No one wins the internet
Read to the end for a clip of the 2007 Spike TV Guy's Choice Awards
Last year, I made a deal with myself. I decided that if Garbage Day crossed over 10,000 readers, I’d make a T-shirt. I’m an Irish Catholic guy from Boston, I live for novelty T-shirts!
So, when Garbage Day soared passed that number a few months ago, I reached out to my buddy Christoper Dillen Phelps and commissioned a design. You can check out his portfolio here. He was also nice enough to make me a brand new banner. The T-shirt says “no one wins the internet,” which is a quote from a Garbage Day issue that a lot of you seemed to really respond to. (The full quote was, “Nothing wins the internet! It’s a forever-game where we all perpetually lose.”)
I’m going to be producing the first batch of these shirts with a local printer. I, honestly, wasn’t sure how many people would be interested in wearing merch for a newsletter? So I figured I would start things pretty low-tech and go from there. If you’re interested in picking one of these bad boys up, I made a Google form you can fill out here!
And if you’re an artist and want to collab on something, let me know! And, as always, if you want to subscribe to Garbage Day, you can hit the button below.
Zach Snyder Vs. Geeks + Gamers
The Snyder Cut is finally out people! I have not watched it yet. But, by all accounts, it’s a very dumb, but much better movie than Joss Whedon’s frankenfilm.
If you haven’t been following it, though, there’s some really good drama going on between Snyder and the Geeks + Gamers YouTube channel around the premiere of the movie this week.
Geeks + Gamers is what The Wrap described as an “alt-right” YouTube channel. They’re one of those quintessential culture war fandom channels that is stuck in a perpetual 2014 meltdown. Their community is made up of the type of people who are outraged about Gina Carano being fired from The Mandalorian, etc., etc. They’re also part of the reason the Snyder Cut has been so closely linked to really toxic parts of the manosphere — the loose network of men’s rights activists, gamergaters, and white nationalists that use popular franchises like Star Wars to recruit angry young men.
Snyder opened a livestream this week by saying, “I know that on our donation page, we still have the Geeks + Gamers logo. I just wanted to say that I really — we talked about this and we’re really not associated with Geeks + Gamers as far as I’m concerned. I really wanna make that clear.” What’s even more amazing, the stream was hosted by a Geeks + Gamers contributor. Get wrecked lol.
It adds credence to a theory that’s been kicking around for years that Snyder is actually a regular guy who just saw an opportunity to properly release a movie that mattered to him, which he never got to finish due to a personal tragedy. It is, however, unfortunate that it took him so long to start putting distance between him and the more obnoxious parts of his fandom.
So what’s next for Snyder Cut diehards? Well, they’ve got their eyes set on two more campaigns. The #RestoreTheSnyderverse movement and the #RestoreTheAyerCut movement. The first one is centered on the idea that Zach Snyder should be allowed to continue spear-heading the DC Entertainment Universe. And the second one is based on the belief that there’s a director’s cut from David Ayer of Suicide Squad somewhere out there.
lol who makes these images? I just want to talk.
I tried to find any evidence that an Ayer Cut exists, but I’m not positive there is one. Reports of what it could entail have circulated online and both Jared Leto and Joel Kinnaman has talked about it in interviews, but there’s not really anything tangible. But, also, if you were in a bad movie and you were able to claim that actually a better version of that movie exists somewhere and know that there was very little chance that anyone could prove there wasn’t, wouldn’t you play along?
I’ve come around on the Snyder Cut stuff over the last few months. I still think it’s a rats nest of misinfo and toxic misogyny, but I also think it speaks to a larger irony about the current entertainment landscape. Companies like Disney and Warner Bros want to create these perpetual IP machines, with interchangeable directors and CGI action figures, but fans are increasingly demanding these franchises are also led by auteur directors or, in Marvel’s case, seemingly-auteur producers like Kevin Feige. I imagine it’s a very awkward position for these studios to be in and, you know what, good lol. If online movements like the Snyder Cut provide the friction needed to slow down a studio trying to flood their proprietary streaming service with derivative content, then maybe they’re a good thing.
As the Joker famously said, “I’m the Joker, baby.”
“WAP” Strikes Again
New Corpse Video Dropped
Last week, I wrote about how rapper-turned-one-man-Blink-182 Machine Gun Kelly released a single with Corpse Husband, the true crime YouTuber who has quickly become one of the biggest acts in Gen Z music. The thing about Corpse is that no one really knows what he looks like. It’s a good gimmick. He’s typically portrayed as an anime character that looks very similar to Deku from My Hero Academia. A lot of the art gives him a glowing red eye.
