Pop Culture Mondays/3.7.22

The “HOW THE FUCK IS THIS HAPPENING” Edition

Hello, my darling pop culture junkies. It’s Monday. Again. While I know it is a fantasy of a schoolgirl, I still had the fantasy that this would all be over by now. That Putin would have figured a way out and the war would have ended before more lives were lost and we all would be working our way back to normal. But alas…NOPE. I have decided not to do another post on the socials coming out of Ukraine as most of the images and TikToks are too much and we have all seen most of them and we all know what’s happening. We have insane politicians like Marco Rubio who have had their pockets lined with $$$ from Russians post images of President Zelensky they were EXPLICITLY instructed not to, causing a massive security breach. FUCK those guys is what I say. But on the good side of life, so so many people are joining in to help. Did you know that you could sign up to host refugees in your home on Airbnb? Yes, you can ALSO book an Airbnb in Ukraine to get money into the hands of those very much in need. BUT, you can also list a room or home for those we HOPE make their way to safety in the US. It is really incredible so go check it out and if you can, list your home.

Instead of a full post on the horror of what's happening in Ukraine that we are seeing unfold in ways we never have before, I am just going to end this intro with a FEW of the images and videos that have stuck with me. And onto how fake news and how anyone can apparently fall for it. There was a lot of speculation that Putin was actually filmed in front of a green screen when he did his last press conference with reference to his HAND going THRU the mic in front of him. So then Zelensky gave a press conference and when he ended he MOVED his nic to show he was where he said he was. DARK. But there is real evidence to show that the greenscreen rumor was NOT real but here you go:

The people of Poland leaving strollers and other necessities at the train station for those arriving from Ukraine:

Before and after video that gets you:

This one amused me honestly. London marks historical sites with big round blue signs that say who important once lived at a location, for example. SO someone did this to Roman Abromovich’s home in London (alleged home and I am sure he has a gazillion but I loved this nevertheless):

Again, with the caveat of not knowing for sure what is real and what isn’t, there are a lot of videos going around of people taped to lamp posts. The claim is they are looters and Ukrainians are taping them to lamp posts if they are caught:

And before we kick off into some non-Ukraine-related pop culture news, I leave you with this image a reader sent me this week. Which had me in tears for a long while. A child escaping Ukraine with his family and Baby Yoda.

Yeah…it’s just an impossible thing to not be consumed by and traumatized by. We are all experiencing this…so give yourself permission to cry. Try to do something in your power whether it is to donate money to a legitimate cause or service or take action in any way that you can.

And for now, just enjoy this little escape from it just for a moment.

XOXO,

Brooke

I CAN NOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE

TIKTOK MAY HAVE JUMPED THE SHARK:

I honestly have been dreading writing this post. For so many reasons, but let’s start with the fact that these two may actually be the beginning of the end for TikTok as we know it. A sign that we were maybe in a better place when TikTok was just kids doing dances. I liked it there a lot more tbh. I have also dreaded writing this post because trying to explain ANY of this (and there is a lot to explain) to NORMALS aka you guys who are lucky for the most part to NOT be living and breathing TikTok day and night, is almost impossible. This is where I just say FFS which I need to write out as I learned this week there are a LOT of people who do not know the acronym FFS → so let me enlighten you. “FFS” stands for FOR FUCKS SAKE and it is the acronym I have used the most the last few weeks. So for those of you who text with me and have not admitted to NOT knowing what this means…here you are.

But I have to write about these two and it is tricky. But a funny story to explain HOW much this story has permeated TikTokkers of ALL ages, to set the stage.

On Saturday night I had the absolute privilege to see Sebastian Maniscalco live at THE FORUM in LA, thanks VERY much to the incredible Jason Hirschhorn and his even more incredible fiancé Liz Marks. BTW (by the way), if you do not know who Sebastian is omg omg I love him so much and you must all watch his stand-up show on Netflix and go see him live when you can. Here is a clip from an older show but one we can all relate to:

OK, so let’s get back on track. I am with Jason and Liz and friends and we are in our seats and I am sitting next to another couple who are on my right and NOT in our group. On my left is my friend Jason Rapp, who has a million other things to do than live on TikTok. So, as we wait for the show to start, I decide to ruin his night because that’s the kind of friend I AM, by explaining to him the drama that was unfolding on TikTok.

