Culture News

I Just Want Naomi Osaka to Be Happy

She's doing what she loves. Shouldn't she … love it?

At the end of May, right at the the closing of Mental Health Month, tennis superstar and actual Disney princess Naomi Osaka made a shocking announcement: She would be withdrawing from the French Open to take care of her mental health.

On Wednesday May 26th, Osaka announced that she would not speak to the media during Roland Garros, saying: "I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes' mental health, and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one."

Keep Reading Show less

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...

End Times Update 5/7/21: Dogecoin, J.Cole, and Caitlyn Jenner www.youtube.com

Transcript: [Clone]: Oh hi! Welcome to another End Times Update, presented by Popdust. I'll be your clone host for this week, Sir Shh! Ronin.

Unfortunately, as a defective clone, my actual appearance would be far too disturbing, which is why I'm being depicted by the alien from Contact, being depicted by Jodie Foster's father, being depicted by actor David Morse. Okay, maybe just one quick shot… Did you catch the little bit of brain popping out of my nose?

As always, we'll be sifting through the week's news, pop culture, and social media to pick out the latest indicators of global dissolution. So, if you find yourself overwhelmed at any point by, you know, the onrush of mankind's inevitable downfall, just pause the video…long enough to smash that like button! And don't forget to subscribe for more existential dread.

This week has been chock full of sinister omens and disturbing portents. But where better to start than with Ben Affleck?

[Ben Affleck]: We were awaiting your arrival.

TikTok star Nivine Jay shared a video message that the Gone Girl actor sent her after she unmatched him on celebrity dating app Raya -- believing that he was a catfish. While Jay claimed that she was embarrassed by her mistake, and didn't find Affleck's message creepy, other people, uh...watched the video.

[Music]

[Ben Affleck]: Nivine, why did you unmatch me? It's me.

[Clone]: People who found it creepy may also have been informed by Affleck's documented history of groping women.

In financial news, this week the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin, surpassed a 50 cent per DOGE price, up more than 200 times from a year. This puts the total value of Dogecoin around 60 billion dollars.

Spurred on by memes and hype promoted by the likes of Elon Musk, there's no telling how high the currency's value might climb. Especially after the Tesla CEO -- AKA the Dogefather -- appears on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

In the world of music, this week rapper J. Cole announced his forthcoming album, The Off-Season, and on Friday shared the first track entitled "I n t e r l u d e".

[J. Cole]: I be comin' in peace, but **** me. Best beware of the others. This s*** deep, undercovers creep. This Southern heat make unbearable summers

J. Cole - i n t e r l u d e (Official Audio) www.youtube.com

[Clone]: The hosts for this year's Met Gala were also announced this week. Widely recognized as the fanciest, most fashionable party in New York, the event will be helmed by an all-star crew of up-and-coming talents, with Call Me By Your Name actor Timothée Chalamet, Tennis Champion Naomi Osaka, inauguration poet Amanda Gorman, and "Bad Guy" singer Billie Eilish.

In political news, this week has been especially eventful for California Republican candidate for governor Caitlyn Jenner. Perhaps the most famous trans woman in the world -- because Laverne Cox, the Wachowski sisters, and about a million other trans women are badly underrated -- Jenner was once an Olympic champion decathlete known as the greatest athlete on Earth.

So it's only natural that people would want to know her opinion on the controversy that has recently been drummed up about trans girls competing in sports.

[Caitlyn Jenner]: This is a question of fairness. That's why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls' sport in school. It just isn't fair, and we have to protect girls' sports in our schools.

[TMZ reporter]: But if someone transitions and now identifies as a girl, isn't it delegitimizing their identity to prevent them --

[Caitlyn Jenner]: Have a good day.

[Clone]: In 2015 Jenner received ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award for coming out as a trans woman. But that's nothing compared to the courage of her latest stance, especially considering that Jenner herself has competed in women's golf tournaments, and also said this while receiving that award:

[Caitlyn Jenner]: I also want to acknowledge all the young trans athletes who are out there, given the chance to play sports as who they really are.

[Clone]: Whoops…

Another fun campaign trail highlight involved Jenner's appearance on Fox News' Hannity, where she made it clear why she's running for governor, championing the plight of California's beleaguered private plane owners, beset on all sides by the oppressive institutional power of, uh… homeless people.

[Caitlyn Jenner]: My friends are leaving California. Actually, we're -- my hangar, the guy across [unintelligible] airplane, he was packing up his hangar, I said, "Where are you going?" And he says, "I'm moving to Sedona, Arizona. I can't take it here anymore. I can't walk down the street and see the homeless."

[Clone]: Okay then…

Well, that does it for this week. If the world survives longer than I do, we'll send another clone with more updates. Until then, byyyyyyye...

MUSIC

Slept On: The Latest In Rap Music (April 23, 2021)

The best new releases from this past week

Pap Chanel

Happy belated 4/20 everyone.

To celebrate the occasion, rappers from all over dropped a handful of new projects this week. Most notably, Snoop Dogg released a new record titled From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites, and Curren$y dropped a new NFT-exclusive EP to honor the holiday. For rap fanatics, today also bred some exciting new releases.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture Feature

Is Naomi Osaka a Real-Life Disney Princess?

