Norm McDonald passed away yesterday at age 61, as did his cancer, which was somewhat younger. It was a draw. He was equally well known for being funny and for never quite achieving the level of success that it seemed like his talent merited, two things that Dan Brooks argues were related in the new Gawker’s first good post. According to a text from Andy Richter’s sister, he was the only nice famous person that ever lived, but there are others who disagree. Nothing I could say here would be funnier than Norm casually roasting Carrot Top on Conan, or even close to as funny as the moth joke, so do yourself a favor and watch those clips and have a laugh, a thing Norm can’t anymore because again: he’s dead now.
Late-Breaking Grift Updates
Scammer James O’Keefe scammed by business email compromise, like a parasitic wasp that turns out to have another parasitic wasp preying on it. The Litecoin Foundation promoted a fake press release claiming it was “partnering” with Walmart, before issuing an abashed oopsie. Was it a crime? Matt Levine thinks it’s at least “too fun a fraud not to prosecute.” At press time, authorities were looking into the question of what exactly “Litecoin” is. “Anti-Vaxxers Are Now Gargling Iodine to Prevent Covid-19” reports EJ Dickson. “Fuck me, of course they are,” responds an ER doctor who has had more than enough of this stupidity. Bologna smuggler thwarted. Elizabeth Holmes’s partner’s dad attended her jury selection incognito and attempted to engender sympathy for her among reporters, posing as a regular guy in regular guy Ferragamo loafers. This confirms that she has finally found her way into the right scamily. Liz Lopatto has an update on how the trial is going: so far it’s focused on financial minutiae. The unexpected outbreak of Southern Gothic rages on, with the news that the South Carolina lawyer with embezzling charges and a pile of bodies littering his recent history hired his oxycontin dealer to shoot him in the head as part of an unnecessary insurance scheme to deliver a $10 million payout to his surviving son, whose name is, and I take no pleasure in reporting this: Buster.
It’s not a grift (as far as I can figure) but Nicki Minaj’s now-legendary testicles tweet does, Miles Klee points out, fit the pattern of every outrageous lie ever told in middle school. Ballsgate continues to develop, with Tucker Carlson “forced” to correct his previous inaccurate reporting about whose testicles were swollen, though like the pig in the adage, he clearly enjoyed it. Today, the health minister of Trinidad & Tobago denied that any such case has happened, and according to Trinidad TV, “any man have a flat tire, ok?” They will both be forced to seek shelter in a secure location as soon as Nicki’s deranged online fans “the Barbz” find out. Reached for comment, one-time artistic collaborator Jay Z remarked: “invisible man, ghost, xenomorph, abominable snowman, gremlin, chupacabra.”
Stephen Marche made up a theory about “literature today” based on picking random sentences out of carefully selected books and wrote a long, boring explanation of it in LitHub. The theory is: Sally Rooney isn’t as good as Philip Roth. Now you can decide whether you agree or not and save yourself a lot of time either way. Datasette Desktop is ”a tool for data journalists, to help report on data-driven stories, crunch through large datasets and publish the results.” Looks neat. The NYC Subway has an “off” button I guess? Kiwi Korner: A vengeful Zeus hunts N.Z. National MP Maureen Pugh for unknown reasons. And back in Ol’ Knifey: “Police have issued a warning to shops over a concerning new viral trend involving baked beans.” Please, I beg everyone: read just ONE other book. The world’s biggest container ship, the Ever Ace, is headed for the Suez but don’t get your hopes up, 2021 isn’t going to give us this again.
Today’s Song: B. Dolan, “King Bee” (the whole “House of Bees” mixtape collection will come out on vinyl, if enough people want it)
~ Question: what do these tabs all have in common ~