We TikTok About Bruno

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S1: Right, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the fuck is this. Hi, I’m Madison Malone Kircher, and

S2: I’m Rachel Hampton, and you’re listening to Isyu, am

S1: I in case you missed it,

S2: slave podcast about internet culture.

S1: So last week, while many of our feeds mine, Rachel’s probably yours were full of wisdom, Caleb. There was actually another big piece of news that hit.

S2: Honestly, it might have been bigger than was some Caleb. The imams are getting a makeover. More specifically, the female Eminem’s are getting a makeover.

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S1: Lady Eminem’s looking different for 2022, the green Eminem no longer has those nine Go-Go boots, the brown Eminem’s high heels are shorter feminism

S2: girl bossing gig, Kim

S1: Girlboss writing Gaslight the corporate machine that is the Mars Corporation that owns Eminem, has announced the changes as a move focused on quote creating a world where everyone feels they belong and society is inclusive. You’re going to see our brand evolve in its look and feel to reflect a dynamic and dynamic and progressive world that we’re living in, for example. Cool. Great. I love when the mascot for capitalism is also inclusive,

S2: and same now. I mean, I love it because of the means, because the rebrand inspired this entire wave of meme, my favorite of which went something like the green Eminem used to be a thought. And why are we d solidifying the green Eminem, which is true? Society is inclusive of sluts and thoughts. What is a society without a thought?

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S1: It’s true. I can’t believe they made the green Eminem 50 percent less fuckable.

S2: How dare they make this animated candy less hot?

S1: So all of these words leaving our mouths sound insane. They sound about as insane as that time. That movie critic was really horned up for Mrs. Incredible. However, as the internet does, there was genuine outrage from people who are mad that they can’t be horned up for candy anymore. Like one Tucker Carlson,

S3: Eminem Eminem’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them, that’s the goal when you’re totally turned off. We’ve achieved equity. They’ve won.

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S1: OK, once again, I must note that that is not satire. That is a real news clip from a real news program that ran really in this country.

S2: Well, technically, according to the law, Tucker Carlson is not a news program. This was deduced in a court of law that no one should look to him for actual news. And that’s why he sounds absolutely unhinged talking about how he should be attracted to a piece of anthropomorphic chocolate.

S1: Does it make you not want to eat Eminem’s? Because at the end of the day, that’s the whole point where I didn’t understand that we were supposed to want to get drunk with the Eminem’s when they were sexy, I thought we were still just supposed to want to eat them. You’re just going to have to find other porn on the internet.

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S2: It’s like, Yo, you can just watch hentai. It’s available.

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S1: Wow. Wow, this we are off the rails. It is like minutes into the show today.

S2: We’re not off the road. This is what we’ve been describing the entire time. What are you even talking about? You know, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. And we’re we’re shitting and giggling over here, but it’s all fun and games over here until you realize that the real thing is be talking about instead of the fact that the green Eminem is no longer a thought is that the company that owns Eminem’s perhaps traffics in child labor.

S1: Last year, a group attempted to bring a child slavery lawsuit against Mars, Nestlé and Hershey because of the unethical cocoa harvesting practices these companies use. The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t let that suit go forward because the crimes happened outside of the purview of the courts so happened outside of the U.S. But it doesn’t mean that the disqualified Eminem’s are any more ethical than they were last year.

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S2: All right. Well, that’s all the time we have for bottom tier chocolate because on the show today, we’re going to be talking about Bruno.

S1: No, no, no, no. Rachel, Rachel, we don’t talk about him.

S2: I’m sorry, but we must. We have to talk about him. More specifically, we have to talk about why we don’t talk about him or why we don’t talk about Bruno is the biggest song from Disney in its long, long history.

S1: Just about.

S2: We’ll be discussing Encanto how this song shot up the music charts because of Tik and our favorite topic the internet’s feelings about lyricist, composer and eternal meme Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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S1: I know you can’t see it, but know that I am biting my bottom lip. We’ll be back with all that after a quick break.

