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This week’s dive into the ocean of youth culture has turned up mostly mysteries. Why are young people using AI to put clothes on women? Why are kids throwing slushies at their own pick-up trucks? How does one “hurkle-durkle?” Most importantly: Why are videos of people getting in trouble for wearing big boots so hilarious?

#DignifAI using AI to add clothing

It was appalling when the cretins of the internet started using artificial intelligence to create porn of people who don’t want porn made of them, but the newest trend from the darkest-and-dorkiest corner of the internet, 4chan, is using AI to “fix” images of provocatively dressed people (almost always women) to cover them up. They’re adding more “modest” clothing, erasing tattoos, and otherwise “dignifying” women whose style of dress is not approved of. The Twitter account @dignifai is dedicated to creating and spreading images like this:

AI altered image of Miley Cyrus

Credit: @DignifAI/X

The practice seems partly like a snotty response to the AI deep fakes of Taylor Swift that came out recently on Twitter, but as usual, the point has been missed. It’s not OK to clothe people who didn’t consent to appear clothed just like it’s not OK to undress people who didn’t agree to that. Women can’t win. If they choose to dress modestly, they’ll be shamed and ridiculed and their images will be manipulated to remove their clothes. If they choose to dress provocatively, they’ll be shamed and ridiculed and their image will be manipulated to make them “dignified.”

Why are videos of people getting in trouble for wearing big boots funny?

AI isn’t being used exclusively for evil, though. There’s a counter-balancing force embodied by the TikTok account of bluweesh, who collects AI-generated videos of people getting in trouble for wearing big boots. It can’t be explained. It must be seen. I’m not sure this kind of absurdist humor actually balances the moral scales, but it’s still the best use for AI generated video I’ve seen yet.

What is hurkle-durkling?

The newest trend on TikTok is extolling the benefits of hurkle-durkle. Hurkle-durkling is lounging in bed past the time you should get up. You might know it as “bed-rotting” or practicing self-care. It differs from “being lazy” or “crippling depression” in that hurkle-durkling is a conscious decision to reject the demands that life places on us, at least for a few hours. 

The phrase caught on when actress/singer Kira Kosarin used it on her TikTok. Kosarin said the word is Scottish, and she’s right. “Hurkle” first appeared in John Jamieson’s Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language in 1808 with the definition, “to draw the body together.” At some point, someone added rhyming slang, and we ended up with the kind of nonsense-sounding phrase that gets popular on social media. I’m a longtime fan of the practice, and I’m glad it’s catching on.

Boomer profile pics

I usually look into the lives and habits of younger people, but I thought I’d to turn the glass backwards and see what younger people see when they look at us olds. Not surprisingly, they mostly see how lame we are; specifically, how lame our profile pictures are. 

Younger people have noticed that Boomers (and Gen X, let’s be honest) almost always post profile pics in their cars, with sunglasses on, usually with beards. This look was once thought to represent Trump voters, but it’s really a generational thing that crosses political lines.

According to one widely accepted theory originally posted on Reddit, “sunglasses create an emotional distance between the subject and their action.” According to this theorist, the cars-and-shades thing is an attempt to look cool, and “one of the ways in which they ‘look cool’ is the toughness that comes from not caring about other people.” 

That’s an interesting theory, but here’s a more reasonable explanation: We wear sunglasses and beards in our profile pictures because they cover up one’s face, and our faces are fucking disaster areas. 

TikTokers throwing slushies at their own trucks

We might look lame in our profile pictures, but a growing trend among kids is throwing slushies at their own trucks, so who’s the lame now? Videos of people walking out of convenience stores with extra-large slushies, then hurling them at their own windshield are going viral across TikTok. They’re actually pretty great. Check out the examples at the page for “Bag Season” by Jay Lewis, the preferred soundtrack for slushy videos. Here’s (apparently) the first one, a bare-bones imitation, a parody, someone who doesn’t approve, and someone taking it too far. Like the Big Boots trend, there’s no obvious rhyme nor reason to self-slushies, other than it being a good way to show off one’s lifted pick-up (or Bubba Truck) and it’s funny. I fully approve of this trend.

Viral video of the week: Apple Vision Pro and Cybertruck

Instagram user Supercar Ron originally posted this week’s viral video. It captures a guy behind the wheel of a Cybertruck using an Apple Vision Pro as he tools down the highway. Is this a vision of the future or is the driver just a gigantic nerd? Or is something else going on?

The video was re-posted on Twitter, where over 17 million people viewed it in its first few days online, with many leaving comments about the dark path that humanity is on, or just generally saying “ha ha.” But some users called shenanigans, pointing out that the Cybertruck doesn’t have a self-driving feature yet. Supercar Ron agreed, and clarified that the video is part of a skit, self-driving wasn’t activated, and the Apple Vision Pro headset wasn’t displaying anything when the footage was shot.

As much as self-driving fills me with white-knuckle terror, I think a self-driving car piloted by a goof in a VR headset is safer than a driver who is texting or a driver who is drunk, and we’ve accepted that those people are on the highway all the time. 

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