Read to the end for a conversation between two Taylor Swift fans
Tomorrow an Extra Garbage Day is dropping for paying subscribers! I’ve been putting these out a couple times a month and they’re a lot of fun. So far, I’ve interviewed:
Sarah H, one of my favorite extremism researchers, on Japanese cults and how to curb the spread of QAnon.
My favorite YouTube musician, Skatune Network, about ska’s anti-racist legacy and how punk DIY values are being kept alive online.
And Tomo Kihara, a developer who created a tool that lets you simulate how YouTube recommends different content to different users.
Tomorrow, my interview is with Gwen Snyder, a Philly-based activist. We talk about the Ben Shapiro radicalization pipeline, how Occupy Wall Street soured into Gamergate, and the power of local organizing. If you want to check it out, it’s $5 a month or $30 for the year.
First, Let’s Talk About The Da Vinky Twins
These two incredible guys are the Vörös twins. One is named Chris, one is named Patrick. No idea who is who. Doesn’t really matter. They are wrestlers, I guess. I think they are from Canada or are Canadian. None of this really matters. What matters is “Da Vinky”. Back in July, the twins were playing around with one of those trivia filters and preceded to not get a single answer right. The filter asked them, “who painted the Mona Lisa,” and the twins had no idea, the filter then told them it was Da Vinci, and they read it out loud as “Da Vinky.” It’s a perfect video. “Da Vinky” has since taken on a life of its own. It’s an internet earworm, like one of those tweets you repeat in your head all day. My personal internet earworm I’ve been unable to shake for years is “I;m thinking about thos beans.” I repeat it to myself several times a week. Not totally sure why Tumblr users have paired “Da Vinky” with this hairless cat, but I like it.
One of the common questions on Twitter right now is how legit the Vörös Twins are. As in, like, do they really not know anything about anything. Which is fair. All good internet things tend to reveal themselves to be weird marketing scams eventually. I have watched A LOT of the Vörös Twins’ videos. They, like everyone on TikTok, wanted to become famous, make no mistake. But I am convinced they genuinely 1) had never heard of Da Vinci and 2) seriously thought it was pronounced “Da Vinky.” In the same video, they guess that London’s Big Ben is called “Big Ted,” it’s just simply too good to be a bit. They also have numerous videos responding to comments saying their heads look like Spongebob’s house. I’m calling it, guys, they’re the real deal. Da Vinky forever.
Also, a K-Pop stan paid them on Cameo to list all the members of Korean girl group Loona and it’s best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
An Important Development With The Cheesed To Meet You Meme
Earlier this month, I wrote about the hot new Cheesed To Meet You meme spreading all over the internet. At the time, I was very relieved to say it was not a fash thing, yet. I am happy to say that seems to still be still true. You never know how these things are going to develop. The meme came from a 2019 4chan thread and involves a little green Pepe the Frog mouse. He’s just got a nice chill vibe.
I had only ever seen this cropped version though. If you’re not familiar with the mechanics of 4chan, a user starts a thread, other users then have a period of time in which they can reply to that thread before it disappears or “404s”. The screenshot is of a reply to a thread, which means the Cheesed To Meet You Mouse was posted in response to something. This week, I discovered what that original post was! My friend Cates sent me a screenshot of the original post and, wow, it’s great.
I typed out that “hssssssssssss” and actually found a link to the whole thing if you’re curious.
Here’s A Good iOs 14 Home Screen
Hot New Subreddit Alert: r/FondantHate
So, just to be transparent about this, I actually like fondant. I like the texture. It’s like delicious dry wall. I like hard cake idk. But I do love people getting really mad about food. (Check out the People Getting Really Made At Food Tumblr blog.) I think what I like about r/FondantHate is that if you scroll the front page of subreddit, it’s just photos of really technically impressive cakes with extremely angry captions.
Even funnier is that apparently the subreddit is extremely pro-buttercream. I came across one recent thread where a user had converted her sister from using fondant to accepting the superior buttercream and the comments are amazing.
“Appropriate fondant use is such a beautiful thing,” one user wrote. “A buttercream frosted cake with a few fondant decorations? 1000% appropriate, that's what fondant is made for. Fondant as a replacement for frosting? Go to hell.”
OK, Wait, Sorry, One More Da Vinky Tweet
Here’s A Little Internet Mystery For You
In early 2014, the Tumblr/Reddit/4chan stronghold on internet culture was beginning to become toxic (for reference, Gamergate started in August 2014). A screenshot of a Tumblr post started circulating on Reddit. It has since been nicknamed “Oppa Homeless Style” and it’s pretty infamous. The gist of it is, a Tumblr user claimed that she tried to give a homeless man $20 and a man in a fedora and trench coat then appeared and tried to stop her. After a bunch of back and forth, a crowd gathers and then the homeless man does the “Gangnam Style” dance and the man in fedora walks off in shame. Here’s a link to the whole thing.
The screenshot immediately went viral. The story has become copypasta. The earliest version of the screenshot I’ve been able to track down is from January 2014. The post has been held up as proof over the years that Tumblr is full of deranged SJWs just making up stories for clout. Which, uh, is not that hard to believe. In 2013, a Homestuck user claimed a police officer came to their house for a wellness check and read the newest Homestuck issue with them.
Well, one of my new favorite Tumblr accounts, Heritage Posts, has floated an extremely interesting theory: What if “Oppa Homeless Style” was never posted at all. Heritage Posts catalogs old, extremely cringe Tumblr posts. I interviewed them for my podcast a few weeks ago. Their whole deal is proving that the internet is always sort of embarrassing in retrospect. Heritage Posts recently said that they’ve been completely unable to find the original “Oppa Homeless Style” Tumblr post:
One thing I found interesting is that the screenshot shows it being reblogged by another user but the tags on the post look more like tags you’d add on an original post, not a reblog
As you probably found, searching for the original text brings up nothing but copypastas which makes me wonder if it ever existed in text form. My theory is the same as the top comment on the reddit thread: “This is so bad I’m starting to wonder if this was made up just for this sub.”
Even crazier, Heritage Posts said they reached out to the original Reddit user who posted “Oppa Homeless Style” and the redditor said they found it on 4chan. Which would make sense. In 2014, I covered a 4chan campaign where they pretended to be feminist activists, pushing ridiculous fake social justice ideas to make real activists look bad. So, was “Oppa Homeless Style” actually a 4chan PsyOp? Let me know what you think.
BTS ARMYs Are Supporting National Public Radio
Earlier this month, BTS performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk (home) concert series. While, it’s a bit of a bummer they couldn’t get the Bangtan Boys into their iconic office performance space, it’s still a great video. It’s obviously difficult for a seven-person Korean boy band to project a casual, stripped-down vibe, but I do think you get to see a different side of the group.
After the video went live, it went as viral as you can imagine. NPR’s tweet about the performance has over 100,000 retweets. One of the first replies to NPR’s tweet was from Gabe Rosenberg, the digital news editor for WOSU, an Ohio public radio station.
Rosenberg’s tweet blew up. And ARMYs not only started donating to public radio stations, they’ve been screenshotting and sharing their donations on Twitter. Washingtonian has a great write up about it. A lot of the donations even came with really cute thank you messages.
I can only imagine what Rosenberg’s mentions are like. I tweeted a midly spicy pro-BTS thing a couple months ago and the Twitter engagement bricked my phone for days. It’s a very powerful stan army!
And Finally, A Really Good TikTok
P.S. here’s a conversation between two Taylor Swift fans.
***All typos in this newsletter are on purpose actually***