Yes, my Lightning McQueen Crocs light up

Read to end for a very good vaccination swag bag

I had my first interview on the Sidechannel Discord last night. It was awesome. Thanks to those of you who came by. If you want to listen to a recording, I threw it up on my podcast’s Patreon account (unlocked). On Thursday, at 7pm EST, I’ll be chatting with New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz. Hit the button below if that sounds like your jam.

Outrage Bait Reaches It’s Logical Endpoint

This video was dropped in the Garbage Day Discord by lusername. It’s one of those things that feels completely outrageous, but also seems like exactly where all of this *waves around frantically* was always headed.

The video comes from an account called @moniquedelacroix. From what I can tell, the account has already been reported and taken down. The videos on the account featured a young white woman dancing to various trending audios with text written around her that made it seem as if she was a racist French woman. One of the videos from this account actually came across my Tumblr dashboard over the weekend. It appears at 16 seconds in the video above, where she says “assuming I’m white just because I’m white passing 😍😍 I’m 75% French and 25% Belgian :)”

The clueless European girl getting roasted for confidently not understanding American social justice concepts is a pretty well-worn trope on Tumblr and TikTok, so I sort of tucked it away as a weird and dumb thing, and kept on scrolling. Well, it turns out what is happening with this account is much more interesting!

@moniquedelacroix doesn’t exist! Her real name is Julie Tuzet, a French musician and model, who has been pleading with people on TikTok to help her get the @moniquedelacroix account taken down. It seems like it worked. But according to screenshots grabbed by Wagatwe Wanjuki, an activist (highly recommend following her btw) who’s been posting about this fake racist catfishing, the @moniquedelacroix account was way outperforming the real Tuzet account.

What happened to Tuzet isn’t without precedent. It feels in line with other troll catifish accounts, where stan armies would steal photos from someone in a different country, and use that fake account to say racist or inappropriate things on Twitter. It also feels in line with a trend that was popular a few years ago where stans on Twitter and Tumblr would make photoshops of different celebrities saying homophobic things, most notably, Mille Bobby Brown.

But this is also feels different. Tuzet isn’t a celebrity, nor was the fake @moniquedelacroix noticeably a troll account. This, instead, just seems like someone who has figured out that it’s really easy to build a big TikTok account by posting outrage bait. Which definitely adds a new layer to the public debate happening right now about cancel culture. What seems to be left out of the wildly tedious bloviating on conservative media right now is that there’s an entire content industry for social justice outrage — to the point where users are literally finding videos of white models and using them to say culturally insensitive stuff. What that means for the future of this kind of thing, I genuinely am not sure.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Memes Are So Hot Right Now

New meme format dropped! If you’re seeing “maladaptive pattern” memes floating around the internet, they’re based off this screenshot from Twitter user @aaronlinguini. If you click through on the tweet, there’s a real good thread on why excusing the actions of your boss might not be the best use case for this kind of cognitive restructuring.

It’s still early for the meme format, I couldn’t even find a proper Know Your Meme page for it! But there’s a bunch of these popping up at the moment. Here’s a good one I saw on Tumblr earlier:

Some More Cool Stuff About Haruomi Hosono

On Monday, I wrote about an album created by a seminal Japanese pop producer named Haruomi Hosono that has gotten stuck inside of YouTube’s algorithm. And then a bunch of readers sent me some really great Hosono links!

The comments underneath Hosono’s YouTube video are kind of a destination of their own and someone turned them into a book. The book is called Raising Moths. Attempts at (musical) ekphrasis on Watering a flower by Haruomi Hosono and it seems pretty cool.

A few other readers pointed out that Hosono’s music was sampled by Vampire Weekend, which I totally missed. Here’s a great quote from Hosono in 2019 about his cassette being rediscovered by Vampire Weekend, per a Stereogum article:

At first, I didn’t understand why anyone would be into the music that I made for MUJI. I created it as in-store background music, and it was just a job that I did a long time ago, so I had since forgotten about it. But hearing what Vampire Weekend did with the song, how they discovered it and created a great track, it’s extremely fresh. I was like, “oh, this is how you create!” I wish I had done it myself.

And, finally, my friend Mark recommends Hosono’s band Yellow Magic Orchestra.

