Grieving On My Peloton

Read to the end for a TikTok I made

“Plastic Love” Is Finally On Spotify

If you don’t know why this is a big deal, allow me to explain. Japanese pop star Mariya Takeuchi’s 1984 song “プラスティック・ラブ,” or “Plastic Love,” has become something of a cult hit thanks to some weird algorithmic quirks within YouTube.

Back in 2018, users began reporting that YouTube’s sidebar was recommending a random Japanese pop song to them. The comment section underneath the video is pretty incredible. There was something about the song that just really clicked with people. Here are some of my favorite comments:

  • “Tokyo, 1985: after a night out in Shinjuku, you take a cab, drive through the night and this song is playing on the radio”

  • “Why does this song give me nostalgia im not even alive when this was released”

  • “This really brings me back to those rainy moonlit walks back in the 90s except for the fact that I was born in 2005.”

And, of course, here is an absolutely breathtaking comment that’s currently stickied to the top of the comment section:

I remember growing up in Japan when I was 10. I had just stepped out of a book store, and a pretty girl the same age shyly held out her hand to me and asked me if I wanted to walk around with her. This song was playing on the radio where we stopped to have ramen together. She never gave me her name, but told me a day to always meet her to hold hands and walk or picnic. I finally got her name a few months later - Mitsuki. We became close friends, but my parents took a job to America when we were 13, so I had to leave her, both of us in tears and snot. I would send her letters, and she would send letters back. At 22, she suddenly stopped mailing me. I thought she was gone. 5 months later, she was at my door in America, with her hand out to me when I opened the door. We're married in our 40's now, and we've taken walks through multiple cities together across the world and we always stop someplace that has noodles and play this song on our phone. Thank you Mariya. Your love may be plastic, but mine is beautiful thanks to this song. If you see a middle-aged couple with or without their kids with them, holding hands and acting like teenagers or even young kids in Tokyo browsing the shops, its us.

I assume this is completely made up, but it’s also a piece of beautiful short digital fiction, nevertheless.

“Plastic Love” currently has over 48 million views on YouTube, but, like a lot of Japanese music, it wasn’t on Spotify. I did find this pretty decent “Plastic Love”-themed playlist, however, that I listen to a lot.

As of this month, though, you can stream it on Spotify!

Also, if you’re interested in this kind of music, it’s usually referred to as City Pop and there’s a whole bunch of great producers doing modern remixes with it, which is usually called future funk. My favorite two future funk producers at the moment are MACROSS 82-99 and Yung Bae.

An Absolutely WILD Peloton Workout

Garbage Day reader Molly sent me this and it is making me lose my mind. I’m not totally clear how Peloton works, but apparently this was a public class and a bunch of people watched it. I guess this trainer’s name is Kendall and people seem to like her, but she’s also very intense?

Three Notable Platform Product Things

1. Twitter has ended its quote tweet by default experiment

For the last few months, Twitter’s mobile app has essentially removed retweets. Instead of a simple one-tap tweet button, the app would prompt you to quote tweet. If you left the quote tweet empty, it would retweet the tweet like normal.

According to a thread posted by Twitter Support earlier this week, “The use of Quote Tweets increased, but 45% of them included single-word affirmations and 70% had less than 25 characters.” This also caused, “an overall 20% decrease in sharing through both Retweets and Quote Tweets.”

Translated into human language, by forcing users to do a new behavior, without changing any incentives that make up the typical Twitter user experience, it resulted in the same groupthink, targeted abuse, and blind amplification that has plagued the site since forever, except users were also writing “this” or “same” or “mood” above whatever tweet they were dragging into their feeds.

2. Instagram claims they aren’t targeting sex workers by inadvertently targeting sex workers

Instagram updated its terms of service last month and now specifically bans any form of “sexual solicitation”. Here’s a good piece from Pedestrian about the reaction it’s getting from the platform’s sex workers. Instagram’s comms Twitter account is getting slated over it on Twitter right now.

This TOS change is the latest salvo in a long and complicated battle Instagram has been having with the large community of sex workers that use the platform to communicate with their clients. If you’re reading this and saying, “well, I’m not a sex worker, so why should I care,” I’d like to point you to this really good tweet arguing that sex workers, pornographic actors, erotic artists, and the like are typically the canary in the coal mine when it comes to tech platforms cracking down on all forms of expression and labor. For instance, TikTok is currently conducting their own huge expulsion of sex workers literally right now.

3. Twitch tries to restrict the use of “simp,” “virgin,” and “incel”

This one is a little less crazy than it initially sounds. The Verge has a good piece about it. Streaming platform Twitch has a new policy which goes into effect in January that will block a whole bevy of behaviors associated with sexual harassment. Banning “simp” — which is a term that describes a man who is obsessed and submissive to women on the internet (think “cuck,” but you’re not even Chad enough to have a girlfriend to be cuckolded from) — is just part of the new anti-sexual harassment push.