S4: Don’t go. No, we don’t.

S2: And we’re back talking about the music charts, which is a first for us, I think

S1: we don’t talk about. Bruno has hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week and is the currently the top song on pretty much every streaming platform. You could name some old friends. So when he calls your name, you know, fades to black,

S2: at this point, it’s basically shoved frozen into a deep ice covered ditch

S1: full on dropped shoulder body checked. Let it go out of here.

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S2: Mm hmm. They’re all just belting about Bruno.

S1: The song is now so big it’s actually the second highest ranking Disney song from an animated film of all time. Bruno is only beat out by the Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle cover of a whole new world from Aladdin, which hit the number one spot for a week before

S4: my time last year. I’m John. Oh, do you think it’s fair enough?

S2: I’m OK. Honestly, that song is, in Rachel parlance, an absolute banger.

S1: The reason Bruno is topping the charts right now, at least in part, is Ticktalk.

S2: Ever since Tick-Tock started being included in the Billboard Hot 100 chart calculations, it’s pretty much got a stranglehold on those numbers. It’s taking unsuspecting songs like We Don’t Talk About Bruno straight to the Top.

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S1: It’s also led another Encanto song up the charts as well under pressure, which I would argue even more of a banger.

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S2: Yeah. Oh, 100 percent. Without a doubt, we’re in agreement. There’s no that’s not a hot take here.

S1: My lukewarm take that song is currently ranked at number 10, the drip drip drip that’ll never stop. Well, don’t get to tell you, just go, Oh, it’s funny listening to that song as opposed to the first few listens to. We don’t talk about Bruno like that feels so poppy. Like there’s a melody I can hum. I can dance to, you know, pop and body parts too.

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S2: Yeah. And in the actual movie during that scene, Luisa, who is the person singing it, has a dance break during the poppy as part of the song, which feels like it was tailor made for TikTok. Which is what makes it shocking that we don’t talk about Bruno is what managed to catch TikTok’s ear.

S1: And to be clear, this isn’t just my opinion or Rachel’s opinion. This song literally isn’t eligible at the Oscars because Disney opted to submit other songs from the movie. So both of these songs that are blowing up on TikTok come from the movie Encanto. As we mentioned, it’s a very sweet story about a family who lives in a magical house in Colombia that bestows a special power to each member of the family, except for Mirabelle. Our main character, who’s a special on specialness she never gets a power, uncovers a painful past that the family would rather not dwell on.

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S2: I feel like we have to say at this point that it’s not the best Disney musical. Visually stunning, I will say that. But from a music perspective, I don’t even think it’s Lynn’s best Disney movie.

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S1: Hello, Moana. You perfect. Perfect thing you are. It is. However, can we agree? Let’s say a beautiful story, a resonant story about how generational trauma and what your family expects of. You can ultimately undermine your family,

S2: and I think that really comes out in the second song we’ve mentioned that’s gone viral, which is under pressure, which is sung by Luisa, who the oldest daughter. And it’s about that experience of being the oldest daughter of an immigrant family and how the kind of pressure of being a third parent in a way falls on her shoulders.

S1: Oh, give it to your sister. It doesn’t hurt and see if she can handle every family burden you see.

S4: But then, but never break.

S1: No mistakes, just like a group. That’s definitely true, and I think something we’re also seeing with we don’t talk about Bruno is that this is a story that touches a lot of people globally. The song has actually been translated into 20 some languages. Oh damn. But I would say that is not the reason Tik Tok has latched on to it. Frankly, the plot has very little to do with Tik Tok latching on to it.

S2: I think Tik Tok doesn’t ever give a fuck about the plot. They continually lose the plot. The thing that Tik Tok latches onto is any kind of musical.

S1: Tik Tok like me loves a musical.

S2: I feel like you have to explain as the theater kid what exactly it is about. We don’t talk about Bruno and the way it kind of just nestles into your brain because this feels right up your little theatre kid alley.

S1: I’m not saying I’ve been training for this my whole life, but I’ve definitely been training for it since the day in the sixth grade, when my music teacher wheeled out the AV cart and said, We’re going to watch West Side Story today, I don’t want to teach.

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S2: That feels like a, as the kids say, a core memory for you.

S1: Yeah, it was like the best day of my life, but that actually does connect here because we don’t talk about Bruno. It’s when you listen to it the first time you’ll hear it’s all of these seemingly different melodies, as each member of the family sings or raps or whispers about why they don’t talk about Bruno and when they all click together at the end and form one polyphony, if you will. Mega Melody, if you will mark what? I way up how all of those lines suddenly fit together and know

S2: what’s the word you just use, don’t try to play me polyphony. Yeah, OK, you nerd. Keep going,

S1: but it’s really satisfying like what you described as like feeling that sit into your brain. Because whether or not you realize it, your brain does understand and hear all of those disparate lines then happening simultaneously and working together perfectly. Oh, Rachel, we’ve already outed you as a as stan many and I’ve got to go.

S2: Yeah. Mm-Hmm.

S1: OK. So you know that feeling you get the choked up feeling in your throat at the end of one day more when they’re all together, what you want in order to love em? Oh my. On my own the that that moment that was.

S2: That’s saying, honestly, even your bad rendition of that made me feel some things right.

S1: It’s that, except not the French Revolution familial drama in a magical hamlet in the mountains of Colombia. In case your brain is also like mine and this geeky portion of events is the most satisfying element of this trend, there’s actually a great piece on Slate.com you can read all about why. On a note to note level, this song just sticks in your brain, and we’ll be sure to link that to the show notes.

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S2: And that feeling that Madison’s describing of nestling into your brain and just staying there, it makes you want to come back again and again and again, and just keep listening to this song. Thus, the charts

S1: not to sound like a broken record, but also I feel like we do need to point out that Tic-Tacs obsession with musicals, it isn’t just limited to interpretations of existing art, it’s also a platform that has generated at least two crowdsourced musicals. So we saw that last year with the Ratatouille musical Annie one. You could even write a book. It could sit right next to mine there on the shelf. There was also the now Grammy nominated yes, truly the real the real Grammys Capital G. Trademarked Musical based on Bridgerton pacing around a separate rooms

S2: running from our lover. Those are crowdsourced musicals. But if it’s a musical written by a certified MacArthur Genius, Lin-Manuel Miranda Tock can’t help but just sink their little fingers into it and play it so many goddamn times, you’ll beg for relief.

S1: After the break, we’ll be talking about why take tigers are so obsessed with these musicals, even if they can’t stand the person who created them, and why he’s just such an easy target for the internet.

S4: This growing pressure.

S2: Hi, listeners, if you’ll love our show and want to support our journalism, please consider subscribing to sapeurs. Not only is it only $1 for the first month, it means no ads on a new Slate podcast, including this one unlimited reading on the slate website. Access to every article and advice column on Slate, and you will never, ever hit a paywall. You’ll also get bonus segments or episodes from some of Slate’s incredible shows like Slow Burn, Political Gap as Big Money, Little Moon and Amicus. To subscribe, go to Slate.com. Last, I see Why am I plus?

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S1: All right, we are back with the corny man himself, the king of corn. Corn on the cob Lin-Manuel Miranda.

S2: OK, that was corny. Have you met me? Yes. Yes, I have. But I still feel I need to tell you, just like the teens feel the need to tell Lin every single day of his life that they hate him.

S1: Honestly, brutal. If you Google truly just the phrase Lin-Manuel Miranda tik and teens, you’ll find at least a half dozen articles from the last two years about all the times tick talkers have voiced their anti LMM sentiments. It’s like an MLM, but it’s Lin l.M squared. Oh my god, wait, no, it’s 11, am I?

