Pop Culture Mondays/9.14.20

The “Blade Runner” Edition

Welcome to my brain…

Well SHIT. Happy Monday you guys. This past week was a lot…in a year filled with a lot of these kind of weeks it’s hard to stand out but boy did this one really deliver. From the 19th anniversary of September 11th to the fires growing out of control that turned daylight into an ominous orange darkness that felt more like the end of days than anything we have ever seen. We lost reggae legend Toots Hibbert which is heartbreaking for all my friends in Jamaica and really for all of us. We had crazy political stuff which I am just not going to get into here. We have a deal in place with my obsession — and I do mean I am probably more addicted to TikTok than any other platform — with Oracle…and I am super conflicted out on this one (I work with Oracle) and so I am not covering that either but it was a WEEK. I try to get into some of it but it would be impossible to get into all of it and still have time in the day to do things like my real job or walk my dog (which you need a full on gas mask for these days) so I apologize in advance for anything I have missed.

But let’s kick this off with some reggae — my favorite music which takes me to another place no matter what mood I am in or challenges I am facing, reggae makes it ok. My happiest of happy places in all the land is Oracabessa, Jamaica and I thank my friend Reyna for bringing that to my life and for my friend Chris Blackwell for bringing it to all of us. So with that, sit back with a glass of whatever you fancy and enjoy some Toots…

No filter


As a new resident of California, I knew coming in about the risk of fires. I was told by everyone that they were not a MAYBE but an inevitable thing now. Whether these fires are started by people intentionally (there are actual people who really really do this and get off on it) or unintentionally (those gender reveal party people will live with this forever) or from the heavens a la lightening…this is the norm now. With record heat and dryness and winds…it is truly a recipe for disaster. Being an East Coaster, I am accustomed to talking about the weather daily. Not only do we have seasons, but we can have a day start really dark and gloomy with pouring rain and crazy winds — only to brighten up and be glorious later in the day. I have now been in Southern California since July 12th and not one day has been anything but sunny and hot. Some days HOTTER with the heat wave…but relentlessly sunny. Until this past week when we got the smoke and bad air and the first morning it happened I thought my house was on fire as it smelled like the fire was RIGHT there and my hair and clothes smelled like they do after a campfire. But nope…just the air. But that does not compare to what happened in Northern California and when I started seeing my friend’s pics I assumed they were filtered. Like, these pics were from a moment at sunrise and it was beautiful and eerie. But then I realized this was not sunrise but rather this was MID- DAY and it was not filtered and it was not beautiful but rather terrifying and tragic.

We went from being people who did not talk about air quality on the reg to people who were downloading air quality apps like IQ Air’s AirVisual or the EPA’s AirNow and checking it constantly and posting screenshots of how bad it is. And like the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 and the great ventilator shortage of 2020, we are now seeing the great shortage of air filters for people’s home as people are hoarding them leaving others to suffer.

So we have Covid, we have police killing Black people, we have fires killing people and we have air that is well…NOT ideal…

I would like to say I am ready to move again, but this time to a cottage in the West of Ireland overlooking the sea with a house full of dogs and books and call it a DAY.


My fantasy life

And here are some tips to try to protect yourself from bad air if at all possible:

TOO good


I had to use this Baby Yoda pic because like Donald Trump’s tweets…there is a Baby Yoda pic for everything! So, for those of you not familiar with Chris Evans, he is the actor who plays the lead in “Captain America” and seems like a wholesome, lovely guy. Now he is NOT my type which I would have said was because he seems nice and wholesome and a stand up kind of guy who loves his dog which are all amazing qualities and should be qualities you seek in a guy unless you’re me and well that’s another topic for another newsletter. BUT, Chris had a little bit of a social media fiasco happen over the weekend and that is HE ACCIDENTALLY posted a VERY NSFW picture of his um… “Captain America” we shall say to an Insta story. NO I AM NOT POSTING IT HERE because it’s rude to do and he took it down immediately and people sharing it are awful plus I am fairly certain I would be arrested for distributing porn but alas it was um…god, how do I say this in a lady-like way? It was a close up of him in a very enthusiastic state. OK let’s move on. But also, HI:

BUT here is the fucking thing I find so crazy here. No one from what I can tell is horrified or calling him out for being naughty and instead are more like “OH we love you Chris shit happens and an honest mistake”. We have seen politicians do this and people lose their minds…but look, he is single and if he wants to send someone (please be over 18 this is all I ask) a dick pic then GOD DAMMIT let him do it. If he was married or in a relationship, I imagine this would have been met with a different reaction but I still find it wild how many people actively supported him:

Also, our beloved Chrissy Teigen weighed in with REALNESS as this whole WhatsApp pics save to my phone thing really does mess with me sometimes…

And just in general people seemed to have fun with it…and relate to it which I was not expecting. Also, let’s be clear…we can debate all day but this is not what would happen if a woman accidentally posted a naughty pic of herself. I really don’t think the reaction would be the same at all but maybe I am just an old cynical lady.