The young tennis superstar demonstrated her gentle touch with a butterfly at the Australian Open.

On Friday, Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka paused during a match with Tunisia's Ons Jabeur at the Australian Open to escort a butterfly that had landed on her leg safely to the sidelines.

After a fan called out to inform Osaka of her fluttering companion, she dropped what she was doing -- i.e. playing a highly competitive match against one of the other top-ranked Tennis players in the world -- and gently scooped up the butterfly to carry it out of harm's way. But the butterfly wasn't done with it's new friend, flying up to give her some literal butterfly kisses on the nose and cheek.

Keep Reading Show less
New Releases

All the Easter Eggs in Taylor Swift's "The Man" Music Video

Swift transforms into the most manly of men for her new self-directed video.

Throughout her many years spent in the public eye, Taylor Swift has faced unimaginable scrutiny over both her professional and personal lives.

But the 30-year-old pop star is still chugging along, having released her seventh studio album, Lover, last year to generally favorable reviews. On one of the record's highlights, "The Man," Swift ponders how she might be perceived and spoken about if she were a man. To help bring that vision to life, she was made over into Tyler Swift—yes, that's really her in prosthetics—to play a macho, manspreading dude in the new music video for "The Man," which she directed herself.

www.youtube.com


Swift is a known fan of subtle references in her material, and "The Man" comes full with a basket of Easter eggs. Here are just a few that we caught—knowing her, there are likely many more hidden in there.

Taylor of Wall Street

In the second verse, Swift sings: "I'd be just like Leo in St. Tropez." From commanding an office to being surrounded by scantily clad women on a boat, the music video draws a few visual parallels to The Wolf of Wall Street, in which Leonardo DiCaprio starred as infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort.

Frontpage Popular News

Cartoon of Serena Williams Blasted as Sexist and Racist

Australian Cartoonist "Interprets" the Athlete at the Open…Criticism Ensues

You may have watched or heard about the recent upset at the U.S. Open.

Tennis ace Serena Williams was competing against Japan's Naomi Osaka in the finals. The umpire called out Williams for "cheating" since her coach was gesturing to her from the stands. Williams denied any wrongdoing, saying she wasn't even aware of his motions, and demanded an apology, which erupted into an argument, leading to three code violations. One for the supposed signals, another for calling said umpire a "thief," and the third for busting her racket on the hard court. She was hit with fines to the tune of $17,000.

Williams didn't win. Not only the match, but the vindication she was after. She claimed she has never cheated a day in her life. Not to mention, many feel she was treated differently than a male in her position would be. We've seen men lose their temper time and time again in tennis (as well as other sports), and they're considered "passionate" or "persistent." We expect grunts, growls, and for them to get into it with umpires and refs, coaches and contestants.

Tennis icon Billie Jean King tweeted a similar sentiment after the recent incident. "When a woman is emotional, she's 'hysterical' and she's penalized for it. When a man does the same, he's 'outspoken' & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, Serena Williams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same."

As for Williams, she declared, "I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.' For me it blows my mind. But I'm going to continue to fight for women."

Andy Roddick (retired tennis player) even tweeted, "I've regrettably said worse and I've never gotten a game penalty." Perhaps it's because he wasn't wearing a catsuit or a tutu.

To add insult to injury, in comes Australian cartoonist Mark Knight. His cartoon was published in the Herald Sun, "Australia's most-read newspaper," according to BBC News. It is getting a ton of backlash due to what is being called racist. As described by DW, "The cartoon depicts a fat-lipped, large-nosed Williams jumping on her tennis racket, with a baby pacifier nearby — perhaps referencing her status as a new mother or the artist's interpretation of her behavior on the court. In the background, the umpire leans over to a women ostensibly depicting tournament-winner Naomi Osaka — who is of Haitian-Japanese descent, although the cartoonist gave her long, blonde hair — asking: 'Can you just let her win?'"

Take a look and decide for yourself.

ioneblackamericaweb.files.wordpress.com

As per BBC News, "The cartoonist denied it was racist, saying he had intended to depict only the tennis player's 'poor behavior'." And the Herald Sun's editor, Damon Johnston, stands by Knight's work.

Folks are fuming over this cartoon, sharing their outrage on social media. They feel the entire premise of the picture is riddled with racism. And The National Association of Black Journalists considers the cartoon "repugnant on many levels." "[It] not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily sambo-like." In addition, "The Washington Post ran a column about the cartoon, saying it resembled caricatures circulated widely during decades of racial segregation in the US," notes DW.

Perhaps racism was the furthest thing from Knight's mind. Maybe he's simply tone deaf to something others believe so clearly reeks of racism. Or it could be he was craving some off-court controversy. Will Williams' keep on keeping on. Of course. She's stronger than a sketch. But the idea that this dark depiction is casting a cloud over not only Williams but Osaka, who should be delighting in defeating a champion, is a shame. Looks like Knight's the one causing a racket.


Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.


POP⚡DUST | Read More...

Here She is…Miss America

Beyoncé and Jay-Z Renew Their Wedding Vows

RIP Mac Miller