Does ‘Barbenheimer’ Portend Our Long-Awaited ‘Vibe Shift?’

by Shelt Garner

It definitely FEELS like we’ve reached the absolute end of one pop culture era and we’re waiting for a new one to arise from the ashes. And, yet, given that we may face a perfect storm of Petite Singularity and The Fourth Turning in late 2024, early 2025, these months leading up that era in time may be nothing more than wasted time.

We may just drift through cultural time without any sort of clear idea of where things stand until we make up our minds about if we’re going to continue to be a democracy or not. And, at the same time, we also have to decide if AI is going to completely and totally take over huge swaths of the human experience or not. I’m very weary about both of these events, given that they’re going to take place at the same time.

So, I don’t know. It could go either way. It could be that we just slide into autocracy and we let AI write and produce all our entertainment and we live in a permanent Black Mirror episode. Or, it could be that we have some sort of sharp, violent political event starting in late 2024, early 2025 and not until that’s settled we make any big decisions about AI.

It just seems like we’re lurching towards Something New in a rather abrupt manner and it will be interesting to see when exactly this happens. I suspect we may continue to be in something of a cultural vacuum for a few more months. We really haven’t reached a tipping point, I don’t think. It’s definitely one of those — you know it when you see it kind of things.

I look forward to what’s next, though. We’ve been suck in the post-911 cultural era for way, way too long.

Vibe Shift: There’s A Media Space Not Being Served And It’s Aggravating

by Shelt Garner

Pretty much no one reads this blog. Most of the traffic comes from a trickle of people in Red States who have a boner for a civil war looking for how they can start murdering people like me for political reasons.

But, from my obsession with the analyzing the Web traffic of this Website, I can give you some sense of how one might start a new publication. The key take away from my all-consuming obsession with my traffic is there’s a real audience for celebrity news. It’s insatiable. The celebrity topic is one of the few things that people are willing to leave their passive media bubble to search for.

As such, if you wanted to start a new publication of some sort, I would suggest you really lean into covering celebrities, at least at first. So, I suppose if you wanted to get high concept you might say my idea is for TMZ meets BuzzFeed meets Spy Magazine Meets the old Nick Denton version of Gawker.

Or, put another way, I might suggest starting a podcast first that is hyper focused on snarky hot takes on celebrity news then build a Website out from that. Celebrity news definitely seems to be the clit of the infotainment industrial complex at the moment.

If you were to focus — as I’ve long suggested — on Julia Fox’s every public twitch then leverage that into politics and other infotainment elements you would have a hit on your hand.

Julia Fox

But who am I kidding. No one listens to me. Everyone gets all their information passively from Twitter, Facebook and Tik-Tok now. The only way my dream will ever come true is if I somehow managed to win the fucking lottery and do it myself.


The Vibe Shift Status Report

by Shelt Garner

We definitely are in a vibe shift, but what are some of the details of the shift? Well, from what I can tell, when it comes to music, people want to dance. So, a a number of major artists are coming out with releases that are in the dance pop rock – disco spectrum.

I really like Halsey’s part of the song “Stay With Me.” Sadly, the rest of the song is rather meh. A remixed version of the song that purged it of all the artists in the song and focused exclusively on Halsey’s interesting part of the song would be a hit.

It’s so bad, that every time I hear the Halsey part of “Stay With Me” I get really excited…then I hear the rest of the song and I get frustrated. It’s like when Rihanna or Skyar Grey would do guest spots in a song and you’re like, “Hey, I want to hear them sing the entire song!”

The other thing is the color pallet for clothing has gone neon for some reason. Everyone is wearing bright pink or bright green these days for some reason. It’s notable because it’s kind of happened overnight. A lot of stars just seemingly all decided to be very NEON in what they go out on the town in.

Movies have yet to be changed by the vibe shift. Though, I suppose the interest in the multiverse when it comes to storytelling might be considered a vibe shift trait. Which makes me sad — I was hoping for the gritty movies of the 1970s making a come back.

But, the vibe shift is still young, maybe that will happen.

There Remains An Opening For A New Podcast (Or Something) Devoted To The Vibe Shift

by Shelt Garner

I continue to find it very aggravating that we’re experiencing something of a “vibe shift” in pop culture…and yet it’s not really being breathlessly documented by some new podcast, or Website or whatever. I mean, Julia Fox is someone I’m so interested that I’m willing to step outside my passive Twitter media bubble to find out what she’s up to — and there’s no central repository of information about her.

