A Chinese eStore Is Using My Face To Sell Hair Aprons
Read to the end for a good tweet about the teen witches who hexed the moon
First Up, The Podcast Is Back
You can subscribe to The Content Mines wherever you listen to podcasts, including Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and Anchor. And you can check out our show notes over on our Patreon page (which this week include a good video of a skateboarding dog).
This week’s episode is about that really weird time between 2012-2014 when the internet felt incredibly small and personal. It’s a period of time that now, looking back on it, feels deeply cringe. We dive into the story behind DashCon and talk about my new favorite Tumblr account, Heritage Posts. If you like this newsletter, you’ll probably like The Content Mines!
Here’s A Good Taylor Swift Video
This video is actually a really good depiction of what it feels like when you accidentally drink too much NyQuil.
OK, Let’s Talk About My Face
On Wednesday night, I was checking Twitter before bed, as I always do, to make sure there were no credible death threats in my mentions I needed to deal with before going to sleep (normal website). That’s when I spotted a tweet from user @Hellicus, who tagged me, writing, “is that @broderick?” I clicked into the thread and saw this tweet from podcaster Billy Disney.
I can’t really explain the surreal horror of seeing your face in a context it doesn’t belong in. My first thought was that this was not my face and just some guy who sort of looks like me. So I dropped the picture into reverse image search desperate for some kind of answer. That’s how I found this Amazon listing.
As I became more confident that, yes, this is my face, I started hunting around for where the photo came from. I cropped out the hair bib and put the picture back into reverse image search. The picture is of me from 2016 (I sadly do not look like this anymore lol). It was taken for an article that my friend Rachael Krishna wrote back when I was living in London. Laura Gallant, the photographer on the project, took a bunch of our photos and then Rachael sent them to a Korean plastic surgery clinic. Then they photoshopped them to show us what they would want to do to our faces. This is, apparently, a service that clinics don’t do anymore, for obvious ethical reasons. The photo being used on Amazon is the “before” photo from the shoot fyi.
Well, making things even weirder, CCBeauty isn’t the only store using the photo! Billy, the guy who bought the hair apron I was advertising, had me come on his podcast, Underunderstood, on Thursday. I’ll definitely let you guys know when the episode is up. As we were talking this whole thing through, he sent me another Amazon store that he found that’s also using my face — this time to sell sunglasses. Should I become an aviators guy???
The Amazon store is listed “Hdcrafter.” I found their Facebook page, but it was a dead end. But I did find several references to them on places like AliExpress and DHgate, referring to Hdcrafter as a “Chinese wholesaler.” So the question is: How did a picture of me from 2016 end up selling hair aprons and sunglasses in China in 2020?
Well, I think Billy and I figured it out. If you go a few pages deep on the reverse image search results, what you discover is that Rachael’s original article seems to have gone viral in Korea and Japan a few months after we published it in English.
I spent a decent chunk of time working in Japan and I’m really familiar with their blogging culture. There are blog-like websites that collect stories being shared on places like Twitter, LINE, and 2chan, and then typically aggregate them on a Korean blogging platform called Naver. The Japanese term is “matome” site, which comes from the Japanese verb “matomeru,” or “to collect.” It seems like this is also a common thing in Korea. IRachael’s original story was translated into Japanese and Korean and then picked up by a ton of these sites.
I’ve also been told that there is a similar thing that happens in China, where bloggers use VPNs to translate and aggregate viral content from outside the Great Firewall. A lot of this stuff ends up on QQ, which is a Chinese web portal that has a similar blogging feature to Naver. A bunch of versions of Rachael’s article ended up on QQ blogs too.
Billy also found pictures from the photoshoot on a website that seems to operate a lot like Bored Panda, but for the Chinese internet. The site has a collection of “biao qing,” which are like pictures Chinese internet users send each other as reaction GIFs or memes. Billy and I think that when Rachael’s article went viral in Korea, Japan, and then China, our faces got scooped up and became Chinese internet ephemera. From the looks of it, we’re included in all kinds of random Chinese image galleries. So it makes sense that if you were going to launch your eStore on Amazon and you needed a photo of an American guy, you’d probably just use the last one you came across on social media.
