Gonna Put On My Plague Helmet And Throw Baked Beans At The Town Playground

Read to the end for a good TikTok about fish

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Who Is Putting Beans All Over Swanwick?

I saw these photos going around Twitter this week and thought I’d investigate. Facebook is a real funhouse mirror right now and it’s extremely hard to tell what’s a genuine local community page and what’s just a bunch of college students doing some weird LARP. I went through a similar journey digging into those weird truck pregnancy pictures earlier this month.

So… I think Spotted Swanwick 2 is legit. It describes itself as “a one stop notice board” for Swanwick, a small village in England. As for why it’s Spotted Swanwick 2, it seems like original page, Spotted: Swanwick, went defunct in 2013 and was used largely to shit talk random townspeople.

As for the now-viral beans photos from this week in Spotted Swanwick 2, unfortunately the original post went pretty viral, so the comment section is just full of people tagging each other. Beans are kind of a big thing on Facebook. There are A LOT of beans-related communities on the platform so it makes sense that the Swanwick post really took off. Anyways, here’s my favorite comment beneath the Swanwick bean pics:

Let’s Talk About The Alexa Toddler Reddit Post

This post is EVERYWHERE right now. I’m not totally sure why, either. I’ve seen super viral screenshots of it on Tumblr and Twitter this week. The actual post is over a year old. It was posted to a subreddit I had actually never heard of before, r/BreakingMom. My friend Ellie, who is a connoisseur of family dysfunction subreddits, says it’s a pretty wild community. And boy is she right! I started poking around there this week and found this post from a woman claiming her husband wants her to start dressing up as Belle Delphine. Which is extremely 😬😬😬.

As for the story above about a kid calling their mom Alexa, I feel like this is both understandable and fine and also horrific and chills me to the bone. Toddlers go through a demanding phase and freaking love “Baby Shark”. I heard a similarly upsetting story from a friend of mine a few years ago about a toddler who would just sit and watch those seven-hour algorithmically-generated YouTube videos of trains. Which once again, isn’t so different from generations prior where kids would watch VHS tapes of bulldozers and cement mixers, but also, I don’t like it.

Here’s a Genuinely Interesting Look At How TikTok Transition Videos Are Made

I find these videos super hypnotic. The behind-the-scenes footage is really fascinating, but I also couldn’t help but think about how much work was going into a sort of nothing video. Like it looks and feels like it’s a cooking video or a DIY craft video, but it’s not really. It’s just raw ingredients becoming cooked food. I went over to the TikToker’s channel and her name is Ramina Gafur. She has 14 million followers and a lot of her videos are the same thing. Here’s the finished product:

I do think it’s interesting what TikTok’s algorithm does to aesthetics. It seems to causing the same amped up evolution of the visual language of video that I think Vine did to the storytelling structure of video (or what Twitter did to the written word). Ramina literally strips away any of the process from your typical process video — a potato magically morphs into french fries, an apple suddenly shifts into juice — and has become extremely popular doing it. I don’t really know where this is headed, but I think it’s worth thinking about as the world waits to find out what’s next for TikTok as a company. What does a video platform that emphasizes raw visuals over substance mean in the longterm?

What Is Happening In The Comment Section Of This Buddy Holly Song…

I came across a Tumblr post this week that said that the comment section beneath this Buddy Holly video was the “most toxic comment section on YouTube.”

Well, I’m sure you aren’t surprised that I absolutely had to go see what was happening and WOW! I’ll confess it’s been awhile since I heard the song, but once you hear it, you’ll immediately understand what’s going on here. The percussion on the song was done by drummer Jerry Allison slapping his knees in time with the song. And, uh, yeah, that sound has not aged well, at all.

T H E S A C K O F W E T E G G S

Not sure what’s happening in the UK this week, but there is a lot of weird food stuff going on. First, there’s baked beans all over the Swanwick playground and now British supermarket chain Morrisons is just selling sacks of wet eggs. Quarantine has really taken its toll on the formally-Great Britain. You simply hate to see it.

I showed this tweet to British person and co-host of my podcast, Luke Bailey, and he actually had a theory about what has happened here. In the UK, it’s very common to buy individually-wrapped hard boiled eggs in the snack section of a supermarket. (British people like eggs.) He thinks that these bags were meant to be divvied up into small containers and sold and someone probably just said, screw it, and put them out as is. You can listen to his whole investigation on this week’s episode.

