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Sometimes, there just isn’t much happening. Youth culture this week seems to be hibernating, but it’s a good opportunity to take a look at the kind of minuscule micro-trends that you might otherwise gloss over. Maybe these tiny, no-one-thinks-about-them things reveal more than the groundbreaking things everyone notices. Probably not, but you never know.

Viral video of the week: John Cena at the Oscars

I’m sure you’ve seen the video of John Cena presenting the Academy Award for Best Costuming at the Oscars on March 10. After being broadcast live and posted online, the wrestler-turned-actor’s naked appearance has been seen by millions of people. It represents a rare moment of cultural relevance among young people for the “no-one-really-cares-about this-anymore” film industry. People were moved enough by something at the Oscars to shoot reaction videos, and make jokes and memes. The bit is certain to go down in history as one of the most memorable moments at an Oscar presentation, and it even touched the fringe-iest fringe-conspiracy theorists, the remnants of Q-Anon. Q-Anon doesn’t see anything funny about Cena’s appearance. “This is not just a humiliation ritual — the Hollywood pedophiles, rapists and perverts are certainly getting off on this. I’m sure Jimmy Kimmel is as well!” Reported Liz Krokin on Twitter, “Kimmel ran another skit on his show featuring an FBI-identified pedophile symbol in it and a pizza. Pizza is pedophile code that’s  been confirmed by the FBI, DOJ records and local law enforcement agencies,” they continued. “Absolutely disgusting…Nobody wants to see a naked John Cena on TV.” Twitter user American Mama opined, with her finger on the pulse of popular culture. It’s interesting how Q-Anon seems to view Cena as a victim in all this, as if Jimmy Kimmel forced him to disrobe against his will.

Stanley announces new products at South By Southwest

Austin, Texas hosts the South By Southwest festival every spring in order to “celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture.” This year, one of the highlights of the festival was a new cup-holder.

At a standing-room only panel on Saturday, Stanley 1913, the company behind the immortal, fireproof coffee cup, announced a new, hands-free cup caddy and a mini soft cooler, to the collective excitement of its many, mostly young fans. 

Stanley’s story is fascinating if you’re the kind of person who’s interested in the minutia of late capitalism. They’ve been kicking around since 1913, when William Stanley Jr. invented the vacuum seal technology behind vessels that maintain the temperature of liquids. Stanley, the company, was known mostly for making thermoses to keep your coffee hot while camping or on a job site, so it was pretty much a dude company, a maker of something to take fishing. But recently, the company decided to focus on women, specifically young women on TikTok, and went from annual profits of around $70 million a year in 2019 to around $750 million a year in 2024. The company’s flagship product, the 40-ounce Stanley Quencher, has become a must-have for Gen Z and Millennials, both for its many colors and the fact that it’s actually a really great cup. 

The Satana Trend, explained

Sometimes I like to dig deeply into the minutia of the youth culture, and this week I’ve uncovered the micro-trend of Satana, which I’m willing to bet you’ve never head of. Satana comes from the Balkans, where TikToker @stafon71 posted a video of himself scuffing the floor under his desk with his heel, set to the tune “”Satana Eto Ona.” The video was viewed nearly 36 million times. Variations on the theme quickly appeared, including this impressive half-circle, this video of a black-shoe wearer making a scuff and having it erased by someone in white shoes, and this video that depicts the imagined reaction of the person who has to clean the school’s floors. What does it all mean? Probably nothing, but it’s impressive how a school kid scuffing a floor with his shoe could gain international attention. 

Stock image at center of cultural debate online

stock photo of

Credit: istock

The unassuming photo you see above is from iStock, and is at the center of a small debate about the loneliness crisis among young men. Entitled “real young man,” and published on iStock in 2011, the image came to light when it was posted on Twitter by @orbitves with the caption “the ‘male loneliness crisis’ is a good thing actually, because why would i ever want to date a guy that looks like this?”

Reactions were mixed. Many posted comments like “ha, that’s funny and a little true.” Some pointed to hypocrisy behind the post, like @TheStrxggler, who tweeted, “Body positivity crowd is shaming bodies again.” Or expressed sympathy for the model, like @WheelchairUser8 who tweeted, “imagine being this poor mf just trying to make a couple bucks from a stock image shoot and out of nowhere every fuckass radfem on twitter is blasting your face everywhere saying no one should ever date you.”

The “looksmaxx” crowd had a more constructive take on the matter, and pointed out a number of ways that the stock photo model could improve his appearance, like if he lost 30 pounds, and got a better haircut, he might end up looking like this:

Improved stock photo of real young man

Credit: KnowYourMeme

What does “green fn” mean?

The last stop of my trip through the minutia of youth culture this week is the phrase “green fn.” People have been spamming it all over TikTok’s comments lately, and here’s what it means: “Green fn” is an interjection you might scream when you’ve done something impressive or cool, but it’s also what someone else might say when you’ve done something clumsy or inept.

Its origin is obscure enough that it’s a good bet that most people who use it don’t know where it came from, but here’s the story: The “green” part is a reference to the NBA 2K series of video games, where the quality of a basketball shot is measured using color and green is as good as it gets. 

The “fn” part is short for “fuck n*gga.” It comes from this video, where “Green fn” is used to comment on a missed basket. From there, it began to be featured in ironic memes and sincere memes as well as showing up in many, many TikTok comment sections. Like all youth slang, it’s important that you not use it. Stick with “boo-YAH!” instead—the “green FN” of your youth.

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