Vast mountains and endless seas
Read to the end for a good video about groundhogs
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A justgirlythings Update
Over the weekend, a tweet went viral alerting everyone to the fact that the creator of the justgirlythings Tumblr blog was gay and now making WLW content. The tweet went viral enough that justgirlythings acknowledged it in an update on the blog:
well… since a thread blew up on twitter about me being a lesbian i thought i’d officially just reintroduce myself to those of you who don’t know. my name’s becky. i created this blog when i was 13 with the help of a few girls. honestly, it was a joke that kind of blew up. somehow i brought joy to girls and boys all across the world (”justgirlythings” but literally any man or woman could laugh/relate to this blog) and that’s all i really could’ve asked for when creating this. the above picture is me and my fiancée chelsi.
i’d like to thank you all for coming along on this journey with me for the past decade.
If you don’t remember justgirlythings, the blog has been running since 2011. It was part of a wave of “Just [X] Things” blogs that started popping up in the early 2010s. These blogs would usually post soft focus digital photography with relatable captions for young women. And as with everything on the internet that young women make to express themselves, justgirlythings quickly became a punchline and a bunch of parody blogs appeared and more or less killed the trend. Or at least, pushed it to the corners of the internet. But the blog kept going, but with fewer and fewer updates over the years.
I went back through the archive to see exactly when the blog shifted to LGBT content, but there wasn’t really a moment where it flipped. It’s been posting a lot this month though. And you can follow the blog’s author on Twitter here.
justgirlythings’ offline journey of self-discovery reminds me of another internet story that I think about often. And, honestly, I’ve been looking for an excuse to include it in a Garbage Day for a while now.
In 2015, there was a Facebook page called Tails from “Sonic” Is NOT GAY! It was back during that trend of single-purpose Facebook pages. (My personal favorite was Pretending to ride a dog but not hurting it just pretending.)
The Tails is not gay page appeared to be very genuinely reacting to a trend at the time of erotic Sonic the Hedgehog fan art depicting Sonic kissing Tails. Lots of teenage boys were making angry YouTube videos, demanding people stop shipping Sonic and Tails.
The Tails is not gay page was pretty active up until the admin broke character and made a series of very interesting announcements.
Full disclosure: I’ve wondered for years how genuine all of this was. Interviewing the admin of Tails is not gay has actually been my journalistic white whale for a while now. If anyone knows who ran this page, please email me.
But I’ve also more or less decided that even if this was an elaborate piece of meta-fiction I don’t care because what happened next in this story is so nice and lovely and speaks to something so truly beautiful about the way the internet can capture snapshots of our lives that its veracity almost doesn’t matter.
About a year later, the Tails is not gay admin posted an update after going completely dormant.
I don’t know what happened to the admin of Tails is not gay, but if he’s real, I hope he’s doing well. And, like I said, if this was some incredibly elaborate stunt, I think I’m OK with that. It might sound kind of silly, but during particularly tough moments in my life, I like to go back and read this post. I repeat the line “we’ve seen vast mountains and endless seas” in my head pretty regularly.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, he also shared photos of the dog they adopted.
The dog’s name is Scooby and apparently sometimes he wears a very cool hat.
A British Person Has Unfortunately Tweeted A Picture Of Food Again
For those who aren’t immersed in British Twitter, it’s extremely common for UK internet users to erupt in large-scale digital violence over Spaghetti Bolognese, or “spag bol,” recipes. A few years ago, British supermarket Sainsbury’s tweeted that everyone should add coffee grounds to their spaghetti recipes and the country essentially ground to a halt for weeks as the internet there tore itself apart.
For those of us outside of the UK, we really only experience the full Lovecraftian madness of British “food” discourse about every 5-6 months or so, when a British person decides to ruin everyone’s day by proudly sharing a photo of a “meal” that they have “cooked”. This is how we ended up with this extremely grim photo of spaghetti over the weekend. Here’s my favorite take:
Daniel Howdon @danielhowdonnot usually a huge fan of piling on photos of bad cooking but my head has completely gone here https://t.co/drOXoQDzuO
Making Trump Even More Beautiful
Thank you Garbage Day reader Erika for sending me this. I hate it very much.
A Redditor Has A Problem With Their Gamer Wife
A Reddit user on Sunday night shared a very interesting problem with r/relationship_advice. The post was titled, “my gamer wife won't pay attention to me”:
Me and my wife were recently married and I know this is a tough time for everyone, and its hard to stay busy so people resort to video games and stuff. But recently my wife has been playing alot of the old guitar hero game and she won't pay attention to anything I say when she is playing. The only thing she talks about is how she stuck on 50% of some level. (its crazy train) This wouldn't be a problem expect she hasn't stopped playing for awhile now. Am I just panicking or is guitar hero really ruining my marriage?
Unfortunately for the OP, the commenters were not exactly helpful. My favorite comments underneath the post are:
“how can you actually be stuck on easy crazy train, smh”
“Would you say you're going off the rails?”
“Crazy Train is actually really easy until you get to the solo. Star power your way through that bitch.”
Luckily, the OP came back to add a few updates which really add some needed context to this whole thing:
EDIT: pls stop giving guitar hero advice.
EDIT 2: Lesbian marriage
EDIT 3: this is a separate issue but i keep bringing up my hot British neighbor to make her jealous. is this a bad move?
EDIT 4: STOP TALKING ABOUT CRAZY TRAIN
EDIT 5: its on easy mode......
