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The forces of Good and Evil are really battling it out this week for cultural supremacy. On the good side, there’s TikTok’s chicken wars, a celebration of poultry farming, and nonsense that is pure and beautiful. On the dark side, there’s the rise of Baby Gronk, a 10 year-old athlete/internet star. Embodying both extremes at once is the evocative viral video of the week, Life After College, a short film that details an uneventful day in a way that’s either comforting or terrifying, depending on your point of view.

Who is Baby Gronk?

Baby Gronk is the nickname of rising internet celebrity Madden San Miguel, a 10-year-old athlete from Texas. The kid is relatively big for his age, so he’s good at pee-wee football. In the past, that would not have been remarkable, but in 2023, the kid’s Instagram has over 300,000 followers. His social feeds are managed by his parents, and they suggests that B. Gronk is being courted by many division one college football programs (an extremely dubious proposition), and that he has over 1,000 career touchdowns (even more dubious.) Baby Gronk posed for photos with celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal and Mark Wahlberg, stars in videos where he counts money and announces, “I got $500,000 in front of me. You ain’t paying, I ain’t playing,” and dances with scantily clad young women.

It’s all creepy and sad—a little kid living a nightmare of trash culture built by his overbearing parents. Maybe it isn’t technically abuse, but it’s abuse-adjacent if you ask me, and I will not be surprised if it goes milkshake duck in the next week.

Even in the best case scenario, the other kids are going to catch up to Baby Gronk’s size in a couple years, and he’ll learn he’s actually not a world class athlete. Imagine how crushing that would be to a kid who has been told he’s a phenom his whole life. My guess is that his rage-and-attention-bait videos will come back to haunt him in high school.

TikTok’s “Chicken Wars” explained

The existence of Baby Gronk suggests we need to destroy the entire internet, but there is a countervailing force of love and happiness that suggests we should keep it around: TikTok’s chicken wars! The chicken wars of 2023 began a few weeks ago when Canadian chicken farmer dylan_bezjack posted a video of himself being followed by his chicken flock, promising “me and my posse are going to kick some ass and take some names.” This led to a clap-back of “fuckin’ pull up,” from rival chicken dad @yourmomspoolboy_7_ and his poultry tong. That opened the gates, leading to response after response of poultry farmers from all over the world talking trash and showing off their mighty flocks and cocks. Even the damn penguins started throwing down.

Check out this stitched together video for the best of TikTok’s chicken war armies preparing to do battle. Ordinarily, I’d suggest you visit the chicken wars hashtag for more, but don’t bother. Like anything that gets popular online, unfunny people ruined it.

Charli D’Amelio brings back the Tamagotchi

Our new BFFs at sat down with internet celebrity Charli D’Amelio to talk about Tamagotchis. The internet celebrity and queen of TikTok is the spokesperson for a new generation of the virtual pets. Describing the chance to work with Tamagotchi as a “full circle moment,” D’Amelio promises, “You are never too old to play and Tamagotchi is helping us embrace that.” Thanks, Tamagotchi, although I may actually be too old to play.

I’m sure you remember the four months in the late 1990s when every kid was walking around with a digital pet (and the two month after when only the losers were), but younger generations may be new to the strange delight of caring for some pixels. The new wave of Tamagotchis, dubbed Tamagotchi Uni, features the “Tamaverse,” some kind of online thing where you can interact in some fashion with other Tamagotchi users and probably play little games and shit.

Tamagotchis are both very cool and fun and very depressing in a way that I can’t really explain. So is this week’s viral video.

Viral Video of the Week: Life After College as a 28-Year-Old With a Normal Job

Usually videos go viral because there’s something outrageous or novel about them, but this week, the internet is obsessed with a video that’s notable for its mundanity. TikToker @hubslife’s Life After College as a 28 Year-Old With A Normal Job depicts an unremarkable daily routine—going to work, going to the gym, petting the dog, eating some dinner—without commentary, but it seems to have hit people hard.

The comments are all over the place, with some declaring it a “dystopian nightmare,” and others saying “many will never reach this level of peace in their own lives.” It’s a video that acts as a mirror. Whether it makes you feel peace or dread depends on who you are. “from someone who has been in survival mode their whole life your routine is so serene and safe to me,” TikToker Danina commented, where Beni’s reaction was “this would be my nightmare.”

There is a twist to the story, though. The video seems to be sponsored by Daiya Flatbread, the depressing-or-comforting basis of this dude’s dinner. Whether a TikToker picking up a little cooperate cash to show off some ultra-prepared food makes the whole thing more dystopian or more serene really depends on your point of view.

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