Who Is (Are?) Blackpink? The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture
In advance of their new album, K-Pop band Blackpink has released a video for their song “Pink Venom,” and the online reaction seemed to dwarf everything else that happened on Earth in the past week—provided you’re about 16 and not yet concerned with student debt relief. But there is also a killer (literally) new slide in Detroit, and young people are finally deciding to stop working so darn hard.
Viral video of the week: BLACKPINK – ‘Pink Venom’ DANCE PRACTICE VIDEO
Videos don’t get more “viral” than Blackpink’s Pink Venom’ DANCE PRACTICE VIDEO. Over 20 million people watched it during its first day online. If you’re anything like me, you’re asking “what’s a Blackpink, now?” Well, let me educate you: Blackpink is a Korean, all-woman pop band that has steadily taken over the world since it was formed in 2016. Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa have only released one album, 2020’s The Album, but the follow-up, Born Pink, is scheduled to drop on Sept. 16—hence the massive hype for the new video (or the rehearsal for the new video, I guess). I don’t know any more than that, but I do know that the “Pink Venom” is a banger. I thought it was the best song in the world, until I heard “Giant Slide.”
The Belle Island Giant Slide delights, injures nation
This week’s pop culture runner up (and the winner of my heart this week) is the Belle Island Giant Slide in Detroit. Closed for two years due to the pandemic, the slanted steel amusement park attraction reopened last week, but the slide worked a little too well, and videos of riders being launched into the air, slamming to slide’s metal surface, and careening out of control have been delighting people all over the world. (No one, as far as I can tell, has actually been seriously hurt.) Sadly, some things are too beautiful to live, and the killjoys at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources washed and waxed the slide in effort to make it stop being so awesome.
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To see the carnage for yourself, check out the above fan-made video for Detroit rapper Gmac Cash’s song “Giant Slide.” I’ve watched it 85,000 times, and I will never not love it.
Andrew Tate banned from everything on earth
Last week I begrudgingly informed whoever reads this column of the existence of failed reality star and misogynistic man-fluencer Andrew Tate. This week, Tate was deplatformed from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube for violating the platforms’ hate speech policies. Was there a connection between my scathing commentary and Tate’s severe banning? Definitely not! But the important thing is that I will never be again be spurred to write about Andrew Tate, at least until it’s time to report on how few people attended his funeral.
I’ve been around this here internet long enough to know that you should never google anything that your friend tells you to, or click on any link anyone sends you, or even turn your computer on in the first place, but that’s wisdom I won through hard experience. On TikTok, the “things you should never google” hashtag aims to keep impressionable peeps away from the worst of the web before they are tricked into searching for “lemon party” even once. The suggestions run the gamut from medical terms that will return horrific google image results, to creepy true crime stories, to this video that lists five terms I am unfamiliar with but that I will not google becau—god DAMN it! I can’t unsee it!
Why are teens teaching themselves sex ed?
There is a grassroots movement stirring among young people in the most religious parts of the country that is at once inspiring and sad: Teens are conducting their own sex education lessons because realistic information about sex and abortion is no longer permitted in their schools. Teenagers are rallying outside school board meetings in Virginia, teens in Texas are sharing abortion and sexuality information on Instagram, and teens in Tennessee are organizing for reproductive rights. At the same time, parents groups are organizing to take books out of libraries, shut down LGBTQ+ groups in schools, end the school sex ed programs, and keep contraceptives away from children.
What is the “slow living” trend taking over TikTok?
The days of young people romanticizing hustle and grind are coming to an end, replaced by the chiller vibes of #slowliving. The hashtag/philosophy/design aesthetic emphasizes well-being over money, sloth over industriousness, and, most importantly of all, napping over being awake during the day.
On one hand, the movement’s existence begs the question, “Isn’t it mostly wealthy white people who can afford to kick back?” But on the other, young people asking whether there’s more to life than slaving at some dumb job is healthy and positive. I am actually a slow-living pioneer! I’ve been doing this shit for years, except I call it “not giving a fuck anymore,” and there is no hashtag.