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everyone needs to stfu rn 😔
Why every take is a bad take now, and a few last-minute 2023 costumes.
Hundreds said killed in Gaza hospital blast
President Biden visit to wartime Israel
Egypt, Arab countries unwilling to take in Palestinians
What an awful week. Sad up on sad upon sad, with deep unkindness at every turn. And yet! Somehow Biden thought to put himself in the middle of this. Fucking idiot. Have fun on Truth Social, after you lose the election!
German chancellor condemns attack on Berlin synagogue
Palestinian American boy stabbed to death
Antisemitic, Islamophobic offenses soar in London
Brussels terror attack
FBI report shows stark increase in US hate crimes
Then there are the hate crimes.
Ecuador Election: Millennial Banana Heir Wins
Opposition wins Polish election
Double Defeat for U.K.’s Conservatives
International elections!! In Ecuador, a rich young person won which is…interesting. In Poland, there was a blow to their conservative government. In the UK, Labour secured two seats. Good!
Brazil Embracing Migrants That Everyone Else Avoids
Are the jobs for these migrants “good”? Not really, but I’m going to take this as a bit of hope and kindness in a particularly unkind, brutal time.
I Live in My Car
This story is not an upper, but illuminates the realities of the “mobile homeless.” I’d argue the estimates in this story are much lower than reality!
AI Could Usher in a New Age of Bioweapons
Financial Crash Caused by AI Unavoidable'
AI to Use as Much Energy as a Country
Jon Stewart show ending over AI, China coverage
"It's out of control."
Recent AI news, none of it great. Even Cher hates it!
Pharmacy workers strike over ‘dangerous’ workloads
FYI for anyone who uses CVS or Walgreens pharmacies. My dudes are striking!!
How to Fly Private
How do we have enough rich people without jets who can casually rent private jets to the point that these services are at capacity? This should be illegal.
End of Covid Forces Pfizer, Moderna to Adapt
An interesting story about how the “end” of the pandemic means many once-important industries – personal protective gear, Covid tests – are now losing, running out of, or completely without business.
Maybe you feel this too but we are in an especially cruel moment. We seem to be standing at the entry of a larger cultural and societal breakdown, something very different from the past three (or eight) years of pandemic, injustices, and violence.
The magnifying glass of the moment, placed over the world to burn us all, is the Israel-Palestine conflict. It’s not just that a terrible war is being waged while another terrible war is being waged: that would be enough. It’s that we all – most of us people with no experience in international politics, or the histories and cultures at play – must “weigh in” on the matter, yelling through people each other instead of trying to take measured efforts to agree or disagree. We have Sarah Silverman saying Palestinians don’t deserve resources and the Hadid family being attacked for their Palestinian support. Glimpses of daily life from journalists and bakers and regular queer people volley back and forth, while religious creators use their platforms to share thoughts which are offset by countering views and added context. Meanwhile, independent of any take anyone is able to give, the death count goes up and up. The suffering is suffocating, made worse by the fact that we have to suffer through a fog of flatulent opinion.
This is the era of the community note, a faulty, populist “fact checking” where everyone does their own research despite being below-average students. This is an age of disinformation and disappointment, yet we have been primed to compete for attention in wartime scenarios. This is made worse by it seeming like knives are the only tools available to us: we’re all going to end up bloodied! Every day a million Sophie’s Choices, a daily Judgment of Solomon: you must make a big decision, make it loud, and hope you or no one else dies.
This is the depth of opinion overload, as Chris Black pointed out. We are the dogs and the news is the idea of meat. We salivate to eat so fast, only to vomit it up. I think about this as we suffer the chaos of the American government, where a second week of failed votes saw Jim Jordan go for one, two, three strikes before being taken out. All this and talks of pandemic skips, all this while we manage lives in a shit ass warming world. It may just be me, but there seems to be a rash of (understandable) content about the plague of working life in an overachieving capitalist hell. We are trying to reclaim our little lives while trying to pay our bills while trying to show up for every specific group we support while doing everything correctly and also turning these gestures into content. It is unrealistic to believe that all this is possible, which is why it is so surprising that we’re so quick to attack each other instead of taking deep breaths. No wonder therapy has stopped working, as cope culture goes into overdrive: we all need a break from each other, from everything.
We know all these things are related. I see trailers for films like Fingernails and think of Severance, seeing how we’ve moved beyond horror as a genre as the expressionistic vehicle for our altered state. If you’ve wondered why there is a rise in the non-religious, or “nones,” wonder no more: why would we hold onto belief systems that are incapable of rising to this moment, while creating factions that war with each other? Why would we continue to prey on antiquated fairy tales we tell ourselves to justify hate and greed and division? It’s all silly. We have to clock out of the madness.
“Decent and reasonable people at the moment are being bullied into a ludacris, indeed lunatic, binary choice,” journalist Andrew Marr observed this week. “The space between these ludacris and lunatic binaries is a very large space. That’s where we must stand and have a progressive conversation.”
Goodwill Tries to Figure Out Online Commerce
Intrigued. We’ll see if Goodwill can crack the digital thrifting code!
