"Decided to poor the contents of a snowglobe into a glass and drink it. Will keep you all updated on how this goes"
Read to the end for just a really cool video
First, A 4chan User Shares An Interesting Gamer Moment
Next, A Brief Update On My Face Being Used By Chinese eStores
A few weeks ago, I discovered that a bunch of Chinese eStores were using a picture of me from 2016 to sell things like hair-cutting aprons, sunglasses, and tires.
It’s been a very strange experience to discover that there’s a digital version of me out there having a completely different life that I knew nothing about. One of these eStores, a beauty wholesaler called CCbeauty had an email listed on their website, so I decided to reach out to them. Here’s what I wrote to them last month:
My name is Ryan Broderick. I noticed that you're using a picture of my face on your Amazon store.
I'm not mad or anything. I'm a little flattered you think my face is nice enough to advertise hair-cutting aprons. I'm a journalist in America and I'd love to talk to you about it. Feel free to email me back. Thanks!
I didn’t expect an answer, but you never know! Well, this week, I woke up and discovered CCbeauty had emailed me back. Here’s what they said:
Hi Mr Ryan Broderick,
I am terribly sorry for this issue.
The image you mentioned has been deleted to avoid more trouble to you.
To express our sincere apologies, we are willing to provide a product in our shop, any one if you feel interested.
We'd love to listen if you have other ideas or thoughts.
And sure enough, they’ve replaced me! Absolutely no clue who this guy is.
I know this is technically a good thing, but I can’t help but feel bummed out about it. I’m going to reply to CCbeauty and see if I can talk to anyone over there because I’m still super curious about how exactly this whole thing happened. I’ve been trying to unravel this mystery with podcaster Billy Disney, who is doing an episode about this for his podcast Underunderstood. And while I’m a little disappointed I’m no longer the face of CCbeauty hair aprons, Billy did make a very interesting new discovery. I’m currently selling neck gaiters on Instagram.
Blockbuster’s Twitter Account Has Awoken
Blockbuster’s Twitter account tweeted for the first time in six years this week. It seems like it has something to do with the fact the last Blockbuster, located in Bend, Oregon, has become an AirBnb. Which, honestly, sounds sick. You get to sleep in a video store and watch a bunch of movies on a big 90s TV with free snacks.
People have been very excited about Blockbuster’s return to Twitter. Which, like, I guess that’s exciting. Man, quarantine has really taken a big toll on what we consider “fun” these days. Anyways, it seems like Blockbuster coming back online was only a short-lived thing. A few hours later, like an elder god who had viewed the arrogant wreckage of the modern world and deemed humanity unworthy of its dark benevolence, Blockbuster crawled back down into its cave beneath the ocean floor and continued its eternal slumber.
Which is probably a good move, considering this is what one user tweeted at the video store:
Is This The Song Of The Summer???
This absolutely cursed thing came across my timeline because I made the mistake of becoming friends with Katie Notopoulos eight years ago and my life has not known peace ever since.
The song is from a YouTuber named Stephen Sharer, who looks like he was made in the same laboratory that all the other YouTubers come from. A stray thought here, but I find it interesting that in the same way that the internet decentralized protest movements like Anonymous and cults like QAnon, so too has it decentralized that very specific Teen Choice Awards/Nickelodeon actor/TRL host archetype and now there are just thousands of these people on YouTube filming not-really-funny-but-sorta-fun-I-guess freshman year dorm room icebreakers and renting out McMansions in Malibu to shoot tween-safe pop music videos in.
All of that being said, this song is actually good maybe? Katie, in her thread about the video, noted that it was produced by a company called LYRE. It’s actually a pretty interesting company. They’re a “writing/production team” who basically help YouTubers and influencers make pop songs.
Sharer has made a few songs with LYRE that all have millions of views (and all sound pretty good!), but I’ve have literally never come across any of them before. Which I think says some pretty interesting things about exactly how weirdly closed off from outside culture this entire world is. I think my only takeaway about any of this is that influencers are essentially avatars of the popular kids you went to high school with. And because of the way internet platforms and capitalism have restructured society, there is now an entire industry full of companies like LYRE that exist to help these avatars seem like they’re cool and successful and, through parasocial relationships, make their viewers feel like they’re both part of the clique and along for the ride. I assume this trend will become only more absurd and demented (as they always do) and, once social distancing eases up enough, you will be able to start renting beautiful people to pretend to be your friend IRL for special occasions.
Here’s A Good Conversation About Philosophy
The Wonder Bread Fetish Guy Is Still Out There
There’s an extremely good chance the sentence above there in bold doesn’t mean anything to you. I want you to know, dear reader, that I am jealous of you. If you would like to remain in beautiful ignorance about the Wonder Bread Fetish Guy, just keep scrolling. For those of you who decide to soldier on, may God have mercy on your soul.
Alright, so, basically, in 2018, Tumblr users became aware of a DeviantArt user with an extremely intense fetish for Wonder Bread. Here’s a sampling of what I’m talking about:
For a lot of normal people, things on the internet are gross because they’re gross. For instance, here’s a Reddit post from this week with a picture of a fleshlight that looks like a foot. We can all agree that’s gross. But for people who have been online Too Much, it’s not the gross stuff that’s unsettling, it’s the stuff like the pictures above, which aren’t, on their face, sexual or graphic. The safe-for-work-ness of it all somehow makes them feel darker and more horrifying.
Here’s an account from Tumblr user wet-monsoon of what it’s like when Wonder Bread Fetish Guy messages you, asking for a commission:
i was just contacted by the notorious Deviantart White Bread Fetish guy who wanted me to draw a plump rich blonde blue-eyed white woman with huge titties stuffing her shopping cart full of white bread and i do have to wonder… how much? how much am i willing to tolerate…
…there’s a guy who sends artists vague commission requests via email, and upon the artist asking what he has in mind he proceeds to send a detailed request about rich women shopping in a grocery store full of expensive wonder bread and overflowing their carts with it
As it’s also been pointed out, Wonder Bread Fetish Guy also is also known for commissioning art of white women chainsawing down tress and bulldozing forests and stuff. A great Twitter account I follow, @weeaboo, actually got into a DM conversation with Wonder Bread Fetish Guy last year.
It’s been a little while since I had heard anything about Wonder Bread Fetish Guy and wondered if he had finally hung up his hat. Turns out… no! A Twitter artist named @Kecchi0 excitedly announced this week that she had just finished a big commission.
I had to look it up, but Uzaki Chan is from a manga called Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Unfortunately for @Kecchi0, some other Twitter users noticed the tell-tale signs of Wonder Bread Fetish Guy almost immediately:
Here’s A Cool Science Experiment
Annndddddd part 2:
The Podcast This Week Is About Reddit Relationships!
Since COVID started, I’ve become more and more obsessed with Reddit’s relationship subreddits. Not totally sure why or what it says about my current emotional state, but they’re now the first thing I check every morning. I also think every single post is 100% real. Luke, the co-host of my podcast The Content Mines, thinks they’re all fake. On this week’s episode we had a big debate about it and did some dramatic readings and had some intense discussions about some of our favorites. The Content Mines is available in all the usual places, including Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, and Pocket Casts.
And Finally, Here’s Whatever This Is
P.S. here’s just a really cool video.
***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***
1 second into watching the video: "oh goddammit"
5 seconds into watching the video: "godDAMMIT"
... but srsly, I need to know where they got your headshot.