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💘Much to discuss today💘

Mōrena lil shits!!
Ok so naturally my inbox is flooded with requests for a review of ‘As It Was’ and you’ll get it VERY SOON! But first - the Luce weekend recap! This one isn’t as eventful as the others but it’s pretty ✨wholesome✨ so let me take you through it. I woke up on Saturday morning after a blissful week in Hawkes Bay and walked down to a cafe with my bestie to do have a coffee and do a crossword (yep, I’m back with my crossword bestie Ellen, and BOY have we improved!!) After that, we had a quick stop into Savemart where I bought some cute as hell flannel pjs (they were brand new!!!), ate some bacon and egg pie, and both got on the road (Elly back to Welly and me to Auckland.) I’ll tell you what, I am a lot more well-rested than I was when I took this drive the first time!
I got home, had a big debrief with my flatties, unpacked (gotta do it the day of) and jumped into bed (+ we got an extra hour of sleep bc of daylight saving!) Sunday consisted of washing my sheets, doing my ironing, getting some groceries, trying to catch up on all the newsletters I didn’t get to read throughout the week (I AM SO BEHIND) and having a bit of a social battery re-charge day (these are incredibly important for me so that I can maintain my energy for you all and the other people in my life.)
OOOH I also got a chance to listen to a bunch of new music on the car ride home and I really wanna recommend to you “Nervous at Night” by Charlie Hickey. The whole car ride home I was thinking about how much he LITERALLY SOUNDS LIKE THE DUDE VERSION OF PHOEBE BRIDGERS. As I was listening to the rest of his stuff I thought I could hear Phoebe doing back up for him, but then I was like ‘no, you’re gaslighting yourself luce, you’re hearing things.’ ANYWAY LONG STORY SHORT… their similarities got to me SO much that I had to pull over and google ‘Charlie Hickey/ Phoebe Bridgers’ and it turns out HE IS THE LATEST PERSON TO SIGN TO PHOEBE’S LABEL, ‘Saddest Factory Records.’ I didn’t even know she had a label but turns out it’s the coolest thing ever? Both Charlie and Phoebe grew up in Pasadena and he always loved (and was heavily influenced by, by the sounds of things) her music, and they became mates after he covered her on Youtube. AND Phoebe does appear on a few of his songs - both ‘No Good At Lying’ and ‘Ten Feet Tall.’ This whole story is all to say… I felt very validated in my judgement, and you should go and listen to Nervous at Night’ and ‘Seeing things’ (but you might cry to that one.) 
Now that I’ve given you are REALLY good music recs and am about to give you a very good review of the new Harry Styles single you can give me… some money for being your personal Jukebox! Heheh, but in all seriousness, I’m so grateful for all of our new ✨SYSCA supporters✨ and all I ask is that you keep supporting the media you love! If we’re one of them - great - but if you’ve got other media outlets that you constantly go to - consider supporting them too? 
In today’s newsletter:
  • Let’s talk about ‘As It Was’
  • Sri Lanka has ‘hit rock bottom’
  • The Young Moms Of TikTok Work Hard To Keep It Light
  • How TikTok heartthrob William White’s thirsty fandom turned toxic
  • Ukrainians share how they really feel about WWIII memes and Zelenskyy thirst traps
  • Dyson made headphones that are also… air purifiers and yeeeessh
  • We had some REALLY good polls this weekend
✨ PS!! I’ve had a few people reaching out wanting to advertise in the newsy - if you or the organisation you work for is interested in renting some space to chat to over 50k of the coolest humans on the planet, hit us up (or just reply to this email!) ✨
Let’s talk about ‘As It Was’
BUT DO I ACTUALLY NEED TO SAY ANYTHING? In my totally ‘dispassionate and unbiased’ opinion (see screenshot below) the song fucking ruuuuules. It’s everything we wanted, everything we needed and honestly, I’VE REALLY MISSED THE FEELING OF COUNTING DOWN THE MINUTES TIL SOMETHING RELEASES and that beautiful feeling of everyone just loving something all together and all at once. It took me right back to waiting for the release of ‘Little Things’ at midnight and crying with Rubes over it - there’s just no feeling like it!!
Anyway here’s a text I got from one of my besties after I told him about the new single (despite what this looks like, he’s a fan too I promise):
Here’s some very critical analysis by me, appearing in a very respectable media outlet:
