January 14, 2023

Bigfoot, our national cryptid, shows out-West center of American ethnogenesis

Returning to a favorite theme here, the western frontier as the incubator for American collective identity, have a look at this map of the most famous cryptids (legendary creatures) of each state.

Only one of them is nationally renowned -- Bigfoot / Sasquatch, from the Northern California / Pacific Northwest region, way out on the West Coast. No matter how hard the locals try to shill their own state's cryptids, the American people as a whole simply do not pay them any attention. Outside of the state in question, 99% of Americans have never even heard of these names, let alone what their defining features and narrative legends are. There is only Bigfoot.

Indeed, he is so central in our consciousness that the only foreign cryptid we have incorporated into our own culture is a variation on the Bigfoot theme -- the Yeti or Abominable Snowman, from the Himalayas. There is no historical continuity between the two, it's just that we're so obsessed with Bigfoot, we naturally chose something similar to popularize when we learned of it from a totally unrelated culture.

And contrary to lazy claims that all cultures have some kind of legendary figure like this, and that such legends trace back hundreds or thousands of years, Bigfoot did not exist in American culture before the mid-1800s, when we reached the West Coast and began interacting with the natives there, absorbing some of their legends, while putting our own spin on them over time -- and absorbing their proper names, like Sasquatch (from a Salish people's language). Bigfoot, with that name, became popular during the mid-1900s, and has since become an icon of American folk culture.

Why did Americans settle on an anthropomorphic cryptid for their national legendary creature, rather than a reptilian, avian, ghostly, plant-like, or other form? I think it's because Americans have shallow roots in this land, and we have always been insecure about the lack of ancient or prehistoric signs of human existence. We lack a compelling Genesis-esque origin narrative older than a few hundred years.

This has led to an American obsession with placing ancient Near Eastern civilizations in North America from ancient times themselves, thereby linking today's Americans all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, Israelites, and so on -- just their off-shoots that came to the New World before the Western European colonists of the Age of Exploration a mere 500 years ago. This is most notable in the origin narratives of the Freemasons, and one of their off-shoots that became America's only native global religion, with a mythological origin narrative in the New World -- Mormonism, which is yet another out-West innovation.

But that is human civilization. We are also insecure about the lack of ancient non-human ape-like creatures. Our European cousins have the Neanderthals, not to mention far older hominids inside and outside of Africa. To feel rooted in the deep history of this land, we really need some kind of "cave man" native to the New World, yet don't find much evidence, and certainly not one who we resemble.

Bigfoot allows us to both feel like we live where ancient hominids once lived -- or in fact, still do -- while not feeling out-of-place, since Bigfoot is not characteristically Native American, Amerindian, Eskimo, or anything like that. He resembles us, the descendants of European colonists, as much as he does the Native peoples who were here before us. Compared to Bigfoot, Native Americans and European colonists are equally newcomers, alleviating our anxiety about the Native Americans settling North America before we did by thousands of years -- which is an eye-blink on the deep historical time-scale where Bigfoot, or his ancestors, originated on this continent.

* * *

There's another anthropomorphic big hairy beast who acts as a protector of nature, and has been an American cultural icon ever since he was created in the 1940s -- Smokey Bear (who I always heard called Smokey *the* Bear), the mascot of American nature conservation, reminding us that "Only YOU can prevent forest fires". And sure enough, his origins are out West, signaled by his campaign hat, blue jeans, and bigass belt buckle.

Wide-brim hats, and his style specifically, are an out-West innovation in America, adopted by cowboys and the frontier military (including as well the frontier paramilitary in Canada, the Mounties, who originated in the Wild West of the Northwest Territories at the same time).

Blue jeans were created for cowboys and miners out West, spearheaded by Levi Strauss in San Francisco CA. Lee jeans originated in Kansas, and the only old jeans manufacturer from back East is Wrangler (NC).

Large decorative belt buckles come from cowboy culture as well, beginning at rodeo performances and other ritualistic events, but by now common in everyday wear.

These clothing markers all originate in the westward expansion against the Indians in the Plains and Rocky Mountain regions, during the second half of the 1800s. They are central to the construction of American national identity during that time and place, they are not some timeless trope that has found its way into our present culture.


  1. In Geoguessr, Irys got my grandmother's hometown -- Hakodate. ^_^ I've never been to Japan, and most pictures of it are made for tourism.

    So it was nice to see non-idealized images of the remote region of the country, where there was no rice agriculture before 100 or so years ago. Just noble savages, hunting, gathering, and fishing.

    I've wondered how much Chad-panese DNA I've got (Ainu and/or Jomon, rather than Yayoi), but it'd probably be hard to detect since I'm only 1/4 Japanese to begin with. But people from up there do look different, including my grandmother. She had bushier / wavier hair than most mainland East Asians, paler skin, and less Chinese or Korean-looking eyes and facial features. My dad is 1/2, and he's pretty hairy (though I'm not), and the Ainu do be hairier than the rest of Japan.

    I know, it's probably the same self-created origin mythology that comes from white-skinned blue-eyed blond-haired Americans, who say they're part Indian, when they're literally 0%. Maybe my grandmother descended from the recent settling of Hokkaido by typical Japanese from Honshu. Obviously a city of nearly 300,000 didn't grow from local hunters and fishers, but from the rice farmers who came from the south.

    Still, I think there's something there, maybe one of the original Japanese men married an Ainu woman or something.

    I don't bring it up often, since that'd just be ethnic narcissism, plus I'm not actually Japanese. By appearance, enculturation, and upbringing (and 75% of my DNA), I'm a white American. Only ongoing clue is my blog URL being "aki no kure" -- dusk in autumn, the original name of the blog (after a line in a haiku by Basho).

    But Irys being a hafu, and actually getting to see non-glamorized scenes of my grandmother's hometown, got me in the right mood to reflect on it for the first time in awhile. Thanks to her, and to the uncanny ability of Geoguessr's algo to pick places that are meaningfully close to people.

    1. Here is a great document on the American remaking of Japan after WWII (the peak of the empire): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK738CDh21g

  2. Fittingly, the other half of my dad's side were the earliest settlers in the New World -- a Frenchman, whose family was from Normandy and settled New France (Quebec / Canada) around 1650, and an Englishwoman, whose family was from Essex and settled Western Massachusetts, around 1640.

    Obviously both escaping the over-production of elites and civil breakdown during the crisis of the mid-17th century in both countries (the Fronde in France, and the English Civil War). The wide-open New World was a release valve for aspiring elites who were ngmi if they stayed strivers back in Europe. (No such luck today, our economy's carrying capacity was saturated generations ago.)

    Not that it was easy here, as pioneers / settlers. Five seconds after they married, their town was burned to the ground by a joint French / Indian raid, and they were taken prisoner back to New France. Eventually they were freed, headed toward Detroit (still French back then), and one branch of them wound up in Kansas, where my grandfather was from.

    He was in the Air Force and moved all around, at one point being stationed in Japan after WWII, where he met my grandmother. The girls were very happy to flirt with the American GI's, which is how I assume a lot of these "war bride" episodes have gone throughout history -- clueless gym bros think they're going to get ripped, and use their strength to bonk a girl over the head and drag her off.

    Not that that doesn't happen, but sometimes the women are just neutral, waiting to see which side of the men will beat the other side, and choosing to be wives of the winners. No point in siding with the loser men after a big war, right? Plus, girls get all hot and bothered thinking that men are violently fighting over them.

    "Oh wow, you desired us so much, you just *had* to fight that big ol' war, just to eliminate your competition in the battle for babes? How flattering!!!!"

    I say "fittingly" because that's how you got an exotic wife in the old days -- you were the latest in a long line of explorers, conquerers, etc., rather than being a nerd or a weeb with yellow fever.

