Earlier this year, WIRED published a story that asked a question that seemed to encapsulate internet culture in 2017: What does ‘covfefe’ mean? The nonsense term was tweeted out by President Donald Trump, and the internet went into a fit trying to define it. As WIRED culture writer Angela Watercutter wrote, “Nearly every great meme starts with an obscure word, hashtag, or image that is then granted humor based on what the internet does with it. ‘On fleek,’ ‘Damn, Daniel,’ Kermit sipping tea—all of these things have meanings given to them by people online. In fact, creating and spreading new language is one of social media’s greatest skill sets.”
The mystery was never solved, and soon we turned our attention to other great questions, like is mindful meditation BS? Can one really make a living as a D&D Dungeon Master? Or, my personal favorite, just who is Poppy?
Childish Gambino. Atlanta. Lando Calrissian. Inside the Weird, Industry-Altering World of Donald Glover
Childish Gambino. Atlanta. Lando Calrissian. Glover has just about every performance space covered, and all his projects intersect in strange ways.
—Allison Samuels, January 19, 2017
PewDiePie’s Fall Shows the Limits of ‘LOL JK’
The prominent YouTuber’s casual racism and attacks on the media have made him an idol in the eyes of the so-called alt-right.
—Emma Grey Ellis, February 16, 2017
Pepsi’s New Kendall Jenner Ad Was So Bad It Actually United the Internet
The online response to the soda company’s now-pulled marketing video was surprisingly refreshing.
—Angela Watercutter, April 5, 2017
Extremists’ Meme Armies Are Turning Into Militias
On the far-right, political memes have evolved from mere trolling to something that looks a lot more like military propaganda.
—Emma Grey Ellis, April 20, 2017
George R. R. Martin Doesn’t Need to Finish Writing the Game of Thrones Books
George R. R. Martin owes you nothing.
—Emily Dreyfuss, May 5, 2017
Supreme, and the Botmakers Who Rule the Obsessive World of Streetwear
In the fanatical world of limited-release streetwear, milliseconds matter—and the shopping bots reign supreme.
—Lauren Schwartzberg, May 25, 2017
What Does ‘Covfefe’ Mean? The Internet Will Define That For You.
Early one morning President Trump tweeted a fake word. Social media’s reaction is a prime example of how language travels online.
—Angela Watercutter, May 31, 2017
Welcome to Poppy’s World
Pop singer? YouTube star? Cult Leader? Whoever she is, Poppy is here to take over the internet.
—Lexi Pandell, June 3, 2017
It Was Inevitable, Really: Netflix Is Turning Into HBO
Now that it’s canceling shows, the streaming service is acting more like a network than ever.
—Angela Watercutter, June 13, 2017
Is Mindfulness Meditation BS?
Is mindfulness meditation a capitalist tool or a path to enlightenment? Yes.
—Robert Wright, August 12, 2017
Alec Baldwin’s Trump Impression Is a Technical Marvel
The actor’s impersonation isn’t just funny, it’s very technically proficient.
—Angela Watercutter, August 22, 2017
The ‘Distracted Boyfriend’ Meme Photographer Explains All
Antonio Guillem didn’t mean to go viral. In fact, he only just found out what a meme is.
—Brian Barrett, August 28, 2017
The Replicant: Inside the Dark Future of Blade Runner 2049
What a sequel 35 years in the making can tell us about the state of sci-fi and America’s appetite for dystopia.
—Brian Raftery, September 19, 2017
Steven Soderbergh’s New App, Mosaic, Will Change How You Watch TV
His latest project is a monumental effort designed to keep you glued to your phone.
—Angela Watercutter, November 11, 2017
Meet a Professional Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master from New York City
Timm Woods is one of several DMs-for-hire out there, but this isn’t his hobby or a side gig; it’s a living, and a pretty good one at that,
—Brian Raftery, November 19, 2017
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Is a Near-Perfect Reinvention of the Franchise
Rian Johnson’s movie is the springiest, smartest, most assured installment in years.
—Brian Raftery, December 12, 2017
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Will Be Too Inclusive for Some People. Good.
Don’t like diversity in your Star Wars movies? Don’t see The Last Jedi.
—Angela Watercutter, December 15, 2017