monitor is One weekly column Commit to everything that happens wired The world of culture, from movies to memes, from TV to Twitter.
Time travel has been on a lot of people’s minds lately. Or, at least, on me.Not necessarily the kind that takes you through the past or leaps into the future, but the kind that lets you Feel It’s as if you’re stuck in a different time and place. You get that feeling when America’s abortion access was reverted to pre-1973, and when the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to address climate change was reverted to a different time. Top Gun Once again the biggest movie in the world, your favorite video game features Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And the feeling when RadioShack dominates the conversation for some reason.
OK, so the last one isn’t as important as the first, but it’s probably the most telling one at the moment. Back in 2020, an agency called Retail Ecommerce Ventures (best known for relaunching brands like Pier 1 and Dressbarn) bought most of RadioShack’s assets. Since in the age of Amazon people no longer have to drive to a retail store to buy the humble A/V cable, the idea was to turn RadioShack into a “cutting edge e-commerce company”. To that end, REV turned the store chain into an entity on the blockchain, launching a cryptocurrency platform called RadioShack Swap and its own token $RADIO (which currently has little value). To publicize these efforts, the RadioShack Twitter feed went all out this week.
“Hey @MileyCyrus, are you up yet?” reads a Monday tweet“It’s always a bad idea to eat second half food after feeling nothing for the first half. This chocolate bar has me here fighting for my life,” observed another. It was also promised that “any this tweet Will be considered for a chance to win by grabbing these mf radios. For the most part, it’s childish NSFW humor that makes you think the account has been hacked. Rather, it’s a request for attention – and it works. Many tweets go viral, some are deleted , as of Thursday, account is talking“I got parole on Twitter for talking about marrying a water sprayer. @elonmusk When we do the action?”
good guy. Is all this stupid? Yes. But is this also a sign of the times? Yes. It feels like the clock is turning back in the US, and seeing a strong business in the 80s and 90s turned into a crypto brand will only make this more of a focus. Everything old is new – but it’s not improved.
Cycles of nostalgia always come and go — going back to the ’90s has flourished for a while — but they’re often accompanied by an atmosphere of celebration or longing. Over the past two years, this has rarely happened. Gen Z is happy to bring back emo, but bringing back the policies of 50 years ago feels like stepping into the wrong wormhole.
On Wednesday, a pop/rock contemporary station in Vancouver repeated a clipped version of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” for more than 10 hours after several popular DJs were fired. When people called to ask for other songs, they were reportedly ignored. As news of the KiSS Radio stunt spread, the Rage marathon seemed to be an act of rebellion against layoffs. But on Thursday morning, Vancouver Sun According to reports, it may just have been a publicity stunt — an iconic protest song to drum up listeners. Or, in another dimension, a well-loved electronics store tweeting frantically.