year old gay boy………..
“bathrooms by pee vs poo”
A novel concept for dividing bathrooms up.
"grandmas DO need to remind u that ur tattoos r permanent"
This is………psychotic. The “juicy juice” part of this tattoo makes me think that, if a Target became sentient, taking human form, it would say Millennial shit like that.
“didn’t pay her taxes”
This person has a point about Shakira and Jeff Bezos.
"me and my wife"
I have listened to this song too many times to count. Legitimately, this is one of my uncles.
"fucking up food to a diabolical extreme and then going “oopsies!”"
This is a great genre of post. And the image in question? Literally killing me.
And, finally, me handing out links to you every week.