Pop Culture Mondays/4.8.24


Brooke Hammerling
Pop Culture Mondays


Welcome to my brain…

Happy Monday, my darling pop culture junkies.

May I ask a serious question? Is Spring Break over yet? I don’t have kids, so my schedule is a bit different than the ones who do, BUT I really feel like it has been spring break for a month. Everyone is on different schedules, but I cannot keep track, and it feels like everyone has been away for a long, long time. Are we done yet? Just in time for COACHELLA…where all the kids will be, and people my age pretending they are kids and wearing their super expensive festival fits their stylists procured for them. It is my fave time in LA tbh, when everyone is at Coachella. It’s almost as if tumbleweed is blowing through the mean streets of West Hollywood.

But something we do NOT get in California…the solar eclipse. And that’s a bummer. But it's less of a bummer than if we were in the path of it only to have it messed up by clouds and boring weather stuff. Ok, OK, we will get to ECLIPSE APOCOLYPSE soon enough.

In other news, my pod last week was one where I really got into the Baltimore Bridge drama…specifically, the drama around the Baltimore mayor and how our reactions to him indicate where we are at as a society (hint: NOT great!). So do give it a listen if you have a few minutes!

Grab your 🎧 and some 🍫 and enjoy!


SO, we have established that today is ECLIPSE day, and for some, that is a very big deal, and for others, they couldn’t care less. I think the two camps that irritate ME the most are:

  • The ones who have gone out of their way to tell us how much they DON’T CARE about the solar eclipse. Like, OK that’s fine. Thank you for the heads up.
  • The ones who equate the eclipse with the end of the world, a sign of bad omens, political things and so forth. THANK YOU for showing us that you don't understand science. But, like, maybe you should not be able to buy a gun, drive a car, or raise children, but that’s just me.

Here are some of my fave memes, though, that cover all the bases:

Look….I have been trying to figure out how to make the lead story both eclipse AND earthquake-related, and then I thought to myself…that’s really unfair of the earthquake to take away from the eclipse. Earthquakes happen all the time, whereas a total solar eclipse…NOT SO MUCH. So I have decided to FOLD earthquake drama INTO eclipse drama, if you will.

So, unless you have been living on another planet, you are well aware that NYC experienced a rather jarring earthquake last week. NYers are not accustomed to such things, so the reactions everyone had were totally reasonable. HAD I been in NY, I know it would have consumed my brain. The WHAT IFS. Also, since moving to LA, I have learned things about living in earthquake territory that never existed. in my brain before. Even when I lived in San Francisco I didn’t learn this stuff but it was the ’90s and we were living on the utter edge at that point. But, like…nothing heavy over the bead. NO framed pictures or mirrors. THAT MAKES SENSE RIGHT? So, do New Yorkers have to follow this rule now?

It was fun to see the East Coast get introduced to Earthquake Twitter, which admittedly is the best part of Twitter these days.

But the memes were everywhere. Twitter, Insta, TikTok….

Eric Adams (the mayor of NYC) memes were too good:

Reference to my fave:

And as always, Mayor Adams delivered….and when I say delivered, I mean he gave NYers another reason to think he is the WORST mayor ever. The Earthquake alert came 30 or 40 minutes AFTER the earthquake.

And some others…


And the combo earthquake/eclipse ones are great.

The community notes here really are the gold standard.

And honestly…this is a great great skit that hits everything:

There are SO many TikToks about the end of the world being nigh….but they bore me. If it IS the end…it’s been a wild ride and thanks for joining me on this adventure.

Thank you Millsey, JMS, PB, and Bill Berry, for this gift that will always keep giving:


If the world is ending soon, then I really need to get through this PCM. I hate unfinished things and I refuse to go into the afterlife with anxiety around that.

What is Happening Here?

