Arts

It’s a Thing

From sniffing stitches to British disses

US President Donald Trump delivers an address to the nation on funding for a border wall from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on January 8, 2019. (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA / POOL / AFP)CARLOS BARRIA/AFP/Getty Images
Carlos Barria/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump delivered an address to the nation on funding for a border wall from the Oval Office on Jan. 8, 2019.

BEST WORDS

This week in upsetting trends, the morning after President Trump’s televised address to the nation on border security or whatever that was supposed to be, a series of quite literally breath-taking edits surfaced online, each of which trimmed out the ostensible content of the speech itself and stitched together the scraps — i.e. Trump’s increasingly labored-sounding sniffs and inhalations — into disturbingly raw tone-poems of mouth noise and nasal suckage. They’re terrifying. After a couple of minutes, you might find yourself wishing you could go back to hearing him speak. So I guess anything really is possible, and this is now an inspirational video in two senses. 

FOWL PLAY

I was certain this was just a canard, but it’s true: Frisky museums around the world spent an entire afternoon this week soliciting duck pics from each other on Twitter. After the English Museum of Rural Life floated a challenge at London’s Natural History Museum to “give us your best duck,” the latter didn’t ask “Waddle we do?” No, it quacked right back with some sweet specimens from its own holdings. Then a whole raft of other institutions joined in and turned a simple duck-off into a full-fledged beakdown. Who had the “best duck” in the end? Eider know. 

TOY BALKS

The association behind this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas abruptly rescinded an Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone department, originally intended to go to the Osé, a female-centered sex toy designed to “mimic all of the sensations of a human mouth, tongue, and fingers.” An open letter by the device manufacturer cites gender bias, pointing to a vague CES policy that states entries deemed “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified,” despite the show’s repeated inclusion of sex dolls and AR strip clubs for men. In a letter, CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro wrote that the product “does not fit into any of our existing product categories” and I sadly do not have room for all the jokes that could go here. 

POINT MISSED

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And finally, according to a not very surprising new poll, half of Americans, bless their hearts, would be unable to discern if they were being dissed by a British person using standard passive-aggressive phrasing like, “I’ll bear that in mind,” or “I hear what you say.” This is sort of like when Bostonians say “hey buddy” but really mean “now listen, you.” Or when you say “good morning” but really mean “I order the same thing and have the same name every single day so please just get me my mocha in silence or I swear I will Mad Max my Corolla right through the front doors.” See? We’re not so different after all.

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MICHAEL ANDOR BRODEUR

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at mbrodeur@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur