A peek into the topics buzzing at Cassandra

First Friday of the last month of 2023 (can you believe it?) and Cassandra's recap of all things viral is here, capturing the pulse of trending news that Gen Zs couldn’t stop talking about during the week. The topics in this edition touch on the much-anticipated Spotify's Wrapped release, a TikTok comedian under fire, and the unyielding defense of a music legend against ageist critiques. Let's dive into the latest conversations buzzing the online world. Welcome to Viral News!


It’s finally here! The yearly recap has become a tradition for users and either a point of pride or a reflection of our lowest moments of the year. Spotify's beloved Wrapped arrived on Thursday and took over the internet in every possible angle. From the typical posts sharing screenshots of everyone’s top artists and songs, to regional beefs created by the new “Sound Town” sorting, to memes mocking fictional “wrapped” possibilities like Sisyphus Wrapped, Spotify has been everywhere in the past 48 hours. The list of most streamed artists around the globe was topped by —to no one’s surprise— none other than Taylor Swift, displacing the 3-times-in-a-row top charter Bad Bunny to the 2nd place. This was also a great year for other Latin artists, having Mexican singer Peso Pluma in 5th place and Colombian musicians Feid and Karol G in 6th and 9th respectively. This is another look into how the globalization of music is becoming more prominent by the year. The wrapped is serving as a musical zodiac for Gen Zs to showcase not only who they are, but the journeys they went through this 2023. And what a ride!


…and his (alleged) Doctor? First the whole story: TikTok sensation Matt Rife faced backlash after his Netflix Special “Natural Selection” was released and viewers noticed he opened his routine with a joke regarding domestic violence. The comedian's ill-conceived attempt at humor fell flat with his online audience, mainly young women. Rife then crushed his image even further when his response to the outrage was jokingly directing people to his “apology”, a link to a website that sells helmets for people with special needs. Most of the criticism comes not because of the topic he’s joking about but because of the poor execution of his comedy. As a comic that built his career on the back of TikTok views, fans are feeling betrayed by this pivot towards a misogynistic flat comedy that’s not what they signed up for. In recent days, @manyfacesofchicago, a plastic surgeon with a big TikTok following, made a joke insinuating he had made the perfect jaw in a comedian that got canceled. Matt Rife commented in the post “Lying about medical history is illegal, just FYI” and users are calling him out about not being able to take a joke. Reminder to comedians that Gen Z will always be funnier!


Country music icon Dolly Parton found herself at the center of a fashion controversy, sparking heated debates about age, attire, and misogyny. Critics scrutinized her outfit choice for her performance at the Dallas Cowboys game, deeming her cheerleader outfit inappropriate for her age, inviting unnecessary commentary on her looks instead of her musical genius or philanthropic work. However, fervent fans and celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Whoopi Goldberg rallied to defend the beloved singer, condemning the ageist backlash and some took it to TikTok to jokingly compare themselves sitting at home eating pie while 77-year-old Parton is performing at the game. This incident ignited a larger conversation about the double standards women in the spotlight face, with supporters championing Parton's agency, individuality, and openness against societal expectations. Never mess with Dolly!