Listen: Living in the In Between by…. Mandy Moore?
When I saw that Mandy Moore was behind this cute, folksy pop song, I did a double-take — but apparently that’s because I don’t watch This Is Us, which has been keeping her career alive and fully out of my view for the past six years. As the show reaches its finale (which aired last night, I googled), it’s only natural that she would release new music, for career security if nothing else. Most of her new album is earnestly devoted to parenting, which I suppose is now the topic of choice for the Mandy Moore demographic — the title track contains the line, “I just got a front row seat to real life,” woof. What does that mean for the vibe of her tour? You tell me — she’s playing Webster Hall in June.
Whose real life?
Last week I got a press release from a company called Space Perspective about “the next frontier of the experience economy,” which is — you guessed it — luxury space travel. This company’s offering is basically The Wing to Bezos’s Soho House: a terrazzo-appointed space balloon that will get you gently *to the edge* of space and no further. And just like The Wing, I can’t tell if the promise is real. The flights claim to be carbon-neutral because they float up in a pressurized balloon instead of using jet fuel, and the brand imagery seems to imply that you can make it to the end of the atmosphere without disturbing champagne poured into a coupe glass. Just as you start to write the premise off, you click around and see that you can reserve your ticket right on their website, but THEN the default payment option is Coinbase, so I mean which way is up.
Maybe the space balloon is just a hospitality thought exercise, in which case, is anyone going to tell them about the space hotel? Pivoting back to Soho House vibes, Von Braun Station, named for an early developer of rocket technology who also contributed to the Nazi rocket development program,* is planing to open for very high-end business by 2025 in order to “have people start to experience space on a larger scale, faster.” So let me ask, given that more-people-in-space is our ultimate goal: How many people could we house for a month with the cost of one trip? And if we can buy anything, are we also buying enough carbon offsets to neutralize our 1,200-kg joyride? (Space Perspective’s “carbon neutral” trip totally includes offsets.) Whatever, that’s the whole point: Earth is over.
*”We like his contributions towards science and space,” said the company’s ousted CEO
Did you hear me I said OVER
Speaking of colonization, it appears that the niche dating apps are starting to get swarmed by normies. As you may have heard from Buzzfeed, cis, straight women are getting on Grindr* in search of bi dudes, and Hinge types are moving over to Feeld, heretofore known as a queer-friendly kink app.
My alarms are ringing at the dilution of safe community spaces. I also wonder if this is telling us that the normie spaces are not actually as hospitable to “normal people” as we think. There’s a spectrum of preferences in between the man-posing-with-tiger Tinder pic and the solo-poly unicorn, and there doesn’t appear to be a digital space to accommodate any of that. So what we get instead is the digital equivalent of South Williamsburg kids moving to Ridgewood.
To be fair, it doesn’t seem like the worst thing to force the trads to navigate spaces that were created outside of their image. But they’ll look a lot more like them soon.