Welcome to Issue 3.5 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
Today I’m taking my first-ever vacation day from work (it’s only been a few months, don’t fret). I certainly won’t be going anywhere, given the *situation,* but I did read the NY Times’ first-ever travel column compiled from reader submissions about how to travel from home.
My hot take is that really this is just a compilation of different excuses to consume different alcoholic beverages, but it’s possible a more careful read will turn up some nuance.
It’s not just me who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Conferences and other major gatherings are being delayed or pushed online, including South by Southwest (SxSW). Like many other events, its virtual iteration will be free. I have seen some good discussion on the mass-publicizing of resources and content that this pandemic has brought about. But we must ask how and why: for example, SxSW will be free, but users need an Amazon account, because yes, it is our favorite worker-abusing, carbon-emitting, small business-squashing corporation owned by a piece of slandering scum that will be streaming the event.
If you’re looking for an activity a little more qualitative that drinking all day (or simply something to do alongside it), I highly recommend this recording of an online teach-in that happened last week with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on capitalism amidst this crisis. Naomi Klein, who has long written about corporate intention and capacity to swoop in during a crisis and profit off of it, discusses the danger of moving all of our content, our organizing, and our relationships onto platforms managed by our corporate overlords, which are most certainly collecting and analyzing our data, and just waiting to use it to profit off of us and our struggles (even more than they already have).
So it’s good news, sort of, that COP26, the major annual gathering of governments (and um, fossil fuel industry lobbyists) discussing international climate policy and targets, was not moved to a virtual platform, but delayed until 2021.
Rephrase: if the conference, initially scheduled for November 2020, had been made virtual, it would have been damn near impossible for civil society to participate, which is already a huge problem. Last year, things got ugly, and members of the public, including indigenous activists, aka the only people who really know what the right move is re: avoiding climate catastrophe, got forced out of the talks and barricaded by the police.
But also, delaying major climate policy gatherings, while necessary in the face of the crisis, doesn’t mean we can afford to just sit around and twiddle our thumbs. I’ve heard some stuff floating around about massive systems change and a Green New Deal-type of stimulus in the US. Also, it’s early spring in my part of the world, which means its a good time to start growing food—but don’t get too overwhelmed trying to single-handedly solve the climate crisis.
As for finding things to do inside this weekend, I know a certain series about tigers has been all the rage. If you’ve already watched it all (which I haven’t, as a dedicated/hard-headed cultural contrarian), I recommend this video of Malayan tigers enjoying the absence of dumb tourists knocking on the glass at their enclosure at the Bronx Zoo:
One of the things that keeps me going this quarantine szn is writing this ~*Hot Goss*~ column. In many ways, it has become my new morning routine, replacing my commute to my workplace and allowing me to live out my long held dreams of becoming a celebrity gossip blogger of some sort. Another kind of secret dream I have is making beauty videos on Youtube. I’ve missed the boat on that one because of how saturated the Beautuber landscape is today, but that doesn’t mean I can’t report on these messy b*tches! And have I got the messiest one for you yet today.
If you’re as steeped in the makeup and Beautuber world as I am, you won’t be surprised by the fact that beauty content creator and cosmetics mogul Jeffree Star is beefing – and with none other than 10-year-old Mason Disick (who? Kourtney Kardashian’s son, that’s who). That sentence really makes no sense, considering the fact that Jeffree Star is a grown ass adult man, but look at his long history of um, controversy, and it really was just a matter of time before he picked a fight with a child. It all started when Mason called Jeffree “spoiled AF” in an Instagram live stream for reasons I cannot provide due to the fact that I don’t watch 10-year-olds on the Internet. Anyway, Jeffree clapped back in a now-deleted Tweet, calling the boy privileged, which isn’t false but also, it’s a child? Maybe you can sit this one out? I know it’s getting harder to fight people now that we’re all minding our own business at home but come ON.
I just wanted an excuse to write about Timothee Chalamet so here it is, the official announcement that the beloved 2017 movie “Call Me By Your Name” is set to return for a sequel!
Finally, here’s some homework for all you gossip gals out there this weekend. I get a lot of feedback and reactions from people who read this column and I thought it would be fun to do a ~*Hot Goss*~ Redux where I answer all the questions you have about anything celebrity culture and gossip-related! Here are some I received about the Backstreet Boys from Wednesday’s edition:
1. Have you determined whether or not they were lipsynching or not in the video?
I know for a fact that AJ is most definitely NOT lip synching (again, most talented member). I think Brian, Kevin, and Howie are also most likely not lip synching, at least during their individual parts. Nick is definitely lip synching though, both on his part and the chorus, because his voice sounds too close to the actual recording, which is suspicious to me. Nick was, however, the only person trying to inject some choreography into the performance, which I appreciate, so he gets a pass.
2. Has Kevin gotten some work done on his face or is he just naturally timeless?
Kevin’s definitely got some Botox up on the corners of his face. It looks a little too taut to me but I also think he’s aging well because he’s so unproblematic. And to be honest, they all have been! They mind their own business, make great pop music, and feel no embarrassment at or try to distance themselves from their bubblegum boyband past which many people try to do (cough Justin Timberlake cough) so what’s not to love?
So if you’ve ever had any questions about hot goss or hot people you’ve read in the past (both in this column or otherwise), let me know and send them my way! Happy Friday, everyone!
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
Today’s news, raw:
36 Hours in … Wherever You Are, 4/2/20, NY Times
SXSW Film Festival Heads to Amazon, 4/2/20, NPR
Climate experts look ahead as coronavirus forces delay of COP26 summit, 4/2/20, Thomson Reuters