“The debut single, As It Was, dropped earlier today along with a glossy music video. I thought it seemed pretty good, but I checked in with superfan Lucy Blakiston from Shit You Should Care About to confirm. She was lost for words, initially. “This song is predictably fucking amazing,” she said. “And as someone who’s built a business off of stanning Harry Styles, thank god.”
She followed that up with: “IT’S SO GOOD.”
Good to know I’m making a name for myself here in NZ for all the right things.
PS, apparently I’m not the only one who likes it because:
chart data
.@Harry_Styles’ "As It Was" has officially broken the all-time record for biggest single day streams for a song by a male artist in global Spotify chart history. #AsItWas
PPS, it’s his god-daughters voice playing at the start of the single:
Harry Styles Updates.
“It's my goddaughter at the start of the song. She had a streak of calling me every night before bed and I missed it once, and she wanted to let me know she was quite angry at me about it.” - Harry about Ruby’s voice used for #AsItWas🥺
Sri Lanka has ‘hit rock bottom’
Right now in Sri Lanka food and fuel are either unavailable or extremely expensive, and people are protesting.
“The central bank is printing rupees and hoarding dollars, sending inflation to a record high of 17.5% in February. The finance minister is begging neighbours for credit lines to buy diesel fuel and milk powder. In a barter arrangement, the central bank is paying for Iranian oil with tea leaves.”
Food, fuel, and medicine are all becoming impossible for citizens to access - most people can’t even access dollars to travel or try to buy things while their currency, the rupee, is rapidly losing value. For months, the government has been rationing electricity - sections of the country will go dark without warning - and schools have had to postpone exams due to a scarcity of paper. Two men died this week waiting in long lines for fuel on scorching hot days. It’s dire. 
How did Sri Lanka get here?
Of course, the pandemic, disrupted supply chains, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been huge factors in the current sitch, but Sri Lanka has been headed here for a while. From 2005-2015 Sri Lanka took on a huge amount of debt, with the intention of becoming the ‘new Singapore’ but most of the huge infrastructure projects that they embarked on have stalled, and the country failed to find private investment to keep them going.
These supply shortages and random blackouts led to a series of candlelit vigils, led by protestors, but their grievances were met with the deployment of troops. Further protests have been met with curfews (people are banned from being on any public road, in a park, on trains or on the seashore unless they have written permission from the authorities) and social media has been banned. 
The Young Moms Of TikTok Work Hard To Keep It Light
I’m obsessed with Maia, Scout & Violet on TikTok which is the reason motherhood has crept its way into this edish of the newsy. But there’s actually something way bigger going on here, about the way motherhood/ influencing is changing on the internet. Remember when Instagram was flooded with ‘momfluencers’ who made their lives look/ seem perfect?? That can’t have made ANY NORMAL PARENT FEEL GOOD. Now, with the rise of TikTok and the extreme value we put into ✨authenticity✨  (and the fact that under-produced videos perform waaaay better than professionally produced ones), showing the worst/ messiest/ realest parts of your life is the way to go! I loved this line from the Romper article:
“The feminine urge to write lengthy captions that anticipate the criticisms and concerns of every possible audience segment? Couldn’t be the Gen Z moms of TikTok.”
“It’s the Simpsons, not the Kardashians. We see hollow-core bathroom doors and dingily lit kitchens. Kitty litter boxes, dirty dishes by the sink, the jumble of a hairdryer’s cord. Instagram sometimes feels like an ad for America for people who have never actually been here and don’t know any better. TikTok looks like America as it is — hyper, bored, cluttered, and precarious.”
I will say tho, living your realest life online doesn’t make it any easier when the jealous trolls inevitably come knocking - no amount of self-awareness can make you immune to the constant flow of critique that comes at new mums (let alone those who are super public about the wins and the… harder times.) The Gen Z ‘Real Moms Of TikTok’ are pretty bloody good at using humour/ sarcasm as their defence mechanism though - I recently watched a whole video of Maia’s where she roasted herself for all the things her followers say make her a ‘bad mom’ -  and I honestly love to see it. 
