Starbucks is selling pumpkin spice lattes. The days are getting shorter. America is slipping into a chaotic death spiral from which it may never recover. In other words, it’s fall! So put on a cozy sweater and get ready for an Out of Touch Guide that’s positively autumnal.
Surprise trend of the week: Voting
If you hear a bunch of older teenagers talking about the new trend of “voting,” don’t be alarmed and call the police: It’s a harmless fad that should pass in a week or so. But for now, kids are having depraved voting parties all over the country and “go vote, fam, it’s totes lit!” messages are all over Instagram, TikTok and BingBong (I made that one up).
Weirdly enough, it actually seems to be working. According to the LA Times, more than 6.8 million people between 18 to 29 have already “rocked the vote” (from MTV? Remember that shit?) in person or by mail. That’s a 2.5-fold increase over 2016. It’s impossible to tell yet, but in a close state like Texas or Florida, increased youth turnout could turn the entire election. As you’ve probably guessed, political analysts expect the vast majority of young people to vote for Kanye West, because he is a rapper. (Not really. They are expected to vote for Joe Biden, who is also a rapper.)
National yarn shortage blamed on TikTok; grandma, playful cats inconsolable
I love reporting on the dangers and panics of TikTok. This week, the freak-out is yarn-based. My ace TikTok spy, my teenage niece Claire, pointed me to a national shortage of chunky yarn caused by TikTok influencers. So what are the kiddies doing with all this yarn? Are they getting high with it somehow, using it to cyber-bully each other, or just trying to piss off playful kittens? Nah, the kids are using it to knit.
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Apparently, “arm-knitting” (that’s knitting without the needles) is the hot thing on TT, and it’s such a popular trend that bulky, thick yarn is sold out in craft stores all over the country. As far as fall trends go, it makes sense: Time consuming, you can do it inside, and you end up with a nice, warm blanket at the end. Cozy!
Viral video of the week: Among Us as a reality show
I promise I’ll stop talking about Among Us soon, but before I do, please enjoy this video parody that imagines Among Us as a TV reality show. The product of YouTube comedy collective Laugh over Life, the video features jokes you will not understand unless you play Among Us and a bunch of over-the-top “cameos” from pop culture icons like Jason “Friday the 13th” Voorhees and Buzz Lightyear. It’s been viewed nearly 4 million times in the last few days.
This week in video games: Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion is the biggest release in video games this week by far. It’s a huge, immersive, innovative open-world action thing—the perfect game to start playing, and keep playing. It will keep gamers amused until winter is over or until we find a vaccine or until the earth slips out of its orbit and heads toward the sun. Set in a near-future, dystopian London, Watch Dogs: Legion lets you recruit any person you’d like into your gang, then use them to complete missions and whatnot. Basically, the entire city is the protagonist in a story where the people use technology to jam the culture of their corporate overlords and restore humanity, one hack at a time. Play it on your Microsoft Xbox One or you PlayStation 4 from the Sony Corporation. (But don’t copy it and share it. That’s illegal!)
This Week in TV: The Mandalorian returns
The kids in your life probably don’t even know that there was a time in the recent past when television networks would wait until Fall to put out all the shows, instead of just releasing them on some random day. The release of season two of The Mandalorian on Disney+ is a throwback to the days when TV releases were events. This is the kind of TV show that you can enjoy with everyone. It’s not just for nerds, man. It’s get-together-as-a-family and make eat some s’mores kind of TV, the best Star Wars since, well, Star Wars in the 1970s. Highly recommended.