Ghost Machine

A Memorial Day look back, some old new aesthetics, and welcome June Intern Linda Yu

It’s Memorial Day in the United States, the traditional start of Negroni Season, so it’s fitting that I have an Awl-based follow up tab on the East Hampton art-bonkers Zillow house with Dune style conversation-pit kitchen from last week. In 2016 Amelia Schonbek wrote about the house and its architects, Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa, for The Awl and Longreads. The house, which was meant to keep you alive forever, took eight years to renovate and Arakawa died two years after it was completed. The Awl itself died about a year and a half after publishing this. So: mixed results. Also circa 2016: this Tumblr Aesthetic Generator by Claire Purslow, which tells me with unerring Math.random() holistic accuracy that this paragraph’s vibe is: woodland band geek. I’ve also let it title the rest of the sections today, because men will really consult a random Tumblr aesthetic generator from 2016 instead of going to therapy.

Nebula Spirit

Canadian woman arrested at US border with sloth, crocodile parts.” I don’t know how else you’re supposed to repair your crocodile these days. She also had “two horseshoe crabs, 30 sea stars, 23 raccoon feet, eight African antelope horns, one human skull ‘with mounted butterflies,’ four puffer fish and six shark jaws.” Shoot, a feller could have a pretty good weekend on Tumblr with all that stuff.

Everyone is Beautiful and No One is Horny,“ wrote Raquel S. Benedict in Blood Knife back in February, about how bodies in films look impossibly perfect and sexy now, but we only use them for violence. Not a today tab, technically, but it’s a holiday, we’re bending the rules a bit. But are the whales horny? According to The Economist, the aptly named humpbacks are breeding so prolifically in Australian waters that they may no longer be threatened. And closer to home, “Humpbacks Caught Singing In NY Waters Raise New Mysteries About Their Lifestyles” writes Gothamist’s Sophia Chang. I’ve never really thought about whales having a lifestyle, per se. Can humpbacks really have it all? Something something “kill all menhaden.” I’m still workshopping this one.

Glitch Mom

It’s a new month, so please welcome June Intern Linda Yu. To the extent there is a “typical” intern, Linda isn’t one. For example, she already has four tabs written, and a doc with 20 more topic ideas, which is infinitely more preparation than I’ve ever done. She’s also not really on Twitter, if you can imagine. I have already read some of what Intern Linda has coming up, and since March she’s also occasionally been emailing me a random complete intern tab out of the blue for no apparent reason, so I am not just guessing when I say you’re probably going to like this month in Intern Tabs.

We’re going to try not having commercial intern sponsors this month, which basically means I’ll pay Intern Linda and if you like her work or want to help me support her, you can donate or subscribe (for 20% off!) to do that. At the end of June I’ll let you all know how that went.

As a youthful college dropout over five years ago, I applied to the inaugural Tabs internship and received an extremely kind form rejection.1 In the time since: I joined a union, read the home purchase contract of a certain Palo Alto tech oligarch, learned to operate a jet bridge, and—like every other Bay Area Asian—contemplated moving to Socal or becoming a UI designer, before somehow wandering back into higher education. So now I am writing to you as a third year university student in the United Kingdom—where I have turned pale like a fish belly due to lack of sunshine—and re-reading my original Tabs application was like listening to a recording of my voice.

In an earlier Tab, Rusty mentioned a website that you should definitely “not” use, where you can access most academic papers by their DOI numbers. It might amuse you to know that the site's founder is Stalinist from Kazakhstan, but then, it's not entirely surprising that the founder of a decentralised piracy platform is that kind of nerd. As the kids say: sksksks stream Ninety-One. I am “not” saying that you might need sci-hub occasionally this month, but I am also that kind of nerd, so my intern tabs are going to cover a range of academic papers on random bullshit. In the next month I will bring you topics like Chinese memes, the Mysore state’s relationship with South Indian coffee ordering practices, and new discoveries in why the cow pattern is like that.

Expect this kind of energy I guess:

The Intern is sponsored by: you the readers! If you already subscribe, you’re already helping (thanks!), but you can also donate here if you want to. If you don’t subscribe yet, you can get 20% off your first year and help pay Intern Linda right here:

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Tomorrow: Toad Worship, an actual thing, not a Tumblr aesthetic. Well I mean… also kind of an aesthetic. You’ll see.

Formal Demon

Turns out Kyle Chayka’s “Sketch for an NFT-Based Media Company” wasn’t a joke. Over the weekend, Kyle raised around $30,000, depending on what ETH is worth at the moment, with three limited edition NFTs to fund the next season of his newsletter Dirt, which you already know about because I love it and link to it here all the time.

Moon Skeleton

Feeling Socially Rusty?” Not particularly, but thank you for asking, New York Times. Me John, Big Tree. The New Yorker’s Ben Munster on the fiasco of Steve Bannon’s Gladiator School (don’t worry, it’s short). The Mississippi Free Press talked to some of the “lazy” restaurant workers who “don’t want to work,” and you’ll never guess what they found. Mark Stenberg suggests a newsstand-like “Monthly Access Payment” for digital paywalls, and I would also like this please. Is Who, Weekly a Them now or…? Nicole He and Eran Hilleli’s “Invisible Roommates” augmented reality demo shows all the communication between the devices around you, in cute cartoon paper airplane style.

Today’s Song: Balkan Beat Box, “Bulgarian Chicks”

~ The shruggie is real ~

Your final tumblr aesthetic is: les mis piece of shit. Thanks to Intern Linda Yu, and thanks to you for donating or subscribing to sponsor her. I’m @fka_tabs and @TodayinTabs, and my aesthetic is bear craving honey. El oso quiere miel, ohhhhh Papi!

1

This is true, my form rejections are notoriously kind. —RF