Still, regardless of what was meant to happen here, we all now have to live with the image of a big wet sack of eggs in our heads for the rest of our lives. So that’s cool.

It’s All Kicking Off In The Plush Fandom Right Now

This story is a straight up mess. And weirdly connects to the upcoming sex-negative reactionary movement I described in Wednesday’s issue. It was sent to me by Brian Hastie, who said, “retroactively applied sex-inclusive labels to Japanese plush toys that are mostly collected by adults sounds like your type of content,” which is something I’ll have to pull apart in therapy at some point.

The r/HobbyDrama post about this is really dense, so I’ll do my best to break it down for you. There’s a famous Japanese plush designer named Mori Chack who makes rare, sought-after kawaii plush dolls, called “Gloomy bears”. Collectors sell these plush dolls on eBay and the “all purpose bunny” is particularly popular one. Here’s what these little guys look like:

At the end of July, a TikToker named @kirby_loves_you made a video about the all purpose bunny plush and incorrectly told her followers that it was for bondage, showing off the cute/aggressive branding of the plush, which included a tag depicting a pair of hands being tied up by the bunny’s ears. @kirby_loves_you has apparently been going into plush collector Facebook Groups and explaining that she was just joking. Though she hasn’t made a new video saying it was a joke. Her video claiming the plush was for bondage has 1.4 million likes right now.

The first thing that @kirby_loves_you’s video did was completely alter the secondary market for these plushes, as bondage fetishists raced to buy the rabbit. According to the r/HobbyDrama post, in some instances these plushes quadrupled in price on Facebook Marketplace. It also wasn’t just any kind of bondage kinksters that were invading Gloomy collector groups, either, but DDLG fetishists. DDLG stands for “Daddy Dom/Little Girl” and, uh, I think you get the idea of what that particular fetish entails. A few years ago, a ton of these people invaded Tumblr and I don’t want to kinkshame, but when these folks show up in your online community, things tend to get really weird, really fast.

A lot of the chaos caused by the DDLG invasion has been going down in private collector groups, but I was definitely able to find some really bizarre comments beneath public Facebook Marketplace listings for some of these plushes. And there are a bunch of totally wild screenshots in the r/HobbyDrama post. Up until the TikTok video, the community wasn’t really sexual in nature at all, it seems, and now they’re being inundated with weird age-play fetishists.

The reason I think this connects to a possible upcoming reactionary movement is that it feels like this kind of thing is happening in communities all over the internet at the moment — viral misinformation, brigading, gatekeeping, social media boundaries breaking down. Everything is feeling a little more broken than usual at the moment and it’s hard to shake the feeling that something is changing.

Here’s A Really Cool Video Lens

This was created by Cameron Hunter, an engineer at Netflix, and it’s just really neat. I feel like the entire world of video filters and lenses has quietly exploded over the last year. Hunter in his Twitter thread about his video lens said he made it using Snapchat’s Lens Studio. He said it was actually a lot easier than you’d think to make and if you want to use it in your video chat platform of choice all you need to do is just download Snapchat’s virtual webcam. Should I make a Garbage Day video lens? And if so, what horrible thing should be? Much to think about.

And Finally, I’m Thinking About Buying One Of These Business Casual Plague Helmets

Wow I hate this! I saw these on Twitter last night and it’s just horrible! It’s everything wrong with everything! This is definitely the most exclamation points I’ve ever used in a Garbage Day item before. It just sucks!

These late-stage capitalism containment helmets are called “air.” because of course they are and they’re being made by a company called MicroClimate. They cost $199 and the website says they were inspired by the company’s founder not being able to talk to his children on a ski lift because of their scarves and goggles. Which, if that’s true, imagine having this idea BEFORE the coronavirus and thinking it was normal. The air. helmet has a battery in it that lasts for four hours, apparently. Uh-oh, I hope I remembered to charge my microclimate helmet before my big presentation so I don’t asphyxiate in the boardroom. Anyways, everything’s fine. Everything’s cool. We’re alright. We’re alright. We’re alright.

P.S. here’s a good TikTok about fish.

***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***