Discover more from The Trend Report™
WARNING: be careful watching people 📹👀
On a new form of call out culture, and why we want so badly to be adults in the 1980s.
2,000+ dead as earthquake hits Morocco
You likely saw, but the earthquake in Morocco is shaping up to be one of the worst.
This summer broke the world record
Where dangerous heat is surging
This summer was the hottest on record, which isn’t surprising as we enter a climate breakdown and more storms occur. Obviously, conversation is shifting to the future and if we can “life like this,” in a world of wet bulb temperatures (a la, the mixture of UV, humidity, wind, and air temperature) where toxic heat lasts for months. Related: a rise in stories on heat illnesses and heat deaths.
Paper Cups Bad for Environment Too
Surprise! Paper cups (which are covered in bioplastic) are also not-great for the environment.
Mexico set for first female president in 2024
This is cool!! Also love this: “Sheinbaum is a climate scientist-turned-politician.” I hope she wins!!
‘Cop City’ Protesters Indicted on RICO Charges
Don’t let the Trump indictment in Georgia fool you: the RICO laws used against him are also being used to indict organizers who protested against Cop City, the $90 million police training center in Atlanta.
Ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio: 22 years
Ex-Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs: 17 years
Actor Danny Masterson: 30 years to life
This week in bad men getting long prison sentences, two for the Capitol attack and one for rape. (Bonus: Biggs’ courtroom tears, and the likely fake audio.) (Also: the Masterson item opened a landmine for Ashton Kutcher and his past.)
Huge Threat to the U.S. Budget Has Receded
…and no one knows why! The threat was that Medicare would become insurmountably costly, but that is far from what’s actually happening: the numbers have kinda sorta plateaued, inexplicably.
Universal Music deal to reshape streaming economy
Mid-attempt to dodge the do-not-strike challenge in the music category.
Cancer Is a Bigger Problem for the Young
“Early-onset cancer had increased by 79.1% between 1990 to 2019”: yikes. I feel like I know or have seen online so many younger people getting cancer!! All loops back to diet, alcohol, and tobacco but, as the article notes, cancer has become more navigable in these times.
Manhunt Intensifies as Prisoner Remains at Large
What we know about Danelo Cavalcante
This is hyper-local to the Philadelphia area and only of interest because I want you to watch the video of how this prisoner escaped. It’s…impressive??
People love watching people. If you’re a Millennial (or older), you’re familiar with the people-watching “craze” of the mid-2010s, the era of “Overheard In ______” websites and the similar wave of The Sartorialist street fashion blogs. This was a more immediate time, when you could be offline and bring what you saw online. It was innocent! Things were unattributed and often shown to be shown, very much in the Humans of New York style of celebrating people. It was beautiful! The concept was studied and debated and, every few months, a story about pops up about why we watch people. Not to say that younger people don’t people-watch (I’d argue that watching people watching things is a type of people watching!), but this “genre” of looking is distinctly pre-2020s.
I say this because now the landscape of people-watching has changed, in that watching offline to share online has turned into surveillance entertainment, less in the style of America’s Funniest Videos and more a Candid Camera variety: the former is about celebrating reality’s random funny bits while the latter is about manipulating life, watching without permission for a gotcha. What has happened is we went from being watchers to being voyeurs, the camera person not understanding what is innocent and what is exploitative, where catching a casual moment becomes an invasion of privacy. The difference, again, is the editorializing: when Scott Schuman took photos of people on the street, it was consenting or, at the least, a flattering shot without commentary (or a direct look at their face).
Now, a critical eye is being placed on those who capture the content. From filming of a “funny man” in one’s neighborhood to sharing someone who you think is having an affair, these videos all have an odd texture, that we’re seeing something that shouldn’t be seen. An episode, an accident, an intimacy caught: there is the feeling of exposure. And people are being called out for exposing! That “funny man”? He is likely suffering a series of episodes, which the neighbor turned into a content series. The people “having an affair”? They were actually friends at a non-profit fundraiser. Enter corrective, reactionary TikToks and videos (born out of the Millennial snitch/call out culture) emerging of people saying STOP FILMING STRANGERS!!!