I start to explain there was this woman who came out accusing a guy of sexual assault (SA as they call it) because she found out that after they BOTH consented to sleep together, he was actually sleeping with others. I went on to explain that she did this very wrought video, almost with a Shakespearan accent and she had the emo music and RING LIGHTING to help with impact. And ALL of a sudden this woman next to me who I am guessing was also in her 40s tapped my arm and said, “OMG sorry to overhear but are you talking about Chelsea and Lance???”

CHELSEA & LANCE.

I was and she and I screeched like school kids and Jason to my left and her male partner to her right are like, “WTF IS HAPPENING….??” as the two of us started going down the rabbit hole of this saga. I think it was the 4th “Can you EVEN???” that the guys were like ok ok we get it. But it was a great example of “If you get it you get it, if you don’t you don’t”.

So with that, let’s try to give the “abbreviated” version of what’s happening and WHY this may be the end of TikTok as we knew it. Many of the OG videos have been deleted but it’s the Internet so most live on some way.

First, we have CHELSEA who from ALL my research is a woman who lives in Alaska and says to be indigenous Alaskan but some reports claim that several years ago she was an indigenous New Zealander meaning a Maouri which she is clearly not but I digress. She is very pretty and she ANNUNCIATES a lot and sometimes she has a British accent and maybe she briefly lived in the UK and hey I get it, my brief time there has led me to pronounce “literally” as “LIT-rully” because I adopted that AFFECTATION because it is better. Anyway, I apologize IN advance:

Ok, so this is Chelsea. A content creator with over a million followers on TikTok. The backstory is, she struck up a friendship with a man named Lance who is Native American and generally starts his TikToks with “Hello you colonizers…” so yeah. APPARENTLY, when Chelsea “met” him (online) he did not have a big following but through her and her platform, his star rose and rose and he soon had over 3 million followers.

WHY is this relevant? Because this all plays into the narrative. These are both clout-chasing people who chose a public platform to air all of this drama vs dealing with it privately. But hold up, I will get there.

Chelsea BY THE WAY, who is white and describes herself as “QUEER AF” in her bio and Lance Tsosie goes by MODERN WARRIOR and refers to white people as colonizers so it was an UNLIKELY romantic duo but what do I know.

Chelsea is referring to videos she posted both on TikTok and on Instagram (where both she and Lance ALSO post a lot but have much smaller followings but don’t YOU worry, they BOTH list how many followers they have on TikTok IN THEIR bios on Insta. Like this:

So she references the racist attacks Lance was receiving which everyone claims was from NEO-NAZIS coming after Lance as a result. Anyway, she claims she was in a relationship with Lance for 6 months. This is WITHOUT ever having met, let’s just start there. In subsequent videos, we learn a few things:

  • The baby she refers to as “losing” was actually due to her having an abortion due to her own choice. This is totally hard and emotional but she graphically lays out what it was like losing this child, misleading her audience into thinking she had a miscarriage.
  • She shows texts between her and Lance which she believes will show her proof but all it shows is she texted him a LOT and he rarely responded and if he did was very curt and formal.
  • She claims he talked about being polyamorous but she said she was only interested in an exclusive relationship. She took his non-response to that convo as CONSENT so she bought herself (that’s key) a plane ticket to go see him. She claims she then had UNPROTECTED sex with him because she believed they were exclusive ONLY to learn that he was seeing other people after the fact.
  • She then accuses him of SA (sexual assault) because she labels this “UNINFORMED CONSENT” which has set off a million comments and TikToks dividing the community as some believe this is a criminal offense and warrants JAIL. Some feel this is actual RAPE because he lied to her about sleeping with other people. She opted to NOT use a condom and went on in another video saying she could be pregnant or have an STD as a result.

