Pop Culture Mondays/10.11.21

The “BAD ART FRIEND” Edition

Welcome to my brain…

HAPPY Monday my darling pop culture junkies. Today, formerly known as Columbus Day which you CANNOT say anymore, is now Indigenous People Day in the US and NYC is quiet as a mouse. I don’t really have much to say in pre-amble as I am just sitting here counting down the minutes til HBO’s “Succession” Season 3 premieres. BASICALLY from where we are, as I sit and write this we, are 141 hours away….so that is where my brain is. AND IF YOU ARE HERE I am pretty sure your brain is there too. NATURE is healing. I also had a run in with a lovely woman this morning whilst I was walking my dog who told me she JUST put her Frenchie down and I should try to enjoy the remaining time I have left with mine and continued on her way. OH NYC…I have missed you.

SO, with that…let’s GET to it. We are TRUMP-FREE as always THOUGH I will say I saw a very funny Trump impersonator in front of Trump Tower this weekend and he was doing really um…vulgar things with balloons and I need some time to recover from it but again…NYC is healing.




YOU MAY have heard something along the lines of BAD ART FRIEND and either that’s all you know (and if not even that, don’t worry, I got you). OR maybe you heard a bit more about it like the story about the lady who gave away her kidney. AND if you have heard NOTHING, then just stick with me. This was not a TikTok trend, or anything to do with young influencers but instead we have entered into another dimension: CREATIVE WRITING DRAMA TWITTER. Let me try to quickly give you the CLIFF NOTES VERSION because a. I don’t have the will to get into it more than that because everyone is awful and b. IT’S ALL BAD.

The viral article is from the New York Times Magazine section and should you want to read the whole saga here you go:

This story has TWO main characters…both are creative writers who know one another from a writers group they were both a part of in Boston.

IN the ONE corner we have Dawn Dorland, an aspiring novelist who is the subject of the article initially. See, Dawn did what all good people do and she decided to donate a kidney to a stranger as a way fo giving back. NO no I am kidding…you can be a good person without giving away an organ BUT I digress. But Dawn. She did this and then proceeded to talk about it and write about it. A lot. She apparently started conversations with it… “oh hey how are you, did you know I gave my kidney to a stranger what have you done?…” YEAH, she’s that person. And she used Facebook as a way to talk about her donation. A lot. She wrote a letter to the recipient of her kidney that she posted on Facebook….I mean I was a creative writing major and I remember writing my mom’s eulogy when I was 22 to THE CRANBERRIES and while this is pretty dark, I admit, the process was similar. I was VERY earnest and heavy handed with this writing process which I wrote for maximum emotional impact as if I were a writer of the saddest story in all the land. I was 22. I was processing. ANYWAY, I digress but alas this is what Dawn was struggling with it seems….like she did this beautiful thing but she needed to emote about it and process it and have others experience and provide feedback to her…constantly. And YOU KNOW how this goes. The others in her Facebook Group were all mean bitches basically and were like EYE ROLL EBOUGH DAWN like we GET IT you gave a kidney good for you. But behind her back kind of stuff.

IN THE OTHER CORNER, we have PUBLISHED AUTHOR (I am imagining her signing her emails this way) Sonya Larson. Sonya and Dawn are around the same age and were in the same writing group but Sonya, over time, became MUCH more successful as she became published and had residencies and all those WRITERY THINGS. The writer world is one I do not ever want to subscribe to…I had my own brief experiences involving a novelist named Tim O’Brien and a very unfortunate experience that found me taking $20 from Jay McInerney (Hi Jay!) to escape to the airport back when I was 25 but again I digress….writers are complicated beings. MORE so than the average bear I find. ANWAY, one can imagine Sonya was one of those mean girl types who was one offing members of the group like OMG on Dawn and her relentless need to remind everyone always about her selfless act of organ donation.

BUT the drama for which the story centers around IS that Sonya wrote a story based on Dawn’s experience and letter she posted on Facebook. AND ALL HELL HAS BEEN UNLEASHED. We have she said vs she said. We have lawsuits where group chats have been subpoenaed (OUCH). We have racial issues as this is between a white woman and an Asian American woman. We have mean girls and maybe some mental illness maybe I don’t know. And we have an unanswered question of “WHO OWNS YOUR STORY?” and age old question really. SO that’s where we are and the socials had a field day and that’s ULTIMATELY why you are here so let me show you some of my faves:

And this whole story has KICKED OFF endless articles on said story so have FUN.



