If there’s one thing you can count on on the internet, it’s nothing. The whole thing is made of lies, rumors, conjecture, and outrage. But while adults believe lies like “the election was fake” and attempt to destroy American democracy over it, kids believe dumb rumors about Kanye West and Helen Keller. I know which world I’d rather live in.
TikTok rumor of the week: Helen Keller is fake
If any young people in your life tell you that Helen Keller was a liar, blame TikTok. Keller, who was struck both deaf and blind in infancy, overcame great adversity to become an internationally famous author and political advocate…at least that’s what they want you to believe.
“I’ve heard it my whole life. She’s deaf. She’s blind. She’s amazing,” TikTok user krunk19 said in recently posted a video. “Guess what. She lied. She’s a liar. Her and that monster Anne Sullivan pulled the wool over our eyes and nobody has thought to question it.” His evidence? There isn’t any evidence; it’s the internet. Other TikTokers have taken it further and contend that Keller never existed at all.
While these views are shitty and ableist (as are most “jokes” on TikTok’s Hellen Keller hashtag), they seem to be meant as funny. But given how fake everything else is, you could understand why someone might think, “sounds plausible,” and decide Keller was hoaxer. But for the record: Helen Keller was real and was actually deaf and blind.
Music rumor of the Week: Is Kanye dating Jeffree Star?
I probably wouldn’t cover Kanye West in a column about what young people like—he’s dad-hop at this point—but this rumor is too good. The buzz on the internet is Yeezy dropped Kim Kardashian to get with Jeffree Star. West supposedly hooked up with Star, a flamboyant, YouTube-famous makeup artist, while he and Kim were still married. Jeffer-ye Stest spent a romantic vacation together in Wyoming, according to the scuttlebutt.
The source of the rumor is dubious—TikTok provocateur (TikTokateur?) Ava Louise, best known for licking a toilet, who first floated the gossip without providing any substantiation. Still, when asked, Star didn’t deny it. Personally, I know this one is fake because Wyoming doesn’t exist.
Twitter controversy of the week: The saga of “Bean Dad”
Everything on the internet is fake, but you can still learn from it. This week, the lesson comes via a negative example from the “Bean Dad,” also known as musician John Roderick. In a series of tweets, Roderick detailed a “parenting moment” where his nine-year-old daughter was hungry, so Roderick handed her a can of baked beans and a can opener and said, “Open it up, kid.” But his daughter couldn’t figure out how the tool worked. Instead of showing her or opening the can himself like any halfway sane human, Roderick told her to “figure it out herself,” and refused to help. For six hours. The increasingly hungry kid spent six hours struggling with a can opener while her father did a jigsaw puzzle and repeatedly refused to help her.
I’m not going to judge parenting, but I know enough to keep my stories of parental neglect and assholishness off Twitter. Users on the site very quickly broke out the torches and pitchforks, savaged Roderick in the comments, pointed out that his daughter will have lots to discuss in therapy, and dug up some old racism too. The whole thing went viral, and Roderick deleted his account.
Later, he apologized, and it reads as sincere. He said “asshole dad” is kind of a bit, and the old racism was ironic—a ham-handed woke white dude thinking his wokeness makes it okay to be jokingly racist. Also: His band, The Long Winters, are pretty good. So should the internet forgive him? I don’t know. I guess I don’t actually care, to be honest. Just bring on the next outrage!
Viral video of the week: Wonder Woman 1984 pitch meeting
Wonder Woman 1984 is has many people asking “how did this get made?” and this week’s viral video answers that burning question. YouTuber Screen Rant’s hilarious fake pitch meeting for Wonder Woman 1984 eviscerates the super-hero movie, detailing every gaping plot-hole, contrivance, and leap-of-logic in the film, as well as doing a dead-on takedown of smarmy Hollywood’s braindead “creative process.” If you click on nothing else for the rest of your life, click on this video.
Gaming hoax of the Week: Duracell and Xbox rumor
The big rumor in gaming this week is that Microsoft has a longstanding partnership with battery maker Duracell that forces the console maker to only design controllers that use AA batteries. Insidious!
I get why people believe this one: I have an Xbox and the thing eats batteries like I eat pie, and since corporations are terrible, why wouldn’t they create “synergy” by forcing me to buy cases of expensive AAs to play Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla?
But it’s all a lie. A half-a-lie, anyway. While Microsoft and Duracell have a long-standing partnership, and “you need batteries” is the default for Xbox controllers, the two facts aren’t dependent on one another. According to Microsoft, the company “intentionally offers consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers.”
Sure, not providing a rechargeable battery pack with controllers is about giving me a choice not forcing me to buy a battery pack accessory. Thanks for the awesome choice, guys!