Pop Culture Mondays/12.27.21

The “WHAT DAY IS IT?” Edition

Welcome to my brain…

HAPPY Monday my darling pop culture junkies! You probably had no idea today was even Monday. Frankly, most of you are not reading this because you are on a boat in St. Bart’s (hi Jeff Bezos!) or on the slopes of Aspen or surfing Hawaii or drinking champs in Gstaad or getting COVID in Miami (just kidding you are probably getting COVID wherever you are) or snorkeling in the Bahamas or drinking tequila in Cabo or curled up in bed somewhere cozy but you are MOST def not reading this newsletter and I am sitting here pounding coffee LIKELY for no reason. But here we are and for the FEW of you who MIGHT need a little pop culture escape, here you go.

THIS IS A MINI PCM because while I am not on vacation, I still have no idea what is happening and this week between Christmas and New Year is truly a disorienting one for me. Anyone else? THIS is why I go on vacation AFTERwards as I need to recalibrate…but enough about ME…(I know I know)…welcome to my new subscribers and grab your headphones.

Enjoy the sun, surf, sea, slopes, sand, etcetera etcetera….

TIKTOK STARS E AND J

THE BATMAN & ROBIN:

LOOK I am going to be controversial here perhaps, BUT, I actually like these two guys and they bring me joy by providing us with endless content. But I have in fact met both and they are lovely people.

SO, in case you missed the Internet last week (or actually were doing something important) here’s what happened. Jack, the founder and former CEO of Twitter, took to Twitter (something he rarely does). He took to the Twitter specifically to call out Web3 which in case you missed it is the somewhat vague next phase of the Internet which calls for a DECENTRALIZED INTERNET. Meaning, instead of a couple of the big tech companies seemingly having all the power, with the blockchain, this power is distributed to the individuals (theoretically) which means that there needs to be a lot of trust and faith in all the participants and for one another. BASICALLY.

AND…as someone who was right in the heart of the beast in San Francisco at the beginning of WEB 1.0….I saw everything we are seeing today happen then in 1998–2001. EVERYTHING. My gen came in and felt we were changing the world. Some were. But then some saw $$$ and FUN (I want to go to San Francisco and work in a start-up and not wear shoes and get pizza every day and play ping pong and have a keg in the office and have launch parties where we race Zambonis on the streets of San Francisco!!!) YES, all of this happened. SO much money was wasted. So much hype for something that mainly failed. SO many 20-somethings had to move back home with their parents after their stock options were worthless and even worse — they owed tax (A LOT OF TAX) on worthless options. SIGH. So here we are…a few people trying to build some great things I truly believe with the right intent…but others just take it and ruin it for the rest of us.

ENTER ELON AND JACK. There was a LOT that happened and I can just scratch the surface but the BATMAN (Elon) and ROBIN (JACK) duo was NOT one I expected.

Robin needs a beard (get your mind out of the gutter)

OK…so let’s look at the Twitter, shall we?

Here we have Elon, being Elon on the MUCH overly hyped Web3:

Oh, that crazy provocateur…we love him. SO that got everyone up in a frenzy. BUT THEN….enter JACK who gives ZERO fucks at the moment:

OK, so this may just seem like a silly alphabet reference. BUT…what he is referring to is the massively powerful Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm. Andreesen Horowitz led by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz (A for Andreessen and Z the last letter of Horowitz) and how they have been referred to as a firm from the beginning. The firm is referred to as A16Z which is a numeronym — the first and last letter of the firm with the character count in-between. AND Marc is considered one of the founding peeps of the consumer Internet we all know and love as he founded Netscape.

OK. And alas, I also know Marc SOOOOO I am just going to give the top line stuff and not opine on the whole thing other than I WISH I WAS ON A BOAT IN ST. BART’S INSTEAD OF EXPLAINING THIS.

