top of page
  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 159: demigods, resolutions & mascots

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make January 8th, 2024, a bit better. Happy New Year! The Manifesto MKE team formally transitions back into the office starting today. While we will miss our pajama pants, we are excited to be back, as Ariel says, "where the people are." Well, at least for two days a week...


1. Artist of the Week: Joy Ting Charde


Joy Ting Charde is a painter and educator, popular for her unique floral depictions on Instagram. Joy spent nine years as an elementary school art teacher and continues to use her platform to host painting and drawing lessons online. Whether you are looking to gain a new skill or simply add a little joy to your timeline during a gloomy winter, this is the artist for you.


2. What we're listening to: Shameless Podcast


Shameless describes itself as, "The pop culture podcast for smart people who love dumb stuff." TARGET AUDIENCE REACHED. Each week they run through the top pop culture topics of the moment, and sometimes feature a series of episodes on pop culture icons. We are currently enjoying their multi-part series on the Spice Girls. Girl Power!



Person Jackson and the Olympians follows demigod Percy Jackson as he leads a quest across America to prevent a war among the Olympian gods. Based on the popular young adult book series from the mid-2000s, this beloved series comes to life with an incredible cast of young actors and even a few famous faces. Follow Percy and the gang each week. God(s) help them! Our copywriter KG grew up reading these books, and she is excited to see such a faithful adaption after the disaster that was the 2010 movie (we still love you, Logan Lerman).



After the indulgence of the holiday season, more and more people are opting for a "dry" January, abstaining from alcohol for the entire month. Originating in the United Kingdom in 2013, Dry January was initially conceptualized by the charity Alcohol Change UK as a public health campaign. The primary goal is to promote a healthier lifestyle by allowing participants to reassess their relationship with alcohol. Alcohol is no doubt deeply tied into our culture, whether it be at happy hours, wine nights, or social settings. But why has it seemed to explode in popularity? According to Nielsen, Gen Z consumers are less interested in drinking alcohol than previous generations. Additionally, there is a wider movement towards wellness. Studies have found that a staggering 88% of participants saved money, 71% had better sleep, and 58% lost weight. Moreover, 80% felt more in control of their drinking habits and 70% reported improved overall health. In response, brands like Bacardí have expanded their non-alcoholic or low-alcohol product offerings to meet consumer trends (shameless plug, our incredible CD Charles Nevsimal led the creation of this report.) Our Strategist Bridget Babcock said, "It’s a nice reset."It’s less about drinking less for the rest of the year, and more about intentionality. The last few years, when I’ve done Dry January, I’ve been able to notice when I was drinking out of default or habit and when I was drinking because it actually improved the moment or experience." In short, if you are thinking about taking a break from alcohol, you are not alone. There are a lot of incredible alternatives for you to explore. Cheers!


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: How to Accomplish New Years Resolutions


Many of us start the new year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on new goals. As the weeks go on and we get back to work, these goals fall by the wayside. So, this week we wanted to look into why these resolutions lose priority, and how we can change our behavior to keep them. In a recent article for Psychology Today, Dr. Carlos Alos-Ferrer noted that goals come from the more rational, long-term-oriented part of your brain. He says, "The problem is the more impulsive, short-term-oriented part of your brain, the one that sustains your habits and takes over most of your day-to-day actions. Your brain is very good at automatizing behavior, and freeing resources for other things. But, when those automatic behaviors conflict with your long-term goals, you struggle.” So, like Sisyphus, are we doomed to keep pushing the resolution bolder up the hill? No. When resolving it's important to be specific, measurable, realistic, relevant, and within a more narrow length of time. Good luck!


Mychal Threets has become popular on TikTok and Instagram with his upbeat take on libraries. He hopes to encourage people from all walks of life to experience, utilize, and enrich themselves through this incredible public good. In short, his videos are something you should definitely...check out.

6. Good News of the Week:



*Plays "Bigger Than The Whole Sky" by Taylor Swift * None of us walk through life alone. Some relationships last for decades, helping to shape us into who we will become. But in some rare relationships, longevity holds no bearing or influence. People can enter our lives briefly and fleeting, like a shooting star or blazing inferno, leaving us forever changed in the wake of their presence. Thus is the case, with Strawberry, the mascot of The Pop-Tart Bowl. In the Pop-Tart Bowl between KC State and NC State hosted in Orlando on Dec 28, the world met Strawberry and the internet fell in love. The mascot quickly went viral, earning attention for both the bowl and the brand. The Pop-Tarts Bowl averaged 4.31 million views, the largest audience for a bowl game thus far, and the event earned Kellanova $12.1 million in media exposure. His life was short and sweet, as he descended into the toaster and died for our sins, coming back in toasty perfection to serve as the very edible victory snack for the winning team. But don't shed any tears, as he went down into the toasty afterlife he held a sign that said, "Dreams do really come true." See you on the other (breakfast) side, big guy.

bottom of page