A culture war is raging on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, and I’m not talking about the urban-rural political swamp that is destroying our nation. I’m talking about something important: Generation Z and millennials pulling on skinny jeans.
This Week in Generation Battles: Gen Z versus millennials
The simmering pop culture war between Millennials and Generation Z has spread recently. The main battlefields are skinny jeans and side panels with little skirmishes over the Harry Potter fandom with the words “growing up” and the BuzzFeed quiz.
According to Gen Z, all of these millennial things are uncool, canceled, or naughty (see below). Millennials, clearly no longer the coolest kids at the party, respond with their own volleys, swearing to get their skinny jeans and extra whip lattes out of their cold, dead fingers with half coffee and point out that you do Avoid taking fashion advice from people who turn on LED lights in their bedrooms and eat TidePods.
Personally, I think millennials should surrender: you can’t win a war if you are cool with teenagers. But as a member of Gen X, I don’t inject myself into it. I’m glad to shrug my shoulders and say “whatever”. For a deeper dive check out this Mina Le– This fashion video from YouTuber shows it all and even delves into the history of skinny jeans.
Definition of the week: “Cheugy”
“Cheugy” is an adjective used to describe someone or something that is cheesy but tries hard not to be. It doesn’t exactly mean “basic”; it doesn’t describe the generic. It is more aimed at people who try too hard, but still miss the mark. In other words, it’s an insult tailor-made for Gen Z to pelt aging millennials.
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The word seems to have grown in popularity on TikTok and is used to describe things like saying “I did something” when you post a picture of something you’ve done or when you are really committed to as an adult Disney care. The trick to avoiding happiness is to live long enough for the cultural signifiers that you consider “cool” to get cheesy and then get cool again. (See “Mom Jeans” and “The Linda Lindas” below.)
This week at the party went wrong: Adrian’s setback
Los Angeles area teenager Adrian Lopez experienced the joys and heartaches of internet celebrity in just a few days. The saga began on Monday when Adrian posted a simple TikTok video inviting the kids from his school to attend a graduation ceremony in Huntington Beach, near Los Angeles, on Saturday night. Something about the invitation caught people’s attention, however, and it didn’t take long for it to go viral. Teenagers shared them, TikTok’s almighty algorithm strengthened them, and influencers like 24kGoldn and Noah Beck influenced them.
As of Friday, videos tagged #adrianskickback had drawn close to 280 million viewers, and people vowed to come from everywhere to attend the “Party of the Century”.
There was just no party. There was only Adrian Lopez’s vision of some schoolmates hanging out by the fire pit on the beach. With the help of a promoter, Adrian tried to find a venue and put something together, but the guy didn’t have time for it. By Saturday, the night of the party, everything had fallen apart.
Thousands of children who had been locked in the house for a year descended on Huntington Beach. As was to be expected, a riot broke out: fireworks were launched, walls marked, bottles thrown at police officers, rubber bullets shot at parties, arrests made and lessons learned. Just one more week on the internet.
Punk band of the week: The Linda Lindas
A few weeks ago I wrote about a sad, fake punk rock band made up of all girls Tramp postage stamps. In contrast, check out The Linda Lindas, basically the anti-tramp postage stamps. These four Asian and Latin American girls, ages 11-16, dressed in band shirts and plaid skirts recently ripped out a number of killer-bangers worthy of the Ramones at the Los Angeles Public Library. (How punk rock is it blasting the damn library doors?)
The Linda Lindas sing about how sad it is not to have dinner with your grandmother during the pandemic, a racist boy who was mean to them and another topic that is of passionate interest to teenage girls. Anyway that Video went viral, Labels became interested and rock ‘n’ roll was saved for the eleventh millionth time since 1957.
Viral Video of the Week: McDonald’s BTS Meal
K-pop boy band BTS have partnered with McDonald’s to bring out the McDonald’s BTS food. This is evidence of the continued popularity of BTS, the commercial was one of the most watched videos on YouTube this week.
The meal consists of a 10-piece chicken McNuggets, a cola, medium-sized french fries and (according to the ad) two “exclusive sauces from BTS: Sweet Chili Sauce and Cajun”.
I’m not sure why these meals are synonymous with BTS. I’m not sure why BTS is still around. I’m not sure why anyone would care, but the fact is, Korean pop stars promoting a multinational company’s food product is what kids want to see on YouTube. We just have to deal with that. It’s a strange world. I’ll shoot myself into space to escape.