Dirt: 2008 energy
"Laugh it up, chuckles."
Eliza Levinson returns twice a week to tell us what is going on in streaming and the metaverse.
The week continues briskly apace! Dave Chappelle was tackled to the ground by a random man mid-set at the Hollywood Bowl; Blac Chyna lost her lawsuit against the Kardashians; Bad Bunny is releasing a new album tomorrow (huge) and a lady wrote a reaaaaaally insane essay for a publication whose website, fittingly, is smh.com – read the piece aaallll the way to the end, including the bits in bold, to get what I mean.
Monday was the kind-of-anticipated Met Gala, which was themed “Gilded Glamour” – a reference to the period between 1870 and 1900. Yet again, celebrities proved that they Simply Cannot grasp what a theme is, with many crash-landing decades after the Gilded Age (flappers; the Kennedys/Marilyn Monroe) or dressing vaguely like a pirate (Shawn Mendes)-slash-ringmaster (Cara Delevigne).
IMHO, the best Lewks from this year’s lifeless Met Gala were (in no particular order): Doja Cat, Nicola Coughlan, Jodie Turner-Smith (I think her look might be my fave), Gemma Chan, Naomi Campbell, Kaia Gerber, Lizzo especially because of the flute and Quannah Chasinghorse. These felt elegant, glamorous, aspirational, and – crucially – on theme. I mean, what’s even the point of going to the Met Gala if you aren’t going to go on theme?!
Kylie Jenner had one of the worst looks of the evening in my personal opinion – though she paid tribute to the late, great Virgil Abloh, the baseball cap + t-shirt shaped top of her white dress was serving 2008 energy, like when all the kids at a Bar Mitzvah would get cheap hats airbrushed to say things like “Shibby” (just me? OK) and then walk around stunting like you were the hottest kid in eighth grade.
Strutting in wearing the gown originally worn by Marilyn Monroe when she provocatively sang “Happy Birthday” to JFK was none other than my personal Jesus, Kim Kardashian, though I don’t actually get why consensus seems to be that she won the evening, ‘cause some other looks were more special, IMHO. Also, what HOLD does Pete Davidson have on you people??? Does everyone, like, owe him money or something? Does he have kompromat on the entire internet?
Before I close out today’s Culture Corner, I also must address an absolutely unacceptable song released by Justin Bieber last week. Listen: for years, I was nothing short of a Bieber apologist – someday I’ll take a minute and tell the world-shattering story of the time I held his hand once at a club in LA – but I was shocked/horrified/speechless/dry-mouthed/ knock-kneed/cameltoed when I heard his latest, “I Feel Funny.”
Readers, everything about this song is nothing short of terrifying. From the way Bieber says “Laugh it up, Chuckles” to the way he says “I’m a Pisces” prompts a cold shiver to run down my spine and sends me directly to the grave.
Meanwhile, in the metaverse, government agencies in the UK and the US are working to regulate cryptocurrency for its investors. In the UK, the country’s High Court determined that NFTs are “property that can be afforded legal protections,” a huge win for those who have been the victim of hacks and attacks to crypto wallets. Simultaneously, the SEC in the US “nearly double[d]” its “crypto enforcement team,” part of a larger effort to crack down on fraud on the blockchain.
This is all taking place as investors and spectators are continuing to watch the pieces tumble into place after the “disaster” of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s “virtual land sale,” which promised investors territory in their upcoming metaverse project. As described in Tuesday’s newsletter, the popularity of the drop sent “gas fees” – the charge associated with blockchain investments on Ethereum – skyrocketing, with some hopeful buyers paying “thousands of dollars in Ethereum” for transactions that wouldn’t even go through.
Using the pandemonium to their advantage, hackers stole an additional $5 million from would-be investors, using misleading account names to steal a number of NFTs right out of the wallets of aspiring buyers.
And in the Dirt Discord, we’re talking about a recent issue of Packy McCormick’s newsletter (Not Boring), entitled “Tokengated Commerce.” In conversation with Alex Danco, McCormick learns about Shopify’s bold steps toward crypto wallets.
~Catch up on Dirt~
— Elden Ring, roguelikes, and the “permadeath drive” in gaming by Erik Hinton
— the downfall of Tudum and the argument for a Twittercoin in Tuesday’s roundup, by moi
— an excerpt from Laurie Stone’s upcoming book, Streaming Now: Postcards from the Thing That Is Happening
— Jensen McRae, u m a m i, Mouth to Mouth and more: Daisy and Kyle’s weekend recs
— literally, finally: season two of Bling Empire is dropping later this month — Avril Lavigne joined Olivia Rodrigo on her SOUR tour to sing “Complicated” — Ashley Tisdale offered some iconic suggestions of what she could have worn to the Met Gala (inspired by some of her previous early aughts red carpet Lewks) — as the Supreme Court leak regarding a possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, Phoebe Bridgers shared her experience with abortion — Bravo’s reality shows are moving to Peacock, so I guess I am, too — Facebook gave the kibosh to its podcast venture, Live Audio Rooms — Kendrick Lamar releases teaser for his new album — a documentary about musician Cyndi Lauper is “in the works” — the trailers for Don’t Worry Darling (Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde) and a new biopic about Weird Al Yankovic starring Daniel Radcliffe just dropped
Dispatches from the Metaverse
— are wrong number texts the new scam plaguing us all? — inside the viral story of the gym bros-turned-lovers, at MEL — at VICE, the tragic true story behind one of the blockchain’s beloved mottos, “WAGMI” — privacy breaches abound, from India’s Tata Neu to BetterHelp and the CDC — Elon Musk insists Twitter will stay free for civilian users, but corporations and governments might have to pay “a slight cost” to use the site — Point DAO has opened a bar in New York, The River
— “‘I Don’t Really Have A Business Plan’: How Elon Musk Wings It” by Cade Metz, Ryan Mac and Kate Conger for the New York Times — Night Journeys by Courtesy — “How Memes Became Electronic Music’s Cultural Currency” by Gunseli Yalcinkaya for Resident Advisor — Trance Frendz by Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm — “Relationships Work Best When Only One Person Is ‘Very Online’” by Daisy Jones for VICE — Seth Rogen’s hip acrylic “goopy” manicure — two by Alex Kassian: “Oolong Trance - Club Mix” and “Olson Waters”— By Eliza Levinson