S5: No one else is bold enough to say it, so I will. The reason why so many people in this app can do flawless Lin-Manuel Miranda impressions is because Lin-Manuel Miranda sings like he is doing a Lin-Manuel Miranda impression. Does that make sense? Also, I am not wrong.

S3: If Lin-Manuel Miranda is saying Eminem, I’m Slim Shady.

S1: Yes, I’m the real shady. All these other Slim Shady they are just imitating. So see Lin-Manuel, what did I tell you? Oh my god.

S2: I mean, I think what a lot of these ticktalk are forgetting it is a win has a very distinctive voice and a very distinctive singing voice. And he’s also and I feel like this is not rude to say not the best singer. When you think about Broadway actors, if Lin had not written Hamilton in the Heights himself, nobody would have cast him as the lead in those plays.

S1: Yeah, I think that’s that’s correct. I don’t think that’s a dangerous take in 2022. But the thing that I’m laughing at even more than those impressions, which were good, I’m not going to lie. It’s funny to me because like. And I’m about to sound so old, but like the kids can’t stand the guy, but who are they making all this content about? They can’t get

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S2: enough. And I feel like this really brings up the point I’ve been saying this for, I think, at least two years at this point. But if Ticktalk had been a thing when Hamilton fever was at its height that it would have been all over our F-Type’s, we don’t talk about Alexander Hamilton.

S4: We don’t talk about Campbellton. Oh, my, get a scholarship to King’s

S2: College campus, rag tag, amazing, astonishing.

S1: The problem is a lot about a lot of brains, but no polish.

S2: See, I feel like the fact that both of us were just absolutely grooving to that just it proves that we are the target audience for Lynn. But so is tick tock.

S1: It makes sense. I mean, Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of the biggest lyricists and composers of our time. His songs also, though they have a familiarity to them, which influences how much you like them from the jump because of how much they owe to musicals and composers that came before. So like Stephen Sondheim or Jonathan Larson or Jason Robert Brown for that one very specific moment in Hamilton, if you know, you know. And that’s sort of a funny thing, because tech talkers have pointed out. How a lot, if not all of his songs have really similar vibes and sounds, we really let Lin write the same number for like the Act one finale in everything that he does. A cloud in the sky. We let that happen. Basically, what these TikToks are saying is there’s a reason we’ve been listening to. We don’t talk about Bruno nonstop.

S2: But what’s fascinating to me is that people aren’t pointing this out to be like, Wow, musicals really all have a formula, don’t they? They’re pointing it out as if Lin has somehow gotten one over on us. And I think the reason is one people do understand musicals. Me, I just asked Madison and to like. Encanto is not Lin’s best work. The issue is not the formula. The issue is just that we need to take a break.

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S1: It’s true, though musicals are kind of an incredible grift. If you can write one that works, you can write six more. It’s like the true embodiment of It ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

S2: But then why exactly does the internet hate him so much, even though they clearly love his songs?

S1: I I’ve been thinking a lot about this as somebody who has been on the the Ferris Wheel roller coaster that is being a fan for many years. You know, like there have been high points, there have been low points and I’ve landed on. I think it’s his accessibility. He’s one of those celebrities who at least in the very early years of his fame, decreasingly so over the years, tried really hard to maintain his relate ability and kept up these very organic like. I’m a human, not a person managed by a team sort of social media profiles, which almost backfires because it makes something that was probably genuinely him feel like a shtick. Feel like an act.

S2: Yeah, I think you’re that is exactly correct. There was this moment when Hamilton was at Richard Rodgers Theatre and he was doing these street shows. Do you remember that they would go viral on him for him?

S1: I love him for him.

S2: Exactly. And everyone loved that because of how directly he would engage with his audience. And then, as he left Hamilton and his star started rising, he attempted to maintain that level of interplay with his audience. He would do number remember a good morning and good night tweets he would do?

