This week’s pop culture stew contains super men, super cars, and a super old game that kids are rediscovering. To add spice to the mix, I’m throwing in a pinch of “TikTok is the unlikely focus of an international power struggle.”
Henry Cavill out as Superman
Despite appearing as Superman in a cameo in Black Adam and announcing that he was returning to the role for another movie, actor Henry Cavill will not be starring in the next Superman movie. James Gunn, co-Head of Warner Bros. DC Comics Film and TV Unit, announced that a new Man of Steel flick is on the slate for release at some point in the future, but it will not star Cavill. According to Gunn, the still-untitled Superman movie takes place earlier in the hero’s life, so, presumably, it needs a younger actor to don the tights.
Cavill confirmed that he would not be returning to the DC franchise on his Instagram, offering the following reassuring words to fans: “My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It’s been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards.”
This frees DC up to right the wrongs of the past and finally cast Nicolas Cage as Superman. I know he’s old, but dude is good enough actor to pull it off.
TikTok brings memes, dances, and international tension
While the majority of its young users were blithely sharing dance videos, memes, and playing chess, the US government took a major step against social media platform TikTok this week. In a rare show of bipartisanship, the US Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would ban TikTok from all federal government devices. Eight states have already taken the same step for state employees.
Since the Trump administration, there’s been governmental rumblings about banning TikTok. The hugely popular social media app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance and is regarded by some as a potential national security threat, as well as a threat to citizens’ personal privacy. So far, TikTok seems to only be a potential danger, with no evidence that it has engaged in the data collections and meddling that Federal officials fear. I bring all this up because it’s completely wild that an app used largely by teenagers to waste time is at the center of a power struggle between the world’s two largest superpowers. What a world, eh?
What’s the meaning of this bizarre-but-sexy TikTok video?
Like countless other would-be adult entrepreneurs and thirst-traps, thisis_bex posts suggestive (and often skeevy and disturbing) videos on TikTok with the intention of pointing people to her Instagram, which inevitably links to her OnlyFans. Her videos get respectable view counts of like 40K per, but one video has over 5 million views and climbing, It’s attracting people from Twitter, Reddit, and everywhere else online but because it’s not particularly sexy; it’s just perplexing.
The video is her trying to look sultry in a mirror with the phrase “Imagine how good your life would be if you had a 26yo nursing assistant by your side, now replace S with N.”
Okay, replace S with N and I get a “nurning annintant by my nide.” Or a ”sursisg assistast by my side.” Or maybe a “surnsig annintast by my nide.” I don’t thisk I usderstasd.
So far, Bex has offered no explanation to the many commenters begging for a hint to her strange riddle, so there’s no way to know if it’s a mistake, a puzzle no one has solved yet, or a calculated attempt to get attention through presenting compelling nonsense. Either way, it’s working.
The hot game all the kids are playing is—chess?
Kids are getting super into chess these days. Kicked off by the popularity of Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit and spurred on by everyone having to stay inside for years, the 1,400 year-old game is having moment. The #chesstok tag has over a billion views, with users sharing videos of exciting matches, lessons, meme videos that are only funny to chess players, videos of clashes between chess hustlers and grandmasters, and even secret easter eggs/exploits hidden in chess’s rules. (Yeah, I know en passant isn’t an easter egg or exploit; I’m joking.) Personally, I think chess has serious balancing issues: Queen is OP and black is always playing at a disadvantage. I’m hoping a patch will be released soon.
Viral video of the week: The World’s Quickest Cars: Lucid Air Sapphire v Bugatti Chiron v Tesla Plaid
If you’ve had a tough week, I suggest you sit back and enjoy a video of cars you will never be able to afford accelerating faster than seems possible. Electric car engines provide instant, maximum torque, so they jump off the line, going from stock still to 60 mph in two seconds. But could they beat a gas-powered supercar in a 1/4-mile race?
To answer the question, gearhead YouTube channel Hagerty pitted two of the world’s fastest production electric cars—the Lucid Air Sapphire and the Tesla Plaid—against a Bugatti Chiron in a drag race. (They also threw in a Ducati motorcycle for fun.) This video is actually enraging, because I just spent $4 million dollars on a Chiron last week, and now I have to scrap it—I’m not losing a drag race to a peasant in a Tesla.
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