LOOK, if this was a crime…boys lying to girls about sleeping with other people then our prisons would be FULL, YOU GUYS. I mean on my end alone let’s just say hi to Mike, Roy, Quentin, etc…and the list goes on and on. I would have my own prison in my backyard which would be kind of amusing tbh BUT AGAIN, I digress.

Ok, so let me give you an example of WHO Lance is:

🙄🙄🙄

OK…I am actually giving you the condensed version. There was ANOTHER woman who came out who it seems was the woman Lance was on a date with when Chelsea found out they were not exclusive. That woman looks almost exactly like Chelsea (FOR REALS)and has the same way of annunciating her words. She initially came out in support of Chelsea but then things took a decidedly dark turn and she claims Chelsea began using her and trying to control her narrative so she TURNS on Chelsea and took all her videos down. That’s a sidebar. But here’s a good summary of not only how the community feels about all of that but also the Lance “apology” which has since been taken down and Chelsea’s response which also has been taken down:

Incidentally, Chelsea does not refer to it as her “WOMBLANDS” which seemed to mesh with her as a person tbh. But we later learn she is saying, “womb, Lance” and this IN AND OF ITSELF has turned into its own meme.

OK, we are NEARING THE END. There are other videos that are gone now but Chelsea posted an increasingly series of dramatic videos where she is staring into the camera with her RING light reflection visible in her eyes as she continued to berate and accuse Lance of things. She then got hysterical about all the things Lance KNEW about her and he proceeded to give a dramatic monologue to the camera:

You knew, Lance. YOU FUCKING KNEW!!!

This was her battle cry. And LORD did TikTok deliver using this sound.

Well, this has just DOMINATED people’s FYP (again this stands for FOR YOU PAGE which is your feed when you are on TikTok that serves you videos of people you follow AND ones the algorithm has chosen for you.) And everyone is getting angry and everyone is confused. There are people who were siding with her, and then people who were like NO this is fake. She carried it over to Instagram saying she is thinking of “UNALIVING” herself which AGAIN is a term you should know as people refer to being dead or killing themselves as UNALIVING. This is so it doesn't get taken down by social media. But there are a bunch of TikToks being like WTF including one of mine which went sort of viral at least for me as I am not a TikTok creator:

This guy sums it up perfectly:

I love him. He also mentions a creator named AUNT KAREN who early on made her own video where she was defending Chelsea and accusing Lance of being a rapist and all that lovely stuff. She just inserted herself INTO the drama which then took off into a life of its own. She has since removed the video but has apologized AND blamed Chelsea:

And I shall END HERE because I literally have no life left in me to write more on this and I am sure you are feeling the pain too…but I will leave it with this creator who sums it all up perfectly. As she says, “Clout is ONE hell of a drug…”

I mean I think Chelsea is in real emotional trouble and I am hoping her community is helping her. I wish TikTok would figure out a way to put an end to this stuff…the other viral moments are funny to some extent but this is straight-up dark on EVERY LEVEL. It signals a moment in time where everyone I know who has experienced this storyline is like NOPE I am done thanks TikTok. Children are being killed, war is ravaging people’s lives and here we are being served this bullshit from some of the biggest narcissists we have ever had the opportunity to see. NONE OF THIS BELONGS ON THE INTERNET. FINI!

AND SOME OTHER THINGS…

Again, I apologize for the above but if you have a TikTokker at home or have seen videos referencing this, you were likely lost and I hope this helped a LITTLE. Now let’s get to a few other things that rose to PCM levels this week or just amused me…

  • The Olds (us) got a little viral moment this week thanks to “WHEEL OF FORTUNE” and this unfortunate contestant who could not for the life of her figure out this common phrase. She proceeded to get roasted online. Here is the clip:

The ageless Pat Sajak ended up taking to Twitter to defend the woman and explain how this happens:

Read the WHOLE thread as it’s actually interesting.