A Surprisingly Wholesome Furry Thing

Twitter user @retquits last week tweeted about her dentist showing off her son’s furry art. 2021, am I right?

Well, @retquits’ tweet quickly made its way through furry Twitter and, I am very excited to announce that they found the dentist’s furry artist child. They go by @rotting_hound and their account is blowing up right now due to all the attention.

By the way, I’ve been trying to find the right place to drop this. JRo from the Garbage Day Discord recently shared this truly incredible Stranger article that I completely missed last summer titled, Can Being a Furry Protect You from Coronavirus? The answer?

“Fursuit heads are multilayer, and constructed in a whole host of different materials and styles,” says Doc Wolverine, a medical doctor who often answers questions about health on Twitter. He points out that heads can minimize droplet spray from an infected person. Just like the cloth masks you (hopefully) see everyone wearing when you go to the grocery store, “Anything without an airtight seal and sufficiently small filter is more about protecting others from what you have than protecting you from others.”

Good to know!

Spotify Continues To Enjoy The Joe Rogan Experience

Yesterday, a clip of Joe Rogan advising healthy young people against getting the COVID-19 vaccine went viral. Dr. Anthony Fauci on NBC’s TODAY this morning commented on Rogan’s clip, saying, “You can get infected, and will get infected, if you put yourself at risk.” And White House communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN anchors, “I’m not sure that taking scientific and medical advice from Joe Rogan is perhaps the most productive way for people to get their information.” Correct!

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, however, refused to comment on the Rogan clip directly, instead just saying, “I don’t have any specific comments on that. What I will say is we have 8 million creators, and hundreds of millions of pieces of content. We have a content policy and we do remove pieces that violate it.”

Thank you, very helpful.

Yes, it’s true that Spotify has millions of creators and hundreds of millions of pieces of content. I would not expect Ek to have opinions about a Cannibal Corpse album that was on Spotify, nor would I expect him to comment on a podcast like, say, My Brother, My Brother, And Me. But Joe Rogan is not someone who has just randomly decided to start hosting his show on Spotify. The platform bought the exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience last year and since December 2020, the platform has been the only place you can hear the show’s entire catalog. The Wall Street Journal reported Rogan’s Spotify deal was more than $100 million.

Spotify, whether or not they like the label, is the publisher of The Joe Rogan Experience. In fact, they’ve made editorial decisions about the show! They deleted at least 42 episodes from the archive earlier this month. So this most recent controversy just seems to show that they’re clearly doing some kind of math on what from Rogan is and isn’t worth the troubling of hosting and, as of right now, telling people not to get vaccinated is worth it.

Paddington 2 Is Finally Recognized As The Best Movie Of All Time

Earlier this week, Citizen Kane lost its perfect Rotten Tomatoes score. It happened due to Rotten Tomatoes finding a negative Chicago Tribune article from 1941 and adding it to the critics section. lol owned.

This now means that Paddington 2 is, according to Rotten Tomatoes, the best movie of all time. Sounds right to me. "I won't let it go too much to my head and immediately build my Xanadu. But I have been cooking up a model just in case,” Paul King, writer and director of both Paddington movies told the Hollywood Reporter.

I came across a pretty heated Twitter exchange about the new tomatometer score, but I think it’s a good take on the whole thing:

Let’s Check In On Japanese Twitter

Wow! That’s a big parfait!

How Much Would You Pay For Lightning McQueen Crocs?

Got $150-$200 to spare? Why not spend it on Lightning McQueen Crocs.

Last week, Crocs announced that they were making adult-sized Crocs based on the Cars main character. They sold out incredibly fast. Why? Well, many young adults’ brains of turned into an extremely online slurry of meme nonsense over the course of the last year, so the idea of walking around in Crocs shaped like the Cars car doesn’t seem as crazy as it used to be. In fact, Crocs are sort of having a moment right now. Also, these Lightning McQueen ones light up. Also, also, according to Insider, it’s likely they were all quickly purchased by resellers. The original price for the McQueen Crocs was $49.99, but now they’re going for three times that amount on the secondary market. Honestly, I think they’re worth the price.

Catch me vaxxed in the club this summer in my light-up Lightning McQueen Crocs, boot cut jeans, and a Dragon Ball Z Hawaiian shirt looking like the king of the high school anime club.

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P.S. here’s a very good vaccination swag bag.

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