So, again, it seems to me that there is money to be made via say, a podcast that would direct people to a Website. Something like that. Something that would be multimedia in nature.

And, yet, the argument could be made that even podcasting is pretty much mature. The Web is definitely mature. And it would take millions to bootstrap a new print magazine.

So…lulz? I think this is it. No one wants to be cool and make money by documenting Julia Fox’s every twitch in a snarky way. I suppose that something unexpected might pop up at some point, but things are looking kind of bleak when it comes to pop culture coverage at the moment.

If There Was Any Justice, The Pretty Reckless Would Benefit Most From The Current ‘Vibe Shift’

by Shelt Garner

The thing about the band The Pretty Reckless is they seem to be stuck musical amber — they’re an exact replica of the type of hard pop rock I was listening to in the general 1985 – 1989 timeframe. They manage to do this without sounding generic. They’ve got spunk and are actually really interesting.

The Pretty Reckless

Now that we’re suppose to be in a downlow “new era” of a vibe shift in pop culture after the end of the Rona Era, it would make a lot of sense if the type of traditional pop rock that The Pretty Reckless performs would, again, become mainstream.

In fact, I would go so far as to say we know we are really in a “vibe shift” if a song from The Pretty Reckless mysteriously and abruptly blows up. Then you would have a whole slew of similar bands get record contracts and we would be awash in good music again.

I’m afraid that’s a huge amount of wishful thinking, however. I think, at best, we’re probably going to get a lot of New Wave inspired pop rock, rather than more traditional hard pop rock that we get from The Pretty Reckless.

Me as a DJ in Seoul.

I like The Pretty Reckless because they’re firing on all of their creative cylinders. When it comes to a lot of other acts trying to, say, bring back New Wave, they seem to not quite know what their vision is. They’re thrashing about, looking for The New Sound, when all they’re doing is trying to recreate New Wave. The Pretty Reckless, meanwhile, have a musical vision — be traditional hard pop rock.

Anyway. I has a sad that there aren’t more bands like The Pretty Reckless for me to discover via Spotify.

A Personal ‘Vibe Shift?’

by Shelt Garner

I’ve started to shave my face again and its inexplicable. It makes me wonder if my mind may know something that I don’t know about my future. I’m not a spiritual person or believe in any New Age bullshit, but I do believe that your mind can give you a heads up that sometime may be about to change in your life.

But anyway, I’m probably wrong. I’m always wrong.

I will note, however, that occasionally, usually right about now in the year, something mildly interesting happens to me. But it could be the rest of this year will just be me working on this novel project.

I think that’s what I should focus on the most at this point — just keep my head down and try to work as hard as possible on these novels.

Julia Fox, Emma Chamberlain & Spitballing A Vision For A Podcast Network For The Vibe Shift

by Shelt Garner

Even though I’m an Old, I try to be hip with Fellow Young People. But before I begin, let me be clear — there are many, many interesting and unique podcasts out there and so even the best effort to serve the needs of the Youngs in a hypothetical “vibe shift” podcasting network probably wouldn’t work.

But I need something to write about in between writing the last few scenes of the first draft of my first novel, so you get this. Anyway, there is definitely an underserved audience when it comes to keeping up with Julia Fox’s every twitch.

Now, the question is — why would you want to do a podcast when you could do some sort of YouTube channel that might feature another It Girl, Emma Chamberlain?

Good question.

I think it’s because podcasts don’t require your complete attention. You can listen to them while making breakfast or driving your car. With a YouTube channel, the medium is the message and it’s assumed you’re going to watch what’s on the screen.

Anyway, all of this is just a daydream and I just feel like writing about this because it’s fun and I — you guessed it — like to daydream.

But in my daydream of a podcast network for the vibe shift, someone like Emma Chamberlain would be the host of one of the podcasts — maybe the main one –and the podcast would try to be very much like Spy Magazine or Gawker back in the day. Instead of Julia Allison getting a parking ticket and video taping it, this podcast would, I don’t know, interview Ms. Fox on a regular basis or even — it the nacent little media company was lucky — have her as a co-host with Emma Chamberlain.