Trans woman joined Wyoming sorority. Her sisters sued.
This story captures a lot of what it means to be queer now, acting as a sort of temperature gauge. The twist of the knife? It takes place in Laramie, Wyoming. (One silver lining: the ruling of the octogenarian judge and the language he used.) (Also sad symmetry: it’s the same university that Matthew Shepard attended.)
The age of deep reading is over
Financial Times writers are some of the most obnoxious in the world, but I do think this story is correct: we, as a culture, are skimmers instead of readers, which is why online spaces are so unhinged and toxic. People don’t deeply read anymore!
Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s New Power-Ups
The new Mario is here and I downloaded it but I have yet to have time to play. This fun little primer on Mario’s powers over the years sold me!
"well well well"
“Influencers funded by the DNC”
This week in creator reckonings, TikTok’s Under The Desk News (among others) is getting blasted for ties to the Democratic party. People think they’re making propaganda!
Downsizing Without Throwing Anything Away
This was my favorite story of the week: how a couple was able to move from their home of twenty years without throwing away anything. It speaks to the value of giving things away and taking time to plan how you move through the world, as to not create waste via intentionality.
Shift from in-person to virtual art may be permanent
This is surprising! In-person art events are down but virtual items are still strong. This is to say: sometimes it helps to think expansively (national, international, non-local) instead of being too zoomed in (local, niche).
Ya Feel Me?!
Obsessed with the paintings of Troy Lamarr Chew II, a series of self-portraits in the style of 1990s through contemporary hip hop and hip hop adjacent iconography. On view in LA through October 28!
Barnes & Noble Sets Itself Free
A fascinating story about how Barnes & Noble stores are being redesigned, to be lighter and brighter and more modular. An unlikely comeback story!
Miranda July Doesn't Care
This interview with Miranda July briefly cured my mental illness.
"The trailer for American Fiction"
I will be watching Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction, which feels like a spiritual, thematic (and more realism-based) adaptation of The Sellout. This is going to be very talked about and, as I am in the throes of the second attempted shopping a novel, this feels very much like a documentary. Did we not talk about this two weeks ago? Also for the literary girlies: the Eileen trailer has arrived.
You probably know what you’re going to be for Halloween but, if you’re a striking actor wrestling with being something generic or generally don’t have any thoughts in your head, rest assured: I have some ideas. Not all of these will pass the scab test, but the majority of them will! These are the Halloween costumes I hope to see, which I don’t think anyone else will be doing.
First, the normie ideas, for parties of people who aren’t entirely online –
Ayo Edebiri. America’s sweetheart. If you want more basic, be her in The Bear or Bottoms. Real ones will be her when she went to Skylight.
Pedro Pascal. America’s sweetheart. For the more basic, be him in The Last of Us. Real ones will grab some bread.
Michael Myers in heels. People who are on Instagram will think this is “fierce.” Those who get it will go “lol just that guy on TikTok.”
Pearl. Take your pick: Pearl Krabs, Ti West’s Pearl, Pearl the Crystal Gem, a pearl in an oyster. Or maybe this is a group costume? Either way: don’t be Pearl Harbor, or at least don’t post about being Pearl Harbor.
Super Bowl Rihanna. Bonus points if you actually buy the Loewe jumpsuit.
Now, a group of ideas for meme enjoyers –
You As A Baby. Even if people don’t get the meme, you will look like a fun wizard.
Wendy Williams and or Abby Miller. The only couple’s costume that matters to me.
Grimace Shake. This is the perfect amount of 2023 retro: people will have forgotten about this, but they will “get it” once they see it.
A fuck ass bob. Interpret this as you see fit. A fuck ass Spongebob would kill.
An iPad dog. Actually an iPad dog could be a couple’s costume: a dog and it’s iPad, or an iPad dog and an iPad kid.
A group of Skibidi Toilets. I’m legally obligated to mention you can buy this.
A secretary bird. No bird is as slay as a secretary bird.
Lastly, absolutely rotted ideas, for those with severe internet poisoning –
Shien Factory Tour Influencer. If I had plans, I would be her. She’s so me.
Brazilian Ice Spice & Brazilian Taylor Swift. This isn’t a request, but an order: someone please be them.
“So. What now?” Azealia Banks. This will only work if you’re going to a queer function.
And, lastly, some things not to be: Barbie and Ken (Basic.), Taylor and Travis (Heterosexual.), M3GAN (Old.).
“mario wonder bus”
“hashtag luigi bus”
“mortal kombat bus”
Best meme of the week were all the songs that collided The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” with recent bus ads. This has been building for months.
"Norm MacDonald’s old writing partner Jim Downey"
An incredible bit about Jeff Epstein.
“my news feed right now”
Most accurate description of the week.
“but only breathing”
At this point, James Charles is a generation’s meme factory, who no one will take seriously ever again.
"people who stand in the aisle"
I know this pic is about to pop off.
"Gays rly know how to make a weekend"
This is true. I also think this is what happens when you don’t have…kids or responsibilities. Gay men get to be big kids forever!
And, finally, how it feels when my newsletter arrives in your inbox.