Lip sync with your shirt. It’s a job now
Hey peeps, this is Patz, youth correspondent for the Irish Times. Today I want to rap with you about a cool new show called Hype House from the Absolute Goats on the beloved Netflix hegemonic cultural sponge. hype house is a reality TV show about a group of TikTok stars who live together in a big mansion in order to collaborate on creating viral content and maximize synergies across multiple platforms (that’s how young people talk these days this is called “slang”).
It is a demographically interesting choice. Reality shows of this type, in which glamorous Americans talk lethargic about their unconvincing disagreements before playing ambitious music, are now quite old-fashioned. It’s something that middle-aged people love. For young people, watching a reality TV show about TikTokers should be like watching a Pathé newsreel about them or seeing a tribal elder sing about their exploits around the fire.
You won’t know who the people on Hype House are. This is not something to brag about in the comment section
As for writing about them afterwards in a “diary,” a clickable piece of tarnished tree skin? Why, it’s like scratching runes into a clay tablet (The Irish Times clay tablet edition is free with your annual subscription) or lighting a pyre on a hill to let the valley know that bears come and take our precious oats (the hill pyres are also part of the premium subscription).
Yeah, I took you the wrong way at first. There are no young people here. It’s just you and me and the bang of Werther’s Originals on us. You can always call me “Patz”, if you want.
You won’t know who the people on Hype House are. This is not something to brag about in the comment section. This is in no way a sign of your cultural superiority. Resist the temptation to say, “In my day, we had real stars like Count John McCormack, Mrs. Sarah Bernhardt, Skeet Ulrich, Showaddywaddy and ‘Alf’ on TV. Just accept that the relevant choo-choo train has moved to the next station where the youngsters on hoverboards are laughing at you for using a train.
The Hype House is dominated by young men with floppy bangs who have murals of their own faces on their walls and also young women who seem to just about tolerate them. There’s a man named Alex who does things like pretend to propose to his girlfriend, only it’s not a real proposal, it’s a music video for TikTok. Then he arranges a fake wedding and makes her sad and he doesn’t understand why he can’t do this forever because it’s sick and also dope.
There is a man called Larray who we are told went to a party at the Hype House knowing he had Covid. He later claims the producers made up this story, and soon I stumble across an online portal of influencer speculation and spat and before long I wonder if this is a story that should be on the front of The Irish Times (or at least engraved in the clay tablet we send to premium subscribers). The news desk says no.
There’s a brooding goth man named Chase who speaks sadly of growing up in a small town where he had no one to “collaborate” with. It must mean “no friends”, I think. So I rewind and hear him say definitely “collaborate with” and I feel sad inside.
Then there’s the most sculpted Vinnie, who created millions on TikTok by creating “thirst traps” in which he lip-syncs in a sultry way with his shirt. It’s a job now: being sexy in 15 seconds. You can probably study Thirst Trap up to mastery level at Trinity and frankly that would be more useful than many qualifications. At one point, Vinnie worries that she has nothing more to offer beyond the thirst traps, to which I say, “Vinnie. Do not worry. Jacques Derrida would have made thirst traps if he could! Then I realize it’s a terrible Example. Do a Google image search for Jacques Derrida. He definitively get thirsty. Philosophy was obviously only a secondary activity.
The Hype Housers aren’t tireless YOLO hedonists jostling their way through life, but rather freight-cult capitalists who derive value from the alienated labor of their own bodies.
The Hype House is overseen by a young old man named Thomas who I suspect will be kicked out of the community by Logan any day now. He constantly harasses other Hype Housers to create more monetizable content to generate sustainable revenue streams in the next quarter and beyond. There is still this youthful slang. It’s clear throughout this program that living in the Hype House has all the vital appeal of an internship at Citibank. The Hype Housers never indulge in high jinks or awkwardness unless they’re doing something for social media. Most of the time, they just sit and sulk to “eat” with each other. (“Beef” means “fight,” not the enthusiastic consumption of beef; yet I’m always hungry whenever they say so.)
It’s clear that the Hype Housers aren’t, as their TikToks might suggest, YOLO infallible hedonists shoving their way through life, as much as they are freight cult capitalists deriving value from alienated labor. of their own body. Their job is to create the illusion of joy without joy. They are weary digital serfs channeling their own exhausted essences into Silicon Valley content tubes. And if someone could teach me how to turn this observation into a 15 second excerpt from a Dua Lipa song, I would be very grateful.
Lord Sugar’s Pheasantry
Before ambitious young people congregated in Hype Houses, they got “jobs” in things called “corporations.” At The apprentice (Thursday, BBC1) Some young people dress up as people of old who work in ‘offices’ and wear ‘costumes’. If the Hype House feels oddly old-fashioned, The Apprentice feels almost quaint and courtly. The premise is the same as ever. Lord Sugar is still looking for an apprentice. Whenever government spokespersons suggest that young people need to do more apprenticeships, it is clearly he who takes over. He must have hundreds of apprentices now, wandering aimlessly around his house and grounds like pheasants.
As usual, his quest is to round up overconfident henchmen in one place and have them do impossible things that they’ll never be called upon to do if he actually employs them. This time the task is to create and market a soft drink from scratch. This is, I suppose, another type of “thirst trap”. They all fail to varying degrees. Then, Lord Sugar sits down and watches them engage in the most important activity for any workplace: distributing blame. Her little eyes light up and her round head seems to shine. He’s happy and I guess, in a way, we are too.