Never let anyone on Twitter know anything about you
Read to the end for a truly hypnotic Twitter thread about "Miami Vice"
Hope you all didn’t mind the Extra Garbage Day this week. It was an interview with Substack CEO Chris Best and if you missed it, you can head here to check it out. It was a cool conversation!
Also, I am doing a live event. It’s at Caveat on August 17, at 7:00 PM ET and it’s called Meme in the Moment. Garbage Day subscribers get a discount code! I’m trying to choose my outfit for it. Should I wear a Romphim? I bought two right before the pandemic and have never been able to properly wear them.
The Mask Tweet
Alright, gang, there is a tweet out there that is BAD. I opened my Twitter app at dinner last night and was utterly repulsed by it. I’ve cropped the photo out of because it’s absolutely gross, but you can click here to see it if you want.
Now, interestingly enough, this isn’t just a gross tweet. It’s also a prime example of, honestly, one of my favorite kinds of internet content: Extremely online conservative owns themself while think they’re being relatable.
Here’s the context for what’s happening above. Bethany S. Mandel writes for The Federalist and is married to Seth Mandel, the executive editor of The Washington Examiner. Bethany, during a Twitter argument over how hard it is to have her children wear masks, was told by another user, @OddHistorian, that his family has their kids wearing multiple masks a day so they don’t get gross.
Bethany then, :Italian_Chef_kissing_fingers_emoji:, proceeds to reply with two photos of the inside of what is honestly the most disgusting mask I’ve ever seen. Bethany then tried to make this seem like it was an important learning experience for her followers, replying to her own tweet with, “Lots of adults suddenly learning that kids are gross and shouldn’t have something sitting on their face all day.”
Except, if you go into the replies, that is NOT the consensus whatsoever. Here are some of my favorite horrified responses:
“beth I know we all poke fun at you on here but I’m concerned that you may literally be dying”
“Have you considered brushing your teeth from time to time?”
Oh, and then, finally, there was this response, which basically slapped me in the face. Bethany’s tweet now has over 25000 quote tweets. It’s a mess.
Look, here’s a really good rule of thumb for Twitter: Unless you are absolutely certain that you are normal — which you most likely aren’t because you’re on Twitter — never let other users learn anything about how you live. This is classic internet 101.
This Isn’t An Amazon Ad
So, apparently, this bizarre ad, that was recorded by a TikTok user and then tweeted, is not an official ad for Amazon. If you don’t feel like watching it, it looks like a clip from a weird mobile game. It has some text-to-speech narration, a bunch of clips from Roblox, and other random sounds inserted into it, including an audio of Flo Rida’s “Apple Bottom jeans”.
It’s unclear how it ended up being posted to Amazon’s account. A TikTok spokesperson told The Verge, “This situation was the result of a technical issue, which temporarily swapped the Amazon ad creative with a different video.”
But it’s also an interesting glimpse into the bizarre backwaters of TikTok, where bot accounts generate audio-visual gibberish with the hope that it’ll catch the platform’s For You Page. I’ve written about two such accounts. It’s weird stuff, but feels very in line with the algorithmically generated YouTube children’s content that got really popular a few years ago.
Understanding The Crypto Infrastructure Bill Thing
This story has gotten big enough now that chances are you’ve heard rumblings about it. There is a crypto provision in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that is currently before the senate. The provision has been described by outlets like CNBC as “stricter tax rules on cryptocurrency transactions.” Which it is, yes, but there’s more to it than getting crypto bros to pay taxes.
According to a draft of the provision which was seen by Coindesk, it expands the IRS’ definition of a “broker” to anyone “responsible for and regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets” and it would require brokers to fill out things like 1099s and collect data from customers, such as names and addresses. This kind of data collection, of course, when it comes to cryptocurrencies and NFT sales, is largely impossible to gather, so it would kill those industries in the US pretty quick. Which, you might say, ok, whatever. Either pay taxes on your $69 million Beeple or gtfo.
But, as musician and activist Evan Greer put in a great thread, this expansion of what a broker is and what they would suddenly become responsible for doesn’t end at crypto coins.
