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"this summer has NOT been very mgmt electric feel."
Read to the end for good thread comparing various German composers to the rapper Ludacris.
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Meet Piper The Raccoon
Whenever I see an insanely viral animal tweet I get this sinking feeling in my stomach that there’s some extremely dark story behind the photos. I wasn’t sure what darkness could possibly be lurking behind these pics of a raccoon proudly showing off her expressionist paintings, but I wanted to make sure.
I’m happy to reveal that this raccoon’s name is Piper and she’s a rescue. She and two other rescue raccoons have an Instagram, which you can check out here. Piper and her two brothers Cheeto and Tito all seem pretty happy! I have mixed feelings about monetizing your animals, but hilariously Piper’s owners are selling her paintings for like $100 a pop and people are buying them. So I can’t really fault the hustle.
Two More Good Things To Read About TikTok
On Monday, I did a big TikTok garbage dump, but I wanted to highlight two more things worth checking out.
Variety has a great feature on TikTok that has some incredible details about a group of young influencers who basically formed a TikTok union to make sure they weren’t all getting scammed by sponsorship deals.
A French hacker named Elliot Alderson is currently diving into the guts of TikTok to answer a few questions about the app like what information is sending out and where is it sending that information. Alderson’s first analysis is up on Medium. According to Alderson, TikTok’s logs aren’t super suspicious. It’s sending out basic region information about the user and some details about the device being used. Still, interesting, nonetheless!
Longcat Is Japanese And Still Alive
I know I’m supposed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every random thing that’s ever happened online, but I did not know until this week that the cat from the Longcat meme was Japanese. Or if I did, I completely forgot. Yes, I am now realizing there’s a big Japanese wall hanging in the background of the photo.
Longcat’s real name is Shiroi (白い) or “white.” She first went viral on 2chan, under the nickname “nobiiru-chan” or “stretch,” but became famous on 4chan as Longcat during the LOL cats era around 2006. One time, when I was in high school, my dad came downstairs in the middle of the night and found me at the computer just laughing hysterically, staring at the Google image search results for “LOL cats.” A much simpler time.
Well, Shiroi is 18 years old now and she looks like she’s living a great life! Check out her Twitter below.
Thinking A Lot About This Tumblr Post
Found A Cool Keyboard You Can Buy
Tired of only seeing hentai when you look at your computer screen and wish you could also look at hentai when you stare down at your keyboard? Well, you’re in luck. I first saw this on Reddit and really hoped it was not real. But in a complete opposite turn of events emotionally from when I discovered Piper The Raccoon’s Instagram page, I am extremely sad to say that this is real and you can buy it for $30 on AliExpress. There aren’t any reviews, which is a real shame, but according to the site, it’s a “top selling” product and at least 76 people have purchased it.
If you’re, uh, looking for more hentai content, I guess? You can read these two Garbage Day issues from May about the Hentai hazmat suit some guy was caught going to the supermarket in during the height of the pandemic. Do you think God stays in heaven because he too lives in fear of what he's created?
An End To The Mask Debate
Alright, I went and watched the video from this tweet. In the first 18 seconds, the YouTuber, who goes by Chikichu, pulls up in a Tesla Model 3 smoking a Black & Mild and says, “hey guys, how’s it going, you already know who I am, I’m gonna skip the introduction real quick.” Which is great because I literally don’t know who he is.
He then woofs down the whole Black & Mild, covers his face in 10 masks, and then runs the mile. As Chikichu writes in the video’s description, “I don't think a piece of cloth at 500 ft above sea level is gonna hurt you. Grow up.” I will say though, while this video seems fine, I would highly recommend NOT watching any of his other videos, which are full of really rough edgelord 4chan nonsense. Speaking of 4chan…
A 4chan User Writes A Novel
I, too, have been through the very exhausting process of trying to pitch a book. It’s a real struggle! Let’s see what his novel was about. Maybe we can figure out what went wrong.
Another Good Forklift Certification Meme
Scroll to the end of Monday’s Garbage Day for more.
Kanye West Fans Are Tracking Lil Baby’s Plane
If the mysterious (and rushed) release of Yeezus in 2013 was what really activated Kanye West’s obsessive fanbase, the almost-performance-art levels of the “Ima fix wolves” release of The Life Of Pablo in 2016 was what fully transformed his album cycles into the full-on alternate reality game that they currently resemble. In the lead up to every album release, his fans pore over gigabytes of internet ephemera, collecting hacks and leaks, trying their best to decipher exactly what Kanye is thinking.
The fact that this is all happening amid Kanye’s increasingly public struggles with his bipolar disorder I don’t think is an accident. Instead, it exposes some really profound things about the way the capitalistic platform-dominated modern internet has become a delivery mechanism for influence and power. I also highly recommend reading Mike Barthel’s “Understanding Kanye: Sweet, Sweet Robot Fantasy, Baby” essay in The Awl. It’s a piece of writing I revisit often. Written in 2010, Barthel posits that “the story of Kanye’s career is the story of his search to become a cyborg and then deal with the consequences of that transformation.”
“This is the old-fashioned modern American path to success: work hard, get noticed by someone in power and then get promoted to a place of prominence within a larger organization,” Barthel writes. “But Kanye wanted something more. He wanted to achieve on his own, to break free of the system.”
I think in many ways, Barthel got the general idea exactly right. Kanye might not be a “cyborg” as we traditionally view them, but his public persona is now a digital/analog hybrid that exists both in the physical world and as a constantly evolving digital scavenger hunt. I think his 2020 presidential run coinciding with the very real pleas for understanding by Kim Kardashian (who is, herself, a digital/analog hybrid) are the “consequences of that transformation” that Barthel was writing about in 2010.
There are also a lot of parallels between Kanye fans finding meaning in his manic digital static and the way the QAnon cult exists as crowd-sourced psychic blanket meant to protect conservatives from the horrors of a random and frightening world controlled by the very political and financial systems they’ve been manipulated against their own interests into supporting. Q followers wait for their The Great Awakening to arrive, which will purge the American government of satanists, in the same way Yeezy fans will always be waiting for Yandhi, in the same way I will always been waiting for a true MMORPG Pokémon game. Use the internet long enough and you’ll find that one idea that sits just over the horizon that the algorithms of online platforms can dangle in front of you to inspire you to seek out like-minded users and build communities. And to, more importantly, increase time-on-site metrics and juice ad revenue.
I thought about all of these things as I watched the r/YandhiLeaks subreddit track the rapper Lil Baby’s plane last week. Convinced Lil Baby was collaborating with Kanye on his upcoming album, Yeezy fans cataloged Lil Baby’s Instagram stories, which appeared to show him on a jet. They also got screenshots from the Wyoming Airport security feed.
As the top commenter on that post wrote, “the 3 pixels on the left are def him.”
The users decided they found the jet that Lil Baby was on. And they also were pretty sure they figured out when Lil Baby arrived back home in Atlanta. This went on for days. One Twitter user went viral last week after screenshotting all the r/Yandhi detective work, writing, “y’all need lives immediately lmao.”
It’s still unclear, obviously, whether any of this is real. But it seems like there might actually be something afoot. Yesterday, what sounds like a new Kanye song was leaked to r/Yandhi. It’s called “By Your Side” and it’s pretty good! As a Kanye fan, I’m really hoping this is what his new album sounds like.
And how did the redditors share this new track with each other? By encrypting a link to it in Base64, of course:
If I Had To See “Pilk” So Do You
P.S. here’s a good thread comparing various German composers to the rapper Ludacris.
***All typos in this email are on purpose actually***