a Knicks joke that made me lol

There's a really good joke about the New York Knicks after this section, but first, let's talk about a thing I couldn't think of a grabby headline for. Lindsey Weber of the inimitable Who? Weekly podcast asked me to find out what's up with Debby Ryan, who people started making fun of last week. Ryan last made headlines in 2017 when actress Debbie Reynolds and teens forgot how to read.

Ryan is a Disney Channel star, most famous for playing Jessie on a show called Jessie. Like Becker from Becker. Anyway, It's become something of a trend on TikTok for people to make fun of her acting style by "sweding" her. As we all remember, "sweded" is the term used in the 2008 film Be Kind Rewind to describe ultra-low-budget remakes of films. The earliest sweded Debby Ryan clip I could find is from April 23 by user @macdaddydorrion (as a caveat TikTok is intentionally designed in a way that makes it difficult to pinpoint a trend's origin, especially since users append irrelevant, popular hashtags to their posts as a way to boost them).

Here we see @macdaddydorrion making fun of Ryan in a clip from her 2012 Disney channel Original Movie Radio Rebel. YouTube clips featuring the shot have become a gathering place for people looking to film their own Ryan swedes.

The hair flip/long blink/slight smirk combo have been ridiculed thousands of times in the past couple of weeks. One particularly popular variant of Ryan swede has people reenacting clips set to a distorted version of Mac Demarco's "My Kind of Woman." Another popular sound used in many clips — an a capella snippet of the Jessie theme song, uploaded last September — comes from an abandoned account run by two anonymous Dutch children. The latter sound clip’s popularity would indicate that, unsurprisingly, Jessie has been meme fodder for a while, and that the current wave of Ryanmania is not completely out of left field. Kids like making fun of shows they watch!

In addition to the Radio Rebel clip, users have also latched onto other Ryan works, like her performance on Jessie.

Twitter (and Ryan herself) have also caught wind of the meme.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this meme that's not already very apparent. She's hammy! My main takeaway is that, as far as I can tell based on a handful of Jessie clips I watched, this isn't really a meme directed at Ryan herself. Feel free to let me know if I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem like Ryan's acting style is that out of the ordinary for the sitcoms that Disney Channel makes.

Multicamera, exaggerated and corny acting, canned laughter, and so on. What might seem like a meme aimed at Ryan in particular is in actuality ribbing the Disney Channel style of kid-acting as a whole. By singling out Ryan as uniquely bad, TikTok's young userbase is only telling on itself, once again revealing the app's supposed “wisdom of the crowd” as arbitrary and flighty. Didn't think I'd end this week defending Debby Ryan but here we are.


Sorry for two emails in a row about children’s television but that’s just how it is sometimes. Young people drive TikTok and what’s on TV drives them.

okay, here’s that Knicks joke


what’s the deal with “ofc”?

Here’s something that’s been bugging me for years. What does the the term “ofc” stand for?

“ofc” is internet slang for “of course.” According to two crowdsourced dictionaries, Wiktionary and Urban Dictionary (the latter entry dating to 2004), “ofc” is an abbreviated way of say “of course.”

dude are you on your way?

ofc

But why? “ofc” is not an acronym. The entirety of the word “of” is included in the term. It’d be like if “idk” was spelled “idon’tk.” It’s weird! An uncomfortable hybrid of acronym and portmanteau -- a portmacronym.

Some might say, actually, “ofc” is an acronym, and it stands for “of fucking course.” First of all, who says, “Of fucking course”? Seems a bit aggro. Second of all, if that were the case, I would expect that to be reflected in the Wiktionary edit history (it’s not) or on Urban Dictionary (which is not a site that adheres to family-friendly language.)

And yet, both sites define “ofc” simply as “of course.” A mystery…

I’m looking into it but in the meantime, I feel like this is good fodder for a dumb platform-wide debate. How do you think “ofc” should be read? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to like and subscribe.


Elsewhere…


one last funny video for you

Grade 7 band hit different
May 8, 2020

Admittedly, kind of a short one this weekend but whatever. I wrote a pretty long one on Tuesday. Give me a break! The weather was nice. I went biking. I’m not gonna stay inside all day and poison my brain.