Pop Culture Mondays/5.1.23

The “BLUE SKY FOR DAYS…” Edition

Brooke Hammerling
Pop Culture Mondays

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Welcome to my brain…

Happy Monday and HAPPY MAY 1st, my darling pop culture junkies! As my social feeds were filled with the “It’s Gonna be MAY” memes on Sunday, here are a few but please…we are in May…it’s too late, please do not share these or I will feel your embarrassment from where I am.

We have a lot to cover, and I am writing this from DC as I attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and ALL the amazing parties. Say what you want about DC, but I was out from 11 AM til 4 AM on Saturday alone, and it will take me WEEKS to recover. I got to sip prosecco with Tinx at Tammy’s famous brunch:

And then….

ICONIC.

I got to chat with the VERY dashing and lovely Governor Newsom, take selfies with Representative Ilana Omar, and show Justin Theroux the tattoo of Potato, the dog, on my arm, which thrilled me and likely annoyed him. I DID NOT meet a Vanderpump, and for that, I shall be forever pained but, otherwise, a total success. And regardless of what side you are on politically, one HAS to admit it sure is nice to have a President with a sense of humor AND a sense of humor about himself, and Biden delivered on that one thousand times over.

This one killed me…

And, of course, he called out Space Karen:

And Roy Wood Jr was BRILLIANT, like really, I was blown away by him. Sometimes it was dark but necessary. Like this moment that had the room shook:

This one on Clarence Thomas was truly brilliant from start to finish:

And, of course, the utterly absurd George Santos, who was NOT at the event, kept obsessing over the fashion and desperate to be anointed the new fashion police and DARED to mention Joan Rivers and I felt something needed to be said:

HAD to be said.

OK, let’s GET to it. If you missed last week’s pod with me and the INCREDIBLE Shani Hilton of the LA Times and formerly Buzzfeed, well, you def want to listen to this one:

BLUE SKIES AHEAD?

If you are on Twitter or know people who are active on Twitter, then it is quite possible you have heard about Bluesky and likely in the last few days. Because this is when it had its “MOMENT.” But I imagine there are many of you who are like wtf are you talking about so let me give you a quick breakdown.

As Twitter has continued to be more and more of a hellscape, there have been other companies trying to re-create Twitter. The right-wing has its own version with Truth Social. And then, more recently, services like Mastodon and Post have come out to some buzz.

But nothing was Twitter. Some were clunky. Some were too complicated to navigate for the average non-tech user. Some were Web-based and didn't offer an app. Others were simply too hard to find (Post is a terrible name for SEO purposes just saying.)

But then came Bluesky, and wait…it’s Twitter. Like, it looks EXACTLY like Twitter. It feels EXACTLY like Twitter. It has the same font. The same format. NO learning curve. It’s an app.

AND? It is backed by none other than Jack fucking Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter.

But like wait…how can he do that? Well, for one thing, it is open source, which means its software was developed as a public, open collaboration and made freely available to the public.

I mean, it looks exactly the same:

There has been talk that instead of tweets people are calling them skeets, but so far, thankfully, none of my people have said that because it’s a NO for me on that. But I digress.

The app is invite-only, and people who have gotten early access get invite codes after being on it for a period of time. And this sort of strategy, when done correctly as Bluesky has done thus far, works. People start talking about it on other social platforms…the invite code becomes coveted. People who have them are sought out. People start publicly asking to be given one and it is all rather amusing to watch and be a part of. I got a coveted invite code, and it was like getting a GOLDEN TICKET but I have not been on long enough so I don't yet have invite codes to pass on.

Supply.

Demand.

Genius.

And something happened toward the end of last week that made the numbers skyrocket. As it didn't launch last week. Like SXSW did for Twitter, something in the air last week saw Bluesky become a real contender because going somewhere no one you know is sucks, but going to a familiar feeling place where so many people are or soon will be — it’s a great thing. And for now, we are given an opportunity to start over with a service we know and love with the lessons we learned from Twitter before it went sideways.

This new decentralized social network, co-founded and funded by Jack Dorsey, is NOT led by Dorsey but instead is led by a woman named Jay Graber, and this might be an important decision in these early days as it grows in how it handles this growth and bad actors who inevitably will and have come to Bluesky. I fundamentally believe women see this differently than men.

The main difference between Twitter and Bluesky is, according to this article:

..it is organized around a decentralized system. That means user data can be stored on independent servers rather than ones owned by the company, and that in the future, users will be able to develop their own servers that they can use with communities of their choosing.

