The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture: What is ‘Squid Game’?

The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture: What is ‘Squid Game’?
Screenshot: Squid Game/Netflix

Kids today are smarter, kinder, and have better taste in celebrity nicknames and South Korean television shows than any generation that has come before them. We need to recognise this and stop making up dumb crap about them.

What is Squid Game?

Everyone’s talking about Squid Game. This Netflix series has only been out for two weeks, but it’s on the way to becoming the most streamed series on the site. A savage rip on late capitalism, Squid Game is a violent, wild South Korean drama in which desperate-for-money contestants compete in children’s games like “red light, green light” and “tug of war.” The winner gets a ton of cash. The losers get creatively killed. Just check out the Squid Games trailer and tell me it’s not awesome. Then check out the memes; they’re pretty good, too.

Educators warn of “slap a teacher challenge” — but it looks fake

Parents, news organisations, and school administrations from Texas to Chicago to Florida and everywhere else in the country are sounding the alarm about the “Slap a Teacher” challenge. This shocking trend reportedly involves students filming themselves walking up to their teachers and just slappin’ them in the face! Or maybe it’s the butt. No one is sure, and it’s not going to start until October. But still, can you imagine the kind of sick imagination that would come up with such an affront to decency?

Except I’ve looked through about a dozen of these stories, and they’re really short on evidence. They back up the existence of the challenge with sources like, “a screenshot of TikTok trends” (whatever that is) or sometimes just “a TikTok video.” The best I can find is a an Instagram post by a teacher asking if it’s a joke.

I’m beginning to think that there really isn’t a “slap a teacher” challenge at all, in spite of the blanket coverage it’s receiving. The only recent teacher-slapping incident I can find is this story about a teacher’s assistant slapping a a six-year-old child. I can’t find any teacher-slapping videos on TikTok — the #slapateacher hashtag is exclusively videos of “educators” saying things like “I wish a pupil would — ” Like this dork, who stares at the camera menacingly and announces, “Oh, man, I’m going to jail.” (I’m sure you’re fantastic at your job of educating children, tough guy.)

While teachers and principals are clutching their pearls, actual school kids are doing things like organising creative protests because their school banned book-bags after a kid carried a gun in one.

Everyone calls actor Ben Barnes “Bin Bons”

British actor and singer Ben Barnes has starred in Narnia, Westworld, and Shadow and Bone, among other things, but I only care about his nickname. For over a decade, his fans have been referring to him as “Bin Bons,” like a British guy saying “Ben Barnes,” and he had no idea. (Or so he says.) Bin Bons is the greatest nickname in the history of nicknames.

Viral video of the week: Dude Perfect’s optical illusions

I am a sucker for filmic optical illusions and trick shots, and this week’s viral video is full of them. Brought to you by YouTube crew Dude Perfect, “Optical Illusion Trick Shots ft. Zach King” uses every non-digital trick in the book — forced-perspective, mirrors, a revolving set, and more — to create mind-blending “trick shot” videos.

Best of all, they then take you behind the trick to show how it’s done. Sure, every technique here was invented by silent movie directors over a century ago, but that doesn’t make them less amazing, and I love the sheer audacity of setting up elaborate, practical effects sequences just to do them.

TikTok hates Kylie Jenner’s swimsuits

Even though summer is over, reality mega-star Kylie Jenner released the first in her Kylie line of swimsuits this month, and fashion TikTok has some opinions.

According to TikTokers, the swimsuits, which cost $111, are translucent even when dry, and there isn’t enough of the thin-as-possible fabric to cover your bits anyway. Apparently the stitching is cheap too, with many saying the their bathing costume was practically falling apart even before it touched chlorinated water at the local community pool.

On the plus side, reviewers are nearly unanimous praising the box the suits come in. I’m obviously not going to be able to trash an overpriced tacky swimsuit as hilariously as TikTok fashionistas, so I advise you to click the #KylieSwim hashtag for the hot takes.

TikToker insists he is not Brian Laundrie

TikToker NotBrianLaundrie is going viral for his feed that exists only to tell people he is not Brian Laundrie. The unnamed man looks exactly like the guy everyone is looking for in connection to the death of Gabby Petito, and he’s and worried about travelling, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and otherwise having his life ruined based on his resemblance to a notorious person.

Between insisting he’s not Brian Laundrie, he takes questions from his commenters. For example, when asked where he would go to hide out from the world for a few weeks, Not Brian responded, “This is a great question, I get this one a lot. I’m not Brian. But I would go to your mum’s house.”

I’m not sure I buy his story. Isn’t “I’m seriously not Brian Laundrie” exactly the kind of thing Brian Laundrie would repeat over and over? Back in a sec; calling the FBI.

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