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Image for article titled The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: Did Harry Styles Really Spit on Chris Pine?

This week, some young people are learning about how they have no privacy at work. Others are asking why they can’t make friends. But everyone is asking whether Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine.

Did Harry Styles really spit on Chris Pine?

A 10-second clip of Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine has rocked the pop culture firmament this week. It purports to show Styles spitting on Chris Pine as Styles takes his seat at the Venice Film Festival screening of Wilde’s movie Don’t Worry Darling. The moment might not have been noticed if it weren’t landing like a hocked loogie right in the middle of the the behind-the-scenes drama about the poorly-received film, but now that it has been noticed, millions are poring over the footage and asking “did he spit or didn’t he?”

Take a look:

Video of the Day: Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?

Now look at it slowed down. You can’t see the spit, but Styles bends towards Pine, and Pine definitely reacts suddenly to something with an expression that could be, “I can’t believe that dude just spat on me!”

I’m not buying it, though. Having replayed the footage 300 times, and considering the context, I’m confident there was no spitting involved. Here’s my thinking: 1) There’s no other evidence of bad blood between Pine and Styles. 2) Other footage shows the pair seeming to chat amicably right after the supposed spit-attack. 3) Who spits in someone’s lap?

The alternative theory seems way more likely to be true to me: At the exact moment Styles’ head is closest to Pine in the process of sitting down, Pine looks down and reacts to the fact that his sunglasses are on his lap.

Watch the clip again. See how Pine puts the sunglasses on his chair to applaud, then has just enough time to think “where are my sunglasses?” before looking down and seeing the shades in his lap? Given that interpretation, his reaction looks way more like “There’s my sunglasses; God, I’m an idiot,” than “Harry Styles just spat on me!” Mystery solved! Next!

Young workers learn their bosses can read everything

A now deleted TikTok video has been causing a stir among the “I just got my first job” set, as it indicates your bosses at work can and will read your private messages in Microsoft Teams. The video’s commenters reacting with shock proves that they’re new to this “working at a job” things—old hands just assume that their bosses can read whatever they want.

Factually: Your employer really can access your “private” messages in Teams, as well as your deleted messages, your webcam usage, and just about everything else. This applies, broadly, to almost every other app on a work computer. You probably clicked on something agreeing to it too.

Whether your employer’s IT department does snoop on workers regularly depends on where you work. It seems weird to me that an employer would pay someone to scour employees private messages—I mean, who’s really wasting company-time in that scenario?—but I can also begrudgingly understand an employer checking making sure employees are using work resources appropriately. Either way: It’s good that young people are learning this through a TikTok video instead of the hard way, and I have no doubt that ingenuity of youth will prevail and privacy-maintaining techniques will be disseminated and broadly adopted.

Kiwi Farms and Rings of Power: Two tales of the darker side of youth culture

I’d rather pretend that horrible people don’t exist and don’t matter, but lots of young people are, in fact, horrible turds, and they seem to poke out of their toilets occasionally, so here’s a pair of stories about online cads, cretins, and assholes.

  • Kiwi Farms was the info-verse’s number one platform for organized harassment of LGBTQ+ people. Until this week, when the 10-year-old hate-site’s cyber-protection company, Cloudfare, dropped them in response to a campaign organized by Twitch streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti. While KiwiFarms could return with a new company protecting it, I’m going to assume it’s gone forever, because there has to be some good news somewhere.
  • I have to admit, I assumed I would hate Amazon’s The Rings of Power before I saw it— but unlike the worst people on earth, that was only because I thought the Hobbit movies were absolute dogshit! I was not ruffled by the series’ casting choices, which include several Black actors playing elves and Harfoots (those would be ancestral hobbits, for anyone who hasn’t fully digested Tolkien’s appendices). And of course, dumb, terrible people are so up-in-arms over Black actors playing anything in Middle Earth, they’ve been flooding the show’s online reviews with negative stars. But Rings of Power is actually good, I promise, and Tolkien described the Harfoots as “browner of skin” than hobbits anyway, so at least know your Tolkien before you mouth off, racists.

Viral video of the week: “Why You Are Lonely and How to Make Friends”

This week’s viral video is from Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. It was viewed more than two million times in its first day online, a fact that makes me profoundly sad. That “Why You Are Lonely and How to Make Friends” is so widely watched highlights a problem that I think is unique, at least in scale, to younger people: They are not good at making friends. COVID-lockdown and the general online-ification of human interaction have created generations of people who feel lonely and friendless, even in their teens and twenties—the time in life when it’s easiest to make friends.

In keeping with Kurzgesagt’s science-related tack, the video takes a no-nonsense, evidence-driven approach to the social problem, pointing out that studies show spending time with other people in the real world is the best friend-making strategy. I was going to laud the Kurzgesagt for lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness—because the YouTube channel is promoting user-run meet-ups for its 19 million subscribers where presumably friends will be made—but then they had to ruin it by also hawking special pins and posters you can buy at their online store if you’re a friendless mope. C’mon, y’all. you seriously don’t have to monetize everything.

  





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