The big question was whether or not he would make an appearance in the music video with Machine Gun Kelly. Turns out no! In the video he’s played by mega-popular Twitch streamer Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, complete with the signature red eye. Honestly, it’s a great video. It’s strange and cool and feels like a big milestone for online celebrities trying to cross over. Millennial influencers succeeded in becoming really popular, but they aren’t really cool. This feels cool. I think this is cool. I’m old. Is this cool? Help. Someone tell me.
The McDonalds Fandom Wiki Rabbit Hole Goes Deeper
A couple very nice readers sent me some more great stuff about the McDonald’s Fandom wiki. Turns out the stuff about Grimace’s Irish uncle being connected to the Irish Republican Army wasn’t the only weird thing happening on this wiki!
First, reader Jes told me that the user who vandalized the Uncle O’Grimacey wiki, linking the mascot to the IRA, only has one other contribution: An edit removing someone else’s contribution that claimed that Officer Big Mac was a corrupt cop who ran a “sentient burger trafficking ring” and was then killed in a shootout.
And then another reader named Bruno pointed out that the Officer Big Mac comment section is full of users posting “ACAB”. (All cops are burgers?)
Good Video About Lizards
This is how I feel, but instead of lizards, it’s email.
The New York Times Abandons Their Cooking Facebook Group
This is a really incredible story. I’ve heard rumblings and seen subtweets about the NYT Cooking Facebook page for a while. It’s only two years old, but it has very quickly established a reputation of being super chaotic and toxic. This week the Times announced that they were setting free. The current moderators will let the users hold elections and then they’re out of there. Nieman Lab has a good rundown of what went wrong:
But the sense of cozy community often frayed as time went on and membership grew. The 2020 election and the pandemic created division and breaking points within communities (real-life and virtual) everywhere; NYT Cooking was no exception. Politics seeped in constantly, despite a group rule that there “are many places to express your political views; this is not one of them.” When posts supporting presidential candidates were deleted, people started sneaking “vote” messages into their food pictures.
And according to Times media reporter Ben Smith, there was no inciting incident, just that the paper didn’t feel like paying someone to moderate an out-of-control Facebook Group that wasn’t really having much impact on sales of the paper itself.
I saw a few people tweeting about how this was a bad move and a waste of a Facebook Group. No, this is absolutely the right move. Internet communities become less elastic over time. Also, fixing the culture of an online community seems to be an exponential issue, as in, the longer you wait to intervene, the more time it will take to change course. When in doubt, nuke the whole thing and start over.
A Brief Rumination On Nerds
I sort of picked at this in my item above about the Snyder Cut, but this tweet that was sent to me by my buddy Bijan feels like it’s really on to something. In Japan, there’s a distinction between a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and an otaku. One is a shut-in loser, the other an obsessive collector. Lots of overlap between the two! But differentiating between the two is helpful. In English, we mainly use nerd and geek, which are slightly different and not as clearly delineated.
I think that’s what this tweet is getting at. There was a flip culturally, where American nerds changed from being NEETs to oktakus. I spent a while the other day trying to pinpoint the exact moment this flipped and I’m going to say it happened at some point between the 1999 premiere of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and the 2004 premiere of Lost. A five year period where fan entitlement, aggressive merchandising, and opportunistic studios created the modern concept of “fandom”. Let me know if you have any other thoughts about when and how this happened!
Introducing Punk Rock Seinfeld
This was dropped in the Garbage Day Discord by Space Pirate Dread Harlock. I know exactly what all of these people smell like.
Joe Rogan, Synchronized
And this was dropped in the Garbage Day Discord by my personal sleep paralysis demon Mitch.
Another Possible Explanation For The Bongcloud Chess Meme
On Wednesday, I wrote about a very cute moment recently where one chess grandmaster used a meme move against another grandmaster. The move is called the “bongcloud attack” and it’s basically just a very stupid move. That’s why it’s funny lol. I linked to a Kotaku piece that said that the move is called “bongcloud” because you’d have to be very high to think it was a smart idea. This is also what Wikipedia says.
I got a great email from a Garbage Day reader this week named jshirres who said that that may not actually be why it’s called the bongcloud attack. They told me it’s most likely named after a a chess.com user called Lenny Bongcloud. His whole deal is never winning a single game of chess, but instead, only cares about getting his king to the back of the other side of the board.
Now Here’s A Guy Who Understands TikTok
This Fermented Fish Video
Look, I don’t like linking to a LADbible tweet here. I tried to find the original, but I think it was licensed out. This video is incredibly gross. There’s a ton of puking in it. But it’s also one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. It’s Friday. Watch some lads try to eat stinky fish.
P.S. here’s a clip of the 2007 Spike TV Guy's Choice Awards.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***