First, Let’s Imprison George R. R. Martin
Martin’s promise to have the sixth A Song Of Ice And Fire book finished by July 2020 came at the bottom of a 2019 blog post about looking forward to Worldcon in New Zealand in 2020. Here’s his full quote:
If I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.
Interestingly, Martin actually published a blog post about Worldcon 2020 this week and did not include any reference to his post from last year. Earlier in July, though, he did post an update about Winds Of Winter — which fans have been waiting nine years for him to finish. He said he had written a few more chapters.
“This writing stuff is hard,” he wrote. Thanks George.
This Week’s Podcast Is About Cottagecore And Fascism
This week, Luke and I try and answer the question of whether or not the Cottagecore aesthetic all over Instagram and TikTok right now is fascist. The short answer is: No, but also, kind of.
Here’s a pretty dense r/HobbyDrama post about whether or not Cottagecore is culturally appropriative. It’s a Reddit post, so it’s pretty dismissive of some of the, I think, very real concerns about a visual movement mainly embraced by white people that emphasizes a mythical heartland (pretty fash if you ask me). And here’s a really good VICE article about Cottagecore’s queer origins.
Here’s A Good Tweet
Here’s A Good Tumblr Post About A Good Reddit Post
For the last year or so, Reddit and Tumblr — communities that have always clashed with each other — have developed a full symbiotic relationship. There are several subreddits regularly sharing Tumblr screenshots and there are a slew of blogs that auto-post Reddit content on to Tumblr. It’s a bit like two divorced people coparenting the corners of the internet ignored by the bigger social networks.
The post above comes from a blog that automatically shares posts from r/todayilearned. I clicked through to the original hoping to get some more info about what the OP was trying to say. Here’s the top comment:
Here’s A Cool Spotify Playlist
Its full title when you open it up is: “Music To Clean Kitchen To Becus My Fucko Roomates Never Clean Up After Themselves And Don't Even Care Bout Living In Filth And I Was Raised In an All Female Household And Have Lowkey Culture Shock From Living With Males But Being Real I'm Actually Fine With It Bc Am On Adderall And Have Ocd”
A Lot Of You Messaged Me About The Cannibal At Cartoon Network
I’ve been waiting to deal with this because it involves a pocket of the internet commonly referred to as “art Twitter” or “animation Twitter” and I find them very intimidating.
I’m blurring out the Twitter user’s name because she’s received so much harassment in the two weeks since her tweets went viral that she’s had to make her account private.
But the whole hullabaloo around the ethical Cartoon Network cannibal exposes a fundamental problem with specifically Twitter, but more generally, any platform that forces every user to exist in the same public digital space. Here’s how this works:
A user posts a joke.
That joke is either not funny, or it gets stripped of its original context, or it doesn’t read as a joke to the hundreds of thousands of other users it probably wasn’t meant to viewed by anyways.
Due to Twitter’s design features and its completely unstable user base, the joke is indistinguishable from something serious written by one of the real nut jobs on there. For instance, in this case, ethical (and unethical) cannibals are real and they are definitely on Twitter.
The joke tweet is discovered by a community that polices other people’s content by pretending that jokes do not exist. That community uses the fallacy that everything posted on the internet is completely and totally literal to promote groupthink and consolidate power online.
If and when the original joke is revealed to be a joke, the community that led the harassment campaign then doubles down and usually argues that making the joke in the first place was not acceptable because of the subject matter or the joke maker’s social status. For instance: “it’s not OK for Cartoon Network employees to joke on Twitter about being cannibals.”
It’s a cycle you see a lot on Twitter because Twitter is a text-based video game where people spread hatred and misery to win points in the form of retweets, likes, and followers. And while this kind of bad faith moral panic absolutely happens more often among the American right wing, it happens in fandoms a lot too — especially ones based on children’s media.
After decades of zero social boundaries between older fans and younger ones that led to grooming and abuse, communities like “animation Twitter” are going through a really intense puritanical phase and are extremely sensitive. Which makes sense. Eight years ago, while the world laughed about adult male “bronies” plastering the internet in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic pornography, Gen Z, who are now in their early 20s, were the kids just trying to enjoy the show.
Anyways, if you are looking for a real story about ethical cannibalism, here’s a VICE interview with the Redditor who cooked his amputated leg into tacos and served them to his friends (with their consent, of course).
Will You Buy An eBussy?
Hmm. So apparently, the German company ElectricBrands’s eBussy can transform into a bunch of different kinds of vehicles, like a truck, a bus, or a camper.
ElectricBrands even put out a YouTube video proudly declaring that the eBussy is “not a Car, but more!” Hmm. Well, I’m sure no one has anything interesting to say about this. Time to go look at Twitter real quick…
HYPEBEAST @HYPEBEASTElectricBrands has unveiled its eBussy concept; a modular electric vehicle that can be transformed into 10 different body types. Find out more: https://t.co/dVXgmdIhnd Photo: ElectricBrands https://t.co/8eWo2LUcgg
Hmm. This is probably exactly what ElectricBrands intended.
What _____ Are You?
I don’t have anything super interesting to say about these Instagram accounts, but I just think they’re great. Please send me more.
This is me as Guy Fieri.
This is me as a frog.
And here’s me (my last name) as a dog.
Here’s A Good Twitter Conversation
The Archie Comics YouTube channel is having a problem with users calling Archie a “simp” in the comments. (“Simp” is zoomer slang for a man who is too submissive to women.)
Not sure if it’s showing up in the embed here, but I want to be absolutely clear that this is from the VERIFIED Archie Comics Twitter account. The account’s simple request did not go as planned, unfortunately, though.
This is embarrassing…
Next Week Garbage Day Is Going To Three Days A Week!
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***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***