    Another thing making me think my grandmother's side has some Ainu is that her maiden name doesn't sound very Japonic or Korean (although her first name is obviously Japanese). I only know the Roman transliteration of it, and I think there is such a word in Japanese, but it might not be from the same kana or kanji as her surname originally was. I'd have to investigate.

    Most of the place-names up there are Ainu, not Japonic. That extends down into northern Honshu, for that matter.

    1. https://www.deviantart.com/kdkekbekk/art/Cavegirl-bonked-939531814

  3. I got curious if I inherited my inclination for large age-gap attractions from the Japanese side. Although I'm not a weeb and never watch anime, I still know how common the ojisan / loli trope is in their culture.

    But who says that's unique to Japan? Only someone who never heard Maurice Chevalier sing "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" in Gigi. Hehe.

    Turns out those original French settlers were all in pretty large age-gap marriages, with the husband around 30 and wife around 15. Oui oui oui, ooo la la, aw haw haw.

    But then, even the English settler side was like that, with a husband of around 34 and wife of 18 or 19.

    It's probably not a genetic inheritance thing anyway, but due to similar societal conditions, like the over-production of elites drying up resources. Then guys have to wait longer to be in a decent position to raise a family -- but girls are still fertile at the same age as always, so they marry about the same age but to an older man than their grandmothers would have.

    By the time history got to my Greatest Gen grandparents, during the Great Compression of egalitarianism and widespread prosperity, their age gap was more like 7 years or less. And my Boomer parents are only 1 year apart (married in the late '70s, still during the era of widespread prosperity, under the New Deal).

    However, conditions have been shifting away from that Midcentury utopia for decades now, and girls are much more open to dating older guys now, whether for material support, emotional / social maturity, or whatever else. We live in a new gerontocracy, where you have to be old in order to be decently well-off.

    Public schooling of girls has broken the link between fertility and marriage, otherwise they'd still be getting married in their late teens, just to guys who were around 33 instead of 23 or whatever in the 1950s. But now they're in school forever, then a meandering career path forever, so the ojisan / loli matchmaking doesn't happen as often as it did during a similar era of widening inequality, societal instability, etc. Solely due to the mass schooling of girls, which wasn't there before.

    So those ojisans shouldn't get too much hope up to relive their ancestors' ways of landing a teenage bride when you're over 30.

    1. The decline of fraternal egalitarianism among working class gym bro types has also meant a return of male feminization


      This is quite similar to how mothers (especially upper class ones) would keep their little boys "breeched" in dresses for years after birth (look at images of FDR or Ernest Hemingway at a young age and you will see what I mean)

  4. Hot date with a cool shark: Jaws watchalong with Gooba, hehe. All set to go in Seventies style with three sprays worth of Antaeus soaking into a dark brown cotton turtleneck, under a navy blue zip cardigan in cashmere (and as always, slightly tinted glasses with large dark brown frames).

    Got one of those finish-baking-at-home flatbread deals (sun-dried tomato topping), going to lard it up with some butter on top, slice up some smoked sausage to cover, and smother it in 6 slices of Havarti cheese.

    IMAGINE the SMELL...

    "Chumbiiiiiieeee, log off your blog already and come watch the movie with meeee!!!"

    On my way, oshi!

  5. >tfw gooba has entered the ovulating phase of her cycle, but we can only experience her horny likes & retweets because she's on hiatus from streaming...

  6. I just hope that if this break involves receiving any medications, they don't fuck with her hormone levels or ovulating cycle.

    We need our virtual goddess to be totally natural!

  7. Zoomer girls breathing life back into Sad Seventies classic "You're So Vain" (but a little hard-edged and funky, unlike purely easy listening entries in the genre).

    Like Carly Simon herself, who's from the Silent Gen, the Zoomers (and X-ers) are a non-attention-whoring generation (Greatest, Boomers, and Millennials are spotlight-hogging).

    Something about that makes them more interested in the full spectrum of history before them, not just reliving their childhood and adolescence (a la Boomers and Millennials).

    Olivia Rodrigo:


    Sabrina Carpenter:


    So far, nobody from Hololive has covered this in karaoke (at least, that made it into clips). But this would be right up the alley of Zoomer Holos like Gura and Mumei.

    I think Mumei might be tempted to go deep-voiced and get a little joke-y or cutesy, but she should lean into the pained yearning hard-edged side of the song (drawing from her emo leaning), and do it sincerely, letting out frustration and feeling some catharsis, instead of defusing the bomb by cute-ifying it.

    Gura would do better in the sultry chanteuse style, like Sabrina Sharkenter. You know you wanna, Gooba...

  8. Sabrina and Gura have a similar profile -- late '90s manic-phase births, Northeast origins, teeny-tiny stature (around 5'0), small chest and bubble-butted.

    Sabrina's more on the vamp-y than the uwu side, but Gura does have a streak of that that comes out sometimes in mature karaoke songs.

    Speaking of, another Carly Simon classic that the sharky chanteuse would be great at covering is "Nobody Does It Better" (also a tie-in to a classic Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me).

    POV: Gooba & Shuba finally meet IRL, hehe --


  9. Can Fauna & Mumei share some Faumei stories tonight during their streams? We got to hear some about "the ladiiiieeeessss" of Faubaerys last time, hehe. Wonder what it was like for the two Midwest emo girlies to bond IRL again (with no scuffed mic to dampen the mood this time!).

    Without asking too yabai of a question...

    To Fauna: how long and pettable is Mumei's hair? ^_^

    To Mumei: how honey-dripping and lullaby-like is Fauna's voice IRL? ^_^

    Fans wouldn't need to hear these treated as a separate Q&A, you could slip in an off-the-cuff description during the normal part of your gameplay.

  10. Mumei's avatar would look cute in an alt outfit like the one she has for her schedule. Like a simple alt for her upcoming casual outfit. Similar to Kronii having a simple gym / work-out alt to her new cazh look.

    The theme would be "idol in training" -- getting more into the dance and stage presence side of her performance, since she can already sing well.

    To match the casual vibe, it wouldn't be a full stage outfit -- but what she would wear after practicing dancing, and lounging around to unwind.

    Baggy / slouchy sweater with one shoulder exposed (a la Flashdance, to reinforce the "training to achieve your stage dreams" theme). Ribbed, to make it look a sweater, and casually fashionable, not just a plain sweatshirt. Some dark color. Reaching low enough to cover her butt and hips, and long enough sleeves to partially cover her hands.

    Add some slouchy leg-warmers that have the same folded-over fabric of a sleeve that's too long. And reaching low enough to cover the heels of her feet, maybe some of the sole too -- echo-ing the look of the sweater sleeves around her hands. Some lighter color, but not bright -- and casual / slouchy, not formal white tights for a recital. No shoes.

    Hair in low messy bun -- somewhat unkempt and "just got done working out", but somewhat "effortlessly chic". The rest of the hair in a side part, and not severely flattened for a recital, just casually gathered to one side. Maybe some face-framing pieces left ungathered. Lots of volume to the hair and bun, though -- looks hot in itself, but also shows it's not a formal look where ballet dancers have their hair tight and flat against the scalp.

    No eyewear.

    I like the coffee mug in her schedule's drawing, although maybe cup it with both sweater-covered hands -- a classic look from #justgirlythings. ^_^

    If her arms have to be apart to both sides, maybe the mug in one hand, and a loose bangle type bracelet on the other wrist. Casual, but still chic -- a detail she's added after done working out, and she's now relaxing and enjoying looking more girly.

    Mumei has a very understated personality, and this look would mirror it perfectly, while also revealing her stage performer side, and the dedication to her training -- but not being a soul-crushed workaholic, someone who still enjoys lounging around casually after the day's training.

