Within our hyper-accelerated news culture, it can be tough to keep up with everything. But maintaining an informed populace remains vital to our culture. So for those stories that don’t quite need your undivided attention, we’re helping you digest stuff with GIFS, pics, and whatever qualifies as a quick fix. Remember: Knowing is half the battle. The other half: Laughing at funny memes.
Justin Bieber Goes Hippie
Social media, texting, constant connection—a few qualities attributed to this second, digital world contained inside our pockets and purses. That world often times doesn’t allow a moment to disconnect and digest the bigger questions. Or, as contemporary philosopher Kylie Jenner put it, “of just, like, realizing things.”
The white-hot, always-on spotlight of celebrity only intensifies these pressures. Just ask Justin Bieber. Following his brand reclamation project/2015 album Purpose release—though, also a fresh record!—the Biebs has been touring since early March. The global Purpose tour hasn’t stopped and won’t anytime soon—Bieber’s slated to be on the road until late April 2017, with no real break in between. That’s over a year touring, a grind more Sisyphean than Herculean with its tedious monotony of high-pitched adoration and perpetual reproduction.
How’s Justin been handling it? Well…he’s gone a bit hippie-high existential. He got extremely woke about awards shows (“When I look in the audience I see a bunch of fake smiles”), quit Instagram, and buzzed his head. Little diva, sure, but he’s supposed to be one. Then he strolled barefoot through Boston, playing with a squirrel and climbing trees. Which, hey, squirrels are cute and fun. Who hasn’t climbed a tree? No shame, bruh.
It reached a somewhat breaking point during a Manchester concert as Biebs tried to “have a moment” with his fans, speak some of that real-real, maybe deliver some Kanye-concert wisdom, but they wouldn’t stop cheering. So he stormed off, dropping the mic. He returned, because brand damage control, but seemed genuinely frustrated he couldn’t have a genuine minute in a concert where he genuinely places himself inside a glass case of his genuine emotions.
— The Cut (@TheCut) March 11, 2016
The latest act that has celebrity oglers reacting “Why is Justin acting so wEiRd!?” occurred in Scotland, where Bieber, minding his own business, was chided by some locals. Driving by, the Scots greeted the pop star in heavy slang—indecipherable on the first listen—while Bieber appeared confused and lost. The “wEiRd” behavior? Bieber was hanging alone on a brick wall, deep in thought, alone, when the Scots happened upon him.
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) October 31, 2016
We’ll dive deeper into just what those existentialist thoughts might be next week, but for now, can’t the world give the kid some space?
LeBron James: Basketball GOAT, Troll King
So often we forget why people troll: done lighthearted, it’s damn fun. [Insert rebuttal on trolling’s darker evils if you’re the type of person who needs that sort of thing.]
Twitter has long replaced bridges as the home for trolls worldwide. Damp, delectable, and deplorable, Twitter provides all a troll needs. Any power of an internet cultural artifact lies in its repetition and ubiquity. Think Michael Jordan’s crying face meme, Nyan Cat, Rick Rolling, the Kardashians. You can’t forget them; they’re everywhere. That must mean something.
So the funniest Twitter trolls remind you of facts (super sarcastic italics here) you couldn’t possibly forget. It’s too important to forget. The best of these forceful tokens have been two memes recited over and over again, especially when they don’t really make sense. It’s such a simple phrase, the first one: “J. Cole went platinum with no features.” Once a chip J. Cole stans used to argue their guy was the certified GOAT, its online recurring echo has stripped it of any power it once had. Now it’s just a punchline.
Let the tweets explain.
Hey I just met you
And this is crazy
But J. Cole went platinum with no features
So call me maybe
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) June 5, 2016
"Aye girl did you fall from heaven? Cause J Cole went platinum with no features." pic.twitter.com/VHca8ZSVUN
— yall niggas need to FOCUS (@tvnkth) June 3, 2016
Funny, right? That’s an online joke running close to two years now and hasn’t lost any steam. The other is more recent, but no less silly.
Posting a 73-9 regular season record, the Golden State Warriors were a historically great basketball team last season. This much reigns indisputable. But the fact remains: Golden State blew a 3-1 lead to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Can’t be the best if you ain’t the champ. The joke writes itself.
Once again, we’ll allow the tweets to explain.
This place makes me think about life's fragility, and also how the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals. pic.twitter.com/xEzpZg9TUR
— BUM CHILLUPS, NPR CLASS PUNDIT (@edsbs) August 24, 2016
The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals
— Sports Nation Ohio (@SN_Ohio) August 18, 2016
3yrs-$100M. 3-100. 3-1. The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals.
— Aye throw that Boyz II Men on (@DragonflyJonez) August 11, 2016
Never is the answer. But these tweets hold little weight against the biggest troll of this meme: LeBron James. Notoriously, the man’s a big Halloween fan and this year he and his Cavs teammates celebrated in full, with costumes and a big party hosted by James. At this party, as is customary, was a DJ. Check the message on the kickdrum.
That wasn’t all. James posted what seemed like an innocuous spread of their extravagant dessert spread. Only it contained a ruthless, gloriously petty burn within something so sugary and sweet. Check those owl cookies on the bottom right. If you squint tight, you might realize two gravestone pastries rest at the top, but it’s difficult to discern what the inscription reads.
Well thankfully, some users enhanced and caught the joke: Gravestones for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Ouch.
Asked Klay Thompson about those Cavs cookies here in Portland, and he had a very Klay answer: "Yeah, I don't get it, cuz I'm not dead." pic.twitter.com/O8M71zcqi6
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) November 1, 2016
Wonderful. Not only is LeBron James the basketball GOAT, he’s a troll king.
Beyoncé and Jay Z Slay Halloween
Stars really love this Halloween holiday, huh? Maybe it’s because, as celebrities, they’re forced to play a strict, two-dimensional, digestible version of themselves all the time and Halloween is the one time a year they can shed their own weary, heavy skin and walk around the world with the armor of another temporary character. Who knows, though.
Anyways, Beyoncé and Jay Z, along with their daughter Blue Ivy, took top honors in the “fam costume” honors with their black Barbie and Ken getup.
An insider source revealed that when Jay Z complained that his friends Memphis Bleek and Swizz Beatz and Ti Ti and others might make fun of him, Bey told her husband to refer kindly to “the tape.”
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