ANYWAY, Jack is trying to explain that the concept of Web3 is not actually decentralized as every company behind it is funded by VCs (A16Z is the biggest one behind these companies) and with Facebook being considered the big bad evil overlord for which Marc sits on the Board of…it seems Jack is making sure light is shined on this:

It is not that Jack doesn't believe in Web3…again I THINK because I have no idea…but I THINK he believes in it but that with the influence of big investors it is impossible:

This had started with BATMAN MUSK who had started the conversation. For example:

Jack leaned into the VC argument saying they are the real problem and why decentralized is not possible with that model and he re-tweeted this meme which led to all sorts of reactions from the Bitcoin community to those who felt this was anti-semitic and everything in between.

OK, are we done? NOT quite. Enter Marc Andreessen stage left:

Yes…so, Jack announced he had been blocked on Twitter by Marc Andreessen. Which led to a cascade of others showcasing that THEY too have been blocked. I KNOW, I KNOW.

Enter another billionaire, Marc Benioff:

These were all my amazing guy friends from the late ’90s. We would play video games, swim with dolphins, eat pizza, be normal nerds. Those will ALWAYS be really special memories I will cherish. If you had told me in 1999 that Benioff and Andreessen would be on this website called Twitter and this would be the conversation, I would have bet my entire life on that being false. SO…I would be dead then because HERE WE ARE.

Soon it became a WHO’S WHO of who have been blocked by PMARCA:

AND THEN We have the ultimate block and honestly, I agree with Marc on this one though “BLOCK chain” is funny AF….

HAHA just kidding I love that Kara and if I blocked her she would legit have me killed.

BUT I hate it when all my old pals don't get along! It gives me anxiety. Also, everyone is so rich I mean if I were this rich I would never worry about a thing but ALAS. HERE WE ARE.

BUT I assure you if this was a bunch of LADIES…we would all be called petty bitches over this. I AM NOT WRONG.

AND JUST A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS (AND SOME DESPICABLE ONES TOO…)

I told you this was a mini-version. I have places to go and people to see (just kidding, I have to go do my real job and also maybe nap…)

  • Did you watch “Don’t Look Up”? In case you forgot here is the trailer and it is one of those movies with like every famous person from Meryl Streep to Leo to my TIM TIM CHALAMET.

It is a tragedy wrapped into a comedy (Jonah Hill is funny)with the premise of a massive comet coming right at Earth that will kill everyone and everything on the planet. The point is we ACTUALLY have time to save the world but no one is paying attention. Politicians fuck everything up. The media fucks everything up. And so…spoiler alert…everyone dies. SORRY. But it is obviously a metaphor for the climate crisis and I appreciate that. But it got a lot of people talking. Some loved it. Others didn’t. Others missed the greater point it was making.

From the director:

Ok but this was my fave:

  • A feel-good video for the week. This teacher:
  • And the video that made me cry this week. Utah Jazz dancer didn;t get the memo on the new choreography but there is a REALLY good reason why:
  • Britney and her freedom are having FUN. She is known for her bubble gum baby voice and this past week she decided to show fans her real singing voice. While some were quick to criticize it, it is refreshing to see some realness at the moment.
  • This beautiful English woman is taking over everyone’s FYP on TikTok with her daily outfit looks that have people riveted:
  • The SHOW must go on. THE MUSIC MAN, the much anticipated new Broadway musical starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, debuted this past week. And HOURS before the show was to start, Sutton tested positive for COVID. So this happened (also is there ANYONE BETTER THAN HUGH JACKMAN????)
  • Also, thank you Taylor Lorenz for showing me Paige Skinner’s INCREDIBLE documenting of culture:
  • My fave TikTok this week:
  • And lastly, we lost Joan Didion. And while many showed their sadness with stories about their personal experiences with Joan or pics of themselves with Joan, I appreciated the ones of people just celebrating this amazingly talented and incredible force.

THAT IS IT my darlings.

I appreciate you. I thank you for taking the time to read this every week. It’s been a wild and crazy 2021. I will see you on the other side.

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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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