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End Times Update 5/15/2021: SNL, the Gas Crisis, and Courtney Stodden

One clone's perspective on pop culture.

Each week one of Popdust's disposable clones — grown in a vault deep beneath the Mojave desert — is exposed to the outside world through a relentless feed of news, pop culture, and social media.

The arduous process accelerates their dissolution back into an amorphous clone slurry. But before they go, they leave behind a document of what they've absorbed and what they've learned — a time capsule preserving a single moment in the slow-motion collapse of civilization. We call these End Times Updates...

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Top Stories

Wait, Is Chrissy Teigen … Terrible?

Courtney Stodden's revelations about Chrissy Teigen show that the unofficial "Mayor of Twitter" might be more malicious than we thought

Stodden (left); Teigen (right)

UPDATE: Chrissy Teigen posted a multi-part public apology to Courtney Stodden after The Daily Beast published an interview with the entertainer detailing Teigen's online harassment of Stodden when she was only 16 years old.

"Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bullshit in front of the entire world," Teigen began. "I'm mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll. I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior..."

Teigen acknowledged that she "publicly fueled all this" and made the rote commitment to "being better" that all celebrities seem to make when they apologize for past abusive behavior.

Twitter / @Chrissyteigen


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Culture News

Halsey and 11 Other Memorable Celebrity Pregnancy Announcements

Halsey just announced she's pregnant with her first child.

Halsey's pregnancy announcement photo

Halsey just announced via Instagram that she's expecting her first child with her partner Alev Aydin.

The post reads, "surprise! 🍼🌈👼🏻 Photos by @samdameshek," she also tagged Aydin over her belly. Aydin soon re-shared the post on his Instagram Story, complete with a pair of red heart emojis.

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Culture Feature

Meghan Markle And 10 Other Celebrities Open About Their Miscarriages

Miscarriages are deeply painful and personal. Some brave women have chosen to open up about their miscarriages in order to help others remember they're not alone.

Miscarriages are incredibly painful, personal events.

They're also shockingly common. Somewhere from 10 to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, according to the Mayo Clinic, though the number may be much higher because many women don't realize they're pregnant.

Celebrities are not immune from reality. Some have eve chosen to share their stories in an effort to make other families feel less alone in their grief.

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Culture Feature

Meet the Man Behind QAnon—America's Fastest Growing Cult

8chan founder Fredrick Brennan believes his former business partner, Jim Watkins, is behind the dangerous conspiracy theory.

Update 1/22/2021: Following the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20th, many believers in QAnon lore have begun to question some of their convictions.

Many saw the inauguration as a final deadline for "The Storm" and the mass arrests they expected to publicly expose the cabal of deep-state Satanists. And both Jim and Ron Watkins have issued statements seeming to indicate the end of the Q era.

Ron Watkins urging his followers on Telegram to "remember the friends and happy memories we made together," and to "respect the constitution," while his father Jim Watkins posted on the reactionary micro-blogging platform Gab about the "historical value" of the Q movement and the fact that "the culture of our country changed because of it."

Ron Watkins Telegram

That much is certainly true. And in the wake of the Capitol Hill insurrection on January 6th — which saw one of Q follower shot dead, another leaving Mike Pence n ominous note, and numerous others arrested — the apparent change of heart may be inspired by concern that these cultural changes will invite unwelcome scrutiny.

Still, there is little doubt that some Q followers — as flexible as the acolytes of any other cult — will find ways to adapt their beliefs to the post-Trump era. Some are already beginning the process. Even if Q never reappears, the disturbed and unhinged worldview of Q followers is likely to remain culturally relevant for years to come.

There is a growing belief system in the US that is beginning to spread around the world.

Tied to a mystical struggle between ancient forces of good and evil that are secretly operating beneath the surface of our society, adherents believe they have been given the key to understanding the world.

QAnon Conspiracy Theory Lands On European Shores | Morning Joe | MSNBC www.youtube.com

They believe that their mysterious prophet has awakened them to a reality that you and I will soon be forced to face: that global elites from Washington DC to Hollywood are part of a Satanic (possibly Jewish) cabal of murderous, cannibalistic pedophiles who torture children in order to harvest their adrenaline-rich blood and oxidize it into the addictive drug adrenocrhome.

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Culture Feature

The Alison Roman Controversy Is a Teachable Moment About Cancel Culture and Implicit Bias

Alison Roman came for Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen. The backlash tells us a lot about the state of our world under a racially oppressive capitalist system.

The Kit

As with most cancellations, Alison Roman's is a nuanced issue that's more complex than it appears on the surface.

At best, it's a teachable moment—about cancel culture, about implicit bias, and about the capitalist systems that keep it all in place.

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