An essential roundup of the week’s buzziest topics of varying importance and consequence

Amazon Studios bought the Mayor Pete doc no one’s been waiting for
Pete Buttigieg’s failed bid for the presidency put him on the books as the first “serious” openly gay candidate for the job. Buttigieg’s personality resembles more that of an incredibly earnest Sim that is prone to the occasional glitch than the typical charismatic, lacquered politicians we have become accustomed to, which (along with his politics) made him a less than ideal candidate for the queer community to rally behind. A new documentary from Amazon Studios, adoringly titled Mayor Pete, will take on the arduous task of translating Buttigieg’s awkward musings into the fighting words of a gay icon.

Daft Punk broke up
Daft Punk’s last album was released in 2013, so the announcement of their breakup in 2021 came as a surprise. Not in the shocking sense these types of breakups normally do that inspire Yoko Ono conspiracies or analyses of backstage drama between brothers, but in that it seems there was nothing to be broken up. Any further shows could be called a reunion tour—with reunion implying an implicit breakup—one where they drifted apart rather than cut things off abruptly. Not surprisingly, the announcement of their supposed “breakup” was followed by a boost in sales and streams. I smell a publicity stunt…

Capitol rioter called his ex a moron, she turned him into the FBI
Whether or not we admit it, some part of us always wants to see that one asshole we dated fail. We try to resist the temptation of revenge. We say we’re above it, we’ve moved on. But sometimes the gods above hand us an opportunity too sweet to righteously turn away from. A man allegedly took a break from rioting at the Capitol to tell his ex that she was a moron. He continued, sending her videos from the riot. She, in turn, handed the texts over to the FBI. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Bye, Instagram!
A brilliant Taylor Lorenz explainer has made me, a 26-year-old, feel old, uncool, and out of the loop—again. A hot new app is in their invite-only beta testing phase, and I want in. Youtuber David Dobrik’s photosharing app promises the serendipity and surprise of the disposable camera experience, cashing in on the often undervalued thrill of delayed gratification. Without ever having used the app (my email is wide to invitations, hello!), my understanding is you have “rolls” of film to take photos with. Multiple people can take pictures on a roll—for instance, if one were to have a boozy dinner party with their very attractive roommates, all roommates could take photos on the roll, spontaneously documenting the evening. The photos would not be available for viewing until 9am the next morning, and there are no filters or editing capabilities, saving us all trouble and time. According to the article, key with Dispo is that it encourages creative collaboration, a welcome change from social media’s inherently self-promotional nature. Again:

TikTok is actually very educational
If you haven’t heard, TikTok is the best app for getting radicalized. At least that’s what I’ve been telling my friends for the past 7 months or so since I’ve downloaded it. Part of my supporting evidence for such a claim has been Betty Images, whose vegan cooking videos accompanied by explainers on topics like how the US criminalizes poverty, minimum wage, and the rise of conspiracy theory popularity. The ‘Martha Stewart for Socialists’ has provided a comprehensive booklist for budding leftists that includes texts by Asad Haider, Naomi Klein, and Aviva Chomsky, but her TikTok is a great place to start as well.

A hidden message discovered in the parachute of the Mars rover
Astrology is often deemed arbitrary bullshit by the science types, but it seems there is finally hard proof that there actually are messages that emerge from the stars and planets above. 20 million people gathered online to watch NASA’s livestream of the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars. Among those viewers was a computer science student who, with the help of his father, decoded a message hidden in the pattern of the rover’s parachute. He released the message in a tweet, “dare mighty things.”