And yes, there’s probably something to say about the parasocial relationships that Maia’s followers (in particular) are forming with Scout and Violet (her babies), but let’s have that chat another day eh?
Ukrainians share how they really feel about WWIII memes and Zelenskyy thirst traps
I’m so glad someone has reported on this - I’ve been wondering what the ✨vibes✨ are from actual Ukrainians who are seeing Gen Z react (kinda understandably coz it’s all we know) to the invasion of their country with… memes and thirst trap edits of Zelenskyy. Screenshot asked them. 
Olesia comes from Kharkiv, Ukraine, but her family relocated to the capital, Kyiv (she lives in the UK.)
“I’m really grateful that this is all happening in the social media age because the news spread quickly. I’m really happy to see most of the videos being about support for Ukraine, and a lot of the videos are actually describing the situation as it is. It’s been helping a lot to get the message out.”
“I do love memes and humour as a method of coping—we have to try and keep living and smiling. There are memes that are okay, that we understand and laugh at—they are mostly memes made by Ukrainians, for Ukrainians. My friends make lots of funny TikToks from the bomb shelters.” [luce note: isn’t that last line jarring??]
Olesia did make a good point - that if you have time to make memes and edits, you have time to help spread ways you can support Ukrainians efforts/ livelihoods. 
“​​Please remember there are people suffering, and if you do want to thirst over Zelenskyy, try and do that in a respectful way. I am not sure how you can do that, but at least mention a charity [your followers] can donate to in the comments, or pin a comment saying that we should support Ukraine.” 
Oly, who also lives in London, but whose entire family still lives in Ukraine, isn’t a fan:
“I hate war-related memes. I don’t find them funny.
People in the West make a mockery of my country and the comparison to WWIII is ridiculous to me. Yes, it’s very bad, but this is not WWIII—not everyone is being affected by the Ukrainian crisis, and countries like America and the UK don’t have many valid reasons to worry about themselves.” 
We’ve all seen a lot of hot takes about this being the first ‘extremely online’ war, but there’s not been a lot of coverage about how actual Ukrainians feel about it (I guess they have bigger things to worry about.) But to put it into perspective - maybe next time you spend three hours editing your Zelenskyy fan cam, balance it out by spending the next three researching what’s really happening and ways you can help. That’s on ✨growth.✨
Dyson made headphones that are also… air purifiers and yeeeessh
In my head there is still a chance that this is an April Fools’ joke, but I don’t think it is. See for yourself!
The best thread EVER:
The Meanest TA, PhD.
Everyone on my team (5 men ages 48-75) texts me to make sure the slang they’re using is correct in context. Some examples below:
The Meanest TA, PhD.
From Boss (74): “Can I say this meeting got lit if I mean people were getting upset?”

Me: “No but you can say they were salty about it.”
The Meanest TA, PhD.
Project Manager: “How do I tell my (17y/o) daughter she cannot wear a crop top to my mother’s Sunday dinner?”

Me: “Bestie, respectfully, ✨no✨”
The Meanest TA, PhD.
In return they translate my frustrations into professional corporate.
The Meanest TA, PhD.
Me: “How do I say this meeting is a waste of my time I am not paid enough to deal with your bullshit?”

Boss: “Can you provide me with a meeting agenda so I can ensure my presence adds value? I want to prioritize my schedule to support our most urgent needs.”
The Meanest TA, PhD.
Me: “How do I say there is no way you are this fucking stupid?”

WorkDad: “I think there was a disconnect, can you restate your definition of this concept so we can ensure there’s no miscommunication?”
Listen to Harry :P
We had some REALLY good polls this weekend
Do you roll under or over in bed?
As in… does your nose brush the pillow when you roll or are you normal?
  • 80% of you are normal
And then also:
  • 27% say left pic
  • 73% say right pic
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