It is a truth universally acknowledged that any human claiming to be relevant in 2020 must have an opinion on Billie Eilish.
The 18-year-old singer has, in the past month, broken records at the Grammys and done a Bond theme. Billie Eilish is hot.
She is almost as famous for her unconventional style, which is to say that she wears voluminous neon streetwear that obscures her body. Billie could have a third boob for all we know. She could be pregnant. She could have put on a couple of pounds. But these are precisely the distractions she avoids. She singlehandedly confirmed Gen-Z to be the most media-savvy and socially literate generation ever. When anyone complains about kids these days, the answer that comes is, "but Billie Eilish".
And at her side is always her collaborator and champion, the less-photogenic but no less talented brother Finneas. He writes and produces for her, and this year picked up five Grammys including song, record and album of the year, along with producer of the year and best engineered album. Obviously, he's thrilled about it, having been chipping away at the industry for years. He's so thrilled that the 22-year-old decided to share his secret with the world: "'Shooting your shot' is promoted widely & I think honestly, it's a little overrated," tweeted he. "Work super hard alone or with your closest friends. Make shit so good it speaks for itself. Don't pester people to work with you, let them come to you."
The internet, which was only waiting for one of them to trip up, was delighted. Laurence Fox was old news as Finneas became the new face of white privilege. Their parents were 'in the industry' (an actress and screenwriter) the internet howled, most people don't have recording equipment in their bedroom.
For a couple of days, Finneas engaged with his detractors, pointing out that neither of his actor parents made a living off their art, and both took normal-person jobs. He said how they are paid to come on tour with their children.
And then, the unprivileged trump card: his father, he indignantly typed, insisted on sweeping the stage before every gig. Presumably the idea is that if his parents really were Hollywood royalty they would be baffled by the sight of a broom, unsure of which end to hold.
Eventually, Finneas did what Fox could never conceive of: he thought about it, listened, saw the error of his ways and issued a full apology. He even thanked his detractors for holding him accountable.
That last part wasn't reported much, as the internet was only just getting into its 'take down Billie' stride. But, really, it's the most fascinating part. Grown-ups are panicking about a future of over-sexualisation and intolerant 'cancel-culture' and evil social media: but 18-year-old digital native Billie doesn't read her Instagram comments. Billie and Finneas show Gen Z at perhaps its most encouraging. The kids might just be all right.
This week, the No S**t Sherlock Award goes to Co Meath's Ratoath College, which has found that iPads in schools are distracting. The school commissioned a report on its no-books-iPads-only rule, and found students used their devices for gaming, shopping and social media.
The school has elected to bring back schoolbooks, after a fraught experiment with iPads which saw hundreds of parents signing a petition to please, for the love of God, stop legitimising their children's screen obsession.
In the past, the principal has said that the school was seeking to meet the needs of students coming into a changing world, and that "21st Century skills" like collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving "cannot be taught from a textbook".
While I'm sure students' strategies to avoid detection in lessons while on Snapchat were creative and collaborative, as well as solving the obvious problem of being bored by the water cycle, or multiplying fractions, it's fair to say these skills probably can't be taught from an iPad either.
Even before Caroline Flack's death, Love Island's future was uncertain: the last series failed to deliver. We had seen Love Island too many times. Thus entered, like a beautiful demon, Netflix's smash hit Love is Blind, the dating show to end all others: the apotheosis of the format, God's love letter to trash.
The format is not simple: 15 men and 15 women live in a house for a week with 15 'dating pods': they 'date' without being able to see each other. The only way to meet in person is to get engaged - after which couples are swept away for a holiday in Mexico, before going back to reality and their wedding: scheduled for a month from when they first 'met' in the pods.
I quite like the idea of Galentine's Day, the unofficial holiday that celebrates female friendship every February 13. The concept comes, not from a PR company or Hallmark marketing team, but from an episode of Parks & Recreation in which the relentlessly conscientious Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) organises a brunch for a motley crew of women on Valentine's Eve.