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A Few Thoughts On The “Trump Social Network”
This morning on Fox News, former President Trump’s spokesperson and adviser Jason Miller said that Trump plans to start his own social media platform. This could be just a simple way for Trump loyalists to continue their favorite storyline for a couple months longer, but, as CNN pointed out this morning, Jared Kushner has apparently stopped other far-right platforms like Parler and Gab from recruiting Trump. Many have suspected there is something Trump-owned coming down the pipeline.
Well, if it does, it’s probably not going to work. It will suffer from the same core problem that Gab and Parler suffer from — there’s no one to cyber bully on a conservative-owned social network. In November, I wrote that Parler would never catch-on:
Thanks to the political influence of both Gamergate and Trump’s weaponization of Twitter, there actually isn’t a coherent way to express right-wing ideology anymore without online harassment and abuse at its center…Without an Other to demonize, and then vanquish, the entire movement would feel completely hollow, pointless, and, most detrimentally for Trump and his allies, boring.
I didn’t predict that Parler would then, months later, be used to organize a violent insurrection of the Capitol, but I guess its users got so sick of not having an Other to demonize online that they just decided to go and overthrow the government.
I’m going to say that this exact problem will happen again if and when Trump starts his own social network. It will either be boring and cringey or it will quickly become a hub of white nationalist terrorism. Wait — where’s that GIF?
There we go.
It could be that Trump’s cult of personality is strong enough to hold together an entire social network, but I’m also not sure it will be enough to capture Trump’s own imagination. The former president was a prolific Twitter addict. He seemed physically incapable of not tweeting. And the app gave him what he wanted even more so than the presidency — proximity to other celebrities and tastemakers that he could harass and ridicule. I suspect his absolutely limp post-presidency period of the last few months is due to him losing access to his favorite bird app.
Will someone figure out how to build a successful right-wing-only social network? Yeah, Facebook already did it lol jk. But, in all seriousness, someone might. The Epoch Times is building an entire far-right internet, complete with its own YouTube and Telegram-like products. The My Pillow guy keeps claiming he’s going to launch a “free-speech” app called VOCL.
But none of these apps offer what Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do. Even far-right users on Telegram only really use the app to stalk, harass, dox, and organize against users on other platforms.
By the way, I keep thinking the My Pillow app is called “VOLCEL,” not VOCL. Volcels are what Mens Rights Activists call themselves when they’ve sworn off women forever and become “voluntarily celibate,” versus incels who are “involuntarily celibate”.
The Joker Shows Up In Miami
Quebec Gets Into The TikTok Game
The Quebec government is using a TikTok account called Restepépé to promote keeping senior citizens in the province active. Some folks on Reddit were a little miffed that the account makes it seem like the seniors are actually making these TikTok videos themselves, but I think the whole project is cute, regardless. Plus, Reddit’s favorite past time is deciding something is real and then getting mad when it isn’t.
The account features three creators who are all over the age of 70, Gab, JR, and Dan. The most recent video, posted last week, is absolutely wild.
The LAPD Gets Ratio’d
On Friday, the LAPD tweeted that there had been an “officer-involved shooting”. The term of “officer-involve shooting” is an interesting turn of phrase. It essentially means that a police officer shot at a person. As LA Times editor Joel Rubin tweeted, “LAPD announces an ‘officer involved shooting’ instead of saying simply that an officer has shot (at) someone.” Rubin said that the LA Times doesn’t use it anymore. Well, it seems like maybe the LAPD should probably stop using it too, because Twitter users have caught on.
If you click through on that tweet, there are hundreds and hundreds of response all saying the same thing.
Cool Cheeto For Sale
I found this screenshot floating around Tumblr last week. If you didn’t know, Among Us is a super popular video game. There’s currently a meme right now where, instead of saying Among Us, you type “Amogus”. It comes from this Reddit post from December.
I tried to find the actual Amogus Cheeto eBay listing, but the sale already closed. I did discover, though, that there are A LOT of Cheetos for sale on eBay. This Flaming Hot Cheeto that’s shaped like a penis is currently starting at $380. It’s a bit high, but if you click through, it really does look a lot like a penis.
