Big Ben Bongs for Boris

It's time to "grab the wheel" and "bring back the guillotine," and RIP Georgia white-pride-stones.

Boris Johnson, owner of the world’s second most cynical haircut, has finally resigned as Tory leader and Prime Minister (a British government job that has no American equivalent) after disgorging one too many puddles of cringe for the soggy but phlegmatic shopkeepers of Albion to tolerate, argued the Washington Post’s Adam Taylor. The short version of BoJo’s last scandal is that he appointed a sex pest named Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip (a British government job that has no American equivalent) despite knowing that Pincher got pissed (a British government term that means “shitfaced”) and groped two men in a part of a Tory club literally called “Cad’s Corner.” “Pincher by name, pincher by nature,” Johnson reportedly joked, which also makes this whole story a legitimate Today in Crabs. Johnson held out as long as he could, but everyone in his government had resigned except for Nadine Dorries, and there was a real risk that the Queen might be activated, a catastrophe that last occurred in 1666 and left nearly one quarter of Britons dead and most of London a smoking ruin.

British newscasters, driven mad by the unfamiliar stress of something interesting happening, shouted questions at Larry the Downing Street cat (a British government job that has no American equivalent), attempted to be heard over the blasting Yakkity Sax that Hugh Grant was somehow responsible for, and generally treated the entire event with the level of respect and decorum it deserved. Meanwhile, NY1 found the local angle.

In his resignation statement, Johnson unleashed his full rhetorical powers, saying: “I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks.1 He has proposed staying on as “temporary Prime Minister, you know just to make sure the transition is smooth” at least until he has had his wedding celebration at Chequers (a British castle that has no American equivalent).

Meanwhile in America, a normal country, the sky turned green, Arizona Congressional Representative Debbie Lesko passionately declared that she would shoot her grandchildren to protect them from gun control, and someone blew up Georgia’s Tchotchke Monument because a Republican gubernatorial candidate said it was the work of a “Luciferian Cabal.” The Georgia Guidestones were supposed to be “capable of ‘withstanding catastrophic events’,” but collapsed like a cop who heard the word fentanyl at their first brush with a guy in an older model Pontiac. John Oliver pre-explained all of this in May:

What Oliver was about to say at the end of that clip is that the man who commissioned the Guidestones was probably Herbert Hinie Kersten, a Klansman and eugenicist from Iowa, which makes this a bit of an own-goal for the likes of Kandiss Taylor and (as Garbage Ryan so beautifully put it) “sentient Applebee’s margarita Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.” So… win-win, I guess?

Today in Yesterday: I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Classic Tabs. Coincidentally, today in TechCrunch Ivan Mehta reports that “Reddit is launching a new NFT-based avatar marketplace,” so I guess they still haven’t given up on the dream of using math to convert fossil fuels into misogyny.

How Normal Am I” is an “AI face judgement” app that’s actually about web privacy. In Locus, Cory Doctorow explored an extended metaphor involving a bus. “We’ve got to seize the wheel of the bus,” he writes, “We’ve got to plunge past the first-class passengers in the front rows of the bus, and we have to yank the wheel. We have to swerve.” I see what you’re doing here Cory. We have to “murder the rich” and “eat them.” 😉 We have to “take their stuff” and “redistribute it for the good of humanity.” 😜 Am I doing this right? “Exposure: the cryptocurrency for creative professionals” would be funny if it were a joke, but it’s an actual cryptocurrency so it’s a different kind of joke. Scientists, let me sit on the giant lily pad and play the banjo, I am begging you. Let me be smol frog. Shoshana Wodinsky found 11 cursed ASMR videos. This is not a huge accomplishment, because all ASMR videos are cursed. In her media blog, Gawker, Tarpley Hitt reports that BuzzFeed’s interim editor in chief Samantha Henig is off to be COO of ice cream brand Ample Hills, which melted down in 2020.2 And Elon Musk continues to spawn like a desperate salmon.

This is the last regular Tabs before I take a birthday-week break to go get lost in the woods, so I want to leave you with something sweet. Fortunately for us both Alexandra Petri just checked in from four months of maternity leave:

I have read to her. I have read her a book called “Little Gorilla.” I have read her a book called “Little Gorilla.” I have read her a book called “Little Gorilla.” I have read her a book called “Little Gorilla.” I have memorized “Little Gorilla” and can recite it to you right now if you want to hear it. Do you want to hear it?

And sure, skillful writing about kids is an easy shortcut to most people’s squishy emotional center, but I’m not above it. So here’s Isaac Fitzgerald on not having his own kids but being there for everyone else’s kids instead.

To be fair, in certain ways, not having a child is a very selfish act on my part: it allows me great financial freedom, the ability to travel more and focus on my own life, instead of doing my damnedest to raise a healthy little one. But the non-selfish part of not having children for me is that I can literally show up for people who need the help, especially in this country where healthcare and finances don't make it easy to raise a child. That’s absolutely a problem in this country, but a problem I alone will not be able to solve.

Today’s Song: Smashing Pumpkins, “Silverfuck”

~ Them’s the tabs ~

Thank you so much for reading Tabs, I don’t say it enough but your delicious eyeballs are the reason for the season. Specifically, Season 6, of which there are only three! more! weeks! until I go into August seclusion in my mountaintop sensory deprivation float tank to recharge and work on my bingo card before emerging for Season 7 like a beautiful butterfly pupating from the world’s most multiply mixed metaphor. All of which is to say you should still subscribe, because it all evens out over a year.

Anyway here’s a video of America, bye!

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