The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide To Kid Culture: Big Jaw Guy Takes Over Internet
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Internet CultureInternet CultureIt’s hard to keep up with internet culture, but don’t worry: Each week we’ll tell you the best of what you need to know.

It’s the one-year anniversary of staying inside and I’m thoroughly sick of this plague biz, so I’m going to totally ignore the pandemic. Instead, I’m going to tell you about a guy with a ridiculously huge jaw, discuss which cartoon characters need to be canceled, and finally answer that age-old question: What would happen if the world turned to gold?

Weirdo Internet celebrity of the week: The CEO of Jawline

The internet’s latest instant celebrity, Milanese model Luca Marchesi, is taking unrealistic body expectations to new levels. The self-proclaimed “CEO of Jawline” has spent years laboriously developing his jaw muscles by chewing on a weird exercise device to create the most massive jawline you have ever seen. In other words, dude turned his face into a shovel.

Marchesi’s TikTok transformation videos have earned nearly 2 million views, as well as thousands of comments clowning on the guy, with users comparing his face to a bicycle seat, a Dorito, and Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks. Marchesi has promised to quit TikTok because of the folks calling him out, but as of this posting, you can still see his amazing page.

While Marchesi insists his face gainz are all-natural, I was suspicious, so I sent his picture to Patrick Byrne, MD, Chair of the Head & Neck Institute at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, to which he replied, “The chin must be an implant. The jaw bulging on the side is probably injectable filler. Could be an implant. Could be real, but unlikely.”

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Dr. Byrne says chewing all day so you can look like a triangle could lead to migraines, TMJ, and other problems, but is probably preferable to an implant. “If one could create this effect with exercises (a big if) then it is ‘natural.’ Implants and injections probably have higher risk.”

He also sent a link to a fascinating podcast about how the body image issues that can be created by social media photo-editing are not a joke.

This week in cancel culture: Which cartoon characters need to go?

The recent national controversy over the “cancelation” of some books by Doctor Seuss, and Pepe Le Pew being iced out of the Space Jam sequel, has internet wags questioning which other cartoon characters deserve to be shunned. The result is amusing Twitter hashtag #CancelACartoonCharacter, in which the problematic natures of animated-Americans are revealed.

No one is safe from ironic left-wing cancelation warriors: We need to get rid of Dale Gribble from King of the Hill for having stormed the capitol, Mario for practicing plumbing without a license, and Clifford the Big Red Dog for his flagrant abuse of growth hormones. Personally, I think we need to cancel Warner Brothers’ famous character The Big Stupid Hungarian Idiot Who Smells Like Crap. How did that guy even get past the censors to begin with?

Viral video of the Week: What if the world turned to gold?

When you need ridiculous questions answered seriously, there’s no better source than YouTube’s Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. The science-based channel’s previous videos have asked important questions like “What if we nuked the moon?” and “What if earth got kicked out of the solar system?” But their latest video gets to the heart of an even more vital question: What if the entire earth turned to gold? Like, say King Midas tripped and touched the ground; how would that affect you?

Rather than merely speculate, Kurzgesagt does the math and brings the receipts, positing three possible scenarios for world goldification, each based on the method of the earth-to-gold transformation. Spoiler alert: No matter how the earth turns to gold, it will be a very, very bad day and everything on the planet will be destroyed. We should do this at once.

Right-wing troll of the week: The “Super Straight Movement”

If you’re curious about the “superstraight” hashtag trending on the internet machine, let me dive into this slimy rabbit hole so you don’t have to. According to Urban Dictionary, “super straight” is a preference for the opposite sex with the exclusion of transgender people. It was first coined on a now-deleted TikTok video from user Kyleroyce, who said “I’m super straight. I only date the opposite gender: Women, that are born women. So you can’t say I’m transphobic now because that is just my sexuality.”

This is exactly the kind of reactionary nonsense that internet trolls and alt-right knuckleheads love, so the meme quickly spread all over Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, and every other dark corner of the net, with trolls and jerks co-opting the language of LGBTQ+ activism to spread an idea that is inherently intolerant of trans people. The world is a mess. The only light at the end of this shitty tunnel is the speed with which most platforms recognized the bigotry and banned the hashtag.

This week in video games: Friday Night Funkin

Gamers have approximately 85 quabillion videogames to choose from, from world-spanning role-playing games to blood-besotted first-person shooters. But this week, they’ve chosen a free-to-play flash-based rhythm game called Friday Night Funkin.

Created by Ninjamuffin99, FNF has been steadily building a word-of-mouth fanbase since it was released in 2020, but it hit critical mass recently, with a huge spike in users and videos. It’s kind of a love letter to the flash games of the past, with simple addictive gameplay (think Dance Dance Revolution using your keyboard) and banging music. It even features characters from famous old flash games. Capsule review: It’s the perfect “I got 10 minutes to spare” game…but don’t blame me if that 10 minutes turns into 17 hours and a crippling case of carpal-tunnel syndrome.

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