S1: Yes, and I like that’s what I’m saying. I think those I do not know the man, but like I imagine in my head that like those felt very genuine and true to who he is, which is like walking dad joke. Yes, but it feels so calculating. On the other end, it just feels so like, Oh, this is a this is a bit you’re doing a shtick.

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S2: I mean, he’s a consummate theatre kid and we all know how we feel about theatre kids

S1: just as sentient newsies caps, quite

S2: literally. He also, I actually think this is where he fucked up. He keeps casting himself in things. I think that had he not been the lead in Hamilton, his trajectory of the internet would be so much different. There was just this point at which there was this oversaturation of Lynn content. Like, you can’t hate Stephen Sondheim because you don’t really know what he sounds like, you can’t do an impression of Stephen Sondheim. I mean, someone could, but the average TikTok team can’t because the average Tic TAC team doesn’t know what Stephen Sondheim sounds like. But I know exactly what Lin sounds like. And I think that’s why he started to step away from his own spotlight. He doesn’t. He doesn’t post on Twitter nearly as often. He was one of the most extremely online people of the Trump administration.

S1: It was, and he now signs his tweets. So like, Oh, when you get a tweet that is from him, truly, it’ll have the initials sort of like, I think Hillary Clinton used to do that. Maybe still tons of tweets.

S2: A comparison that perhaps illustrates too much.

S1: I think the wall that tick tock is running up against with Whitman, though, is that. All these things were describing the tweets, the casting yourself and stuff, the like, busting out the microphone on the street to put on a spot show before the show, you wrote. He is the manifestation of what makes musicals catchy, which is corniness.

S2: Yes. There’s no way to earnestly sing about heartbreak being a founding father. Whatever the fuck revolution without being deeply, deeply corny. And that’s what makes musicals so great. But people don’t want to admit that they’re corny, and they should, because all of us have a little kernel of corn in this inside of us, and we should let it grow. And that’s the thing

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S1: that makes me laugh. Most of all here is, do you know where that that corny kernel is? Is a poppin? Tick tock? Yes. Corny is like a rocket to tick tock virality. Earnestness is an entire frickin genre like I. Lest we forget the time we were all obsessed with a pug that had bones or maybe didn’t have bones.

S2: That’s the question that made us so obsessed but know the things that are easy routes. A tick tock BAME, which is there’s traps dancing badly or acting to a camera with no one else in the room. Corny, corny as shit. Sometimes I can’t watch these, but acting P.O.V., they make me want to cringe out of my skin. And yet so many people just get famous off of them, and I don’t fault them for it. But they should know it’s corny. You’re sending me and acting real.

S1: Yes, those are the three categories in the fourth one we won’t mention, which is a murder contact. Mm hmm. Not corny, but those other three decidedly corny as our Rachel and I, as our many a teen, and I think we’d all be having a better time online if we all just embraced the corn leaned into it.

S2: Corn is love. Corn is life. But all right, that is the show. We’ll be back in your feed on Saturday, so please subscribe. It is the best way to never miss an episode. It is still free. I know shocking. Maybe one day we’ll charge for, but that day is not today. So hit the subscribe one or do a my friend did which it drunkenly take your friend’s phone subscribers. I see why my from their phone. We love that. But we also love when you follow us on Twitter. Our Twitter is I see why my underscore pod. You can also always email us. I say, Why am I at Slate.com?

S1: I see Why Am I is produced by Daniel Schroeder, our supervising producer is Derek John. We’re edited by Forrest Wickman and Allegra Frank. Amber Smith is senior manager of podcast Audience Development. Alicia Montgomery is executive producer of Slate Podcast and Bruno. We don’t talk about him. See you online or in the casita. And that that’s the other part of this that makes me laugh so much is do you know where that Colonel Cornel Corny, Colonel Kearney Colonel.