The world of young people can be a confusing and annoying place, so let me help you translate their lives with a weekly guide to what’s happening with these damn kids. (Stay off my lawn.)
Back to School Trend: The Return of “Zoom Bombing”
Zoom bombing was first reported in the early days of the national lockdown, but it’s back for the fall semester. It works like this: Since Zoom allows anyone on a teleconference to invite anyone else in by providing a password, class clowns can summon trolls to liven up boring classes by shouting ethnic slurs, spamming porn, and otherwise crapping everything up.
This trend is particular funny to kids because Zoom provides security measures that make it easy for a moderator or teacher to control who is let into a class, but it seems that many teachers aren’t tech-savvy enough to know how to use them.
Internet Danger of the Week: The Benadryl Challenge
This week’s Danger comes from the depths of TikTok where some users of the massively popular video sharing service are reportedly daring others to take part in the “Benadryl Challenge.” The challenge? Take so much Benadryl you hallucinate. (As we mentioned before, you should warn your kids about this.)
They say it takes about a dozen of the allergy pills to start seeing things, a dose that could also lead to seizures, cardiac toxicity, and death. According to Newsweek, a 15-year-old in Oklahoma has already died from the meme.
While kids encouraging other kids to misuse available substances isn’t new—I mean, who doesn’t remember some loader exhorting you to huff spray paint under the bleachers?—the addition of TikTok virality makes it pretty scary. So you parents should keep track of your allergy medication until this passes, and either tell your kids about the dangers of Benadryl overdose, or explain the superiority of natural hallucinogens like peyote, depending on your parenting style.
Viral Video of the Week: The Sad Tale of Dylan Harraway
Virginia resident Dylan Harraway became a viral video star this week, but he probably wishes he hadn’t. The 18-year old aspiring rapper gave $200 to a local tattoo artist to get “Dream Chaser” inked onto his arm, but quickly realizes that it said “Resahc Maerd” instead: The tattoo artist had written it backwards.
“Now I can only read it through a mirror and people can’t see it,” Harraway laments in a video that has racked up over 2.5 million views on social media.
The story has a happy ending though. Well known tattoo artist Keith Scott “Bang Bang” McCurdy (he’s inked up Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and more) has offered to cover up the tat free of charge.
This Week In TV: Cobra Kai Never Dies!
If you’re looking for something to watch with your kids, check out Netflix’s new series Cobra Kai. The original run aired on YouTube Premium where it built a cult following before Netflix acquired the rights, and the two-season comedy/drama is perfect family-quarantine viewing. It’s a sequel to 1984’s The Karate Kid, and stars much of the original cast, but it’s told from the point of view of Johnny Lawrence, the kid who lost the climatic karate fight with Daniel-san in the movie. Johnny, now in his 50s, has been basically stuck in the 1980s since that fateful kick-in-the-face at the All Valley Karate Championship, but the alcoholic handyman takes a last shot at redemption by reopening the Cobra Kai dojo for modern kids.
While older people will love the amazing 80s references and soundtrack, it’s not just a nostalgia trip. The teen–romance and high school drama of the young, talented cast is a little cringy if you’re over 18, but kids will like its dojo-Degrassi style, and it’s totally worth putting up with for William Zabka’s performance-of-a-lifetime of as a Camaro driving, head-band-wearing walking midlife-crisis. (Maybe you’ll relate.)
What’s Happening in Music: The VMA Awards
With everything going on in the world, you can be forgiven for not knowing that MTV’s Video Music Awards took place recently. Like everything else these days, it was… weird. Without a live crowd, the performances were delivered in the form of pre-shot videos, and while the host, Keke Palmer, did a fine job, the show was really missing those famous unscripted moments like Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.
Lady Gaga received the “Tricon” award, but kids were probably way more interested in K-Pop sensation BTS, who won awards for Best Pop, Best Group, Best K-Pop, and Best Choreography. I don’t know A-Pop from K-Pop, but these kids blew the show apart with this performance:
For the Nerd-Set: The Week in Video Games
Unless it’s canceled for 2020, Christmas is coming, and with it, tons of eagerly awaited video games. This week, the big release was Marvel’s Avengers. The superhero game is out on PlayStation consoles, Xbox One, and PC, and is receiving critical raves for its single-player campaign and critical “eh…it’s OK, I guess” for its multiplayer.
In the alternative universe of Nintendo gaming, The Big N announced that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is coming to the Nintendo Switch on September 18. The release contains Switch-ified versions of three of Mario’s most iconic 3D platormers, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. I beat Super Mario 64 back in the day, and I can’t wait to watch my 13 year-old wrestle with its weird controls. Sure, he smokes me at every shooter released since Doom, but he will not be able to handle that damn Tick Tock Clock level.