    Mooms says she prefers comfy clothing, but this would achieve both a comfy vibe while also looking more fashionable and (quickly) put together -- befitting an idol in training. She wants to still feel idol-like, even when just relaxing around her place, to keep that baseline level of motivation and inspiration there.

    OK, enough fanfic for today! But seriously, it would look great -- and Mumei could dress like that IRL without having to show us, if not in her new avatar, to get into the idol-in-training mode! :)

  11. There’s also an American interest in trying to tie the “ancient aliens” conspiracy/alt history theories to the americas, usually with the Andes and monumental Incan stonework in South America but also with the Mayan and Aztecs and even Indian mounds and such in the US.

    I’ve worked in an 18th museum in the Midwest which had plenty of actual history going back to the early 18th century for Europeans and into prehistory for native tribes but one of the constant things guests would want to talk about was the idea that the ancient Chinese visited the Mississippi River as part of some sort of lost exploration and trading system, or similar “mysterious finds.”

    Also, you might connect the American fascination with dinosaurs to this. Dinosaurs are older even than Bigfoot and existed all over, even in the US. Not only are the fossils and sites and museums popular but it’s also classic American pop culture like Dino parks, or later on with Jurassic Park and the like. You see even places trying to tie ancient species to modern political geography. “Hell yeah everything is bigger in Texas! Have you even seen those giant armadillos that were here thousands of years ago?!”

  12. >ywn feel Mumei puncture a hole in the side of your nose and blow into it while her fingertips tenderly press on your nostrils like a flute

    So much caffeinated chaos tonight, along with the rant about Mars' rocks and rivers being fake, which YouTube's CIA / FBI overseers totally shut down during the live stream (although it was preserved in the vod, thankfully).

    You could just hear the gears spinning in DC servers --

    "Uh, ACKSHUALLY, misinformation detected, initiating lag-blanket sequence"

    Also, more of Moom checking out butts (even if an avian one). I also noticed her noticing a butt in Geoguessr, during the Alaska level where some MILF was working on her garage door and had her buns turned right toward the camera.

    Irys was checking out a nice set of buns striding through a crosswalk in the Poland level of Geoguessr as well.

    More circumstantial evidence that these two are butt girls. Gura is loud-and-proud about being a butt girl, so hopefully that will give the others confidence to "come out" as a person of buns. There are way more butt guys in the audience than you'd think -- maybe even a silent majority!

    I think the confusion is that vtubers originated in Japan, which is more of a boob-person culture, including anime and video games, through which their influences reached the weeb-y initial audience for vtubers.

    But now that the format has gone totally mainstream -- thanks primarily to a girl who made it well known that she's *not* busty -- I think there are way more butt people in the audience by this point.

    They don't have to make it part of their brand, just that they don't have to hide it like some dark secret.

    Maybe it's having to play the role of what their avatar looks like? Mumei's avi doesn't have a large chest, so she could easily hint at her butt-girl nature without breaking immersion. Irys' main avi has the tofu jiggle physics, but now with her new kimono look, they're barely noticeable -- so she could hint at having cute buns too.

    If they're worried about sexualizing it, they can use tasteful terms and euphemisms like "dancer's butt" (it's artistic, not pornographic), "toned" (from walking or athletics), or "cute little bubble" ("awww, cute!" not "daaannng gurrrrrlll....").

    Most likely they won't address this at all. Just saying that they can without having to worry about immersion, or fan backlash. Look at the path that Gura has paved for you!

  13. Fauna lamenting the "baggy pants, tight crop top" look popular among Zoomers reminded me of this other Sabrina Carpenter performance I saw today while seeing what she's up to lately. (I only remembered her "Almost Love" video from TV a zillion years ago, AKA 2018.) Sure enough, baggy jeans and a micro-crop-top (but with poofy mini "sleeves" attached).


    I don't mind girls' jeans looking baggy if it's at the knee or lower, but it's sad when nice buns and hips are being obscured by bagginess in the seat area.

    I'll definitely give the W to the 2010s look in the case of bottoms. Nothing but skinny jeans, tights / leggings, and form-fitting yoga pants as far as the eye could see -- really was heaven for a butt-man.

    Millennials are still rocking that look, and they're not that old, and still have nice thighs and asses.

    Some Zoomers wear leggings as part of the athleisure trend, but I've been seeing more straight-up sweatpants over the past few years, which are baggier than skin-tight leggings. And then just the other night, after I'd left the thrift store, a sleepover party group of 4 Zoomer teens headed in, and 2 or 3 of them were wearing baggy pajama pants, which I don't recall seeing on middle-class teens since the '90s or y2k.

    That was the greatest relief in the mid-late 2000s -- the Juicy Couture phenomenon totally ended the baggy pajama look, and made them form-fitting, PLUS they were a matching set, therefore more like pajamas someone wears to bed / just waking up, making us think about their body in bed. It brought the intimate look outside of the home.

    Wearing just the pajama pants with an unmatched t-shirt or sweatshirt on top doesn't look like the iconic "pajamas as sleepwear" deal. They could be wearing it in the middle of the day, lazing around the home, not something that makes us think of their body in a bed. Therefore, not bringing the intimate vibe out in public.

    I will only give them a pass if they wear a matching pajama shirt with their pajama pants -- and bonus points if they wear some kind of cute dainty slippers. Then it would look risque, making us think about her body being in a bed near sleep-time. Pajama pants with an unmatched ordinary top just looks too bla-bla.

    Oh, a onesie pajama would work too!

    And we're not even talking about wearing lingerie or a nightie in public. Just a matching pajama top and bottom.

    Does Faunya have a cute matching pajama set or onesie? She's very into fashion, so she might! ^_^

  14. Good call on the dinosaurs. That's another example of something that makes European colonists and Amerindian natives seem equally newcomers.

    Notice how there's not nearly as much attention given to the megafauna that came after the dinosaurs, but got wiped out by early human migration into the Americas -- because those animals are too tied to the natives, something that European colonists never got to even see, let alone live with, because the first humans here killed them all off.

    I had no idea the ancient aliens people had a New World angle, but that figures. Fittingly, Mormon mythology includes a uniquely American obsession with outer space and life-forms out there, namely the planet / star that is / is nearest to the throne of God:


    And yes, there's even a related sub-theory that Earth was created near that heavenly body and then moved to its present location near the sun. Totally harmonious with ancient aliens.

    Wiki says it influenced Battlestar Galactica through the creator & producer being a Mormon. Another uniquely American genre -- sci-fi.

    If your religion doesn't easily mesh with sci-fi, ancient aliens, and distinctly New World ethnic groups in the origin narrative -- what chance does it have of lasting over the centuries in America?

    Mormonism is America's religion, like it or not.

  15. Can't forget this cartoon explaining Mormonism's distinct mythology / genesis narratives. A cartoon from 1982, which looks like it was a spin-off of Thundarr the Barbarian. (Animation -- another unique American cultural format.)


    It was made by evangelical Christians in order to turn people off from Mormonism, but winds up giving it the appeal of a Star Wars-esque blockbuster movie. And those phrases intended to scare but read as hyping-up ad copy -- "endless celestial sex," "star-base Kolob," people "become gods".

    Just imagine someone watching that cartoon, knowing nothing previously about Mormonism, and not already a hardcore Christian.

    "Whoah, no way, dude! That sounds totally fuckin' awesome!"

  16. Mumei played a hide-and-seek simulator for the first time yesterday (Chicken Feet). Normally what we'd see Gooba playing (too many examples to count), or Fauna or Bae (Outlast, Amnesia, etc.).

    Does this mean Mumei's a bit taller than the average girl? Seems like these being chased simulators are most popular with teeny-tiny girls, playing into their natural physical defenseless in a direct confrontation, and having to train their swift and stealthy specialty instead.