I’m actually going to give Twitch the benefit of the doubt on this one. Harassment, sexual and otherwise, is pretty endemic on Twitch, but at the same time, their community features are some of the best I’ve seen on a modern platform. Their chat security is really strong and they have a Reddit-like understanding of their own community. I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they tend to be more clear-eyed view of their own issues than other sites. Interested to see how this new policy affects their community.

An Exceptionally Grim Australian Christmas

These photos are going viral on Tumblr right now due to the whole thing’s shocking similarity to Dashcon. Look, this has been tough year. And you could argue it has, in effect, Dashcon’d all of reality. And I also feel very bad for the families that bought into this into thing, but also. idk lol?

A 4chan User Goes To The Gym

Is this newsletter creepy or wet?

A Really Good New Reddit Account

The account is u/koalityskillz. I wish I had more context for you, but I went through their history and they literally just want to post aesthetic photos of Monster Energy cans in cool places. That’s it. That’s the whole deal.

A TikTok Account I Just Really Like

Same deal as above. I’ve struggled to find really good TikTok accounts who have that same ratio of chaos and relatability and comic timing that create the uncanny valley of A Person On The Internet I Care About Who Isn’t A Weird Influencer, but @ghosthoney is exactly that for me. Please just click over to his account and watch some of his videos. And, like always, if you’re in a non-TikTok country, here’s the Tumblr tag that some mirrors for you.

An Important Update On The Ex-Husband Sex Club DJ Tweet

I’m unclear if I shared this tweet in Garbage Day last January. Substack’s archive system is a little limited and, also, there’s no way I can possibly guess how I may have framed this tweet. lol. If this is your first time seeing this, congratulations, this may be the best tweet ever tweeted. Definitely top 20 for me.

At the time, I was so floored by the multi-textured narrative happening within it that I never thought to ask, “I wonder what the ‘Lean On Me’ remix featuring samples of Homer Simpson sounds like?” Well, thanks to a Tumblr post that came across my dashboard recently, I have found a Soundcloud clip of it.

And, guys, it’s worse than you could ever imagine.

My Sister’s Bad Holiday RomCom Review Corner

I’ll be ending the next couple Garbage Days with a section cowritten with my sister Caroline. She loves terrible Christmas movies. She loves them so much she subscribes to the Hallmark channel’s streaming app and watches them all year long.

Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Sweater

What’s It About?

Caroline: “Maggie is a divorced mother of one, which is acknowledged in this Hallmark movie, (which is new for Hallmark), and is about to have her first Christmas alone because her daughter is going to spend it with her dad and his new wife. That is, until Maggie hits a jogger named Lucas with her Christmas tree as she’s leaving the tree lot.

Maggie’s character is so over done that her smile in some scenes is actually a little frightening. She’s painted (pun intended since she’s a ‘painter’) as this person who is just always giving and never taking time for herself. She’s part of a Christmas canned food drive. There are volunteers at a winter camp for kids who have parents deployed overseas running errands for everyone. lol sorry, but does anyone actually know a person like this?

The guy she hits is visiting his brother for a day or two before he — a successful architect — flies off to Aspen for skiing. But now, with his broken wrist from the fall, he is stuck there waiting for a surgery follow-up a week later. Which then turns into Maggie offering him to stay in her garage apartment that she is soon turns into a painting studio?

How Does It Involve Christmas?

Caroline: “It taught me that sometimes you have to stop building skyscrapers and build a life-size gingerbread house with kids to find your passion again in architecture... and life?”

Is The Movie Any Good?

Caroline: “The dialogue and movie sets are what makes this an odd movie when you really think about. At one point she makes a joke about how she could use some extra cash this holiday, but then has a huge beautiful house, amazing garage apartment, and more Christmas decorations than you could even imagine... all on a second grade teacher’s salary. I’m not even kidding, I couldn’t even imagine paying the light bill for those decorations.

And when Lucas’s brother and sister-in-law help move his bags into the studio, the SIL spots a coffee grinder on the counter and says, ‘oh good, you have a coffee grinder! Lucas I got you your favorite beans!’ I just wonder who wrote that line into the scene and was like yes, this belongs, this line matters. 

I would rate it a 3/5 because there really isn’t a plot and I just could not get over the fact that there about about three Christmas trees in every shot. I’m not even kidding. When they’re sitting on a bench in town there are over 12 fully decorated trees down the sidewalk... what town pays for that!?”

P.S. here’s a TikTok I made?

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

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