Read to the end for a good cat video

OK, we’re back everybody. Last week, I was taking a much-needed week off and I hope you all had a good New Years too. To make up for last week, this will be a GIANT-SIZED issue of Garbage Day. Before diving in, though, I also want to thank Substack for sticking Garbage Day on the featured page last week. This little project is a real labor of love and I’m glad everyone’s enjoying it.

OK, Here’s How 9/11 Directly Inspired 50 Shades Of Grey

Tumblr user anthonycrowley wrote a doozy of a post last week. “i have an image i made last night while Not Sober that’s technically accurate but it mentions 9/11 so i will show it to you but you’re not allowed to get mad at me if you think it’s insensitive for mentioning 9/11,” they wrote.

Then they posted this:

Obviously, users were extremely curious how this could be possibly true. Users were pouring into the notes, demanding an explanation. So anthonycrowley broke it down for everyone. Spoiler: It involves My Chemical Romance!

  • MCR frontman Gerard Way personally witnessed the twin towers falling while on a ferry to New York City.

  • This inspired him to start the band.

  • The song “Skylines And Turnstiles” off I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is directly about this.

  • Stephanie Meyer used Way and the band’s music for inspiration for Twilight.

  • E.L. James wrote a Twilight fanfic that eventually became 50 Shades Of Grey.

For what’s it’s worth, My Chemical Romance also wrote a song called “Vampire Money” that is directly about the corporatization of goth culture that Twilight kicked off.

The response to anthonycrowley’s post was pretty intense.

A K-Pop Fan Has An Epiphany

Earlier this week, a Joker fan tweeted this:

When asked why they had bought all of these by another Twitter user, they responded, quite concisely, “Cause it’s my favorite movie and I have money.”

Fair enough!

Then a K-Pop fan quote-tweeted them:

Exciting to see that the K-Pop community is maturing. Unsure how long this self-awareness will last, though.

Speaking of K-Pop…

BTS Fans Crowdfunded The Money To Buy A Shutterstock Photo

I absolutely love this story and have been meaning to write about it on Garbage Day forever. Last month, Twitter user @seokjinscheek tweeted out that they really wanted to buy a $280 photo of BTS. Then @seokjinscheek had a brilliant idea!

According to timestamps, it took the ARMYs about two hours to raise the $280 to purchase the photo.

This story has a pretty good punchline too. After the ARMYs went through all of that collective organizing to get the Shutterstock photo, they realized that they probably didn’t need to buy it after all. It was on the BTS Facebook the whole time…

Shout out to my friend and K-Pop expert Ikran for sending me this.

People Are Shipping The Two Popes From Two Popes

Because of the way Tumblr’s UX is built, it’s extremely common to see weird out-of-context discussions from communities you’ve never heard float through your dashboard. Apparently, #Brancis, the shipping name for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, based off the Netflix movie Two Popes, is causing a pretty big stir in the Catholic fandom right now. A sampling:

Extremely unclear whether this is a troll or not. Either way, it’s definitely causing some heated discussions.

A Redditor Has A Legal Question

Man this is a good post. Here are some of the top comments:

  • “Ask your mom and dad to get you your porn back.”

  • “Get a PO Box so that such deliveries don't get opened.”

  • “Collect your porn and put it away. That's about all there is to do here.”

The OP did come back and give everyone an update. “The porn is safe and sound,” thehentaisnatcher wrote. Hooray! I’m glad everything worked out.

White Nationalist Zoomer Incels Accidentally Remade Rage Comics

I’ve been following the way Gen Z edgelords have been using memes over the last year and it’s always fascinating to see the way they remix and adapt existing memes, as well as the original stuff they come up with. Because of these kids have never known a world without online movements like Red Pill Theory, incels, and Gamergate, nor lived without depersonalizing existential terror of late-stage capitalism and climate change, their worldview is pretty dark. One of their favorite meme archetypes is the “doomer”. Here’s a non-racist example:

Chances are you’ve probably seen variations on this going around with more and more frequency lately. Well, it’s finally hit a point where everyone else has realized this is basically just a 2020 rage comic:

Which is kind of reassuring. There’s an old adage that eventually all online communities, if they become large enough, just accidentally reinvent Hetalia. I’d like to add my own rule into the mix — every few years, teenage boys just reinvent rage comics again. Don’t believe me? Tumblr user zoobus has a good breakdown:

Those who do not learn from cringe are doomed to repeat cringe.

A Cool Star Wars fact

Another Cool Star Wars Thing

Also, if you’re looking for a more serious take on all the recent Star Wars nonsense from a pretty decent writer, this guy Ryan Broderick over at Buzzfeed News wrote a pretty interesting article about the hell world that Star Wars fans are trapped in now:

The misinformation and anger inside the Star Wars fandom is what happens after decades of corporatization and anonymous decentralized networking. It is a glimpse of a future in which anxieties over the motives of the megacorporations that drive our culture — down to our very mythologies — set off conflicts between warring information tribes who inhabit their own artificial narratives. What began with small but vocal insurgent online communities like 4chan or the alt-right has now come for the mainstream.

Except there is no "mainstream" culture — just as there is no central Star Wars fandom anymore. Today, popular culture is just Gamergates of varying size.

Wow, that Ryan guy’s got a way with words. I’d definitely read a weekly newsletter by him.

A New Twist On An Old Favorite

First, if you’ve never seen the classic “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE I AM” video, please take a second to watch it. It’s phenomenal. It went viral again this week on Twitter. And thank god it did! Because someone noticed a detail in this video that I have never noticed in my 100,000 times of watching it over the last eight years.


What Do We Think People? Cap Or No Cap?

A Royal Update

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced this week that they are stepping back as senior members of the royal family, splitting their time between North America and the UK. Pretty crazy! I was at their wedding. Well, sorta. I was trouncing around in a Union Jack suit in 32C heat (that’s 90F in American) interviewing people outside. I feel like a lot of Americans have a tough time wrapping their heads around the British public’s relationship to the royal family. For instance, most Americans are surprised when I tell them how extraordinarily drunk everyone in Windsor was. Here’s a small anecdote from the big day.

As I was walking to the train after the wedding, crowds were still swarming Windsor. Right as my camera guy and I turned a corner, heading into the main square of the town, we came across what was quite possibly the drunkest man I’ve ever seen. His dress shirt was completely unbuttoned and his bare chest was sunburnt bright red. Two police officers were dragging him by his arms as he attempted to gurgle out words. Trailing behind them was a third police officer who was holding back the man’s girlfriend who was also incredibly drunk, wearing a very nice dress and fascinator, and trying to either fight the police or her boyfriend (or both?). Either way, she was saying the C-word a lot! British weddings, man.

Anyways, I wish Harry and Meghan well on their new life as just exceptionally wealthy (but no longer tax-payer funded) people.

P.S. here’s a really good cat video.

***Any typos you find in this email are on purpose actually***

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