TikTok is the New MTV and China, the New SATAN

Of all the cities in the world to “ban” ice cream cones, it was Carmel, CA — ironically, one letter short of a delicious topping. If its name sounds familiar it’s because it once had one of the most famous mayors in the world — Clint Eastwood. In fact, Clint ran his campaign on the idea of making ice cream cones “legal”.

Ok, so it wasn’t really a ban on ice cream cones, per se, but rather an outdated local ordinance that said all takeout food had to be covered and packaged. And it made no exceptions for ice cream cones. So, in August 1985 when a local entrepreneur applied for local permits to open an ice cream parlor, he was denied. The story made national news and Carmel, CA quickly became the “scrooge city” that hated ice cream. It was perfect timing for Clint (or perhaps his public relations team) who ran his campaign on being the “Dirty Harry of Ben & Jerry’s”, promising to bring delicious ice cream to the citizens of Carmel.

And so, in April 1986, Clint was elected mayor, a month later the ordinance was changed, and the rest is history — you can now buy an ice cream cone in Carmel, CA.

I’ve never been to Carmel, CA — I don’t remember ever going there, anyway — but I have spent time in that area, and I imagine it to be a community of artsy-fartsy, former hippy-types, who make cool art and play cool people in movies but are actually pretentious, rich assholes in real-life. I could be wrong, and that’s not to say Clint Eastwood is one of them, I’ve never met the guy, but he was the mayor.



The mid-80s was a weird time. First off, there wasn’t a lot going on in the world like there is now. Yeah, there was crack and Iran-Contra Hearings and the whole Cold War thing, but so far as being a kid goes, there wasn’t as much to do. Then as now, we had drugs, music, TV and video games. If you were lucky enough to have Cable TV, you had MTV, which was like two of the four in one. On the weekends, you went to school football games or roller-skating to sneak beers and hit on girls. If your town hadn’t banned them, you had video game arcades where all the potheads hung out, or everyone converged on a local shopping mall (I was a “mall rat”), drive-in restaurant or ice cream parlor (we called it an “ice cream place”) for social interaction. If you were older and cooler, there were also house parties or keggers in the woods, but I wasn’t that cool (yet).

While all that was going on, you had the news telling our parents that television and video games rotted our brains and that music was turning us all into Satan worshippers. (Especially if we played Ozzy records backwards — which, I never understood why, or even how, anyone would do that.) In that respect, times really haven’t changed — video games and social media today are what all those things were in the 1980s, and once again, it all needs to be “banned”.



“TikTok is Evil”

I’m not a fan of TikTok. I’ve used it a few times to watch funny videos but never really got into it. I’m 50, I find it a bit juvenile. I already spend my days watching endless porn clips — which I get paid to do — so at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is spend the rest of it watching even more videos. But, if I were 15- to 20-something again, I’d be all over it. I can see where it’s fun; a great way to socialize, make new friends, share goofy shit and make each other laugh. It’s no different than the skating rink or the mall in the 80s, but even safer because there’s no one handing you quaaludes to take and you’re in the safety of your own home.

Actually, it’s way better. As a father, I don’t have to worry about my kids running all over town getting in trouble when they’re in their rooms having the same kind of fun I had growing up with my friends, but safely, on a mobile app. All that rotting the brain, turning my kids to zombies shit is lost on me. My kids are extremely intelligent, good citizens, well-read and well-adjusted. Oh, but China…



Oh, but China what? China is secretly harvesting national secrets from our teenagers? They’re collecting data on them? They’re infiltrating the hearts and minds of our youth? They’re swallowing up hours of their precious time and turning them all into mentally-fucked-up couch potatoes? Isn’t that what SEGA did in the nineties? SONY in the 2000s? Oh wait, those are Japanese companies. That’s different.

China is the new Satan. Since Christianity in the U.S. in the 2020s is a far cry from what it was in the 1980s — today, religious “nones” make up the largest demographic compared to 7% in 1985 — the concept of “Satan” carries very little weight in the minds of newer generations. That said, we need a new Satan — and China is an easy target. They’re the new Big Red Evil (not Russia, not Donald Trump), our sworn enemy, they murder their own; they sell us junk that don’t work, or with lead in it, or fish with mercury in it. They’re trying to kill us. They want us all dead. Oh, and they hate Christianity…



For years, our country has bought more shit from China than anywhere else (even our own) and now suddenly, we’re worried about them owning part of a company in the U.S.? I mean, wouldn’t Walmart be forced to shutdown tomorrow if we stopped buying shit from China? It’s not about China owning a company. They have more interests in our country than anyone else. It’s not about them harvesting our data. If they really want it, they’ll get it. No, it’s more about China stealing millions of kids’ eyeballs and attention away from Christianity. In fact, I believe that’s what the whole battle against social media is — just another battle, no different than the one against video games and music and TV in the 1980s — in the war to keep Christianity alive, from going broke and dying out completely.

It’s not a Liberal or Conservative thing. It’s a Christian thing. To paraphrase Donald Trump’s famous racist remarks at Charlottesville, “there’s fine Christians on both sides” and social media is the enemy. China just happens to be the company that owns TikTok. And it’s not public, so it can’t be infiltrated by America’s Big Christian Dollars like Walmart or Facebook. The reaction would be no different if TikTok was owned by the government of Vanuatu or Chile; they’d still find a reason to ban it because it’s become too big a platform for them not to have any control over it. They’d find a reason to require an “American company” to own it, not because they’re worried about our data and privacy but rather, maintaining the control to keep their stupid religion alive. “TikTok is Evil” wrote one headline. Religious Guilt and Fear are commodities valuated in votes, but their market share keeps dropping and they’re doing all they can to correct it.

Everything they were afraid of in the 1980s is coming true. Perhaps it’s karma for trying to spoil all our fun. It’s like history repeating itself. One final, desperate, last-ditch effort to return America to its more Christian-valued, God-fearing, Beaver Cleaver days.

But if the government takes over TikTok, who’s next — X, Discord, the ice cream parlor? Seriously, even Carmel, CA has a TikTok.



Erotic Flavor

I jumped on TikTok real quick to get an idea for this week’s cover story (and art) and the first video I saw was a pretty girl eating an ice cream cone all erotically. That not only reminded me of the Carmel story above but the art of Evelyne Axell which I remember vividly because it was used as a mural on the wall of an ice cream joint I once visited. It was a delight to search it and find it online.

This week’s featured art is “Ice Cream” (1964) by Evelyne Axell, a Belgian Pop artist best known for her psychedelic, erotic paintings of female nudes and self-portraits on plexiglass that blend the hedonistic and Pop impulses of the 1960s. She is considered one of the most important Pop artists of the last century.

—P.

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