It’s not just us Olds who are obsessed with the upcoming election. The kids are interested too, even the ones who are too young to vote, but they’re way less likely to get their information from Fox News or CNN, so this week I’m taking a look at how the youngins are seeing our upcoming election/national nightmare.
TikTok to the polls
While the drama of the day for many of TikTok’s users is no more weighty than a woman charging too much for balloon arrangements, a sizable chunk of the video-sharing service’s users are tuned into politics. Hashtags and grassroots efforts to turn out the vote, like Tok The Vote, feature tons of politically charged videos that have been viewed over 21 million times. (Don’t look if you bleed red; the kids want Biden by an almost ridiculous margin.) TikTok itself has set up a slew of in-app resources to help its users get registered and get voting.
While earnest online activism and voter guides to congressional candidates are great, political TikTok really shines when it makes fun of how embarrassing old people are. Check out #TrumpDance to see what I mean.
This week in video games: AOC and Among Us take over Twitch
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit game-streaming site Twitch the other day to play a few casual rounds of Among Us and quickly drew over 400,000 views to her livestream and over five million views (and counting) total. AOC and her congress-pal Ilhan Omar weren’t just killing time; they were on a mission to get the kids to vote. By all accounts, AOC was good at the game, didn’t make it weird, and put on an amusing stream.
I have two take-aways from the experiment. First, if AOC convinces enough previously uninterested young people vote, Among Us and Twitch could sway the election. Secondly, Among Us is probably over: When congresspeople (even the young, hipster ones) are using your game for political purposes, it’s likely the cool kids have already found the next-big-thing.
Viral video of the week: Borat meets David Dobrik
This week’s viral video features Borat, but it’s not the nightmarish scene in his new movie where Rudy Guiliani “tucks in his shirt” in front of Borat’s daughter. Instead, the kids are sharing a YouTube vid where insanely popular online-star David Dobrik introduces Borat around to his pals. The video, which features Borat wrecking Dobrik’s Tesla and an expensive gumball machine, is a look at how movies are promoted to kids these days. Over four million people have watched the clip since it was posted on October 21, a number that dwarfs any appearance on a late-night talk show.
This week in movies: The Witches
The Witches is a perfect palate cleanser for kids and adults who are burnt-out on the current political blood bowl. Directed by movie master Robert Zemeckis and based on a story by the great Roald Dahl, The Witches stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, and Stanley Tucci. Like the best of Dahl’s stories, The Witches doesn’t nerf the horror and pain of life to “protect” the kids who watch—the witches are legit scary and the danger and pain feel real and visceral. It’s a must-watch, and you can watch it now on HBO Max.