Brother Gregory's Protocol

Do writers not care about my kidney donation?

It Only Tuesday. We take you now live to Facebook Ops:

That’s not the person who had to fix Facebook’s big computer whoopsie doodle, it’s just the guy who had to explain what BGP is to every reporter. But here’s a simple explanation of what happened: picture billions of ants, marching around everywhere. The ants are data packets on the internet and they’re all trying to get to the sugar cubes, which are servers.

Got it so far? Ok. “BGP” stands for “Brother Gregory’s Protocol” because it was invented by a Cistercian monk named Gregory in the mid 1200s as a mathematical result of his study of bees. So if Facebook’s data centers are like trucks carrying huge loads of sugar cubes, BGP is like a map of the roads that those trucks travel on. But yesterday, the map got crumpled up, and the trucks started running over all the ants. Squish! Squash! Crunch! “Oh no,” wailed the Ant Queen, “my beautiful daughters! I will have revenge!”

But she was queen of nothing now, monarch of broken corpses, banished to the cruel wastelands. She retreated to a cave, and who did she find in the cool dark, by a flickering oil lamp? Brother Gregory! “I have waited for you,” he murmured quietly, “waited so long, my Queen.” He was surprisingly handsome for someone who was almost 800 years old and only had two legs, she thought. And together they built a new colony of ant-Cistercian hybrids, who would ultimately take to the stars and seed a distant galaxy with a more enlightened civilization that had no need of “social media” or “sugar cubes.”

If you’ve donated a kidney lately, and who hasn’t, you probably know how annoying it is when the members of the Facebook group you created so your fellow writers can praise you for your selflessness not only don’t praise you enough, but actually have the nerve to seem uncomfortable when you email them to ask why they haven’t praised you enough. It’s an old familiar tale, but Robert Kolker does a good job freshening it up in his New York Times Magazine story about “the curious case of Dawn Dorland v. Sonya Larson.” The Times also has a rare bit of news about Matthew “Philip Jennings from The Americans” Rhys: it seems he owns a boat and is Welsh. This is surprising until you realize that Rhys is the Welshest possible name that does not include a “Llewellyn.”

Worst Tweet Crowned:

Today in Yesterday: Sarah Hillenbrand also told Walnut the crane’s story back in 2015, for The Verge, and according to People Walnut and Chris Crowe had at least seven children by 2018. Thanks to the unparalleled artistic range of the Tabs discord, I can also report that there is a “devised experimental performance” based on the earlier marriage of George Archibald and the his crane wife Tex:

Triangulating between dance, theater, clowning, and ecology, the work offers a vivid textual site for the potency of transformative queer empathy in a time of global ecosystem collapse.

…so catch that if it comes to a devised experimental performance space near you. Also the McSituation Room image yesterday was by Richard Parry and Ozy is not coming back, come on now, get a grip.

Pitchfork went back and adjusted the score for a bunch of albums, and it’s a fine concept but reading it I realized that in order to care about the updated scores I’d have to care about Pitchfork scores in the first place. Kate Sidley: “Death and decay are inevitable, but wasting arugula doesn’t have to be.” Laura Hazard Owen: “The Daily Mail turned this guy’s tweet thread into a column without asking him first.” (Don’t) fight Suzanne. Today in Are We Boned: Books are boned. Christmas? Ho-ho-boned.

Video shows some of the first [Jan 6th] rioters to break through the police line running past 15 reinforced windows, making a beeline for a recessed area on the Senate side of the building, where two unreinforced windows and two doors with unreinforced glass were all that stood between them and hallways leading to lawmakers inside who had not begun to evacuate.

That’s probably fine.

Finally: Lots of you have asked for Tabs merch so I’m excited to announce that we have a t-shirt and a tote bag for sale!

Today’s Song: “National Anthem” from Lana Del Rey’s newly 7.8 album “Born to Die”

~ Kindly, ~

I wasn’t joking about the kidney donation merch. It’s not an official Tabs product though, those are hopefully coming soon. If you’d like to bid on the streaming rights for “Cistercian Space Ants,” DM me.

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