At least, that’s the best we can figure. If any Garbage Day readers have ideas about what happened here, let me know! I emailed CCBeauty and asked if they wanted to do an interview, but I didn’t hear anything back. And I’ll let you all know when Billy’s podcast episode drops. Anyways, I think after the pandemic I’m going to really focus on becoming a sunglasses model.
A Really Important Discovery
Ever Wondered What Forced Rhubarb Growing Sounds Like?
I recently came across a really good Tumblr post about a process called forced rhubarb growing. According to a 2019 BBC article, in Yorkshire, England, rhubarb is deprived of sunlight and picked by candlelight. It has a sweetening effect on the rhubarb’s taste. Once the plants are in complete darkness they grow so fast you can actually hear it.
The Soundcloud track above was shared in the Tumblr post. It’s a nine-year-old audio file uploaded by an account called “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb” from Huddersfield, England. My buddy Dan is from that town! I’ve been there. It’s very delightful.
I feel bad for the owner of the “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb” account, though, because the audio file is now getting loads of comments from Tumblr users. Here’s a sample:
I think it’s actually a dope track. There’s a part around :32 that sort of sounds like a Boards Of Canada song.
Here’s A Cool Thing For All The Remote Workers Out There Right now
It’s a video. You have to click through to watch.
I Have Seen The Reylo/Ratatouille Fanart And I Hate It
A lot of times on Tumblr you’ll see references to something really awful without any context. My friend Cates and I came across one such reference the other day. Tumblr user hatingongodot made a post about a “ratatouille!reylo au” fanfic. Chances are that phrase might gibberish to a lot of you. Reylos are people who romantically pair Kylo Ren and Rey from the new Star Wars films. They’re known for being… aggressive. Apparently, a few reylos created an alternate universe fanfic where Kylo Ren is Alfredo Linguini, the chef from the Pixar film Ratatouille and Rey is Remy the rat that controls him and helps him cook. This is obviously a very upsetting concept. Here’s hatingongodot’s take:
i don’t get why you’d make rey the rat controlling kylo ren when there is literally already a character in the movie who hates linguini at first but slowly grows fond of him as they work in the kitchen together. i mean do whatever you like for sure but that enemies-to-lovers dynamic you’re looking for is built into the movie already
There was no other context in hatingongodot’s initial post. But Cates came across another post from hatingongodot with an example of what this fan art looks like and, well, reader, it’s bad:
Another Good Tweet About 100 Gecs
Check out last week’s Garbage Day for the first installment of my series-within-a-newsletter: Good Tweets About 100 Gecs.
This German Guy Has A YouTube Channel Where He, Uh, I’m Not Actually Sure What To Call This…
A wonderful Garbage Day reader named Riley sent me this. The channel is called “Suitbusters” and every video is this dude just trashing a suit he’s wearing. He’s covered suits (and himself) in eggs, mud, and pudding. My immediate gut reaction is that these are fetish videos. They just have that kind of energy to them, you know? Also, as Riley pointed out, the weirdly enthusiastic comments also have an extreme “we’re publicly consuming fetish content on YouTube” vibe to them.
The channel’s about section describes itself as “Enjoying suit and tie the other way” and its Twitter bio reads, “suits. you can stay dry or at least try to stay that way.” Suitbusters does have a website — a .org nonetheless — but it doesn’t offer a lot more context, though:
trashing suits since 1991
This is a dump for all the rejected stuff we tried on flickr, YouTube and tumblr.
We moved from an ultra fast global web distribution network to a simple webhosting service. We would like to spend these savings on suits and liquids instead.
I think I’m going to start using “We would like to spend these savings on suits and liquids instead” as a way to entice people into becoming pay subscribers for Garbage Day…
…We would like to spend these savings on suits and liquids instead
Thank you everyone who subscribed to Garbage Day over the last week. I’ve been really shocked by the response. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, click the link below. There are three tiers right now — $5 a month, $30 a year, or $60 a year.
Starting first week of August, Garbage Day is going to three days a week and will start having some articles each week only for paying subscribers. But don’t worry, the big Friday roundup will always be free. Thanks again, everyone!
P.S. here’s a good tweet about the teen witches who hexed the moon.
***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***