The Best Scam Is Synesthesia


Oh, you think Tuesday is blue? Sure

There are probably infinite takeaways from Jessica Pressler's excellent piece in The Cut on socialite-ish scammer Anna Delvey, who—despite not having rich person hair—managed to convince a lot of people that she was inordinately wealthy and then scammed both friends and businesses alike out of thousands upon thousands of dollars in cash and meals and hotel rooms, making Delvey an instant cult hero to scammers everywhere. But one of the takeaways is undoubtedly the question: Are we living in the Age of the Scammer?

It seems like... we could be. Maybe we are! Because while, yes, there have been scammers throughout history (let us never forget the iconic hipster grifter), there's probably a good argument about how things like, um, late capitalism and the ubiquity of people who are so wealthy that they launch things into space for the hell of it and, I don't know, the ease of e-banking and maybe even the gig economy has made scammers of us all in a sense—or at least has made more and more of us relate to those grifters who mostly scam unsympathetic targets, like people associated with Purple magazine or hotel owners. And, in fact, the idea that everyone is now a low-key scammer is one of the threads running throughout Pressler's story, as it becomes more and more clear that all the people who could be considered Delvey's "friends" were really just hanging around so that she could buy them dinners and clothes and, sometimes, trips to Morocco. 

But not all scams have to do with money, and, actually, it's debatable that Delvey's scamming was strictly money-related. One of the more interesting parts of the piece was the way in which it became clear that money (which Delvey notes is pretty easy to come by as "like, there’s an unlimited amount of capital in the world, you know?") was just an ancillary interest, and what Delvey was really after was having influence and making friends and feeling as if she were being seen as the valuable person she knew herself to be, regardless of her wealth.

Making people think you are talented is, I fully believe, the ultimate scam, and seeing it expressed so plainly made me think about a scam that feels like everyone is pulling right now: synesthesia. 

Are you... not familiar with synesthesia? You might be the last person online who isn't. Synesthesia—the phenomenon by which sensory abilities blur so that you can, for example, see letters as having certain colors or hear what the number four sounds like—is everywhere right now, with articles popping up all over the place. It's also been having a moment on Twitter with a fascinating thread by writer Caroline Moss, about how she sees the days of the week as having colors and shapes, having inspired multiple articles, including one on Lifehacker titled "You May Have Synesthesia And Not Know It."

This article is not the greatest, because it diagnoses Moss with synesthesia (and initially called her "honey"), despite Moss having already said she doesn't think she has synesthesia. However, because it emphasizes the fact that synesthesia can kind of be whatever you want it to be, and you could live your whole life not even knowing you have it, what this article did remind me of is this: Synesthesia is the best scam, because, even when it's not a scam and is something you totally and fully experience, it still sort of feels like it could be a scam, since, not only is it all in your head, but also, since there is no singular, right way to experience this specific, neurological, sensory blur, nobody can say you don't have it, which they could do if you try and convince them you have millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account. 

Here is what else makes an objectively good scam: You get people to believe cool things about you, which benefits you in ways both intangible and sometimes tangible, and nobody gets hurt. Synesthesia checks off all these boxes, and I know this because, ever since I read an old interview with Vladimir Nabokov about how he and his wife and son all saw letters as having definite colors, but they all associated different colors and letters than one another, I was like, Oh cool, there's something I could pretend I do, too. I was maybe... 14? This is a great age to start to be a scammer, and as it was a victimless scam, I felt totally fine using it and eventually incorporating my synesthesia into my college application essay, because why not? And guess what, I got into the college I wanted to get into, so there's a tangible benefit right there, because maybe my synesthesia was the tipping point? Who knows.

Of course, scamming is always going to be controversial, because it's really just a nice word for lying, and you can't live your life just telling lies; even if you do believe them, they are still lies. But when scamming is done for good reasons, like in order to shed a light on a corrupt society which bends over backward to accommodate people who have tons of money or to get into college, then it's okay, I think. 

And so if you really do have synesthesia—or, for that matter, if you really do have millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account—that's all well and good, but if you are also just scamming people about having either of those things, I'm totally supportive of that, too, since, in the words of Delvey, even though there's tons of money floating around in the world, "there’s limited amounts of people who are talented." So be talented. Smell your Tuesdays. Scam a rich person. Just be careful out there, and make sure to get a good blowout so your scam won't get discovered too soon.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.