Maybe, the title could be, ‘It Girls.”

And it would be Fox and Chamberlain talking about boys, fashion, being “bi-coastal” and whatever else Youngs have on their mind at any particular moment. That business plan virtually writes itself, now doesn’t it?

But all of that is just the ramblings of a very broke aspiring novelist in the middle of nowhere. I wish someone would do something with this idea, though. We, as a nation, need something fun-interesting to distract us from global climate change, the rise of fascism, you name it.

And, yet, I think what’s really going on is I want my youth back. I want my 30s back. My pining for snark is just another form of middle-aged nostalgia. My youth is never coming back, and if anything fun-interesting ever happens again it probably will be in the context of the metaverse and probably will in some way be a distraction foisted upon us by our new fascist MAGA overlords.

Instead of being fun-interesting, it will be a real-life episode of Black Mirror.

Anyway, like I said — this is very fun to write about.

There’s Definitely Something In The Air

by Shelt Garner

While the use of the term “vibe shift” was done in a dramatically different context when it was first used in The New York Times, I like the phrase because it’s an easy-to-understand explanation for what’s going on.

It definitely seems as though now that we’re all “over” COVID, that we’re all ready for a new era — a vibe shift. We are now in the post-Rona era, even if Rona is very much still around, and so the “wind of change” is floating around pop culture.

I’ve given it some thought, and it seems to me that given what’s going on and how mature most of the Internet is, that the vibe shift will be heralded by a podcast network suddenly blowing up out of nowhere. It’s just too difficult to organically grow a blog like the old Gawker and Silicon Valley is very much cool to any new social media networks.

As such, it seems to me that if you had a bunch of really interesting young people in your social circle — in, say, NYC or LA — you could probably find a surprising amount of success with a podcast network that was in the tradition of Spy Magazine and Gawker Media.

But I suspect it would need to be a network, not just one podcast. Maybe six podcasts that were tightly focused on a variety of things. In my imagination, it would be a lot like Crooked Media mixed with TMZ mixed with the old Gawker Media.

You would need young, hip on-air talent that were very in tune with the vibe of youth culture in New York City and LA. I would suggest you scoop up a klatch of the more interesting, poised Tik-Tok people to populate your podcast network. But, alas, no one listens to me.


But there is a vibe shift. I would say late 2022 to early 2024 is going to be very be a totally different pop culture animal to what we had before the pandemic. Once late 2024 rolls around, we’re all going to be so focused on the existential dread of autocracy or civil war that we won’t be all that focused on pop culture anymore.

The Children Of The Vibe Shift

by Shelt Garner

Here are a collection of pop culture items that I feel are representative of the punitive post-Rona “vibe shift” we may be undergoing.

Wet Leg
Even though this band is made up of two soft-spoken young ladies from Great Britain, they definitely know how to rock. And they definitely seem seem as though they might be the camel’s nose in the tend when it comes to the possibility of rock coming back in some way.

Phoebe Bridgers
Her song “Kyoto” is very representative of the vibe shift we may be going through. Or I’m just old and I really like the type of music she is referencing in her modern music.

Wolf Alice
This is another band that seems to indicate that we may be in for more interesting pop culture in the next few years. They remind me a lot of the rock I grew up listening to. They’re really good.

Suki Waterhouse
I had no idea that this model can sing. But she can! Go figure. She’s great. I really like her ethereal singing style.

Emma Chamberlain
It definitely seems as though young Miss Chamberlain might be the “It Girl” of the vibe shift. Relative to my media consumption, she came out of nowhere. She did a great job interviewing people at the Met Gala and it will be interesting to see what she does going forward.

This is where legacy artists lean into the ye olde New Wave of my youth. Miley Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo are two examples of this. They are modern artists who are self-evidently into producing music that sounds like New Wave.

This is very much a symbol of the Vibe Shift. The fact that this really new service is drawing eyeballs away from places like Instagram and Facebook is definitely an indication that we’re on the cusp of a new era.

Multiverse Fiction

The fact that the concept of the “multiverse” has, out of nowhere, become the go-to concept for pop culture is definitely an indication that audience tastes may be changing. What that means long term, is anyone’s guess.

Political Undertoad

This is the general unease of the Vibe Shift associated with the knowledge that between 2022 and 2025 the US could either implode into autocracy or explode into civil war.