The cosplayer running the army's Twitter account will block you for tweeting about war crimes
Read to the end for two extremely good TikToks
First, The Plane Guy On iFunny
I was really surprised this happened on iFunny. The best way to think of the app is the 4chan of Gen Z — starting out as a space for weird teenage boys to shitpost and then, as those weird teenage boys grew up into weird young adults, morphing into a hub of domestic terrorism.
The current toxicity of iFunny aside, the video above is genuinely very funny. If you can’t tell what’s going on, a user named “AwesomeAirplaneMemes” back in January decided to respond to a meme about naming every airplane ever by… naming every airplane ever. It’s spawned a bunch of spin-offs too. Here’s a train one. Look, if obsessively listing planes is what it takes to keep these kids from stockpiling weapons, I say go for it.
Second, The Christopher Meloni Pissing Tattoo Guy
Came across this real gem of an interaction on Twitter the other day. I’m screenshotting it for obvious reasons. The tattoo depicts a scene from HBO prison drama Oz where Meloni pees in a bucket.
If you absolutely must, you can look the uncensored tattoo here (NSFW).
I’ve actually never seen Oz, so for research purposes I googled “christopher meloni pees in a bucket” and here’s what I’ve got for you:
According to a 2006 Gothamist post, Oz creator Tom Fontana gave a speech at a dinner for the Human Rights Equality Awards in which, for some reason, he mentioned the bucket scene. Weird human rights award show, I guess. Fontana said that Meloni was able to pee on command for two takes.
One more weird fact about this, the account that posted the photo of the tattoo, @ReeceGoddard7, was started in June 2020 and seems to have been explicitly set up to show Meloni the tattoo.
Let’s Talk About The US Army Esports UWU Controversy
A little over two weeks ago, the official Twitter account for the United States Army Esports Team started tweeting with the official account for Discord. Discord, for those who don’t know, is a Slack-like chat application used predominately by gamers and the Twitch community. I’ve written about Discord culture a few times now if you want to catch up.
(A Wumpus, by the way, is Discord’s semi-official mascot.)
Many people — myself included — were unaware and subsequently horrified that the US Army had an Esports team. The immediate reactions on Twitter were pretty intense and only got more aggressive when the US Army Esports Twitter account decided to tweet “UwU.”
You can click through and read the whole thread here.
Warning: the responses from other users are super NSFW. And here’s an explainer from NextShark on “UwU” — it’s an emoticon particularly popular with anime fans and furries. Which would explain why it is so completely jarring to see it being used on a communication channel run by the US military
Several days later, a Twitter user named @panddduwu came forward as the social media manager for US Army Esports. Making matters worse, the social media manger shared a photo of her in cosplay for the anime Attack On Titan. For those not in the loop, Attack On Titan has been accused of glorifying fascism.
The @panddduwu account was inundated with abuse and seems to have largely gone dark. I sent a DM to it to see if I could talk to her. In terms of verifying that @panddduwu is actually affiliated with the US Army Esports team, the account is followed by @USArmyEsports and regularly interacts with other team members, so I’d say it’s likely.
I want to stop here and say that while the idea of the US Army using Esports as a way to recruit teenagers is vile, I sort of get why service members would be into it. A lot of the people I know who have served in the armed forces are huge nerds and lovely people and like, life is complicated. Being part of the military industrial complex doesn’t magically erase your love of anime or video games. But things didn’t just end here.
The US Army Esports team has a Discord channel and it’s also being inundated by trolls. One user went into the server, linked to a Wikipedia article listing American war crimes, and was then promptly banned from the chat, calling it the “US Army eSports Discord server ban speedrun.”
And then, just this week, even more has come out about the US Army’s recruiting tactics on Twitch. Jordan Uhl has a really good piece about it in The Nation. According to Uhl, one of their main tactics is fake giveaways that lead to recruitment pages. On Thursday, according to Kotaku, Twitch said it was stepping in to stop the giveaways.
Oh, also, according to two civil rights lawyers that spoke to VICE, when the US Army Esports Twitch account banned trolls from their Twitch chat it may have violated the First Amendment. So I’m not totally convinced any of this is really worth the hassle.
Have You Seen The “DIY Cement Bowl” Yet?
It’s a video, so you’ll need to click in to watch it. Pretty cool craft project to try during quarantine!
