Wired

The Inflatable Trump-Chicken, Return of the Mooch, and the Week’s Biggest Online News

In science news, our nation has accelerated its hell-in-a-handbasket journey such that it can cover a decade’s worth of entropy in a mere half-year.

https://twitter.com/OliverSava/status/895814058951266306

Which makes sense, given that Donald Trump is actually talking as if nuclear war isn’t entirely off the table right now. In fact, we should probably just stop talking about this and move along, lest certain bellicose politicians be reminded of certain cartoonishly aggressive stances. So, gang, what happened online this week?

The Chicken and The Eggs (This Pun Would Work Better If Anonymous Twitter Accounts Still Has Egg Avatars)

What Happened: We regret to inform you that your animalistic avatar of the Resistance has been stolen by the enemy.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: This one might work best if we start without any context. It was, after all, the way that most people found out about it in the first place:

https://twitter.com/RebeccaShabad/status/895353049501372417

https://twitter.com/brycetache/status/895408366574600192

Yes, there really wasaninflatableTrumpchickenontheWhiteHouselawn. His name is Donny and—of course—he has a Twitter account.

Perhaps surprisingly, he’s not a commentary about Trump’s increasingly hawklike stance, but about Trump’s reluctance to release his own taxes. Regardless, a funny thing happened on Twitter: the chicken got co-opted (coop-ted?) by Trump supporters:

https://twitter.com/American1765/status/895453110864420865

https://twitter.com/thedonaldreddit/status/895634318952865793

https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/895591934613348353

No, really; there’s a collection of the pro-Trump chicken memes on Breitbart of all places. The internet is a weird and wonderful place.

The Takeaway: Look, someone had to say it:

https://twitter.com/taradublinrocks/status/895421870979375104

Hell Hath No Fury Like a President’s Threat

What Happened: No big deal, just the President of the United States promising to rain down “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on another country, which is totally normal and not terrifying at all.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: If there’s one thing you really want to hear the President of the United States say when he’s talking about a foreign adversary with nuclear capabilities threatening the U.S., it’s promisingfireandfuryiftheydon’tshapeup. Who even says such things, anyway?

https://twitter.com/kurteichenwald/status/895011562473369601

https://twitter.com/owillis/status/895015491319861248

Yes, Twitter was appropriately impressed by the warning, as you might have imagined.

https://twitter.com/ndrew_lawrence/status/895023713002958854

https://twitter.com/joeltyler_/status/895117742872956932

https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/895239386199097344

However, it did play well to a certain audience. (Which wasn’t anyone in North Korea, of course.)

https://twitter.com/CollinRugg/status/895020208066252800

https://twitter.com/ArizonaKayte/status/895037523075792896

https://twitter.com/cvpayne/status/895230999533154305

After it was said, many started to wonder just how official the language was. After all, did the U.S. military really want to be promising potential pre-emptive strikes on other countries? Turns out, probably not.

https://twitter.com/PhilipRucker/status/895291931458142209

https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/895310022502219776

The Takeaway: Days later, as the world was ready to perhaps back down from the posturing, the President decided to go in a different direction, suggestingitwasn’ttoughenough” and tweeting… well, this:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/895970429734711298

Yup, we’re all going to die.

Return Of The Mooch

What Happened: After a media silence as brief as his tenure as White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci returned to the public eye with a tweet that probably sounded better in his head.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Hey, guess who’s back? Anthony Scaramucci, onetime White House communications director and permanent punchline, who prepared for his big return to television with a tweet that tried to set the agenda and … well, let’s just see what happened, shall we?

https://twitter.com/Scaramucci/status/895446138467172352

Sure, that’s a handy 1990s reference potentially lost on the younger readers in the audience (Spoiler for the Clinton scandals if you’re curious), but what did it actually mean?

https://twitter.com/rolandscahill/status/895446761376010241

https://twitter.com/Scaramucci/status/895452512991313921

The problem is, it’s not actually that simple:

https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/895447227400716288

https://twitter.com/PrincessSoupCan/status/895454724702392320

There are, of course, some problems with the analogy, as others were eager to share:

https://twitter.com/SuzanneKelleher/status/895447693446852609

https://twitter.com/jonathanchait/status/895447321747623940

But wait! Who would know about this better than a certain political icon from the 1990s? (No, not Hillary Clinton; what, you think she’s that desperate to promote her new book?)

https://twitter.com/MonicaLewinsky/status/895625851760504832

Yes, that’s right—Monica Lewinsky herself ended up commenting on the tweet, leading to the most unexpected, wonderful thing online this week: A miniature Monica Lewinsky appreciation revival:

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/895666677018378240

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/895704183432634368

https://twitter.com/arig49324897/status/895736513425813505

The whole thing, of course wasexactlythekindofthingreporterswanted. Could this be the rare political story in which everyone win? Except for Anthony Scaramucci’s self-respect, that is?

The Takeaway: Hey, I wonder how the Mooch is preparing for that Stephen Colbert appearance, anyway?

https://twitter.com/Scaramucci/status/895757745533616129

I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In

What Happened: During a sexual harassment trial, Taylor Swift takes a stand on the stand, and the internet is divided about just what that means.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: So, Taylor Swift is currently incourtwithasexualharassmentlawsuitagainstaDJthatgropedher. Because she’s Taylor Swift, it’s something that’s been getting a lot of attention, and stirring up a lot of passion online:

https://twitter.com/MOGirlProbs/status/895134583339048960

https://twitter.com/shadesofslaylor/status/895680957721620480

https://twitter.com/KieranGormley_/status/895682759489933313

https://twitter.com/kimbann/status/895610769588580353

Swift’s fearless testimony has been drawing attention, as well, deservedly:

https://twitter.com/Clayton_Sandell/status/895670919888121856

Of course, again because she’s Taylor Swift, the haters have also come out with a passion, and it’s been… well, pretty gross, really:

https://twitter.com/TaylorMasaryk/status/895068726332194817

https://twitter.com/rexcunningham/status/895624100923805696

https://twitter.com/EmitSky/status/895654328484102146

If only there was a pithy way to respond to that kind of crap…

https://twitter.com/laurenduca/status/895737568242712576

Oh, that’ll do it.

The Takeaway: No punchline this time, just this simple summation of the whole thing and its wider cultural implications:

https://twitter.com/alilutz96/status/895531110389747712

Throw Out Your Arms For A New Sound

What Happened: Think you’ve heard the last of lazy millennial memes about avocados? Not so fast.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Hey, fellow kids! Time Magazine is totally on your wavelength and, like, groks what you’re all talking about!

https://twitter.com/TIME/status/895372882594983936

“Hold my…” what? From the article itself, “”Hold my avocado” is a riff on two things. First, it takes advantage of the ‘hold my beer’ dialogue construction that’s become an internet joke to represent how politicians, brands, or other entities play a race-to-the-bottom game of putting their feet in their mouths.”

Admittedly, the idea actually came from a tweet, but does that mean that Twitter was ready to accept the phrase? All together now: NOT! SO! MUCH!

https://twitter.com/evepeyser/status/895642796668801024

https://twitter.com/MorganJerkins/status/895643823581298690

https://twitter.com/jcobevans/status/895644091051941888

https://twitter.com/HeteroMLGVet/status/895692196896268289

So, while Time tried to use Twitter as a barometer for millennial tastes, it became alaughingstockacrosstheinternet. This truly is the circle of life.

The Takeaway: But has anyone given any thought as to the real reason Time was trying to make this latest fetch happen?!?

https://twitter.com/fartyowls1/status/895658268302782464