And they’re right. This is obviously born out of their being too many cameras in the world, which has led to our always being “on.” But when do you know someone is “on” and ready to be filmed? When can you tell someone is performing rat girl-ness? This has to do with privacy in an unprivate world, where common courtesies and respect have dissolved in a digital free for all (while colliding into the strange cultural conservatisms of a new generation). It’s not funny to share someone’s fall without showing how you picked them back up! This has sparked stories that wonder about the ethics of filming people in public and going viral without consent. This also shows that, while so much of basic filmmaking has been democratized, the legal system and best practices haven’t: a basic rule of thumb is not to show people’s faces unless you have permission. For years, my job in Hollywood as a producer was to be the one who interviewed people on the street, for short bits and segments for shows. The top rule? They have to give consent. They have to “release themselves,” signing a legal form to say that they or their artwork or their location are cool (legally) to use and be distributed. It was an awful role, as you had to make strangers be entertaining on command, while convincing them to sign a form to be on television without pay (which…is something that should be remedied).
As a recentmused regarding fights on airplanes, this is about sharing information versus editorializing reality – and people-watching is neither of those things. Sharing information on video is “the news” and, by that metric, fights or distressing moments caught on camera to inform or log history are okay. By this logic, (to a certain extent) the video of that woman talking about how that airplane mother fucker is not real is fair game. But when you’re filming someone from a distance and laughing, despite the person being filmed not-laughing and seemingly having a difficult time? Now we have a problem. You’ve entered Bumfights territory, admitting your moral bankruptcy as an aspiring viral hitmaker.
Nikki Haley: ‘most privileged nursing home’
“fed up with these geriatrics”
Still a lot of talk about aging politicians, especially as Nancy Pelosi announced she would run for office. Here’s the thing: these oldies can do what they want, sure, but it’s both a greed-for-power play and sets an awful precedent for American life that we will never retire, as was Trend Reported™ a bit back. Also: Nikki Haley is right!!
Inside Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’
A huge story of the week, which has been a long time coming. I was never working in New York during his tenure but, even in LA, you heard about Jimmy’s messiness and problems with “the drink.” As
Joe Jonas’ narrative about Sophie Turner
“literacy will help you see through anything”
A certain thread of celebrity gossip and news has become so exhausting and the Joe Jonas/Sophie Turner divorce represents this well: it feels fake, forced, and unreal in this overly-real world. Joe, just say you love Jesus and she doesn’t.
The Decomposition of Rotten Tomatoes
In case you missed it, it was revealed that some critics are being paid to write good reviews to boost Rotten Tomatoes scores. Thus, the case against critics has been sealed. (Also: Metacritic for life!!)
What’s the best rotisserie chicken?
I’m starting an intense detox today and all I can think about is this ranking of grocery store rotisserie chickens. The winner is not what you think! But also: I’m intrigued to try!
Chloë Sevigny Giving the Kids What They Want
Favorite interview of the week, of a living, relatable icon. The clothes aren’t great though!
Paper Magazine Resumes Operations
I’m sure someone is rejoicing about this but…was anyone really reading Paper? It felt more like the idea of a magazine without any of the substance of a magazine. Too much pop! Not enough culture.
‘Skin-like’ golden orb found on Alaska ocean floor
…and no one knows what it is! I’m not worried about this – but it is weird.
Scientists grow human embryo, without sperm or egg
Yet again, The Trend Report™ trend reported the rise in babies-without-reproductive-parts weeks ago!!
trip9love...??? by Tirzah
Tirzah’s surprise album really shot up to the top of the best of 2023 list. It’s full of tripped out jams, with a spiritual similarity to Solange’s When I Get Home but with a shoegazing simplicity (a la, same piano and drum track over 11 tracks). It has the same make-your-trunk-rattle vibe, all set in a smoke-filled room where you’ve gotten fucked up after a breakup.
The eighties are back, baby!! And I think this one goes beyond aesthetics, considering time is meaningless now as it relates to products: I mean the eighties are back as an aspirational ideology.