Should you want to know more then here you go:

Bye ladies…


You might find it amusing that as someone who is obsessed with pop culture, I have never seen an entire episode of “Keeping Up with Kardashians”. I mean I have seen scenes from it, most notably this gem which made me realize Kourtney is and always will be my favorite:

Or this iconic moment where going to jail for a DUI is FUNNY GUYS:

I mean I could sit here all day posting videos of this show, a show I never watched but has still seeped into my brain. The family is genius, regardless of what you think about them or the impact they have had on society from plastic surgery and unrealistic expectations people (girls) place on themselves to look like the sisters did from their waists to their lips to how treating people badly to calling each other names to showing your wealth as flamboyantly as possible….the family led by the mom made a fortune from it. And from Caitlyn Jenner to Kylie the “billionaire” businesswoman it is a whole part of our society which will be written in history books. Remember those outlines you had to do in school like the bubble outlines of a book:

Think about what that would look like for the Kardashians. With the sisters and the brother, the parents, the husbands and wives, the dramas around everyone directly or indirectly, the arrests and the breakups and the fights…it would be a work of art to be honest. And now it comes to an end. Whether it was because of slipping ratings or over saturation or disagreement with family members or boredom of being followed by cameras 24/7 or there is something new in the works, who is to say. BUT I find the timing super interesting as they end the show, Paris Hilton — the woman who launched not only this entire genre but also the person who put Kim on the map initially as Kim was ONCE Paris’ assistant — had her film debut on YouTube and it is spectacular. And Paris, who I have met and is really lovely and totally different from her TV persona, seems to pull the curtain up on “reality” and what it really means which I cannot help is the perfect moment:

The Kardashians and Paris came about before the world of social media and it’s wild to see the evolution and where we are today. Is it progress? The people behind “The Social Dilemma”, a film on Netflix don’t seem to think so. And for that we end it here BUT I will say this:

I know some of the people in this film. Some I know well, some I know in passing. Most of them made a great deal of money from the companies they are now criticizing whether it is Facebook or Twitter or Google or Pinterest. I mean they made PLANE money guys. And while when you have a G5 at your disposal it is really easy to sit there and criticize the companies and the very job you had that was about monetizing these companies…I ask then why not give a bulk of your wealth away to fight this? To undo the damage you yourselves helped to create? I just find the hypocrisy great as they sit there bathed in their Brunello Cucinelli talking about how terrible these companies are. THOUGH, in the same theme here, it is lifting the curtain on the inner workings of how social media companies work. Alas, you decide but this was a tough one for me JUST based on who they had as storytellers for most of it:


We covered dick pics, climate crisis and social media/reality show madness…as diverse a PCM as we can get. So, I have to get back to work work but I want to highlight some of my fave things this week:

  • It’s M to B guys. OY ok so let me back up and explain. A few years ago there are some diss tracks released by grime artist Millie B directed at her nemesis, Sophie Aspin. Here is some more:

BUT the song took on a new life, a monumental life thanks to TikTok. Where a TikTokker based in Hawaii (no it’s not Larry Ellison but I honestly cannot wait for his TikTok and think he should do a Duet with her but I digress…) Bella Poarch now has the most liked or viewed or whatever TikTok simply by lip syncing a few seconds of the song:

I mean if this doesn’t sum up TikTok I really don’t know what else to say. And now the OG has a music video:

  • Ted “you know he watches naughty naughty things” Cruz is all up in arms along with his Super right wing aka we are deeply self loathing people who have weird sexual fetishes peeps about “Cuties” on Netflix. #cancelnetflix was trending on Twitter. Look it’s a French film and us Americans are too puritanical and repressed…now MAYBE Netflix could have used different art but SINCE I have not seen the movie I am just basing this on what I have read…this is based on real experiences from Director who is Senegalese and Muslim. Also, YOU KNOW Ted Cruz and his merry men have watched the US show “Dance Moms” which to me is HORRIFYING with zero thought to the welfare of children.
  • Oh Lululemon. You cannot help yourself! Look, I say this WHILE sitting in my Lululemon leggings that HAVE POCKETS and I spent god knows how much on (but come on guys…why don’t all leggings have pockets??) but come on LULU…be better. They caused quite the amusing stir with this post about having a workshop on how to resist capitalism…nothing says resist capitalism like $180 leggings!
  • And while not to end on a dark note, there is a piece of journalism that to this day is one of the most incredible pieces I have ever read and one that people share every year on September 11th since it was written and I share it now as it is fucking horrible to read but important and it will make you take to your bed and you may need to space it out over time but if you have not read it I urge you to.

Until next week, my Pop Culture Junkies…as always if you have any feedback or thoughts or want to bathe me in praise, please do so. I LOVE IT ALL. But also, please share with your friends as I write this with love and love to share it.

If you aren’t already a subscriber (PLEASE PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!!!) and want this in your inbox please send an email to:






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.

Recommended from Medium

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to…

Drum Rolls Not Gender Roles: UK Punk Bands Destroying Social Norms

Top Albums 2021 — by Sports & Media People

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

On Phoebe Bridgers, and Our Perverse Fascination With Criticizing Others’ Successes

The Music By No Means Concludes

My favorite power metal albums of all time

When Punk Went to the Moon

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brooke Hammerling

Brooke Hammerling

Talk to me about tech, pop culture, cheese or dogs.

More from Medium

Pop Culture Mondays/3.28.22

April Eats Checklist: From Tortas to Salvadoran Food

Pop Culture Mondays/1.10.22

Buzzy Italian at SF’s Norcina Is a (Hit-or-Miss) Great Eatery