If the provision passes, it could have huge ramifications for all sorts of decentralized projects. In fact, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has also come out against the bill, writing in a post earlier this week:
The bill could also create uncertainty about the ability to conduct cryptocurrency transactions directly with others, via open source code (e.g. smart contracts and decentralized exchanges), while remaining anonymous. The ability to transact directly with others anonymously is fundamental to civil liberties, as financial records provide an intimate window into a person's life.
As for where the provision and the bill, in general, stand right now. There are two camps of senators attempting to introduce two different amendments. One amendment makes the definition of a broker more specific, excluding people like protocol developers and software makers. The other amendment doesn’t. President Biden supports the amendment without the broker definition. The Senate votes on the infrastructure bill on Saturday.
A Good Tweet
RIP Kurt Cobain
From what I understand, American Facebook now is essentially four things — magicians, white nationalists, elaborate meme groups full of bored college students, and radio station pages. And this extremely funny story about Facebook, first noticed by SB Nation’s Bill Hanstock, seems to confirm that theory.
About five weeks ago, a piece of street art by Australian artist @lushsux was shared by David Spade on Instagram. The @lushsux piece is based on this meme. Spade first addressed the mural in 2017, tweeting, “Everyone is sending me this.”
Spade, in an Instagram post at the end of June, wrote, “I think this is going around again. The picture of me on a building in Austria by an artist. He says its Kurt Cobain the quote is wrong also. Its from neil young ( i think). It’s kind of funny and meant to be confusing. #tadah.”
Spade is wrong, this is obviously very funny. While the image was going viral, 96.9 The Eagle KKGL, a classic rock radio station in Boise, Idaho, decided to share it on their page.
Well it turns out that fans of 96.9 The Eagle KKGL found this just as funny as David Spade. The comments underneath the post are an amazing trainwreck of very confused Facebook users:
“This does not look like Kurt Cobain it looks like the comedian David Spade”
“Before I read this I thought that was David Spade. Joe Dirt.”
“Is that David Spade?”
“That is definitely David Spade.”
“Weird... David Spade”
It’s good stuff, highly recommend clicking through.
Also, a stray observation: While going through The Eagle’s page I noticed a ton of comments from users on various posts being like “why am I seeing this?” Which is interesting to me. Do any of my readers have any good theories as to how and why radio stations dominate Facebook so hard? I assume it’s because they all benefited from Facebook pushing local content, but it’s weird that an Idaho classic rock station has 170,000 followers on Facebook.
Can You Guess What This Is An Ad For?
I had it spoiled for me going in, but just click through and experience this without any preparation. It’s WILD.
Here’s A Cool TikTok Doctor
I love this guy. I found him on Tumblr. His name is Dr. Karl and he’s a former children’s doctor from Australia and he has really nice shirts. I learned while doing research on him — to make sure he’s not like secretly a weird TikTok grifter — that he’s very well-known in Australia, where he’s been on the radio for years.
According to a podcast interview he did in 2016, he actually stopped being a children’s doctor when a patient of his died of whopping cough due to vaccine skepticism lowing herd immunity, which is why he decided to become a presenter and public science advocate.
His TikTok channel is great. He shares fun facts, reminds people to get their COVID-19 vaccine, and, most importantly, debunks random TikTok nonsense, like this video he did on lettuce water.
Look at that big guy!
Check Out This Weird Diane Keaton Instagram Post
What is Diane Keaton going through right now? I thought I’d get some more context for this if I clicked over to her Instagram, but the caption just reads, “GOOD MEN!!!” Alright 🤷🏼♂️
Some Stray Links
“Before TikTok, Witches Traded Their Spells on This Ancient Internet Forum”
“The story behind the My Little Pony and Regular Show fan-made cartoon romance that's going viral on TikTok”
Here’s a truly hypnotic Twitter thread about Miami Vice.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***
Dr Karl is a colleague of mine! He’s a lovely man. Apparently his wife makes all his shirts herself!
Indeed a mesmrizing twitter thread!