    Wait, Irys played Outlast for awhile too recently -- she must be on the smol (ish?) side as well. I can beleeb.

    Doesn't look like Kronii has played this type of game, and she seems like she'd be on the taller side for girls. Composed demeanor, low-ish voice. Also teases Gura as a shortie, hard to believe her doing that if she weren't 5'7 or 5'8 herself.

    That puts Mooms in the... 5'5 to 5'6 range, then? She has a chaotic unhinged side, which is for shorties, but also doesn't vibe as well with the "oh nyo, big bad monstew is chasing meeee!" genre.

    Instead of Geoguessr, they need Heightguessr... or Linguoguessr, homing in on where a vtuber grew up based on their speech patterns and slang. I would kill at that game! ^_^

    BTW, Irys has a Northeast accent, no cot-caught merger. She says "comment" and "contact" with a rounded vowel in the stressed syllable. Not New England-y, though, I'd say from Philly to New York City metro areas.

    She knew the distinctive benches of Hawaii in Geoguessr, so presumably she grew up there at least part of her life, but somehow she doesn't have a typical Western accent. Is it because Hawaii was not an organic westward expansion, as it was on the mainland? Like, it was settled mostly by East Coast transplants? So the Hawaii accent sounds more back-East?

    Or did she just live in the Northeast during the stage of life where you pick up your accent, but then her family moved to Hawaii afterward, and she brought that accent with her?

    One study says Hawaii shows the cot-caught merger like other Western dialects, but it's usually left off of the dialect maps, so I don't know how solid that claim is.

    A close girl friend of mine moved from the East Coast all the way out to Hawaii after 9th grade (military brat). I'm not sure what kind of accent she developed by adulthood, though. We kept writing to each other, very long handwritten letters, and she made her own quirky envelopes by folding a calendar page with tropical fish or whatever, and using silver liquid marker for the address text.

    *She* was tall, all right. Probably grew up to be 5'10 or 6'... I miss not being able to at least go through all of high school together.

  17. Also possibly H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth world as an American prehistoric creation myth and mythos. It’s literally involving the oldest things in the universe and the creation of the world and it has nothing to do with “old world” Europe at all. It’s tied to “old New England” ie founding American stock as its connection to actual places and history.

  18. 5 min into Faunya's superchat readings: "Uuuu, can I sing Happy Birthday to your cat????!" ^_^

  19. Watchalong suggestions, inspired by the blast I had with the Goobinator watching Jaws the other night. All thrillers from the '70s, which will draw in the ojisan audience, the male audience (anti-chick-flicks), and the creative audience. Plus, they'll be good for the streamer's own aesthetic education!

    Starting with Goob, since she liked both the Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw characters from Jaws, there's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (with Dreyfuss), which is also part of the political paranoia / conspiracy trend of the '70s, but in a more family-friendly form. Shaw was also in The Taking of Pelham 123, an awesome heist movie -- set in Noo Yawk, with plenty of great accents for the rival New Englander to take jabs at.

    Then there's the ultimate troll watch-along of all time -- Black Sunday, to be streamed right before the upcoming Super Bowl (Sun Feb 12, so perhaps streamed on Sat Feb 11). It's got Robert Shaw, and involves a terrorist plot to set off a bomb at the Super Bowl that would take out everyone in the stadium. Maybe that degree of trollery is more up the alley of Pippa, though? I rarely get to watch her streams, but she seems like another natural fit here.

    For Mumei, something fitting her paranoid streak, and the "Mars rocks are not real" rant she recently went on, and got censored in real time by YouTube (thankfully preserved in the vod... for now). Capricorn One, about a studio-faked Mars landing that ensares the crew who thought they were going on a real mission, pitting them against the political establishment who orders them to play along for good press. Admittedly not the greatest in its own right, but the commentary it would set off in her would more than make up for it, content-wise.

    And for Fauna, either Three Days of the Condor, or The Parallax View. The latter is more of a brooding downer tone-wise, if she's wants an emo mood. The former has a romantic sub-plot, a bit more mystery / detective work (she likes puzzle games), and a more optimistic ending.

    I don't think watchalongs are a huge audience draw, these would be for filler days, numbers-wise. But they're good for your aesthetic growth, ditto for the audience, and it would help transmit these classics to the next generation -- your choices act as a kind of consensus on what the canon is. You may not be the only ones who shape this consensus, but highly visible streamers are certainly among them.

    Think of it like the role of your karaoke set-lists -- it helps establish a canon. They're not just any ol' random bunch of songs thrown together on a whim.

    Even if you don't end up doing a watchalong, they're all great and you should watch them on your own -- or as part of a sleepover during the next off-collab, whenever that is. :)

  20. "Farm Shark" stream recommended after the Jaws watchalong, and hooolyyyy! Classic Gura, in top form -- energy drink caffeinated, lumbering between sugar rush and crash from eating cake, and hormones dripping from the ovulating phase in her cycle (day 19 in the calendar month).


    I hadn't seen this one at the time, but it's all the iconic Gura character traits all mixed up into one heady intoxicating brew. What makes her irreplaceable, no offense to other streamers.

    Angelic voice and sweet tender care toward her fandom, but with fingernail-dirtying hobbies and earthy humor.

    Focus and attention to detail, while being scatterbrained and spontaneous.

    Nurturing other baby living things (seeds), while letting out several references to breastmilk (wanting to be the one being nursed).

    Trad pasttimes like gardening, spoken through edgy contempo anime weeb lingo.

    Just the right balance between feminine daintiness and boyish adventurousness around dirtying / gross-out stuff.

    How do so many seeming contradictions co-exist -- indeed, mutually enhance each other -- within the same person? How do you solve a puzzle like Gawr Gura? You don't, it's a perpetual cheeky playful tease, huhaha. It's what will always keep you coming back for more. ^_^

  21. >ywn sprout and grow with Gawr Gura's DNA mixed into your own after she tenderly drips her saliva into your soil bed

    Why live?

  22. I saw her sittin' there, scrollin' her screen
    Speakin' uwu to her fans like a loli queen
    Tweets were flowin' on
    Teasin' her fave anons

    Next we were loggin' on, deep in the memes
    (Yeah, memes!)
    Next we were loggin' on, deep in the memes
    (Yeah, memes!)


    I love sharky posts
    So drop another like in the Goob-box, baby
    I love sharky posts
    So open up your comms and bantz with me


  23. She replied to my invite, for a co-op game:
    "FPS? Let's see who's got better aim :3
    "We'll play till the server's blown --
    "So make sure to charge your phone"

    Next we were loggin' on, deep in the memes
    (Yeah, memes!)
    Next we were loggin' on, deep in the memes
    (Yeah, memes!)


    I love sharky posts
    So drop another like in the Goob-box, baby
    I love sharky posts
    So open up your comms and bantz with me


  24. Here is a remarkable prediction from a 1977 WaPo Paper that the 1940s to the 1970s would be seen as the world's Golden Age:


  25. History is by, for, of the elites, so they won't see the New Deal as a golden age. Rather, they'll look to the Reagan era as the peak of the American empire -- when strivers like themselves had it the easiest, shoving the previous egalitarian system out of the way, hoovering up everything for themselves, melting down generations of wealth for scrap value (esp. de-industrialization), living a life of luxury, and wiping out what they had before they kicked the bucket, so that no future generation would be able to rival them for consumption and status.

    Nobody idealizes the Roman Empire of the 1st century, which was its New Deal era -- they like the 2nd, especially when Marcus Aurelius took over (similar to Reagan). That's when the elites were over-produced, but hadn't fully parasitized the previous generations' worth of social, economic, military, and cultural capital.

