Pop Culture Mondays/4.15.24

The JUICE IS LOOSE Edition (Sorry)

Brooke Hammerling
Pop Culture Mondays

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Welcome to my brain…

Happy Monday, my darling pop culture junkies. Apologies for the lateness today, but some Mondays are a bit rougher than others. But I showed UP, so that’s something! I hope you are all recovered from your weekend, whether you were at Coachella (more on that later) or off galavanting in some amazing place - I hope you find yourself reading/watching this PCM in a peaceful place surrounded by sunshine and whatever treat makes you happy. For me, right this moment, that would be a combo of donuts, cheese and crackers, and fried chicken…not all at the same time (MAYBE NOT, BUT ALSO MAYBE), but it’s just what's in my brain at the moment. I DIGRESS. I am trying to bring rainbows and butterflies to what was a stressful weekend when many of us watched in horror at what was unfolding in the Middle East and whether this, indeed, was the beginning of WWIII. All my thoughts and love go to the people of Israel and all the innocents of this mad, mad time. PCM is not a political newsletter, but it is one of the moment, and this issue is ONE of the moment for sure. I am on the side of peace and hopeful this is where we net out eventually. But of all the voices I have heard, from talking heads to academics to politicians…it was this Iranian woman who said it better than all of those other people combined:

I have watched this 100 times. How I wish everyone could. And I wish the news media would stop broadcasting people unless they are her. Basically, it should all be her - Elica Le Bon. We thank you.

AND in one more little political adjacent moment, I saw the movie CIVIL WAR this weekend. I really hadn’t thought about it going into the weekend, but then I got a text from friend and blogger Peter Kafka that just said, “CIVIL WAR.” And thankfully, I knew ENOUGH about pop culture to know he was talking about the movie and not that civil war had just broken out in the US, but the fact that for a millisecond, I was like, UM…tells us where we are at today in society. In case you have not heard about the movie or seen the trailer, here you go:

THIS MOVIE. Stars Kirsten Dunst and an amazing ensemble, including the incredible actress who portrayed Priscilla in Sophia Coppola’s Priscilla, which I DID not like as a film, but I LOVED her performance. Cailee Spaeny is the actress, and she plays an entirely different character in this movie. She is going to be one of the greats, I imagine. This movie is clever in not painting a picture of RED versus BLUE as you are not really sure what side is fighting what…the only thing that can be connected to today is that the president seems to be a megalomaniac and has given himself a 3rd term and he has dismantled the FBI (something Trump has said he would do) but other than that this is a look at a divided country through the lens of journalists. We follow journalists from Reuters and the New York Times who will put their own lives at risk for the story, to tell the story. Kirsten Dunst plays a legendary war photographer who has seen some of the worst wars outside of the US with hopes that showing the pictures would make it so no one in the US would ever allow it to happen there. YET….

Look, I am so glad I saw the movie in a theater on IMAX. If you can, definitely check it out. Also, the soundtrack is AMAZING:

Ok, let’s get going on today’s pop culture STUFF….I got to breeze through today, so I apologize for the things that I missed.

OJ DIED:

OLD news at this point, but I will say the response to his death was universal, and that was one where most people were like, GOOD riddance. But there was one weird thing most of us Gen Xers felt: a weird, sad sense of nostalgia. It was the end of something we all collectively were a part of. I posted a picture of this on my Insta:

With the caption:

“The Kids will never understand”

All of us Gen Xers can recall with VIVID accuracy where we were for the Bronco chase and where we were for the verdict. 95 MILLION people watched the Bronce chase that seemingly went on for hours and hours. The Bronco was discontinued shortly after this, and though Ford says it had nothing to do with the OJ incident, there is NO question that even today, you say WHITE BRONCO, and we immediately think of this.

I was living in Florence, Italy, when the verdict came out on OJ. No cell phones. No Internet. I was walking back to my flat on a rainy October evening from a full day of classes. I had Rusted Root playing on my Sony Discman as I walked across the Piazza della Signoria, probably imagining what the night would hold. I heard my phone ringing in my flat as I was walking up the stairs, and I used my giant key that looked like I was living in the Middle Ages to quickly unlock the giant door to find it was my mom calling to tell me the verdict was IN. And I rushed to turn the TV on only to hear people outside shouting. I opened the old-fashioned big windows to hear people shouting in disbelief from their apartments. IN FLORENCE, ITALY.

NOT GUILTY.

The world was shocked. More than 150 MILLION people tuned in at that exact moment to watch the verdict. We had no social media. We had only ourselves and people we could call or meet up with IN REAL LIFE to discuss it. And that’s all we talked about. It wasn't just a moment…it was an ongoing saga. It was the topic of the year. The TRIAL OF THE CENTURY. And when OJ died, we were all reminded of what TIME means and how much time has gone by but how we also were all that age for a moment again…kids really for a lot of us….it changed the world in many ways.