  • Our beloved Dua Lipa is being sued by a band saying her hit song “Levitating” is a direct rip-off of the band Artikal Sound System’s song…what do you think?

In CASE you don’t know who Dua Lipa is, she’s a pop star who has a signature style and her “dance” which has gone viral:

  • If you are a parent of a teen on TikTok who uses curling irons or hair straighteners, this will not be unfamiliar to you but for the rest of us…there is a whole trend on TikTok about how the anxiety around not unplugging these things which could then burn your house down…is very real. SO it’s a huge trend in people making these sorts of videos:
  • OK, content. So…I have to go on a little rant. We have a lot happening as “INVENTING ANNA”, “SUPER PUMPED”, and “THE DROP OUT” are all out now. These are ripped from the headline stories about real people and businesses that real reporters have written articles or books about, have done podcasts on and so forth, and have all now been made into SERIES.

Full disclosure I know every single writer of each of these. I have met every single subject of these: Anna Delvey, Travis Kalanick, and Elizabeth Holmes.

Here is where 2 of the 3 differ. “Inventing Anna” was based on a series of real life interviews the reporter HAD full access to the subject and those other characters involved. I was one of them. Is it still somewhat fictionalized? Sure, but much of it comes from real interviews. And it states in each episode that some is real, some is not.

Both “Super Pumped” and “The Dropout” are not really based on full access. “Super Pumped” was based on articles written by NYT writer Mike Isaac who is an incredible journalist and he did have interviews with Travis, the founder and then CEO of Uber for which the show is based. “The Dropout” is based on the incredible podcast by Rebecca Jarvis but again, with no direct access to the subject other than in other interviews and court appearances. But SO many of these moments in “The Dropout” and “Super Pumped” take SO much creative license which is OK and many bios are done that way. BUT…and I say this with a big BUT…the public for the most part sees these shows as fact. As absolute fact and I find that dangerous and unfair to all involved whether the subjects or the audience. And I find it all so weird. But you be the judge…these are out now (full disclosure I love that Coach Taylor from “Friday Night Lights” is Bill Gurley, but I digress…

And here is “The Drop Out”… BUT let me say this with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY. They have someone playing Larry Ellison in this show. I have known Larry for 25 years and I have been on boats with Larry. NEVER in million years has Larry walked around with a bottle of beer nor has he EVER acted like some hick who just drinks beers and talks in acronyms. Also, NEVER would Larry be on a boat that small. EVER. 😊

BUT there is another bio-pic series if you will, that premiered last night on HBOMax on the Lakers called “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” and I am OBSESSED it is so good. It is definitely made with humor and makes you as the audience see it as a fun look at history but not that it was all fact…it just is made differently that way. It is just SO damn good:

  • I really like Randi Zuckerberg. She is so lovely and so kind and creative and theatrical. She dances to her own drummer. But sometimes those go in a direction that was PROBABLY not the intention like her latest video trying to get more women into Web3 and crypto. I only post this because it dominated tech Twitter this past week and not in the best of ways. BUT again, her intentions are good!
  • JUST a BABY trend on TikTok….here are a couple of examples:

And here is the ORIGINAL sound that has now gone viral.

  • This guy is a national treasure:
  • AND lastly, a shout out to the amazing Stephanie Ruhle who started last week anchoring “The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle” on MSNBC every Monday-Friday at 11 PM. It’s such a joy to see her and she has such an empathetic approach to her interviews around Ukraine, I cannot tell you how impressive it is. And she guest hosted PIVOT pod with Kara Swisher last week and it was awesome and I was very surprised and delighted to be name-checked for no other reason than I am their source for all things TikTok. Give it a listen:

THAT IS IT my darling pop culture junkies…

What a week. Be kind to yourself. Curl up in bed with a cup of tea when you need to. It’s ok.

Stay safe and healthy my beauties.

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