    It was in the unstable phase of lots of elites but still relative societal stability. As their numbers keep growing, and they remain entrenched, and their tastes get greater, and the total pie doesn't get bigger, that huge elite stratum is going to wreck the whole system. But until that crashing phase occurs, it looks like a utopia for strivers.

    Same thing with the British Empire -- nobody cares about the peak of egalitarianism between 1780 and 1830. They're obsessed with the Victorian and Edwardian eras, before the whole system was wrecked in the 1910s. Ditto for France, Germany, and Austria, which were on very similar timelines for expansion, peak / plateau, and crash. Historians and cultural types romanticize the fin-de-siecle -- opulence and decadence, without karma having kicked in just yet. "Oh, to have lived during that sweet unstable moment!"

    The Russian Empire was the only other empire left standing after WWI / WWII, aside from America. No future historians, or just lay people looking back on the past, will regard their New Deal era -- Stalin's era -- as a golden age. They'll save the golden age for glasnost, the breaking up of the USSR, and the great theft of Russian wealth during the '90s. Those were the glory days for strivers -- do as little productive work as possible, but wind up super-rich, living a life of luxury, joining the West (or so everyone behaved at the time), etc.

    Sure, there was demographic collapse, drugs & alcohol destroying even more lives, the breakdown of the productive economy, and so on -- but that's no different, qualitatively, from what's been happening in America since Reagan. Future historians won't care about ordinary Americans falling through the cracks during the NAFTA era and afterward -- that was a pre-requisite for all those yuppie lawyers, consultants, and managers getting rich for free at the same time. Those factories in America aren't going to relocate to Mexico by magic -- it takes a small army of professionals to make that transition. They're no different from the oligarchs who ripped off Russia during the same decade.

    Historians, as strivers, wannabes, and status-climbers, prefer a period where the elites are not just doing well for themselves -- but doing so in a zero-sum way against the commoner class. If they're all working together harmoniously for the common good -- well, it's not exactly Hell on Earth, but why does everybody have to be so damn mutualistic? Can't the Good side (elites) be fucking over the Bad side (commoners) in a moralistic crusade? That's so much better!

  26. Future historians will regard the 1990s, or the Reagan era generally, as the American golden age. Roughly 1980 to 2019. But the '90s had enough progress toward the yuppie-fication of the society to make it better than the '80s, while none of the many crashes of the 2000s (Dot-Com bubble bursting, housing bubble bursting, 2008 depression, failed QE, Iraq & Afghanistan failures, 9/11, etc.). And none of the woketard wars during the 2010s, including the attempted but failed populist backlash under Trump. Hardly any polarization during the '90s, although it was more so than during the New Deal.

    Also, being pre-woketard, the culture was still meant for everyone, and was good. Not the best, but not garbage. And "golden ages" are rarely judged solely for artistic production anyway -- it's more of an economic and social-status thing. The '90s was the culmination of the anti-New Deal project from the Me Generation (Silents and Boomers) of the '70s.

    The End of History. Another fin-de-siecle, since the American and Russian empires were 100 years behind the timelines of most other Euro-related empires (and Spain and the Ottomans were about 100 years ahead of those empires, beginning their crash / break-up in the early 1800s).

    1. Neoliberalism in America didn't begin with the election of Reagan in 1980 or even the election of Carter in 1976; it began with the financiers taking over New York City during the fiscal crisis of 1975!: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780805095265/fearcity

  27. Here is a YouTube channel showing ads from the Golden Age of British Egalitarianism: https://www.youtube.com/@anachronisticanarchist6787/videos

  28. Faunya + Mumei both want to get back into Minecraft. :) Without laying out a detailed fanfic blueprint or anything, a big-picture suggestion might help them, since they're worried about starting all over on a new server.

    You want to make your new place complementary to the old one -- that way, they do their separate things, serve their own separate functions, have their own vibe. If you try to do another variation on the original theme, then they're in competition, and you end up settling on one, and ignoring the other.

    Coming up with a different theme means they won't be competing against each other, and you can still preserve all the time, effort, and love that went into the first server. If you want the atmosphere that the original one has, you still have to go there. Kind of like a winter home and a summer home -- impossible except for rich people, but in Minecraft you don't have to be a millionaire to have complementary living places. :)

    As I see it, the theme of the original one was unplanned / spontaneous at the bird's-eye-view, very fantastical and like a fairytale, and whose buildings were mainly a single person's residence. It has a spontaneous, small-scale, intimate, home-y feel, from the imagination of an excited child.

    So to complement that, the new space could be more planned in advance -- not details, but what kind of buildings there are, what the layout will be, etc., kind of like a city building sim. It would look more naturalistic (by Minecraft standards), less fantastical. And it would focus on building types other than single residences -- maybe even doing away with single-person residences altogether. It would feel more orderly (by HoloEN standards), medium-scale, public, and being outside the home.

    It would still be an escapist place, since that's what Minecraft is for, just not as much of a childlike fairytale land -- more like a young adult dreaming of what kind of place they want to live in when they set off for college, or for their first home after leaving their parents.

  29. In fact (since you're just dying to read the fanfic), I was thinking of a college town as the overall organizing theme -- but not just any school, an idol academy! Or a streamer academy, content creator academy, vtuber academy, etc. Similar to the settings of Bully or the new Pokemon, only you're creating the whole environment yourselves, in addition to play-acting your zany, silly adventures within it.

    A college town has instruction buildings -- maybe a different floor or wing for each kind of talent a vtuber / idol has to train herself in (singing, dancing, drawing, streaming tech). There are dormitories instead of single houses. Some kind of performing arts center, like a theater (maybe with a mo-cap studio?). A library. A dining hall. If you don't want to think up your own architectural style, and just hit the ground running, you can't go wrong with Collegiate Gothic.

    Quads or parks or ponds. Walking paths connecting everything together, with large leafy trees all around.

    Nearby is a small town with a main street, cafes / restaurants, shops, and so on. Instead of standalone buildings, these places could be part of a larger single complex -- not an ugly high-rise or a horrendo 5-over-1 box, but a single building with a cohesive unifying style, that has separate storefronts. Inside each store is where they get their uniqueness -- and maybe there are large windows in front to let you see inside, adding variety to the single big building.

    That could be one way to change things up over time, while still keeping the overall feel the same -- changing out what's in the window displays of a clothing store, for example, by season. Different array of pastries on display in the bakery, depending on the season.

    Of course the usual network of minecar tracks for transportation -- but they could have more stops, reached more frequently, like a trolley or light rail making the rounds in a neighborhood, not taking a metro on a long uninterrupted ride to some place far away.

  30. An ecosystem like a college town would let you girls keep your cozy, low-ish scale of the first server, where EN was the noble savage / retvrn to monke environment. It wouldn't be too big, too modern, or too economistic. If the architecture has a trad-ish look, it would still feel escapist in the right way.

    It would feel more like a quaint Medieval or Early Modern village or town, not an industrial-era concrete jungle. And yet, still more advanced and structured than the spontaneous patchwork of caveman camps.

    This is just what you girls could build. The real fun in Minecraft is the social interactions and adventures that you go on, and there's no reason those can't continue in the new environment. It'll simply be a chaotic slumber party in a dormitory instead of a sleepover in one person's house. You can get into naughty hijinx by breaking into the instruction buildings when it's night-time, and having a party inside when they're supposed to be closed, and you're supposed to be in your dorm.

    I would know about that, but that's another story. ::Mumei gremlin laugh:: ^_^

    And because there's more structure to this environment, there are more clearly defined roles that can be played. In the caveman environment, you're just you, there aren't too many different roles to play. But in a vtuber academy, you could roleplay as an idol-in-training, as a faculty member (and that has different types -- for dance, singing, etc.), a shop-operator (of various kinds), and so on and so forth.