And for now, the feeling is very much THIS:

Will Elon start kicking people off of Twitter if they talk about Bluesky? What shenanigans will take place? WHO IS TO SAY? Only time will tell. The man who claims that the freedom of speech is paramount seems to have a wee bit of a thin skin so like I said…who is to say?! We await with BATED breath.

And check out this New York Times article I have gifted everyone!

A LITTLE THIS, A LITTLE THAT:

Yes, this past week seemed to be dominated by jokes and memes and analysis around Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon being fired, but that’s not why you come here, so let’s get to some other things you may have missed or chosen to ignore or were too embarrassed to ask about! Here are some highlights (and lowlights) of some OTHER pop culture-y things that have gone down this week.

This was a tough week for reporters asking stars questions. Here are two examples from the week. One is the genius way to school a reporter asking the wrong question. And the other is the absurd and unnecessary way to treat a reporter asking questions you don’t like. FIRST up, we have Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 28-year-old Greek-Nigerian who plays basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks. Look, I am surely not going to pretend I knew about him before this, as I do not watch basketball, but I am not obsessed with him.

And next up, we have Tony Danza. YEP, Tony, “Who’s The Boss?” Danza really got his panties in a twist with this reporter.

And he’s getting roasted on TikTok. Obviously.

  • This week we saw some moments of bullying caught on camera go absolutely viral.

This creator was being filmed by her brother at a baseball game when the girls behind her decided to mock her and make faces and vulgar gestures on camera. Now look, I understand some people might react negatively to seeing someone filming and knowing they are in the shot. But there are SO many better ways to handle that, and these girls are now paying a heavy price for their behavior as their lives have been turned upside down by the attention. Even Cardi B got in on it.

The girls responded…and perhaps not in the best of ways. They were called gaslighters and so forth.

To be honest, the reaction has been mixed. It has divided the socials, but the original creator has come out asking for it to end. A classy move.

BUT…nope…we have another one, and THIS time, there is no question that this was bullying and racially motivated. These Italian girls on a train were being filmed only because they had been mocking this group of people who were Asian, and it was hard to watch.

Yeah, it isn't good. But also, why is saying “ni hao,” which means “hello,” in Mandarin so funny to these girls? It is VERY cringe, as they say.

And when this blew up online, one of the girls reached out to the creator:

As glad as I am we didn’t have mobile phones when I was a teen, having these moments caught on camera is very impactful.

Yeah, again…here we are in sports land, a world I do not follow that closely. But I do follow viral moments, and we had a doozie this year.

Will Levis is the much-hyped (self-hyped as well) quarterback for the University of Kentucky. There was lots of talk that he would be a first-round draft pick. Right out of a scene from a movie, you had him there with his gorgeous girlfriend and family with all cameras on him, sitting on a couch in the green room..waiting to be called.

But he was not called.

At first, it was his girlfriend, Gia Duddy, who started to go viral.

But when it became apparent that he was not being drafted that first night, the memes started coming:

And while most likely NOT the reason he wasn’t picked early, it wasn’t NOT the reason either. And that is his much-discussed MAYO IN COFFEE bullshit.

I still don't know where the hate is coming from, so feel free to educate me. It is being said that he and his family were telling people he would be picked early so maybe that was it. He was the number 33 pick instead of a top ten pick, and he was picked by the Tenessee Titans. We wish him well!

In the MOST LA picture ever taken, we have Shawn Mendes and his posse being papped and woo boy, did the Internets have lots to say.

They have been branded the SMOOTHIE SQUAD, and it’s perfect.

  • Well, this is one I had to really dig in deep to figure out if this is real. Apparently, it IS real. Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal as gay cowboys, which is something we all need, but this trailer is wild. A Pedro Almodovar production!
  • In a moment where books are being banned, we need ALL the Judy Blume we can get. And thankfully, we are getting some. This doc is out on Amazon Prime Video:

AND OUT IN MOVIE THEATRES…we have “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” which looks darling:

  • And switching gears, we have a new season of “The Kardashians” on Hulu. And it seems Mama Jenner listened to all the criticism and got her girls to deliver the drama…address things they have long ignored, and well…it’s a LOT.

THAT IS IT, my darlings…

I skipped over some things I know. But we have the MET GALA to prepare for. Just kidding, I don't care other than I will be in NY, and the traffic will annoy the F out of me. But there will be fashion highlights and lowlights next week, I am sure. I only care if Choupette will be there TBH:

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Xx,

Brooke

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