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Nepotism Babies & The Emmy's 🏆

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Hi angels!! Not long now til I fly off to the states (AKA tomorrow!) and not long now until we head off on our SYSCA Roadie across New Zealand (AKA in less than a month - timetable coming soon 👀) The gals and I have been FLAT OUT planning things, printing things, scheming things… we’re all so excited to squish into a campervan together and come and see as many of you as we can!!
On another note: yesterday one of my flatmates was applying for a new job, and when he got to a question about whether there would be any issues around him working from home (which to be clear is not a problem for him, he loves it), here’s what he said:
Idk why I found this so funny, a normal person would have just said ‘none.’ He may as well have said ‘I live on a fault line so you never know…’ Anyway that was the highlight of my day yesterday. Hope you’re all thriving xxx
  • A HUGE THANK YOU FROM US AND KIDSCAN 🥺
  • The Emmy’s happened
  • New Episode of Culture Vulture: Nepo babies!!
  • ⛹️‍♂️Slam Dunc: The monoculture II: two places where it still lives⛹️‍♂️
A HUGE THANK YOU FROM US AND KIDSCAN 🥺
This section was brought to you by our mates at KidsCan!!
You’ll probably remember that earlier this year we worked on one of the most important partnerships we’ve ever done here at SYSCA - it was with KidsCan. KidsCan is an Aotearoa-based charity dedicated to helping Kiwi kids affected by poverty. 
I wanted to check back in with you to tell you how grateful we are, and how PROUD we are of this community - and to show you your real-life impact.
Together, we raised over $17,000, which means we are helping to feed 283 kiwi kids breakfast and morning tea for an entire month. That should make you feel incredibly proud (it’s a lot of full tummies!) Even more gorgeous is that a bunch of you donated from outside of Aotearoa - proving to us that we have the most caring and global community - you really are the best.
Here’s what one Deputy Principal has to say about the impact of food:
“I can’t really put a value on this food. It does mean a lot. With the challenges of Covid, and the higher cost of living, our numbers have increased here for breakfast club. It just gives the community peace of mind that they can send their kids off to school, have breakfast, without a concern that they might not be able to provide that. It helps the students have a really good start to the day, if they haven’t had much food at home of recent times.” – Justin Barlow – Kedgley Intermediate DP.
Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and tell you how much you mean to us, and the impact you’re making on these kids, and let you know that if you’d like to stay up to date on all things KidsCan and the work they do helping Kiwi kids in need (they won’t spam you, we promise!) – sign up here. 
The Emmy's happened
The Emmy’s happened and they were… extremely predictable??? White Lotus, Succession, Ted Lasso and Squid Game cleaned up (go u Matthew MacFayden), Lizzo made a fucking brilliant speech after her reality show ‘Watch Out For The Big Grrrls’ won it’s category, and most importantly… there was nothing even resembling a slap.
Here are some of the results so you don’t have to go searching:
Outstanding drama series: Succession
Outstanding comedy series: Ted Lasso
Outstanding limited series: The White Lotus
Lead actor in a drama series: Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game)
Writing for a drama series: Jesse Armstrong (Succession, “All The Bells Say”)
Lead actress in a comedy series: Jean Smart (Hacks)
Lead actress in a drama series: Zendaya (Euphoria)
Lead actor in a comedy series: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso)
Writing for a limited series or TV movie: Mike White (The White Lotus)
Directing for a limited series or TV movie: Mike White (The White Lotus)
Competition program: Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls
Lead actress in a limited series or TV movie: Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout)
Supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie: Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus)
Supporting actor in a comedy series: Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso)
Supporting actor in a drama series: Matthew Macfadyen (Succession)
New episode of Culture Vulture!
Breakdowns & Nepotism Babies
⛹️‍♂️Slam Dunc: The monoculture II: two places where it still lives⛹️‍♂️
Dunc really didn’t want his lil newsy segment to be named this (despite him being the biggest basketball fan I know), but it was too good of a pun to pass up, so I did it anyway (who’s the editor here???) Dunc is freakishly smart about… most things (I love it the most when he talks about music or media tho), and is also the founder of The Spinoff & host of The Fold, so when you’ve finished reading this, there’s plenty more Dunc out there for you xxx
I tried to get Luce to spike (crusty old journo term meaning not run) my piece last week on the monoculture multiple times, so it was extremely gratifying to read a bunch of emails from people enjoying it.
Luce note: HE LITERALLY TRIED TO 'SPIKE' THIS ONE TOO
Luce note: HE LITERALLY TRIED TO 'SPIKE' THIS ONE TOO
As someone who grew up and edited a magazine in the monoculture, and has now lived without it for a decade, it’s something I think about a lot. EG I noticed Addison Rae on the cover of Remix (an NZ print magazine) recently, and am curious about how it will go.
My gut says that as famous as she is, it might bomb, largely because while she is unimaginably famous, I don’t know whether her fans buy magazines or even where they would encounter one? I learned this the hard way 15 years ago when I put Soulja Boy on the cover of a magazine, around the time Crank Dat was everywhere. It was the lowest-selling issue I ever edited, in part because he was a very early social star, broken on YouTube. I remember writing that he had 27m streams, and that being an unimaginable number then. (To be clear, I have zero regrets about putting Soulja Boy on a magazine cover!)
What I want to do this week is look at two types of media which still have monocultural properties. What I mean by that is that they create a sufficient volume of attention to break through silos, and that their biggest moments still feel huge. This is why the apex versions of these forms are among the most valuable and truly mass media we still have. 
Sports
Sports fandom is intense and multi-generational, often inherited. You might acquire it through school, through a parent or a friend, and once a code has its hooks in, sports can be much stickier than a singer or a sitcom, each of which typically has a shorter life span than a team, which can last for centuries. 
Sports highlights are made for social media, and non-live products work well too. The UFC really accelerated its growth through a reality show (more on that below), the Ultimate Fighter, and Luce’s F1 obsession started with Drive to Survive. Sports is still all about live, which is why sports rights are ludicrously valuable, and the fandom surrounding individuals like Naomi Osaka or Conor McGregor often transcends their record as athletes.
Reality TV
A relatively new phenomenon (it’s been around c 25 years, vs most other TV forms which are more like 70 years old), reality TV has some sports-like qualities in that its fans really like to watch it live, and leads up to a finale which brings the biggest audiences. It has accelerated in the social era, drawing from and minting careers for its stars. 
Like sports, it also creates both a high volume of content (most franchises run multiple nights a week), and supports a powerful ecosystem of meta-content, like podcasts (I’ve been doing one for seven years). 
The most powerful current example is Love Island UK, which is a global smash engineered for this era. It encourages user participation through voting, has a wildly popular Reddit with which it now partners, and a huge stream of official and unofficial commentary which both markets the core product and keeps people hooked.
(I am fully aware that heaps of sports fans would recoil at the idea their beloved team is basically a reality TV franchise; to be clear that is exactly what I am saying)
For all that, even sports and reality are getting more fragmented (I think a lot of YouTubers are basically making their own reality TV shows, while some are becoming boxers too), so even these totems are ultimately going to fall.
ANYWAY thank you so much for putting up with me geeking out about all the different things we put in our eyes and ears, I am very grateful that Luce lets me do it and for all your feedback.
And finally, Lizzo and Zendaya:
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