At Long Last, We Have Created the Torment Nexus
Clipping shrubs into the shape of surveillance cameras? That's dystopiary.
As expected, Professor B’s School for Grifted Youngsters attracted a range of responses yesterday from ”lol” all the way to “lmao.” TNR’s Alex Shephard, who definitely knows about Betteridge’s Law, asked “Do We Really Need an Anti-Woke University?” New York Magazine’s Sarah Jones wrote a very good post comparing this hypothetical school with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, an existing safe space for the perpetuation of right wing ignorance. The Wrap wrapped up some of the best mockery from social media, Daniel Drezner called it “Troll State” in the Washington Post, and Badlantic contributor and UATX Endowed Chair of Specious Argument Caitlin Flanagan indulged her disgusting fetish for getting owned online. Ironically, the only place that took Bari seriously was The New York Times, which is the reason we’re in this predicament to begin with. But Defector’s David Roth “Will Create A Winning Basketball Program At The University Of Austin,” so they’ve got that going for them at least.
Today in Fake News: Metric Media is a massive network of fake local news sites that churn out algorithmically generated chum until someone wants to pay to promote a new culture war subject like “critical race theory” so they can win the VA governor’s race, reports Popular Information. Priyanjana Bengani also reported on Metric Media for CJR last month. And in Morning Brew, Ryan Barwick wrote about monetized fake obituary sites “like deaddeath . com and tragedyinfo . com.”
“If you watched your friends die at the Travis Scott concert you get one free month of @betterhelp” is the most dystopian sentence I have ever read. Regrettably, it’s not a joke. I can’t believe this website costs $2.99. A Stasi-made “pen gun owned by late South African freedom fighter Oliver Tambo is set to be auctioned as a non-fungible token to raise funds for a heritage site that documents the nation’s struggle for democracy.” Buying the NFT gives you the right to visit the pen gun once a year, after you get done catching up with your tungsten cube.
Israel is using:
a smartphone technology called “Blue Wolf,” which takes photos of Palestinians and stores them in a large-scale database. Once an image is captured, Blue Wolf matches that picture to a person in its database, and as the Post describes, soldiers’ phones will then flash a specific color that signifies if that individual should be arrested, detained, or left undisturbed.
…writes Emma Roth in the Verge, after a Washington Post report. Emphasizing its commitment to dystopian living, Israel is also lobbying the US to revoke sanctions on the NSO Group’s spyware, which “international computer privacy experts said... had been deployed against Palestinian rights activists, raising questions about whether the Israeli government itself was behind the hacking.” But Israel is hardly the only modern surveillance state. In The Walrus, Navneet Alang wrote about gentrifying city neighborhoods self-organizing into Ring and Facebook powered mini-panopticons, documenting what feels like the overlooked middle step between “not a dystopia” and “full-on burbclave.” Also, NextDoor SPACed and you can find it trading on NYSE under the ticker symbol KIND, because they’re simply out here trying to kill off any human being with a sense of irony at this point.
What a grim day! The delightful Sari Botton recommended Tabs in Substack’s “What to Read” today so I’m afraid this is going to be the first Tabs experience for some of you, and while it isn’t unrepresentative, today is perhaps a couple shades darker than usual. Unfortunately all I have left in my bookmarks is the news that Starbucks’ Chief Executive Lunatic Howard Schultz tried to buffalo Buffalo employees out of unionizing with a baffling story about Holocaust victims, and a report that another crew member from Alec Baldwin’s profoundly cursed film “Rust” is in the hospital with “necrosis of his arm and sepsis” from a brown recluse spider bite.
I guess we’ll have to try again tomorrow. Everything will be OK.
Today’s Song: Gammer, “Quit” (feat Hudson Mohawke)
~ The Taberator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory. He's got esprit up to here. ~
I tweet @fka_tabs and sometimes accidentally also @TodayinTabs. Howard Schultz was this close to being Secretary of Labor and it still would have been better than what happened instead. If this is your first Tabs ever, I can’t even imagine what you’re thinking right now but thanks for reading it all!