Is the internet too thirsty for Pedro Pascal? The Out-of-Touch Adult’s Guide to Children’s Culture

This week young people party like it’s 1999: they buy stupid phones, spend cash and listen to Afroman raps. On the more serious side of things, the internet is sneaking up on actor Pedro Pascal, amplifying unfounded rumors and delving into the hidden challenges of having a sibling with a disability.

The internet is getting weirder about Pedro Pascal

This week, our new best friends at Mashable explored the increasingly creepy parasocial relationship between the online world and their new ‘daddy’, The Last of Us and The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal. The question: has the internet gone too far this time? The answer: Yes, of course. The internet has always gone too far. But this time it’s really too far. The millions of Durst tweets are creepy. This widely shared deepfake video of Pascal saying “I’m your cool naughty daddy” is even scarier. But perhaps scariest of all is this clip from Entertainment Tonight asking Pascal to read “thirst tweets” about himself on the red carpet. Cumbersome doesn’t do it justice.

So what’s going on here? A lot. It’s a cultural collision that touches on issues of gender, fandom, celebrity, sexuality, the eternal September of online life, and more. Check out this excellent discussion in which Chase DiBenedetto and Elena Cavender chop everything up like a pop culture food processor.

Don’t panic because April 24 is not National Rape Day

If a younger person in your life is concerned about the upcoming April 24th, reassure them that it is not a “national rape day.” According to the rumor that’s been circulating around this time every year since 2021, April 24 is “National Sexual Assault Day,” the day on which shadowy men plan to commit any number of crimes. Where did this idea come from? Reportedly, six men started sharing videos in 2021 to promote the day, then others jumped on the trend, encouraging each other and sharing tips. Aside from there being no trace of any of these videos online, nor any evidence that they ever existed. I can’t find any evidence of anyone actually supporting the tag other than a screenshot of a since-deleted Urban Dictionary entry published in 2019.

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However, there are many videos out there warning people off the date and denouncing the very bad people behind it. The makers of these videos mean well, but spread misinformation and fear. Sexual assault is a terrible problem that everyone should be aware of and work on, but on April 24th it’s not worse or more common.

What is “Glass Child Syndrome”?

A growing community on TikTok is discussing “glass child syndrome,” a description of the siblings of children with disabilities who feel their parents “saw through” them throughout their childhood. The term was coined by Alicia Arena in 2010 and describes an often overlooked demographic. Glass children are often expected to take care of their siblings. Her problems are often minimized, and the lives of her entire family often revolve around the needs of her siblings.

According to Arena, “Glass kids take on those janitorial duties and of course we are conditioned not to have problems. We’re supposed to be perfect. Whenever someone asked us how we were doing, the answer was always, I’m fine.” This is a case of technology that has made it easy for people who once suffered alone to find each other and find understanding and support to offer, so maybe we shouldn’t ban TikTok?

The return of dumb phones and hard cash

Younger folks are rediscovering a few old-school classics lately: Dumb phones and cash. Gen Z influencers are touting old-school flip phones for controlling screen time, and companies like Punkt and Light are offering bespoke versions of the product (aka “minimal phones”), and kids are starting to take the bait. A little. There wasn’t a huge surge in dumb phone adoption, but perhaps it’s the start of an encouraging trend.

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Money, in the form of pieces of paper that can be exchanged for goods and services, is also making a comeback among young people. The hashtag #cashstuffing describes the old-school budgeting strategy of putting cash in envelopes labeled “rent,” “groceries,” or “illegal drugs.” It’s perfect for a period of inflation: it prevents you from overspending, makes you more aware of what you have left and prevents you from diving into your bankroll. On the downside: It’s not secure, takes time, and offers no interest or other returns. But for young people, who often don’t have much money anyway and probably haven’t learned basic home finance in school, it’s definitely a net positive.

Viral Videos of the Week: Afroman’s Unexpected Comeback

Rapper Afroman, creator of teenage hit Because I Got High, is going viral this week, introducing a new generation to his unique talents and vibe. Videos of two of Afroman’s songs are spreading fast because he’s being sued by the police. Last August, the Afromans Ohio County Sheriff’s Department searched his home looking for narcotics and a kidnapping victim. They didn’t find either, but they left Afroman with a huge gift: incredible footage of gunmen casually going through his belongings and finding nothing but a lemon pie made by Afroman’s mother. Afroman used the footage in a few videos a few months ago, but not many people noticed. Until this week, when members of the Adams County Sheriff’s Department filed a lawsuit against the rapper. They said they suffered “humiliation, ridicule, emotional distress, disgrace and loss of reputation.” Oh no.

Anyhow, the videos are hilarious and hundreds of thousands of people would not know about them if it weren’t for the excellent publicity provided by the Sheriff’s Department. Will You Help Me Fix My Door? Afroman asks the police a series of sensible questions, and Lemon Pound Cake examines a cop’s hungry response to a delicious treat.

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