This tweet about the current design of Miss Frizzle from the new Magic School Bus series went insanely viral over the weekend. A few points of clarification before we jump into the discourse here:
The Magic School Bus Rides Again premiered on Netflix back in 2017. There was a second season in 2018. And then there were a few specials released in 2020.
Ms. Frizzle in the reboot isn’t the same Ms. Frizzle as the original. She’s Miss Fiona Frizzle, the younger sister of the original Ms. Frizzle
She’s voiced by Kate McKinnon.
When the new Magic School Bus debuted in 2017, people were pissed. Extremely exhausting aging millennials spent days whining on Twitter and YouTube about the reboot. The show is critically acclaimed, however.
Twitter user @crocfanpage, who kicked off this fresh outrage cycle, went on to tweet a bunch about the reboot. They acknowledged that, yes, the new Ms. Frizzle is voiced by a lesbian. And they also made fun of users who were taking their tweet seriously.
I find adult millennials who have serious opinions on children’s entertainment extremely tedious. You’re in your 30s, you have to have something better to do with your time than tweeting about Voltron. Anyways, here’s my favorite take on the whole thing:
How To Produce The #1 Song In The Philippines
My entire YouTube home page is basically just music production videos now, after I spent most of 2020 learning how to use Ableton. I came across this great video over the weekend. Simon Servida is a really talented producer who, thanks to the following he’s built up teaching production tricks on YouTube, recently made the song “What?” with the Filipino pop act SB19. Sevida’s video is a great look at a world I really knew nothing about — P-Pop, or Pinoy pop. And Sevida is Filipino American, so the video is this really unique perspective at how two different countries think about pop music and song structures.
After you watch his video, you should head over and check out SB19’s music video for “What?”. It’s currently been watched over 6 million times. It’s a bop!
New TikTok Commune Dropped
The idea that TikTok could become a recruiting tool for cults is one of those things where, once you hear it, you realize there was no other way this could go. Lifestyle content, beautiful influencers, users incentivized to create trending content, an absolute rats nest of misinformation, and one of the most aggressive algorithms that currently exists. Of course cults are going to use it!
Last month, a commune in Tennessee used the app to recruit new members. Insider has a great story on the whole thing. Yes, someone did eat a cat.
As for this newest, not-a-cult, it’s being promoted by a user named Michelle Rusk. She has over 35,000 followers on TikTok. She lives in a “conscious community” in Guatemala. The video above features some of the most incredibly terrible white people dancing I’ve ever seen. Her content is pretty typical, “I live in paradise, wouldn’t you love to learn more,” kind of stuff. For what it’s worth, this commune doesn’t feel nearly as culty as the Tennessee one. And I’m not so sure it’s going to catch on as fast either. Most of the comments on her recent videos are people calling her a colonizer and telling her to go home.
The Houston Yelp Guy Posting Feet Pics
Look, my buddy Mark sent this to me. I’m not totally clear what do with it. It’s very weird. I don’t want to blow this dude’s spot up just because he seems to really love feet. But, man, he REALLY loves feet. It does seems like he’s really well-known around Houston. He’s a regular appearance on Texas subreddits and has had a few articles written about him. Here’s what his reviews look like:
So what’s this guy’s deal? His name is Fox Elipsus, he’s a musician and bodybuilder(?) from England who writes 100s of words in his Yelp reviews and typically pairs them with a photo of a woman’s feet next to whatever the dish is he’s reviewing. VICE in 2019 described him as, “Yelp's Horniest (and Best) Reviewer Is a Jacked Foot Worshipper Named Fox E”. The Houston Chronicle had a much more unstated way of writing about him: “Meals and heels: Yelp restaurant reviewer adds a dash of fashion to his food” lol.
According to my friend Mark, it’s kind of gross that he’s having this woman put her feet on the table at restaurants all over Houston, but he does apparently have really good taste in local restaurants 🤷🏼♂️.
There’s A Garbage Day T-Shirt Now
If you’re interested in picking one of these bad boys up, I made a Google form you can fill out here! They’re $25 and I accept most payment apps, let me know if you want to use a specific one. I’ve also added an option for bigger sizes.
P.S. here’s a cursed tweet about Prince Phillip.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***