ANYWAY, the reactions were everything to the news of his death:

Yeah…this happened:

And we (Gen X) missed Norm Macdonald, who was the voice week after week, holding OJ accountable in the darkest of ways, humor-wise. Here is a great compilation:

This is a LOT of content. But do watch all of it for a good walk down memory lane! Norm had a year of content as the trial continued for almost an entire year. Over 11 months! All televised and with our first real taste of social media stars (before ACTUAL social media). We had Judge Lance Ito and Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, the prosecutors that were banging, and then we had defense attorneys F. Lee Bailey, Jonnie Cochran, and of course, Robert Kardashian…our FIRST Kardashian. And houseguest KATO. KATOE KAELIN. We still use Kato to refer to houseguests who overstay their welcome.

Some more responses that stuck out:

And there were some media WHIFFS. For example, NPR which is no longer on Twitter, posted THIS on Threads:

The responses were…..as you might expect. There were many, so here is just the one that matters. Mine. LOLS.

NOT that NPR was already having a bad week. A long-time staff writer there decided to blow it all up with an article on its bias, which, in all honestly, was not well done and seemed rather self-serving when he went on a press tour about it, but OK. If you missed it, here you go:

ANYHOO….The New York Times was like, “HOLD MY BEER,” to NPR:

I mean, it is funny at this point. MEN BEING MEN, am I right? They cannot even see it. The backlash to this was even bigger, and rightfully tbh. They changed the article before it went to print. LOLS. Media.

Anyway, let’s end on these:

A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT:

We have a few other things that happened this week or that I thought I would explain, so let’s GOOOOOOOOO….

COACHELLA 2024:

The first weekend is down, so only one more to go. As much star power was there this weekend from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce to Queen Riri to Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez…it definitely seems a bit different this year. This is NOT news, but Coachella is even more so now about the “fashion” and the influencers and being photographed than the actual music. Influencers flooded TikTok with their GRWMs (Get Ready With Me) and OOTDs (Outfit Of The Day), like:

And we had some wild fashion:

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

We had some weird star pairings:

If you are unfamiliar with pink cowboy hat lady, this is Theresa Giudice from Real Housewives of New Jersey. Woo Boy.

And we had some music:

And if you don't know Sabrina Carpenter, she is definitely one to keep an eye on. She was a kid's TV star. She’s friends of Taylor. She is dating Barry Keoghan. And she is the moment:

This would have been iconic to see, especially for L Word fans:

And bad news for P Diddy:

But who knows…because Will Smith decided to make a comeback at Coachella and the crowd dug it 🫣:

And the Biebs made a surprise visit too:

Ok, so there’s your round-up. I can’t do more.

Another Week, Another Drake Beef:

I cannot keep up with all of this. I will say props to Drake for making Luna Luna happen in LA, and I hope he focuses on stuff like that and turns Luna L:una into a thing that lives and breathes and has rideable rides. For context, Luna Luna was an amusement park put together in the 80s in Hamburg, Germany, by artist Andre Heller, along with legends like Basquiat, Haring, Lichtenstein, Dalí, Hockney, and several others.

Read about it here (A free article!)

But Drake has many other things going on at the same time. This week, Rick Ross dropped a diss track on Drake where, among other things, he claimed he got a nose job.Basica I mean OK?

Basically saying Drake, who has a Black father and white mother, wanted to have a more white nose than the one of his father’s.

But this is just one of many attacks Drake is getting from the hip-hop community. And the response has been fun in some respects. For example, Uma Thurman offered her support:

Other beefs include Drake and Kendrick Lamar…For more on this, if you must know:

Who Is Nara Smith?

Guys, we have talked about the TRAD WIFE phenomenon here before. Trad Wives, aka traditional wives, is a huge genre on social media, specifically TikTok. These are women who hand-make everything and believe in the more traditional way of living, dressing, and so forth. The caveat is that most are influencers and have money to live a certain lifestyle.

However, one of the QUEENS of this genre is Nara Smith, who is married to model/actor Lucky Blue Smith and who is a Gen Z icon to many looking to go counter the norms of today and attempt to go back to a “simpler” time. Examples:

This has 33 million views.

And they had their 3rd child…named Whimsy:

For more on this obsession:

And Some More Gen Z Insight:

If you are not a parent to a Gen Zer, you might not know about Brandy Melville. Either way, this is a MUST WATCH TV show on HBO. It will give you SO much insight into the world we find ourselves in:

AND…as a reminder, to alleviate your guilt of all the last fashion you own or your kids may own, there IS A SOLUTION:

FULL Disclosure: I am on the Board of Trashie, the company behind The Take Back Bag. GO GET ONE!

THAT IS IT, my darlings…

Let’s all bring this energy to our week….Lenny Kravitz lifting HUGE amounts of weight whilst wearing leather pants. GOD BLESS LENNY.

And if you are a techy, then likely you saw news or were yourself invited to the LATEST social media app: AIRCHAT. Because we needed another one. 🫣

This one is about voice, not text. So like, you read your tweet. Buckle UP.

And remember, if you aren’t already a subscriber and you want this in your inbox, please send an email to:

subscribe@popculturemondays.com

Have a fantastic week.

Xx,

Brooke

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