As more people lock into necessary self-isolation, people are developing new identities outside of the realms of their ordinary realities. Different groups of quarantined folks are emerging as we settle into this new normal. Which one are you?

1. The vampire

Your daily sleep schedule is around 5 AM to 2 PM. You're no longer a person; you're a creature of the night. You haven't put on jeans or seen the morning sun in weeks. 2 AM is when you come alive, and the sunrise is your best friend.

2. The organizer

You have eight mutual aid docs and seven community slacks open on your computer at all times. You just got back from dropping groceries at your neighbor's door and are vigorously washing your hands in preparation for a group Zoom call about the upcoming rent strike.

3. The self-care wizard

You know that quarantine is a time for self-improvement and you're set out to manifest it. When you're not making Instagram graphics about your morning routine or meditating, you're teaching $40 Zoom seminars about manifesting your best life and burning sage to cleanse out the pathogens.

4. The livestreamer

You're a musician, artist, or jokester who can't deal with letting your art go unseen by the world for more than a few minutes. Your livestream has quietly become your life, filling the void that the stage lights used to. Who are you outside of the glow of others' attention? You don't want to know.

5. The screen-timer

When you're not playing Animal Crossing, you're watching and tweeting about Netflix's Tiger King. Your screen time has tripled since you started quarantine, and now you feel that you're more real online than in the real world. You just started a TikTok channel for kicks and spend hours each evening taking screencaps from sh*tposting groups about how horny you are and posting them on your Instagram story, but really you're just happy to have unlimited, 24/7, judgment-free access to your video games. When the data wars come, you'll be the hottest commodity, because your entire identity has been spread around the Internet; but for now, you're in glassy-eyed heaven.

Tiger King Secrets That Will Leave You Speechless www.youtube.com


6. The doomsayer

You obsessively read The New York Times and relay ominous facts to unsuspecting family members and coworkers on group Zoom calls. You have read every single coronavirus story ever published and only want everyone to understand the pure hopelessness that you feel. When you're not reading the Times, you're reading the Post, and when you're not reading that you're reading Trump's Twitter feed. You're a masochist through and through, but… at least you're informed?

7. The hermit

You're not happy about the virus, but you're more than fine with the opportunity to stay inside. At the time of the apocalypse, you won't notice because you'll be indoors, in the dark. Away from people. Like you always wanted. Eventually, someone will find you in your moss-covered cabin and will try to ask you about the secrets of the universe; but, until then, you can relish the sweet sound of silence.

8. The prophet

You know that now is the time that the world has been waiting for, and you are ready to self-actualize and emerge as the leader of the post-virus realm. When you're not reading your own books over livestream, you're preparing your cult manifesto and waiting for the right moment to share the revelations you've always known with the wider world. You've taken to growing out your beard and wearing long flowing robes.

9. The chef

You are pouring your life into cooking. Chopping onions is your therapy and mangoes contain the truth of the universe.

10. The alcoholic

You're just like the chef, except alcohol (or perhaps coffee) has become the meaning of life. Day drinking? A go. Night-drinking? Also a go. Liquor stores are essential businesses, right?

11. The hoarder

You were the one who stole all the toilet paper from your local grocery store in the early days of panic, but you didn't stop there. You waited until the store restocked, then you sprang. You're on your way to your bunker right now, your truck filled up with only toilet paper.

12. The person who actually has sh*t to deal with

Maybe you're a healthcare worker or a grocery store clerk. Maybe you're sick or have to take care of kids. Maybe you can't pay your rent because the government in the richest country in the world won't pay for it, even though you've been calling to ask for a rent freeze for weeks. Either way, we are sorry, you deserve better, and you are the true heroes of this scenario—which is not going to become an apocalypse, but which has asked so much of you.

Music Reviews

Hear Fritz Hutchison's New Album "Wild Wild Acres"

Watch Fritz perform at 3PM on Popdust's livestream on Saturday, May 30th.

Fritz Hutchison just released his debut album, Wild Wild Acres.

It's the kind of album that will make you want to lounge in a hammock all day or ride a horse across the country or just drop everything and howl at the moon—it sounds like that kind of freedom. Hutchison is alternatively blunt and sincere, a trickster with a performative flair and a penchant for sunny hooks.