This is JoJo Siwa. We have talked about her here over the years. She shot to fame as a little girl on the hit show “Dance Moms” and then became known for her unique, very, very bubble gum style. Here is a look at her over the years:

I mean, this evolution was bound to happen. You can only live in Rainbow Brite for so long. And boy did she evolve. She came out in January 2021, a month into her first relationship with a girl, and since then, we have been a part of her breakups and make-ups and cheating scandals. We have watched her get tattoos and get edgier and edgier.

But the thing is…it felt contrived. It felt like another costume. And the internet has gotten the ick over time with it. But no more so than this past week with the release of her new single, KARMA. And her belief she is creating a NEW GENRE called GAY POP.

Let’s ROLL TAPE as they say:

Please watch this whole thing.

Elvis was the first artist to take risks?

She is literally dressed like a KISS member, but she doesn't know who Gene Simmons is.

These are too funny:

And there are SO many layers:

And the reactions to this:

And my fave TikTokker sums it up…which tbh is great for JoJo:

And the dance? The fucking dance??? Here you go:

You’re welcome.

Blue Check Earthquake:

ALMOST as shocking as NYC earthquake was when many people on Twitter woke up to find they had their blue checks BACK without having had to pay for the service. Only it now means it looks like they paid for the service. LOLS. I know I will not get my hard-earned blue check back, I assume because I am shadowbanned. Also, who cares? It is all so funny. But the Twitter world exploded for a hot sec:

And then the “CEO” of Twitter whom she calls X, continues to tweet these super interesting, engaging, powerful, and IMPORTANT tweets:

Women’s Basketball:

We have all been riveted. I know more about this game after the last few weeks than I have known collectively for the last 40+ years. I have Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and all the players of all the teams to thank for this. I have not stopped watching. And we have all seen everything I think there is to see. But something happened last week that was both shocking…but also telling on how many see women in this sport. Or how MEN see women in this sport. Also, women of color IN general.

And it’s not pretty.

Here is the link to the NOW edited column with an editor’s note at the top:

But let’s dig in to what happened…


L.A. Times staff writer Ben Bolch published a column likening the impending UCLA-LSU face-off to “good versus evil.” Though Bolch criticized LSU coach Kim Mulkey’s response to a long-anticipated Washington Post report on her controversial coaching career, he spent most of the piece praising UCLA’s “class” while accusing LSU of being “hellbent on dividing” women’s basketball. He described UCLA as “milk and cookies” and “America’s sweethearts,” while dubbing LSU’s predominantly Black women’s team “basketball villains,” “Louisiana hot sauce,” and “dirty debutantes.”

And the LA TIMES printed this. MAYBE…MAYBE if the newspaper hadn’t fired all of it’s amazing staff, this never would have happened.

Coach Mulkey was amazing here, regardless of what you think of her:

SOME people felt she overreacted…and they are entitled to their opinion. But ask the girls on her team or all the women impacted by this commentary. I think you will find they all agree it felt good to be protected and stood up for.

The writer…eventually…apologized (on April Fool’s Day):

It was sexist.

It was racist.

The US would like to apologize to Australia:

It was the kind of thing that makes two friendly nations become enemies overnight.

A US TikTokker showing his followers what Milo is, beloved staple in Australia, opened up his can of Milo with a can opener.

The world cried.


Ok…well, this is NOT the way you open a can of Milo.

Clearly, it was clout chasing?

Anyway, Australia…our bad.

MOB WIFE Brings Leopard Pants Back:

Just an FYI, your kid may be begging you for leopard print pants because they are apparently the THING.

Who Says Kids Don’t Follow-Thru These Days?

Russell Simmons’ and Kimora Lee Simons’ daughter, Aoki Simmons was photographed kissing a man 40+ years older than her this past week. And I am not a gossip newsletter but I had to connect the dots here. She told her dad this would happen when he cut her off. We all saw it unfold. And I for one would like to applaud her follow-thru:

THAT IS IT, my darlings…

Go watch the eclipse and tell us all about it. Take pics with your phones. Blind yourselves. Have fun!

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Have a fantastic week.