Fartlow, Sweet Chariot

The Intern was just casually reading the Communist Manifesto when suddenly...

Eve Barlow, a self-described legendary journalist who is also, according to herself, responsible for the career success of Lizzo, Halsey, and The Weeknd, and has some Tumblr priors that are not not racist, is now better known to the internet as Eve Fartlow, thanks to her successful campaign for Twitter main character, published in Tablet on Tuesday. Earlier this month a shitposter and Twitter communist named @samoyedcore coined the name, and it caught on among anti-Zionists who were not fans of her outspoken support of Israel during its recent Gaza bombing campaign.

Social media harassment feels bad. We like to think of our platforms as a little semi-anonymous window into “what’s going on out there,” so if you attract a lot of criticism, or hate, or attention of any kind, it feels like “what’s going on out there” is “everyone hates YOU specifically.” Of course that’s not what’s going on out there, there’s just a crowd jammed in front of your personal window, yelling at you, and probably not as big a crowd as you think (with some notable exceptions).

So it’s generally a bad idea to respond to a few people calling you a name by writing a 2,500 word article claiming it’s “the world’s first social media pogrom” or “an online lynching,” let alone “a form of digital waterboarding aimed at forcing me to… commit digital suicide.” The post knocks over a whole Hamas of straw men, and freely glides between “Jewish” and “Zionist” as rhetorical convenience demands. Maybe wildest is that it actually name-checks Barbra Streisand without seeming aware of her eponymous effect, while providing a new gold standard example of it. By this morning “Eve Fartlow” was trending, the name is now a self-sustaining reference that’s made it to Know Your Meme, and it seems unlikely we’ll escape this outrage cycle without several more Takes. My friends, let’s not participate in that. Remember:

The Media Classifieds are on Thursday this week, for good reasons and not at all because I forgot yesterday was Wednesday.

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I can hardly believe it but this is Intern Tess Lynch’s last regular post for us. It’s been a delight both editing and reading her work, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Tess returns tomorrow with her graduation complete Tabs issue, and I believe it will include some art but other than that I don’t know anything about it yet!

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So you’re suddenly seeing targeted ads for your mom’s toothpaste brand, which you’ve never bought or even Googled? Most of us know that our phones can’t see inside our brains, but that’s still the obvious suspicion when a brand you’ve only ever had secondhand contact with suddenly gets a weapons-lock on your online contrail. But surely that’s the apex of creepiness. Surely broad-spectrum ads that don’t know anything about you will feel safer, right? More benign?

Wrong:

You should watch the whole ad. Don’t worry, it’s not graphic like some of the other earwax ads you’ve surely seen when you blunder into a chumbox. This is an earwax ad reimagined by an alien that ran “human biological functions” and “aspirational lifestyle aesthetic” through its flux capacitor. Not a specter of wax haunts these ear canals. 

But it’s not generic either, this cochlear Oscar-bait. If you’ve turned off cookies and have your privacy settings locked down, advertisers only know you probably have ears, so plenty of generic earwax ads come your way. But this alien knows that whatever our privacy settings say, earthlings long to be understood. What its research has shown is that we like to think of ourselves as very intelligent creatures. We’re examiners—of ears, of ideas—sometimes both, sometimes both on our “Andorid” phones. We’re so smart that we only kick back with the long version of The Communist Manifesto, or possibly the new issue of Time Traveler, an absolutely real magazine. We’re so smart, in fact that we might just buy an expensive kit that allows our phones to see inside our brains.


Not Extinct: Giant tortoise. Giant river otter. Will Oremus.

Today in What Could Go Wrong? The incredibly dumb hot new crypto token is Chia, which creates value by wasting hard drive space. Currently it’s using up “the equivalent of one 1TB Samsung Evo SSD every 3 seconds.Tess Owen in Vice: “Gun Church That Worships With AR-15s Bought a 40-Acre Compound in Texas for Its ‘Patriots’.” It’s probably not as bad as that sounds, what’s the subhed? “The Rod of Iron Ministries has become more militant since leader Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon attended the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.” Ah. Well. Nevertheless. Citizen app scraped.

Molly Fischer in The Cut on Race2Dinner: “Were White Fragility to be adapted as reality TV, the result might look something like this…” Everyone’s fighting over the lab-leak hypothesis, but Brian Feldman already said he was sorry, can we not just move on? Everyone gets one mulligan.

The new bonkers Zillow house really showcases the difference between art bonkers and vernacular bonkers, I think.

Today’s Song: “Everyday” A$AP Rocky ft. Rod Stewart, Miguel, Mark Ronson

~ Every day I read my tabs, drinkin' wine, feelin' fine ~

This is much later than I intended today because a house near me caught fire and I had to go rubberneck. If you’d like to call me Rusty Fartster you can do that @fka_tabs. The intern for one more day is Tess Lynch.