Led by a Lush Canyon song on TikTok and built upon a combination of Miami Vice via vaporwave, a lot of this interest feels like an attraction to colors, textures, and a tacky-delightful indulgence. It’s the neon and the carpeting, the glass blocks and the cityscapes, the sequins and the vased irises: the eighties were all about opulence and setting a vibe. It’s easy to see the appeal, right?
While The Digital Fairy posited this trend is about opulence and maximalism, I think this moment speaks much deeper to the Gen Z and Millennial psyche: it represents the adulthood that “was promised” to us and that has not been a reality for decades. The spaces were over-curated and packed, yet somehow neat and tidy. Luxury was at home, in a penthouse apartment, which included anything from a jacuzzi to floor-to-ceiling windows. You had bricks made of glass, an impractical architectural material that made it feel like you were living in a diamond. These spaces exude a power and a confidence, that you could have so many different things – but they still made sense together. Compared to the overabundance of gray today and the over-manufacturing of everything, there’s a nostalgia for a time we never got to experience. People had their shit together! You could be fabulous and rich, instead of just fabulous and broke while play-acting adulthood.
The semiotics of the 1980s, as projected by the media of the time, also says something else: if you are a child, this is what you can expect in adulthood. Sure, there is Miami Vice and Scarface, Palmer Girls and Nagel babes, but there was also the penthouse in Big and Jule’s apartment in St. Elmo’s Fire and the parents in Adventures In Babysitting and Todd and Margo in Christmas Vacation, not to mention Designing Women and A Different World: adulthood was exaggerated, full of drama and excess, so easy – even when difficult – because you were glamorous, despite little difficulties. These are all fiction, yes, but 1980s adulthoods were synonymous with having everything, even if it was all on maxed out credit cards. You had poise! You had a giant stereo. You had a phone the size of a small dog! You had crystal beveled champagne flutes. 1980s media defined modern media, via the VHS tape and being able to watch items like the aforementioned on repeat. Like the times, VHS represented the future, progress, and technology all while being simple, analogue, and able-to-understand (and fix yourself). Cut to the 1990s and 2000s, things became more complicated, invisible and fast, technology now wireless and streamlined while becoming more individual. So went visions of adulthood, as media shifted from idealized families, careers, and the future to working adults and all the problems that followed (not to mention reality television exposing adulthood’s truths).
All this is to say what we all know, what stories in this week’s Report™ express: these times are not-great! The 1980s are a just-off-in-the-distance time when things were easy. Things were simpler, more fabulous, and better-than-now (even if we know that is intellectually untrue). But the optics of that time? So simple. So refreshing. The 1980s are our 1950s – and we want to go back.
Oliver Tree's Bowl Cut Bible
I don’t necessarily care about this story, but I have seen a lot of boys with this stupid haircut as of late. This may be a Euro thing, it may be (straight male) algorithmic clout chasing: unsure!
“TOM HARDY INEXPLICABLE ACCENT”
“this movie has everything”
“Ahhhhhhhh incredibly soothing”
A new accent from bisexual king Tom Hardy dropped this week. He sounds like a cartoon weasel who took steroids as a child and was raised by a Tony Soprano impersonator.
"me when I’m Emma Stone & also Lorde"
Please look at Emma Stone Lorde.
“bath water is a little too hot”
The Trisha Paytas x Terri Joe interview will go down in gay brain rot stan camp history. I am obsessed. (Speaking of camp, Kim Kardashian is gonna be so bad in the new American Horror Story.)
"LinkedIn is so 2022"
Is this how you get a new job these days? I guess I need to download this app.
“rihanna when her son”
A good Ice Spice post about Rihanna’s baby.
"think this emergency plane landing is REAL"
How can we get our parents to be media literate? The “Captain Sully” bit is so my-dad coded.
Watch this person review an outfit as someone suffers (??) in the background.
“walking your dog as black person”
The face acting on this…incredible.
“I’m not scared of Goofy”
I would like this tee too.
"Kevin Bacon anniversary post"
A great story of catfishing, from perhaps the dumbest psychologist in the world.
And, finally, how I look during the week searching for Trends™.