The Inflatable Trump-Chicken, Return of the Mooch, and the Week’s Biggest Online News



In science news, our nation has accelerated its hell-in-a-handbasket journey such that it can cover a decade’s worth of entropy in a mere half-year.

Which makes sense, given that Donald Trump is actually talking as if nuclear war isn’t entirely off the table right now. In fact, we should probably just stop talking about this and move along, lest certain bellicose politicians be reminded of certain cartoonishly aggressive stances. So, gang, what happened online this week?

The Chicken and The Eggs (This Pun Would Work Better If Anonymous Twitter Accounts Still Has Egg Avatars)

What Happened: We regret to inform you that your animalistic avatar of the Resistance has been stolen by the enemy.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: This one might work best if we start without any context. It was, after all, the way that most people found out about it in the first place:

Yes, there really was an inflatable Trump chicken on the White House lawn. His name is Donny and—of course—he has a Twitter account.

Perhaps surprisingly, he’s not a commentary about Trump’s increasingly hawklike stance, but about Trump’s reluctance to release his own taxes. Regardless, a funny thing happened on Twitter: the chicken got co-opted (coop-ted?) by Trump supporters:

No, really; there’s a collection of the pro-Trump chicken memes on Breitbart of all places. The internet is a weird and wonderful place.

The Takeaway: Look, someone had to say it:

Hell Hath No Fury Like a President’s Threat

What Happened: No big deal, just the President of the United States promising to rain down “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on another country, which is totally normal and not terrifying at all.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: If there’s one thing you really want to hear the President of the United States say when he’s talking about a foreign adversary with nuclear capabilities threatening the U.S., it’s promisingfire and furyif they don’t shape up. Who even says such things, anyway?

Yes, Twitter was appropriately impressed by the warning, as you might have imagined.

However, it did play well to a certain audience. (Which wasn’t anyone in North Korea, of course.)

After it was said, many started to wonder just how official the language was. After all, did the U.S. military really want to be promising potential pre-emptive strikes on other countries? Turns out, probably not.

The Takeaway: Days later, as the world was ready to perhaps back down from the posturing, the President decided to go in a different direction, suggesting it wasn’ttough enough” and tweeting… well, this:

Yup, we’re all going to die.

Return Of The Mooch

What Happened: After a media silence as brief as his tenure as White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci returned to the public eye with a tweet that probably sounded better in his head.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Hey, guess who’s back? Anthony Scaramucci, onetime White House communications director and permanent punchline, who prepared for his big return to television with a tweet that tried to set the agenda and … well, let’s just see what happened, shall we?

Sure, that’s a handy 1990s reference potentially lost on the younger readers in the audience (Spoiler for the Clinton scandals if you’re curious), but what did it actually mean?

The problem is, it’s not actually that simple:

There are, of course, some problems with the analogy, as others were eager to share:

But wait! Who would know about this better than a certain political icon from the 1990s? (No, not Hillary Clinton; what, you think she’s that desperate to promote her new book?)

Yes, that’s right—Monica Lewinsky herself ended up commenting on the tweet, leading to the most unexpected, wonderful thing online this week: A miniature Monica Lewinsky appreciation revival:

The whole thing, of course was exactly the kind of thing reporters wanted. Could this be the rare political story in which everyone win? Except for Anthony Scaramucci’s self-respect, that is?

The Takeaway: Hey, I wonder how the Mooch is preparing for that Stephen Colbert appearance, anyway?

I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In

What Happened: During a sexual harassment trial, Taylor Swift takes a stand on the stand, and the internet is divided about just what that means.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: So, Taylor Swift is currently in court with a sexual harassment lawsuit against a DJ that groped her. Because she’s Taylor Swift, it’s something that’s been getting a lot of attention, and stirring up a lot of passion online:

Swift’s fearless testimony has been drawing attention, as well, deservedly:

Of course, again because she’s Taylor Swift, the haters have also come out with a passion, and it’s been… well, pretty gross, really:

If only there was a pithy way to respond to that kind of crap…

Oh, that’ll do it.

The Takeaway: No punchline this time, just this simple summation of the whole thing and its wider cultural implications:

Throw Out Your Arms For A New Sound

What Happened: Think you’ve heard the last of lazy millennial memes about avocados? Not so fast.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Hey, fellow kids! Time Magazine is totally on your wavelength and, like, groks what you’re all talking about!

“Hold my…” what? From the article itself, “”Hold my avocado” is a riff on two things. First, it takes advantage of the ‘hold my beer’ dialogue construction that’s become an internet joke to represent how politicians, brands, or other entities play a race-to-the-bottom game of putting their feet in their mouths.”

Admittedly, the idea actually came from a tweet, but does that mean that Twitter was ready to accept the phrase? All together now: NOT! SO! MUCH!

So, while Time tried to use Twitter as a barometer for millennial tastes, it became a laughing stock across the internet. This truly is the circle of life.

The Takeaway: But has anyone given any thought as to the real reason Time was trying to make this latest fetch happen?!?



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