He's Not An App Man, He's An App, Man

Also: Today in Crabs

All over the quasi-literary world today, people are having this conversation:

“Did you hear who won the Nobel?”


“Well, tell me if you find out.”

The Swedish Academy ruled in favor of Hot Girl Books and possibly in favor of abortion, awarding the Literature prize to French autofictionneuse Annie Ernaux, which Alex Shephard claimed as a win with the help of some quick headline editing from The Atlantic.

What is Ernaux’s deal? Look it’s been a weird day so I haven’t read it yet, but I do intend to read Jamie Hood’s “Annie Ernaux’s Total Novel of Life” in The Baffler to find out. If that doesn’t turn out to be helpful, I apologize in advance. I may fail you, but I will never lie to you. That’s the Tabs promise.1

Anyway I know what you’re here for, you sickos:

Facebook is “Vibe Planning,” which is the creepiest way to say “getting ready for layoffs.” Meanwhile in “Elon Musk’s Incredible Shrinking Future,” John Herrman reports that Elon got a rib surgically removed so he could “self-zuck.”

But “X, the everything app”? An American WeChat, a synergistic social-commerce-payment-rideshare platform, the mother of all social networks, based on Twitter, privately owned and controlled by one man? That’s not fun at all. It’s not even interesting. It’s depressing!

Liz reports that the Twitter trial is still on, and that Elon might be in trouble for using Signal to evade retention rules, and everyone briefly got excited about a Reuters report that Apollo Global Management is no longer interested in funding the Twitter deal, but Matt Levine explained that’s it’s just a technical thing about preferred equity acting as “a more-or-less fixed-income security, like a very risky bond…” and that’s where I drifted off into a daydream where I was having a tall frozen drink under the shade of a coconut palm and it was warm out but not too warm, you know? Like warm in the sun but here under the coconut fronds the air is just cool enough to be shorts-and-a-sweatshirt weather. The sun glitters off distant wavelets and a kite-surfer throws up a sheet of spray with a sharp carving turn offshore, and in its wake a perfect rainbow hangs for just a moment, and generally I guess the whole Apollo thing is neither here nor there, deal-wise.

#NewsBiz: Fast Company is back online eight days after a truly gnarly hack. Things were so bad they started posting stories on Medium. Spotify is cutting 10 shows from its shambolic collection of podcast studios and appears to have gotten out ahead of the news by leaking to The Hollywood Reporter that the cuts would affect “less than 5 percent of staff working on in-house podcasts.” Unfortunately2 one of those cuts is ex-Tabs editor Reyhan Harmanci, so she’s on the market again! If you’re reading this you are among the first to know, so don’t sleep on that DM, Reyhan is the best. There were layoffs at Motherboard too, including Rachel and Lorenzo. It’s a dark Gentleman’s Friday in media news.

And I know opinions on both Maggie Haberman and Olivia Nuzzi vary, but their conversation in NY Mag about covering Trump and beat reporting in general was interesting.

The traditional rule that you need two independent sources to confirm a piece of information — well, okay, but what if the only two sources who witnessed something are psychotic, or what if you have 35 sources and they are all insane, or fucking, or insane and fucking, or otherwise in cahoots, or pathological liars, or working for a foreign government, or God knows what else.

Today’s Song: Nas, “NY State of Mind”

Thanks @abird from the Discord for noting the Atlantic change in headline. Feels like there should be more today but I guess we’re just wrapping up the open threads. All the songs of the day are in the Season 7 Playlist, and songs from seasons four through six are right here.

Join the conversation

or to participate.