Cyber System Overload

Season Eight is over! Everybody movement.

It’s the final Gentleman’s Friday of Season Eight and the last day I’m making myself work for the month of August so if you think I’m gonna do an honest day’s newslettering instead of the adult equivalent of snorting pixy stix and throwing every one of my saved tabs out the bus window you haven’t been paying attention at all. I’ve got nothing but empty-calorie internet nonsense for you today and that’s how it should be.

For example, it’s awfully late for there still to be no song of the summer but just in the nick of time comes DJ Crazy Times and Ms. Biljana Electronica’s “Planet of the Bass:”

…or at least 50 seconds of it, with the full single originally due to be released on August 22nd, but recently moved up to August 15th. Two more weeks is still a long time—do they have to carry the masters by hand from Zagreb or what? “DJ Crazy Times” is New York comedian and actor Kyle Gordon, dressed up like Cory Doctorow circa 2002 and spitting perfect Eurobeat lyrics like “life, it never die / women are my favorite guy.” Polygon’s Michael McWhertor wrote up everything else you might want to know about Mr. Times and his dance track, which really isn’t much! It’s a fun song and it’s good internet. That’s about all.

If women are your favorite guy you might enjoy Danya Issawi’s Q&A with @SubwaySessions Kristina Avakyan in The Cut. Avakyan posts videos filmed in the New York subway of her eclectically curated outfits, which are either “ugly” or “ugly but cool” depending who you ask. She makes a pretty good argument for the validity of her personal expression through style, but also says “…I never have to go to Queens or Harlem, where people don’t understand,” so there’s really something for everyone here.

Everyone has known for years that Dianne Feinstein is non compost Mentos, if you k. what I m., but “Diane Feinstein's daughter has power of attorney over her mother, a sitting senator” is maybe the least objectionable thing about Feinstein’s whole current situation, which seems to be that her daughter is fighting to pry a bunch of DiFi’s husband’s cash out of the family estate before the husband’s kids can get their hands on it, while her Mom’s body is still technically alive and theoretically a whole functioning U.S. Senator.

Augh, christ what is this, politics? Sorry! Uh, uh, uh, hang on… ok: Emma SpecterDrank Hailey Bieber’s Erewhon ‘Skin Glaze’ Smoothie Every Day for a Week” for Vogue and it worked? I’m gonna agree with her that it worked. Specter concludes:

…the drink is borderline disgusting after a week of regular consumption and you could probably get a similar glow just from adding collagen supplements to your coffee and hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine.

Room For Debate



Meanwhile today in silly editorial policy, The New York Times published a travel essay about Hanoi by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, a name festooned with Vietnamese diacriticals that the paper managed to publish effortlessly. But the story itself mentions “the historic Hoa Lo Prison,” and if you’re sitting there right now thinking “the ‘Worried Flowers Prison,’ bro what?” a post-publication note clarifies:

The Vietnamese words in the original version of this essay used diacritical marks. To comply with New York Times style, the marks were removed before publication.

Unfortunately, this practice alters the meaning of the words. In the case of Hỏa Lò Prison, for example, “hỏa” means “fire,” and “lò” means “furnace”:1 the Burning Furnace Prison. Without the marks, “hoa” means “flowers,” and “lo” means “worry,” rendering the term “Hoa Lo” meaningless. I look forward to the day when The Times and other Western publications celebrate the richness and complexity of Vietnamese, and of all other languages, by showcasing them in their original formats.

How did the paper of record manage to make so many wrong decisions here? “They had to construct an Escher staircase to achieve it,” Tabs’ Senior New York Times Style Analyst Tom Scocca told me, explaining that the situation we appear to face here is:

“The note on the essay may have diacritics, because they are necessary to make distinctions between words without which the note would be incomprehensible. [But] the essay may not use diacritics to make distinctions between words, because New York Times style says those distinctions don't matter to the readers. We're in WILD use/mention territory here. Diacritics are forbidden for first-order distinctions between words but are allowed for second-order distinctions.”

Unsatisfied with merely buying The Athletic, The New York Times is pushing back the frontiers of ontology via its style guide. But I promised you internet nonsense and now we’re debating Times style? This calls for the big guns. The best internet nonsense of the week. That’s right, it’s time for Cop Slide.

Please watch the video above as many times as it takes to grasp what you’re seeing. How long is this cop slide, you may wonder? It’s very long! How fast does a human body with a normal coëfficient of friction get going inside it? Boston’s greatest on-the-spot social media news reporter Matt Shearer tried it out, and got stuck. How did a cop even get in there facedown and feet-first? It’s impossible to tell! Maybe he thought it was full of illegal candy. Has anyone edited it to the drum break in Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight?” Come on now, we live in a society. Meanwhile in LA: Grand Theft Forklift.

Today’s Song: The Cloud Nothings, “Wasted Days” via the excellent Midsummer Madness playlist by , which is full of “songs that capture the feeling of like, the beginning of the second half of the summer when everyone’s going a little insane (not in a necessarily positive or negative way).”

Season Eight is over. I feel like I sit alone in a room and write this newsletter every day, mostly because that is what I literally do, but in a larger sense I sit alone in a room together with everyone from the incredible Tabs subscriber Discord, which you may join by becoming a paid subscriber if you need to get through the Tabs-less August somehow. None of this would be as enjoyable without them, and the Discord itself would be measurably worse without its indefatigable Moderation Intern and party host Jane Davis. Thanks also to Senior Correspondent Allegra Rosenberg and this season’s Interns Camille Butera and Mariam Sharia. Thanks to Music Intern Sam Gavin, whose chill-free fingerprints are all over the Season Eight playlist (“The Thanos’ Butthole”) which will shortly be updated and then included in the All Tabs mega playlist. Everyone else who sent me links and funny tweets and good skeets and sick xeets, you know who you are, thanks and please keep it up.

That’s it, I will see you for Season Nine on September 6th. 🫡

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