We all remember WHERE we were when….and add WHEN FACEBOOK AND ALL ITS APPS WENT DOWN. I mean we realized the extent of our addiction to Insta as we kept going to it even though it was stuck on that image of someone we really don’t know well laughing in their Fall attire whilst holding a pumpkin (that was mine anyway.) BUT in all seriousness, Facebook — everyone’s favorite villain — shit the bed last week and Twitter became the top spot for people to find one another and communicate and FEED THEIR ADDICTION. So, we all know what happened…but here are the funny takes from it:

FIRST and FOREMOST, Twitter itself said it perfectly. Welcoming ALL people who were all now on Twitter because they didn’t have FB or What’sApp or Insta:

And WhatsApp got into it which is like when you see different species become friends like a lion and a monkey:

It just got great from here:

Oh and back to the WhatsApp tweet….MCDONALDS was having NONE of it:

This one got me especially if you were a lover of Barney’s New York which this literally happened to:

And Burger King’s response to this tweet:

And Reddit’s:

And our angel Dolly:

Also, the BEST take:

And there are a billion more but you get the idea…

Hi bestie…


It was one of those weeks where there were a few funny things on the TikTok that have gone viral so I shall SUMMARIZE as my gift to you, my besties.

WE HAVE LAMBO TIKTOK. IN the once again just because there is video doesn’t mean you know the WHOLE story we have this guy. THIS GUY who we are led to believe owns a Lamborghini and just got rear ended by a girl who then inexplicably confronts him about hitting her. So of course the Internet loses its mind:

BUT wait. WHAT’S THIS NOW?? This guy Matt Heller, who is RENTING THE LAMBO FYI, did not tell the whole story and thankfully there is actual camera footage of this guy being an asshole and side wiping people and basically being an ass that LED to the rear-ending incident by the young woman who now has CALLED BS on him:

And thank you for this take:

OK so for NEXT TikTok Trend we have “ELYSE MYERS TIKTOK” this creator who has an amazing way of storytelling that has captivated millions. May I present TACO GUY:

Also, this is VERY TRUE:

THEN WE HAVE KIM K on SNL. Obviously the socials were abuzz about Kim Kardashian’s spin as SNL host. And here’s the deal…she did a great job. Would I have liked to have seen most skits NOT be about her body and sex and all that low hanging fruit? SURE but that was too much to ask. She got into the self deprecating “I am in on the joke” side of things really well:


OK so you’re probably now whistling “A WHOLE NEW WORLD” at the moment and I AM SORRY it will stay with you for a bit longer. It just does that. IN the meantime, a few other things of note this week:

  • TO be fair to HARVARD, once upon a time the name “JACK” was a nickname for “JOHN”. But alas, this was cute:
  • SOOOOOO. This is one I have ruminated a lot on because I have had no idea on how to tackle it. And that is Dave Chappelle and his new Netflix show called “The Closer” which in its entirety shows the talent and complexity of Dave Chappelle BUT there are pretty significant challenges as well. He tackles TRANSPHOBIA here and while he acknowledges his own transphobia he tries to showcase he isn’t transphobic because he had a trans friend. “MY BEST FRIEND IS BLACK” narrative that FOR ME, did not work. That said I think it was important to watch and navigate the emotions and feelings yourself vs reading the things being taken out of context but it is a disappointing narrative for me and not one I found enjoyable or comfortable. At least the last 6 minutes or so of the special.
  • Brooklyn Beckham who all I know is the son of Posh and David Beckham and is famous for that went on the Today Show inexplicably to showcase his “breakfast sandwich” recipe which is funny because you know food is not really what happens in the Beckham household BUT I digress. Here is said clip:
  • AND lastly America’s SWEETHEART Selena Gomez is rumored to be dating Captain America, Chris Evans. OR at least that’s what the TIKTOK POLICE believe after realizing he started following her on Insta and she had once said she had a crush on him and now the Internet is going nuts for them.

Anyway, there may be more here next week as the socials lose their collective shit on this.

THAT’S FINI my darlings. Have a beautiful week and send me tips or feedback or gummi bears from Haribo.

Be SAFE. Be kind.

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A weekly round up of all the news you’re too embarrassed to admit you don’t know. Or too embarrassed to admit you DO.

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Brooke Hammerling

Brooke Hammerling

Talk to me about tech, pop culture, cheese or dogs.

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