    Maybe some streams, you're just being yourself. But if you wanted to get more into Minecraft as a setting for roleplay, you could totally go for it now. Perhaps there are storylines and character arcs that span multiple streams -- similar to the GTA roleplay genre that was (is?) popular on Twitch. All depends on what you feel excited about, and have fun doing.

  31. I love the original EN server -- wrote a whole post about it being the rural caveman setting, compared to the urban modern setting of the JP server. I don't want da gurlz to ever leave it behind. It's a site where so much bonding took place!

    But if you are going to build and socialize in the new combined server, the above could help keep them separate, so neither replaces the other.

    Have fun, you sillies. :)

  32. In Minecraft Mumei makes an Olympic-caliber dive... which could only be possible if she's already got Olympic-caliber buns and legs.

    Now we know why she didn't get upset or contradict that caricatured drawing of herself as a caked-up bird-woman in the HalloweEN story. If she were actually a bean-pole, or a boob girl, she would've been incensed and taken it as slander. But she was shocked more by the degree, rather than the kind, of body shape she was portrayed with.

    Now we also know why she got so much attention IRL from so many colleagues during the Japan trip. They just couldn't help falling for her feminine, fertile figure. How do you say "ooo la la" in Nihongo? ^_^

    As in so many other areas, I hope her streaming career is finally waking her up from any insecurities she may've had, due to helicopter parenting not providing her with input from her peers, the opposite sex, etc.

    If she were a skinny boobalicious girl, then being a weeb who consumed anime girls, and interacted with other fans of that format, would've made her feel comfortable in her body. And felt worthy of love. Not necessarily if she's an apple-bottom kind of gal, though.

    But through no plan of her own, she's been portrayed with an exaggerated hourglass waist-hip ratio and squeezable buns & thighs. And, far from destroying her reputation among her fans or the audience for her industry as a whole, she discovered that it only made them more horned-up for her!

    For those who don't watch streamers, Mumei projects one of the least sexualized personas on-stream, so seeing her fans get to that level of cat-calling -- bird-calling? -- was a real epiphany.

    "You mean guys don't mind if you have an hourglass figure and a ripe, bouncy bubble butt? Whuh-thuh-heck?!?!?!?!!!?!?!!!"

    I was going to say, how could a girl live through the decade of PAWG culture -- the 2010s -- and not realize that? But if she were into Japanese culture, anime, etc., she might have actually concluded the opposite. Sadge.

    But we're only too happy to help wake her up. Hehe. She, and her fans, don't have to make moombuns a central aspect of her character, as though we wanted her to record a tiktok as Moom in the "small waist, pretty face, with a big bank" trend. Oh heavens nyo, anything but *that*...

    We simply want her to rest assured that her body type is not only *not* a debuff IRL, it actually puts us in quite the silly mood. ^_^

  33. I would've added, "her fans treasure her primarily for her personality," but she already came to that realization. That just being her silly self, she's drawn so many people into wanting to hang out with her, hear how her day's been, what's ticking her off every now and then, and so on.

    I think she's aware of being lovable, or at least she's coming around to it. And certainly alleviating that kind of uncertainty is more important than the uncertainty over whether guys find her bod hot or not.

    ...but just in case she were ever insecure about that aspect of her nature, she can breathe a welcome sigh of relief there as well.

    Pharma drugs can do little to nothing for a person's mental health -- anxiety requires external perceptual input that would alleviate the person's anxiety.

    Zoomers are so broadly stricken by anxiety, due to them all being helicopter parented, and not having that outside input during their crucial developmental window. Is a girl pretty, plain, or ugly? Is she lovable, tolerable, or off-putting? How can she know any of these things, without spending years of unsupervised, organic social interactions with her peers IRL?

    We're only directly alleviating one girl's adolescent uncertainties about her worthiness, but if other girls see us doing that, and it applies to them as well, then we've indirectly helped out a bunch more.

    It really is crazy how anxious, mistrusting, and self-doubting the Zoomers are. But you would be too if you were raised in the same environment. The best we can do is try to wake them up before their anxiety and doubt fossilizes -- and since they're still well under 30, we do have that time and opportunity.

    Not to get too serious or mushy, but sometimes it's needed after a "daaannnggg gurrrlll". To sublimate our libidinal impulses to higher purposes, like social analysis. ("Ah yes, he's a social analyst, you see...")

  34. One last thing, if Mumei wants to impersonate Fauna's mannerisms better. One I notice, that's easy for someone else to copy, is inserting a schwa vowel between consonants in a cluster ("hotly" would be "HAHT-uh-lee"), or after a final consonant. Maybe only after stop consonants, maybe only after just "t", I dunno.

    But to take a common word, like "cute", she says it with a schwa after the "t" -- "KYOO-tuh". And she aspirates the "t", even though that's normally only done for a word-initial (voiceless) stop, not a word-final one. And even then, the syllable it's a part of has to be stressed, usually, and in "cute-uh" it's before an unstressed syllable.

    It's not a regional accent, not an ESL influence, or anything rational / mechanistic like that -- it's a purely idiosyncratic Fauna-ism, for cute-uh style points. ^_^

    Aspiration is when you release a puffy burst of air, like the "t" in "tip". Hold a piece of paper in front of your lips while saying it, and you'll notice it blow back for "tip". But not for "dip", whose first consonant is voiced ("d").

    It's the kind of thing that can peak a microphone ("p" or "t" or "k" at the beginning of a word, especially when the first syllable is stressed).

    It may take a little practice to put aspiration onto a final consonant for English speakers, but your speech organs already know how to do it for an initial consonant.

  35. Owl-less in Wonderland: In a very special episode of Kirin Goes 'Crafting, Fauna revisits the gang's favorite haunts to awaken the memories of their bonding, now that Mumei has left the nest for the unsettled Hololive server...

  36. Weeeee are the chumbions, my friends!
    And weeee'll hoist up oshi till she trends!

    We are the chumbions!
    We are the chumbions!
    No time for doomers!
    'Cause we are the chumbions...

    Of the boaaarrrdddd!

  37. Gooba, are you going to go dancing while you're in Japan? Like, in a proper dance club? You may find it easier to just let loose and get down when you're in a foreign country, surrounded by strangers.

    That's how I first got hooked on dancing in clubs -- when I was about your age, living in Barcelona, and dance-rock was making a comeback (2004-'05).

    If you weren't trained to dance in front of a crowd, it can be intimidating if you're with people you know from outside the club. You want to be in a place where, when you're just starting out and not totally comfortable or skilled, no one can relay the details of that to the rest of your social circle.

    Being in a foreign country adds another layer of anonymity to that initial judgement-free zone. You're not even one of them, how could they spread news to people you know?

    Eventually, I got enough practice -- not necessarily the practice with the mechanics of moving your body, but practice performing before a live crowd -- that I could do so with ease back in America, potentially surrounded by people who knew me from elsewhere.

    (I still preferred to go out dancing by myself, and interact with others at the club, whether regulars or strangers. When you're really putting yourself out there on a stage, you do need a certain level of "no peer pressure" from close social contacts. I do anyway.)

    But you have practice with that from streaming, right? You'd feel awkward performing the Gura show with your IRL contacts in the same room you're streaming from. But if it's just us, the audience, who you don't know IRL, then there's a comforting safety in that anonymity. It's not just comfy, but liberating or enabling or encouraging -- it motivates you to take risks and really go for it, compared to having some kind of chaperon there.

    You're already comfortable dancing, too, it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to cut loose in a setting where there are zero downside risks. You'd be surprised how quickly you'll get over your initial anxiety -- or maybe you'll get right into it, borrowing from your streaming activities.

    Of course I always drank one Cuba Libre to lower my inhibitions a tad, but that's all it took.