EDIT 6: SHE BEAT IT
Please, I Beg You, Watch This All The Way To The End
Thank you reader Nicolò for sending me this. This video made me feel fully insane!
What Is Going On With This Kylie Jenner Photograph?
I was recently made aware of the completely bizarre image manipulation happening on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram account. The more I stare at this picture she posted of herself five weeks ago the more nervous and uncomfortable I get. Here is a not-definitive list of things that are really freaking me out:
The lighting of her face compared to the lighting of her hand
The size of her hand in relation to the size of her head
The lighting of her hair compared to the lighting of her collarbone
The way the hair seems to cut off her left shoulder
The shadow underneath her chin
The hair coming out of the ponytail compared to the hair on the top of her head
The angle of the stairs in relation to the depth of field of her body
I know it’s extremely basic to point out that Kardashian family members are using photoshop to enhance their Instagram posts, but this is next level. The whole thing is extremely unnerving! It’s like she made a deepfake of herself.
Some More Elevator YouTubes
On Friday, I wrote about “elevator YouTube,” a pocket of video creators who use the platform to review various elevators. For me, elevator YouTube represents a simpler, more innocent internet where the interests of various hobbyist communities are more important than various corporations’ quests for infinite money. I don’t think it’s an accident that as YouTube’s revenue has grown so too has its detrimental impact on society. It’s Supersize Me but instead of Big Macs giving us heart disease, it’s YouTube turning us into anti-vax flat earthers who want to establish a white ethnostate.
Over the weekend, some Garbage Day readers sent me their own Elevator YouTubes and they’re great! A reader named Emma sent me this video that I’m totally obsessed with called “What Will My Giant Magnet Pull From Deep Lake?” It has 11 million views and, yes, it is just a man using a giant magnet to pull stuff out of a lake. 10/10 would watch again.
And another reader named Max sent me this hour-long washing machine review. Max told me the reason the washing machine videos are so long is because they’re usually capturing a complete wash cycle.
He also recommended checking out the comment section and boy did it deliver. My favorite gems from the comments:
“Why would a person need a delicate cycle on a front loader? It seems kind of redundant. They wash delicately in standard mode”
“If you haven’t yet... You should try out the LG top load washer model WT1101CW”
“I like your videos a lot, Kirk”
I think, amid the discussion about the various evils of platforms like YouTube, it’s also important to focus on the pockets of good content out there, as well. These communities offer us a glimpse of a different kind of platform with a different set of incentives for users. They help us imagine a better web, one where capitalism has been wholly removed from internet services — a web freed from the pressures of ad revenue and time-on-site and engagement metrics. It helps us imagine an internet that’s allowed to better fit how we want to live, not how corporations think we should live to better suit their bottomline. Elevator YouTubes allow us to ask the question: How would we pass the time if our moments of digital connection weren’t being monetized by companies that do not care about our well-being?
A QAnon Update Courtesy Of Parler
There are a lot of pieces to this and not a ton of clear answers, but it’s interesting nonetheless. First, Q, the anonymous avatar-leader of the violent white nationalist misinformation cult QAnon, has not updated since before the election.
And Ron Watkins, the son of 8kun/8chan owner Jim Watkins, announced that he was resigning as the admin of 8kun last week. This led many, including reformed 8chan founder and vocal anti-QAnon critic Fredrick Brennan, to speculate that Ron Watkins was Q and that Jim Watkins was unable to figure out how to take over the mantle without his son’s help. There would be a certain kind of delicious irony in the idea that QAnon was effectively ended because a boomer couldn’t remember their password.
The newest development in this saga came over the weekend when a verified account purporting to belong to Ron Watkins surfaced on Parler and wrote, “I’m burnt. Can’t say much more. Meet me on 8kun in two hours /newsplus/ — Yes, Jim has posted as Q before. Fuck you, dad.”
As Brennan summarized on Twitter, “RON WATKINS ADMITS JIM POSTS AS QANON VIA HIS PARLER VERIFIED ACCOUNT WHICH HAS EXISTED SINCE JULY. EITHER PARLER IS COMPROMISED OR JIM WATKINS IS QANON.”
Gizmodo had a similar take on the whole thing: Ron Watkins is telling the truth on his real account, Ron Watkins is lying to piss off his dad on his real account, or Parler is shitty garbage website with little-to-no-security and someone with a different verified account switched their name and posted as Ron Watkins.
Why is any of this important? Well, the simplest answer to that question is that it’s actually not. It’s message board drama that will have no impact on the beliefs of QAnon followers. They’ve decided Q is an almost godlike figure and real life will never give us the emperor has no clothes moment many reporters are dreaming of. Instead, the most likely end for QAnon is either a mainstreaming of the movement and it becomes the next Scientology or a Wild Wild Country-esque fizzling out where members start leaving and putting it behind them and never fully reconcile with the toxic movement they supported. The group becomes a historical footnote like the Millerites who woke up the morning of October 22, 1844, expecting Jesus to welcome them to heaven, realized the world would keep on spinning, were widely ridiculed by mainstream society, and then promptly forgotten about.
But the is a third way of looking at this: QAnon could actually be part of a trend we’ve seen growing for decades now. The movement could be part of other decentralized online movements like Anonymous, Occupy Wall Street, and the incel community. There may be more QAnon-style movements and if we can wrap our heads around how a man like Jim Watkins was able to capitalize on QAnon then maybe we can be better prepared to deal with the next one.
And Finally, One More Good 4chan Election Update
P.S. here’s a good video about groundhogs.
***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***