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That's a Rich Text
You know you’ve happened upon a rich text when what you thought was a pretty in-depth analysis actually just spins you in 17 new directions. That’s how I feel in the aftermath of Rushtok, and as I pursue some of those new directions (particularly related to admissions and TikTok merchandising) I thought it’d be a generative mid-week activity to think of other rich texts — particularly rich texts that aren’t usually understand as such.
For example: Beyonce’s Renaissance. Incredibly rich text, no one’s arguing about that, not for one second. Dissected, vaunted, cherished, understood as a work of art and a work of genius, will go on to be unpacked in new ways for years to come. Same goes for Barbie, and that maybe-fake Southern “indie” song that’s all over the place, and, I dunno, Ulysses. Those are obvious cultural conversation points and/or obvious parts of the artistic canon.
For our purposes, I’m more interested in things that are all around us but have been normalized as “no big deal” or part of the status quo….or things that are remarkable, that are spectacle, but maybe aren’t understood as worthy as more conversation. (Or, in the case of RushTok, readily dismissed as “just a bunch of superficial girls on the internet”). Sure, that’s one way we could talk about it. Or you could say “And what else is going on here?”
To get you started, some rich texts I’ve guided us to in the past include:
It could be a genre of TikTok, a parenting trend, a vocal tick, a style of appliance, you see where I’m going here — what is the rich text you’d love to read 5000 words (or more) on, and what, exactly, makes it so rich? It could be this new genre of Harlem Globetrotter-TikTok-content-creating-baseball-player (don’t blame me if you find yourself in Banana land for the next three hours, just saying). WHATEVER IT IS, give us the details.
This exercise might spark some ideas for me (or for you!) but I mostly hope it makes us all look around and see richness pretty much everywhere.
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