    My only suggestion would be to find a place that plays really danceable music, so your body can't resist getting into the groove. :)

    It'll be dark, too -- more anonymity, less anxiety! :)

    Just tell yourself, "They don't even know I'm Gawr Gura. I'm just an anon in their eyes, why would they care about my dancing?"

    Break a leg!

  38. Speaking of Cuba Libres, I picked up a disco compilation CD today for a dollar, and swore this song was singing about the shark-girl -- "Goooo-ba!" Turns out, it's "Cuuuuu-ba!" Sometimes we hear what we wanna hear. ^_^


    Excellent addition to anyone's dance bangers playlist, BTW.

  39. You need our beam? Gurl, I'll beam you up so right, you'll be calling me Scotty.

    And bless Kiwawa for feeding us our much-needed Sharky sustenance today, with that IRL karaoke clip. The duo of dancers, with double the bubble, singing as kawaii as they can. ^_^

    Just a little fragment, to the tune of "This Love" by Maroon 5:

    Could not resist, her giggle'd gone so viral
    Those shark teeth grinning through her smile
    Her script that rewrote all my files

  40. Owlene, Owlene, Owlene, Owlene
    I'm begging of you, please don't take my fans
    Owlene, Owlene, Owlene, Owlene
    Please don't take them just to troll the chans

    Your nature caught them unaware
    A seiso sis with gremlin flair
    Now craving content curs├Ęd, cute, and clean
    They choke up when their idol sings
    You push them high like friends on swings
    And I can't be sincere like you, Owlene

    (A little inversion of the original: instead of a sultry maneater, it's a wholesome gal who inadvertently wins the popularity contest over the coom-baiters. Gura could easily fit into this adaptation, and of course she sang "Jolene" in karaoke just like Mumei did tonight.)

  41. Actually, with all the hearts Moom is stealing among the JP girls, during her IRL visit and in Minecraft, somebody might come up with their own version of "Jolene" about her for real. Hehe.

    So many girls living in the same little world, the soap opera possibilities are endless. ::Mumei gremlin laugh::

    Has anyone adapted that song for "Marine", BTW? She's a natural choice for sultry, get-what-she-wants heartbreaker. And her name already rhymes with Jolene.

    Too bad I don't know Japanese, and am generally in the dark about their activities, or I'd be able to write something about them sometime. ^_^

  42. Fauna, have you tried Shalimar perfume? If vanilla is your favorite scent, this classic from the '20s has a ton of it in the base, along with incense (close enough to the wood smoke that you like cuz it reminds you of papa kirin being a fireplace chad).


    I'm sure it's available to test out at any department store near you. The perfect vanilla / smoky fragrance to embody your "mysetrious woman of the forest" persona. :)

  43. Speaking of scents, I scored a vintage bottle of Safari for Men by Ralph Lauren, 75% full, at the thrift store for only $4. I didn't bother trying to read the tiny label -- just smelled a heavy dose of aldehydes, and with that heady wallop that said it was from the all-natural era (before everything was made with synthetics). Easy purchase!

    It's a melange of several decades, all in a harmonious brew -- '70s chypre, '80s artemisia and aldehydes aromatic fougere, '90s floriental. Very well-rounded and crowd-pleasing.

    The only thing lacking is sillage / power, one of the unfortunate parts of the '90s and after, when the cocooning mood took over. It came out in '92. Definitely not an '80s powerhouse in that respect.

    Nobody wants projecting scents anymore. By the 2010s it was all about barely being able to smell it at all, or outright puritanical crusades against "aggressive scents" in general, i.e. don't wear anything.

    Maybe this vintage bottle has lost some of its original power, but Fragrantica says it doesn't have huge sillage to begin with. My vintage bottle of Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme, that I still have from college in the y2k era, projects like crazy to this day. It was unusual for the '90s, in adhering to the '80s powerhouse / aromatic fougere trend into '94. I'd put Safari up near that level for sure if it were as intense.

    Jack Mason says most of the good stuff was bought up during the 2010s golden age of thrifting. I see vanishingly little of real perfumes or colognes, even if they were manufactured recently, forget vintage. But maybe once every few years, something cool shows up like this one.

    The same guy who donated it also gave them a vintage bottle of RL Chaps, but sadly it had turned (bracing alcohol smell only). And a bottle of, I think, Freedom for Him by Tommy Hilfiger, but it smelled like a typical weak aquatic from the '90s ('99 to be exact), so I passed.

  44. By now the only thing that's scented is skin-only products, mainly soaps and creams. They don't spread the scent around to others when out in public, and don't fill a room even while at home. They're barely there. The soap literally gets washed away in under a minute, and the creams absorb in the skin, leaving nothing on the surface to keep projecting outward.

    Mostly they go unused, and just lie around, until they get thrown out or donated to the thrift store. (Yep, plenty of that stuff on the shelves, but not perfume or cologne.)

    Even shampoo doesn't smell like much anymore. There was a vogue for fruity / floral shampoos in the '90s (Herbal Essences orgasm commercials), as the shift was under way from perfume / cologne to close-to-the-body products. But seriously, when was the last time you were out in public and though, "Wow, somebody just washed her hair with strawberry shampoo?"

    Nobody even buys breath sprays like they used to, like Binaca. Or gum or mints. Why would they? They're only useful to people who will be talking to other people, face to face, within their personal space. Or kissing someone on the mouth. None of these activities happen anymore, for the typical person on a typical day, so there go all the breath fresheners.

    Speaking of kissing, aren't those flavored lip glosses and balms mostly gone? I know they're still made somewhat, but are probably used for the wearer's individual tasting. Not for another person kissing them. Hard to believe as recently as 2008, a hit song could refer to tasting *someone else's* cherry chapstick, and the audience would instantly know what she meant.

    The farthest people are willing to go seems to be deodorant, coming back to Fauna's love of vanilla (she bought some vanilla marshmallow deodorant, after an influencer suggested the brand). There are zillions of different scented deodorants in TJ Maxx, but very few perfumes or colognes.

    Deodorants are not absorbed fully into the skin like creams, they do lay on top and project somewhat. But they're not as strong as something stored in alcohol and sprayed on.

    Body sprays were another link in the chain, during the 2000s, from the heyday of powerful aromas to today's wiped-out scentscape. Kind of like deodorant, but kind of like perfume and cologne. At any rate, those are all gone now too.

  45. In true cocooning form, the most popular scented products in general are not even for a person's body, which could hypothetically leave the home and spread the scent around others. Heavens, no!

    Instead, they're room sprays / oils / plug-ins, pillow sprays, and scented candles. Tons of them in TJ Maxx, any ol' supermarket, and thrift stores (since, like scented soaps and creams, these rarely get used).

    Febreze is not an ancient product -- only launched in 1998, well into the cocooning era ('90s - 2010s). Of course, no real smell, just "freshness" (absence of identifiable smells), and applied only to the home setting.

    The original Glade spray is from 1956, also a cocooning period (roughly the '30 - '50s). The Glade Plugins debuted much later, sometime in the '90s. Home only, no out-in-public counterpart. Actually, they didn't even use the same Glade Plugins in the office, supermarket, or retail stores. The only such product is that spray that comes out of the public bathroom ceiling (in some places). Smells must be confined to the home.

    Don't know when pillow sprays became big, probably the 2010s. Scented candles may be from the '90s, but I mainly remember them from the 2000s and after.

    The only similar thing in the '80s or very early '90s was potpourri, usually in the bathroom, and only for old women -- perhaps evoking the '30s-'50s environment they were used to and didn't want to let go of?

  46. Cologne, perfume, body spray etc too are products people don’t NEED to buy so outside of an outgoing era with a lot of sexual marketplace competition in person where they can give an edge they seem easy to give up.

