Going Post-vi On The Vaporweb

"There is no peer-reviewed research to back up the effectiveness of a delulu moment."

It’s Gentleman’s Friday and I wrote two good posts already this week so I am coasting today. If you want quality please visit (or revisit) the previous two posts:

But maybe I’m not coasting. Garbage Ryan says the web is vapor now so maybe I’m just “going post-viral on the vaporweb.” Maybe I’m having a delulu moment. In The Guardian Alaina Demopoulos investigated whether “‘delulu is the solulu’ to make one’s dreams come [true-lulu]” and listen to me, are you listening: yes it is. My biggest red flag is that I one hundred percent believe in “manifesting,” or “being delulu” or whatever you want to call it, as a way to weaponize Baader-Meinhof to your advantage and be alert to opportunities that you otherwise might not have noticed. Or maybe it works by energy field resonance or *gestures vaguely at the moon*. After all, writes Demopoulos, “there is no peer-reviewed research to back up the effectiveness of a delulu moment.”

Omegle, a randomized anonymous video chat service whose Wikipedia page is basically one big “Controversies” section, shut down today, and the developer wrote the most intense “Our Incredible Journey” post I’ve ever seen.

Virtually every tool can be used for good or for evil, and that is especially true of communication tools, due to their innate flexibility. The telephone can be used to wish your grandmother “happy birthday”, but it can also be used to call in a bomb threat. There can be no honest accounting of Omegle without acknowledging that some people misused it, including to commit unspeakably heinous crimes.

Meanwhile tweens are sticking out the gyat for the rizzler and The Times is On It. Low-key the funniest part of this article is how no one really digs into “sigma” at all. Probably wise. I guess we’re definitely calling the kids born from 2010 to 2025 “Generation Alpha,” which means Generation Omega won’t be here until 2055.1 

Is Soap Woke?

Some terrible twitter account posted: “Did you know that literally no animals wash their hands and they are fine. They eat of the ground where other animals poop. How dumb are we to think that we needed soap and hand sanitizer to survive as a species 👀”

Today in the Awl Inflection Point:Jezebel, the Pioneering Feminist Website, Will Shut Down” or to put it less passively, Jezebel will be shut down by G/O Media herb and omnifailure Jim Spanfeller who finally managed to choke out the news in the eleventh paragraph of his windy media executive bullshit ass-covering memo. Hopefully Jezebel will be reborn as a coöp soon. Automattic has learned that “scaling social media” isn’t a thing that happens anymore on Joe Biden’s vapor web, and will cut back staff and ambitions at Tumblr. Congrats Andy Baio on the dubious distinction of what I believe is the first Threads post in Tabs. Jazmine Hughes confirmed that her “resignation” was forced, urging other NYT Guild members not to:

…view my resignation as reinforcing management's messaging that they can formally discipline employees without going through the process outlined in our contract.

We’re gonna need a whole profile about this. Did they lock her in an interrogation room or what exactly happened here? Someone please report this out. And Hearst is now asking employees to snitch on each other if they see any “controversial” activity online:

A new social media policy at publishing giant Hearst Magazines warns staffers that even “liking” controversial content could result in their termination, and encourages telling on colleagues who post content that could violate the rules.

This is the perfect recipe for weeding out employees that have a conscience and leaving your news organization entirely staffed by vicious sociopathic corporate climbers, way to go Hearst.

Shaqsquatch: “best package warning graphic i've ever seen” with a picture of the box that 5kg of mealworms came in, with a graphic that says “WARNING: Do not open outside” showing a safety-cartoon guy being absolutely swarmed by birds.

Intern Kira’s first week was pretty stellar, and she’s also keeping up with her own newsletter at the same time. She’s a marvel! Here she is to explain who’s not such a marvel these days.

Is Marvel Finally Flopping?

Does girl power no longer slay at the box office? Variety predicts that Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels, MCU follow-up to 2019’s Captain Marvel, is on track to make a measly $60 million on opening weekend. For comparison, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour opened to $92.8 million, the three-hour-long Oppenheimer made $80 million, and Barbie gobbled up $155 million. So maybe girl power does sell. 

These disappointing numbers for The Marvels come after months of speculation about the MCU’s long-term health, including Variety’s recent deep dive into Marvel’s supposed “crisis.” It doesn’t help that The Marvels comes four years after the first film and had an arduous journey to the screen, including four weeks of reshoots. Critics (sexists?) questioned DaCosta’s commitment when she flew to London for another project during post-production. 

Lack of enthusiasm for The Marvels may be a symptom of a larger problem. Two different studies suggest that viewers are experiencing superhero fatigue. Marvel’s strategy in 2020 was to ensure there was always MCU content (and I do mean “content”) on screens somewhere, whether it was a streaming series or film. This may have backfired, as their commitment to keeping everything connected weakened the strength of each individual narrative. We’re supposedly in Phase 5 of the MCU, which means what, exactly? Who knows. Who cares!

Overworked and underpaid Marvel VFX artists just voted to unionize, while Kevin Feige is deep in his multiverse bunker, adding more string to the crazy wall. Martin Scorsese, our favorite silly goose, once compared superhero movies to a theme park, but is the MCU the theme park from the opening sequence of Final Destination 3? Only Feige’s juiced-up galaxy brain has the answer. 

—Kira Deshler is Pepe Silvia.

Did you ever read an essay and just think: “dude… what?" Here’s Will Harrison in The Baffler about… something. Taylor Lorenz? Israel? Memes? I don’t know.

Around this point, I realized that my own “research process” involved posting, trolling, scrolling, geeking, tweaking, and freaking out. I had already driven myself mad, made myself miserable, turned myself into a contemporary Lear wandering the wasteland of the digital heath.

Put your phone in a box and put that box in the ocean, Will.

Tabs’ Own Christian Brown posted: “wrote the phrase "Minions: Miami Vice" in a work slack and now my brain is just chugging along imagining that. minions in a speedboat chase. minions doing a drug bust and the suitcase is full of bananas. things of that nature”

Elon Musk once suffered a mental breakdown amid growing concerns that his reputation was becoming tarnished while running Twitter, writer Ben Mezrich claims.” Lol. Minnesota state flag redesign submissons. SAG strike over: labor wins again. And Bari Weiss’s grievance academy University of Austin officially joins the ranks of America’s Historically White Colleges and Universities with authority from the state of Texas to award students a bachelor’s with a hard R.

Today’s Song: UPSAHL, SLAYYYYY (SIDE B) ft. Lay Bankz

This might be our last contribution from Music Intern Sam for a little while, as he’ll be on paternity leave starting today. Congratulations Sam! If you’d like to suggest a Today’s Song, hit reply and do it. That’s it, that’s the week. Tomorrow: something for the homies. Subscribing? That’s a slay.

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