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Whiskey company The Glenlivet has capitalized on yet another Gen-Z/Millennial trend, albeit a peculiar one—Tide pod-eating—by creating "whiskey Tide pods."

According to the company's marketing statement, the product is a "collection of edible cocktail capsules made from seaweed, meaning no need for glass, ice or a cocktail stirrer." The capsules are indeed made of biodegradable, edible material. According to Forbes, the concoction they contain is actually quite well-made and delicious and comes in three flavors: Spice, Wood, and Citrus.

While upon first glance, all this may seem like the final, doomed mutation of a generation hell-bent on the destruction of its forebears' most beloved cultural traditions (who among us was not offered a sip of scotch by a disgruntled Boomer?), it actually represents something a bit more optimistic. Whiskey Tide pods are ingenious advertising techniques—capitalism leaves nothing untainted—but they are also evidence of what happens when a generation of memers grows up.

A brief history: Tide pods were first popularized as a detergent product in 2012. A message thread from a board called Straight Dope popularized the knowledge that children everywhere were accidentally eating Tide pods, and contributed to the concept's dissemination in the wider public consciousness. A 2015 article from The Onion called "So Help Me God, I'm Going to Eat One of Those Tide Pods" also played a role in popularizing the phenomenon, which truly caught fire around 2017, thanks, of course, to Internet memes.

theconversation.com

In the summer of 2017, a Reddit thread called "Bite into one of those tide pods. Do it" appeared, and was also referenced in The Onion. Many posters on Reddit and other sites began referring to Tide pods as the "forbidden fruit," using message boards like r/intrusivethoughts to promote the concept that Tide pods looked oddly delicious. In 2018, satire bled into reality, and things escalated in the form of the memorable "Tide Pod Challenge," wherein teenagers filmed themselves eating the pods in various contexts. (Many did not actually eat the pods).

In a sense, the fact that Tide pods have evolved from laundry detergent to deadly memes to environmentally friendly cocktail containers could serve as a metaphor for the optimal evolution of young peoples' consciousness in the 21st century. Presented with a world that served us poison and placed us within an increasingly dangerous hyper-globalized system, naturally we would turn to death wishes encased in a plastic layer of humor and irony. Given the technology and the knowledge that self-optimization was our profitable resource and thus could ensure our survival within this system, we would broadcast videos of us eating our own version of the apple of knowledge online.

Perhaps the tide pod-eating phenomenon is proof that we are guided by a fundamental impulse towards destruction and evil. But if this is so, then the whiskey tide pod is also a small millennial/Gen-Z generation victory lap, evidence of our survival and evolution within our fallen state. In its small biodegradable container, the whiskey Tide pod offers evidence that it is possible to survive this capitalist hellscape, this psychotic, poisonous technosphere that we've been born into—to perhaps convert consumption into something that, at least, might not rot in the bottom of the oceans for all eternity. Perhaps the least we can ask for is to leave no traces.

Roughly eighty-six teens actually ate Tide pods during the phenomenon's heyday, which sparked a hugely disproportionate moral panic in relation to the scale of the actual issue. On the other hand, roughly 7,000 children were exposed to laundry detergent in 2017; the food industry perpetually scams us and profits off false advertising and cheap labor.

Similarly, The Glenlivet's whiskey pods have generated a massive amount of coverage when, in reality, they are only being sold for a week as a gimmick during London's Cocktail Week. Perhaps, as The New Statesman argues, "These moral panics draw attention away from the real online issues affecting children and teens." Perhaps the craze around Tide pods and whiskey capsules merely highlights our tendency to fixate on small, viral incidents or singular, idiotic Twitter users rather than the systemic problems and dangers that created them and that pose our biggest, most existential threats.

Young people's deaths are not thanks to their own stupidity, as the media would have us believe, just as millennial poverty is not thanks to a lack of hard work. These deaths and struggles are thanks to systems that place certain people among us in the way of impossible roadblocks valorized by capitalism and institutionalized by our desire to bleach out evidence of its corruption.

The least we can ask for is to be left to drink our Tide pods in peace.