    Things like scented soaps, detergents, shampoo, household cleaners, seem still as strong as ever outside the Whole Foods “un scented no additives” crowd. Soaps and such are bulk chemical products where the main differentiator is marketing and advertising. Flavor of the month smells is perfect for that.

    I’d be curious to see how scented candles and air fresher sales are doing. They seem like a cross between perfume and soap. People have them around sort of to make things smell clean or fresh or at least cover up bad smells but they also are just for the enjoyment of the smell itself or to set a mood, indulgence, etc. Back around the late 00d early 2010s when I worked in retail scented candles and diffusers were HUGE.

    Ever since you mentioned lemon and citrus coming back I’ve been noticing too how flavors in food products are only ramping up the flavored cross branding. “Flaming hot x bbq” it’s like a late stage of merchandizing where everything is thrown on.

  47. The only quasi-public space where smells are allowed is the salon/spa. Do I need to write a whole separate blogpost about how it's a liminal space, straddling the boundary between private and public, due to the bathing, full or partial disrobing, and rest & relaxation almost to the brink of falling asleep? I think you get the gist of that.

    It's like taking a bubble bath, with scented candles and other "aromatherapy", just in a quasi-public location instead of the home.

    It's the one titillating sensory experience that women permit, but it therefore has to be confined to this liminal space, safely away from the ordinary public spaces (and yet, not a total abondonment to degeneracy, as though it were a totally separate world).

    You never think, "Mmmmm, I bet that woman just came right over here from a salon/spa!" No sensory traces are left for the public to take in -- scents from the salon/spa, stay in the salon/spa.

    And it's a rare indulgence for the individual, not a regular activity that she shares with the public, like wearing perfume.

    The gym is the evil, funky, earthy twin to the fresh / cleansing / hygenic salon/spa. Talk about producing aromas! And it is quasi-public, but like the salon/spa, entry is highly restricted. And smells made in the gym, stay in the gym. Another liminal space between public and private, regarding smells.

    You never think about some random girl in a supermarket, or guy I guess either, "Smells like they just came from the gym". You can only tell from their clothing still being gym clothes -- not from their smell.

    Maybe Gen Alpha or someone after them will reverse the social awkwardness / cocooning trend of the Zoomers and Millennials, and late X-ers for that matter. You'll know when you start smelling things out in public again -- impossible to miss.

    Although I will note for the record that even Mumei was dropping the phrase "taking in the smells" referring to the new Minecraft server, and "sniff sniff". Of course, no real smells to take in, in the virtual world. But still, a shift from her earlier panic during the Twilight watchalong with Fauna, where she couldn't believe two characters were standing close together with their mouths open -- "What if their breath smells bad???!?!?!?!?!!" xD

    Gura is the ultimate leader of smell culture in the streamer world, though, no contest. One of her many spellbinding contradictions -- angelic pixie, and earthy animal. Sniff sniff sniff!

  48. "However, conditions have been shifting away from that Midcentury utopia for decades now, and girls are much more open to dating older guys now, whether for material support, emotional / social maturity, or whatever else. We live in a new gerontocracy, where you have to be old in order to be decently well-off."

    The refrain in the modern day is from older women who say that such creeps cannot handle women they own age.

    And that such age gaps are predatory.

    Egalitarianism is quite the poison in our modern social environment.

  49. The nightclub is the liminal space, regarding smells, that has totally vanished by this point in the cocooning vs. outgoing cycle.

    You can't blame the music & dance culture shifting to an online space, AKA TikTok. There's a zillion gym / fitness tiktoks, Instagram photos, vlogs on YouTube, etc. And yet, tons of people still go to the gym IRL.

    Why don't dancers on TikTok, and their like-minded followers, actually go hang out and dance in clubs IRL? It's one of the worst trends.

    The last hurrah for nightclubs was the late 2000s and early 2010s, which I was fortunate enough to take part in (twice every weekend, sometimes 4 times per week in the summer of '08). But it was already plateau-ing by 2014, and you can blame some of the late 2010s anti-dance attitude on the fact that it was the vulnerable phase of the 15-year excitement cycle, people just wanting to hide under a pile of security blankets after all the intensity of the late '00s and early '10s.

    But then why didn't they spring back to life in the early 2020s, once the vulnerable phase was over and the restless phase picked up steam? It was only on TikTok that a new dance fever was evident. And really, when was the last time you saw someone filming a tiktok IRL in public? I saw that several times, purely at random, during 2020. After that, not at all.

  50. It seems like the gym replaced the nightclub. They're both liminal spaces, with highly restricted entry, straddling the boundary between private and public, ordinary and out-of-the-ordinary, sexual tension and possibilities filling the air, and of course SMELLS -- not only human-produced, but cigarette smoke, perfume / cologne, etc.

    They both have loud music that everyone hears at the same time, and it's the same type of music as in a dance club.

    However, the lighting is really bright in a gym, making everyone awkward and self-conscious, like there's a spotlight on them. Nightclubs need to feel, well, night-like and dark.

    And although there is palpable sexual tension in the gym, there's a psychotically anti-social / cocooning / autistic Terms of Service that you have to sign, specifying what you can and cannot do. Can you look? Approach? Talk? Joke? Ask for a phone number? Touch? Etc.

  51. I've never set foot in a gym, and never will. You don't need more than free weights and/or a bench at home to stay in top shape, unless you're a literal or spiritually gay bodybuilder obsessed with impressing other guys instead of interacting with girls.

    But more than that is the vibe I've always heard people discuss, more and more so recently, about how tense it is to navigate the sexual tension there. Gym girls seem way more anti-social than danceclub girls -- who did often go out "just to dance with her friends" and not get touched by guys, sure, but the main thing the average girl is going to the average club on an average night for, is to dance near / with / in plain view of guys, talk, flirt, etc. with them. They're willing to put themselves out there, let their guard down somewhat.

    Gym girls seem to have erected a much taller and electrified and psychotically policed fence around themselves in their liminal space -- which defeats the purpose of it being a liminal space to begin with! It's supposed to be something outside the ordinary, right? They're trying to transform a physical liminal space into the embodiment of an autistic online platform with terms & conditions, mods, instaban / permaban, etc. Fake! Gay!

    Girls from Gen Alpha or whoever after that should just get their body in shape by rollerskating in public -- their own neighborhood, the local shopping center, the beach, or the roller rink (even better, since it has music and darkness and the opposite sex, like a nightclub). No more of this ridiculous gym environment, which is even worse for having been the replacement for the superior environment of the nightclub.

  52. Saw a copy of Just Dance 2014 in the thrift store last night, and instantly thought of the Goobinator. We know about her rhythm game fame, but I know she must've been into the Just Dance series too. ^_^

    It'd be fun to seem them live-stream that, without archiving. Similar to Ring Fit, but with copyright problems. If YouTube didn't even allow live-streaming without archiving, maybe Twitch would? It's common to hear original recordings of popular songs over a big person's livestream on Twitch, it just gets removed in the vod.

    Actually, I was thinking Gura (or whoever, but someone with spunk and stage presence) could host music & dance parties as a "cute, cool girl DJ". It would mainly be a radio show, with her chiming in to hype people up ("Don't be shy now, chumbies, get up out of your chair and dance!"), introduce and comment in between songs, maybe do a little light dancing of her own (in her 3D model), behind her set-up table.

    The point would be to coordinate the audience to listen to the same songs at the same time in the same space, to establish a canon of good songs, and to let the audience hang out with Gura in a low-pressure way, where not much active speaking, game-play, singing, etc. is required.

    It would help Goob go outside her usual genres of content, which she's said she's desperate to do (like react content, which she hasn't done much of).

    If NATO-member copyright is really that much of a problem, she could select Japanese dance songs. As long as they create a danceclub atmosphere, that wouldn't be so bad either. Something festive, bouncy, and dance-y!


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