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Michael Andor Brodeur | It’s a Thing

Not so distant memories, illegible letters, collective confusion, and more from the week online

A flip phone
A flip phoneANDY ROSEN/GLOBE STAFF/File/GLOBE STAFF

BACK TO THE FUTURE

A fun new hashtag may not be so much fun for anybody whose birth year begins with a 1. The runaway hit #ImOldEnoughToRememberWhen presents itself as some welcoming Internet respite for old-timers with one leg in the analog boat, but be warned, X-ers and elders: It’s a trap. Among the thread’s purported throwbacks to days of yore are flip phones, DVD players, screen savers, (and DVD player screen savers), Razor scooters, iPods, and iMacs — all of which, like . . . [checks calendar] do not seem old to me at all. And as soon as my modem finishes connecting I’m going to type a very sternly worded electronic mail to the whoever the webmaster is over there.

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GERRY RIGGED

If you’ve ever wanted a clear view of how screwed up our congressional districting system is, and how the contortions of gerrymandering have rendered the will of the American people all but illegible, have I got a font for you. Gerry is a typeface made entirely from silhouettes of extracted congressional districts — and you thought your father-in-law was hard to read. Much like the government they represent, these busted-up symbols are not the best communicators, evoking something between text desperately scrawled by a non-dominant hand and a ransom note. Maybe the best way to get the message across is to try to read the Constitution in it. (To that end, here’s a PDF I whipped up.)

CALL US BY OUR NAME

Elsewhere in confused states, tired of arguing over the proper demonyms for denizens of particular US states, researcher Natalie Jackson did some research (i.e. Google) and shared her findings (lifted from the US Government Publishing Office Style Manual) with the people of Twitter . . . Twitterites? Twitterotans? Whatever. In any case, many of the results seemed weird or wrong (“ ‘Wyomingite’ sounds like that weird foodlike substance that comes from Australia,” Jackson noted), while others seemed grossly uninspired (“Hawaii resident”? Really?). But most glaring is the Style Manual’s insistence on “Massachusettsan,” which, no. Everyone knows what Massachusetts people are called, it rhymes with a body part I can’t spell out here, and if you still don’t know it you’re probably a Utahn or something. (Utahn?!)

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BASKET OF ADORABLES

“Honestly,” tweeted Mashable reporter Rachel Thompson, “I’m not sure there is anything purer than farmers on TikTok.” And honestly, replied me, I think she’s right. As proof, she posted a clip from TikTok user and jolly-sounding farmer Caenhillcc, opening a barn door to greet the daily morning “rush hour” procession of kittens, ducklings, chickens, and other acutely cute farm critters, who toddle en masse out into the yard and straight into Twitter’s cold, cold heart. Kinda makes you want to greet your own co-workers each day with such warmth. Almost. OK, not Susan, but everyone else.

MICHAEL ANDOR BRODEUR


Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at mbrodeur@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.