It’s January sixth, so I guess that means we have to talk about the big story: “Elmo has been beefing with a rock since 1999.” Yes, Elmo and Rocco have been on sight for more than two decades now, but news broke today as “Elmo addresses Rocco feud.” However, Jimmy Fallon is still not invited to Sesame Street.
Oh it’s also the first anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, and David Remnick asks “Is a Civil War Ahead?” which is a little like asking the same question on the first anniversary of the battle of Fort Sumter, but it does still conform to Betteridge’s Law, in a sad way.
[Political scientist Barbara F. Walter] is careful to say that a twenty-first-century American civil war would bear no resemblance to the consuming and symmetrical conflict that was played out on the battlefields of the eighteen-sixties. Instead she foresees, if the worst comes about, an era of scattered yet persistent acts of violence: bombings, political assassinations, destabilizing acts of asymmetric warfare carried out by extremist groups that have coalesced via social media.
Today in Takes
Joyce Carol Oates is an 83 year old “novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, literary critic, professor, and editor” who has “published 58 novels, a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and non-fiction” and of course given the world her eponymous hot breakfast cereal. But for years now she has been best known for dropping stinky takes on Twitter, like, most recently:
AgnelaRonitaTorcato @artorcato@GallopinDragons @davidba41069437 @carolin42303269 @JoyceCarolOates He was a fine writer, but a bad husband. Or should that have read, He was a bad husband, but wrote well
This should be a lesson to all of us: if you’ve won virtually every major literary prize over a distinguished 65 year career, log off. But that’s not even the worst take of the day, an honor that our revolting green nemesis The Take Tree has the malicious pleasure of presenting.
Honky-tonk Creep. The FBI caught the guy who was stealing book manuscripts, so maybe we’ll finally find out why? The one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang album formerly owned by crime douche Martin Shkreli is looking pretty rough. Same, tbh. Via Intern Linda: What’s your favorite Balkan nationalist conspiracy theory? “Serbia is 7000 years old” is pretty good but don’t sleep on “ancient Greeks were the descendants or "children" (genetic constructs) of alien voyagers from the star Sirius.” I regret to inform you that former Illinois governor turned federal prison inmate Rod Blagojevich is launching a podcast called “Lightning Rod Today.” I guess the premise is “what if there was a G. Gordon Liddy that no one liked?”
And if you find yourself annoyed by a timeline full of ⬛️⬛️🟩🟨⬛️, Embedded has a good take on why “the world needs the Wordle fandom.”
But like most things that are good on the internet, Wordle fandom is great not because it’s uniquely digital, but comfortingly human. My parents and I have started reporting back over group text after the day’s puzzle, and I feel connected with other players in a way that makes me nostalgic for a past web.
Today’s Song: If you liked yesterday’s Wet Leg song here’s a whole dang concert from NYC in December. What a good band.
~ the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tabs ~
The Take Tree, as always, is by Tabs Senior Contributing Editor for Graphics and new Tabs Graphics Union shop steward Alison Headley, and per the terms of our arduously negotiated contract I am required to add: “ship Destiel.” Today in Polly is now an official newsletter-within-a-newsletter so you can easily find the archives. Send us your questions, January’s issue is coming soon (to paid subscribers). What a month, huh?