Here’s A Really Good Tweet About 100 Gecs
I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to talk about the band 100 Gecs since I started this newsletter. I find them super fascinating. They just put out a new remix that features Fall Out Boy that goes insanely hard. The best way I’d describe them is: the exact kind of music you’d expect from a generation raised on Dance Dance Revolution, YouTube AMVs, nightcore remixes, and Hot Topic screamo. Just straight up Fifth Element future music.
And Here’s A Good Tumblr Post About Hannibal
If You’re Looking For More Beans Content
I’m kind of embarrassed about how funny I think this is. I know this is from a verified YouTube channel, which paradoxically means there’s like a 80% chance it’s fake, but it’s great nonetheless. Instead of focusing whatever the president and his daughter are tweeting about beans, just close the tab and watch this instead. Wow, can you believe “whatever the president and his daughter are tweeting about beans” is just like a normal thing you can say now?
Three Important Things I Missed Over The Last Few Months
More and more often, when a serious social issue becomes a big enough news story, it tends to pull in weird fringe parts of the internet. Often in extremely surprising ways! The Black Lives Matter protests in the US over the last few months were no exception. Here are three weird things that I’m not totally sure what to do with:
It looks extremely likely that the man who tried to attack Black Lives Matter protesters with a machete in Dallas back in May writes My Little Pony fan fiction. One of his alleged fics is 150,000 words long and has a 3.9 on Goodreads. Here’s a good Twitter thread with all the very compelling evidence.
The infamous Hamilton fan artist that went viral a few years ago after they drew a trans biracial Thomas Jefferson surprised everybody in June when they resurfaced to come out as pro-cop.
And Jim Amendments, the Third Amendment enthusiast who runs the “Third Amendment Rights Supporters” Facebook group, was vindicated in June when the whole country started talking about where National Guard soldiers would sleep after being sent into cities to quell the protests. A reminder, the Third Amendment is: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” You can read more about Jim Amendments’ Facebook Group in this Garbage Day issue from a few months ago.
Trans Wizard Harriet Porber and the Bad Boy Parasaurolophus
It seems like the internet is still trying to process exactly what to do about the fact that JK Rowling went full mask-off TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist). Instead of trying to decipher why extremely wealthy white British women are obsessed with trans people, how about you read this great Chuck Tingle book, Trans Wizard Harriet Porber and the Bad Boy Parasaurolophus, instead. Chuck Tingle, for those out of the loop, is a prolific author who writes a lot of gay dinosaur erotica, among other things. I haven’t read Trans Wizard Harriet Porber, but here’s how a helpful Tumblr user named poblacht-na-n-oibrithe described it:
The writing is fascinating. From a purely technical standpoint, I would call Tingle’s prose “competent”; he knows what he’s doing and it reads just fine, but it’s not spectacular.
However, he has such a vivid imagination and is trying to tell such imaginative and utterly buck wild and unique stories that it creates a “forcing too much water through too small a pipe” sort of effect, which makes the whole experience even more delightful by maximizing how surreal it is.
Also, Harry Potter is canonically Italian American now.
And Finally, A Bit Of House Keeping
Some of you might have seen on Twitter that I’m no longer at BuzzFeed News. And while I’m currently setting up some freelance gigs, I’ve really been itching to make Garbage Day into something larger. Doing this newsletter quickly went from something fun to do on my Friday lunch break to a project I really want to invest some time into. So I’m going to take the leap. Here’s what’s happening:
The podcast Luke Bailey and I were doing at the beginning of quarantine is coming back. We’re rebranding it The Content Mines and if you liked our previous episodes, we think you’ll really like where we’re going to take it. If you were subscribed to it before, it should just show up in your podcast app of choice. If you haven’t subscribed, click here. Our first episode is dropping next week.
Starting the first week of August, Garbage Day will be publishing more than once a week! I’m going to aim for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule to start off with and see how it goes.
You can now be a paying reader of Garbage Day. For now, nothing will be locked behind a paywall, but there may be exclusive content down the road. No matter what, though, the Friday roundup you all know and love will always be free. For now, think of this as a tip jar — $5 a month or $30 a year. I know money’s tight for everyone, but if you’ve liked Garbage Day and want to support it, give the button below a click.
If you guys have any ideas for what you’d like to see Garbage Day do more of (or less of) shoot me an email or leave a comment. It’s been really fun getting to know a lot of you over the last year and I’m excited to see where this goes.
***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***