- Today in Tabs
- Happy Elliott Smith Memorial Content Day
Happy Elliott Smith Memorial Content Day
Just kidding, sad Elliott Smith Memorial Content Day. It's the way he would've wanted it.
I woke up this morning to Sasha Frere-Jones talking to Neda Ulaby on the radio about Dry January and getting sober and whether there’s any good music about sobriety. I feel like the verdict is still out on that question but of course the conversation started with the patron saint of not being sober, Elliott Smith, who:
Then I made breakfast and looked at my email and found a newsletter from Jude Doyle about “the Lana-Del-Rey-to-Red-Scare Pipeline.” Jude Doyle writing about problematic musicians and feminism and culture is pretty much ideal content, to me. Of course you can’t tackle Lana without considering Poptimism, and there’s SF-J again:
Oof. "I'm coming up on five years sober” is the first thing Frere-Jones said in the NPR piece, so I guess we can do the math on that.
Please do read Doyle’s whole post, it’s spectacular and I won’t waste both of our time trying to summarize it, but the point that grabbed me today over breakfast was:
I’m not inventing a convenient chronology here, this is literally how my day started. I finished the Doyle post and went back to email, and here’s a Welcome to Hell World from Luke O’Neil: “the latest in the Hell World series of ‘a bunch of writers or musicians I admire write about one of my favorite bands.’” Of course in the first paragraph one of the previous cadre of writers was a familiar hyphenated former New Yorker music writer, but he’s not one of the cast that O’Neil gathered this time to talk about Jason Molina.
In his own section of the post, O’Neil also finds himself thinking about Elliott Smith:
Why did the Great Spirit of the content universe conspire to land these three pieces on me one after another today, that feel so much like three panels of a triptych about the same subject? I promise I barely drink at all. I have no answers. My morning was, as you can image, a Big Mood. But hey Luke O’Neil: when you inevitably do one of these group newsletters about Modest Mouse, call me?
While the sad music boys are thinking about Elliott Smith, everyone else is thinking about tunnels. So far, 2024 is the year of the tunnel: Kala is currently shut down by the town of Herndon, but TikTok’s suburban Virginia Tunnel Girl was the first and shined the brightest. The existence of the Brooklyn Chabad tunnel is under some dispute, but even the post claiming there is no tunnel uses the words “…digging out a space for themselves under…” which is extremely tunnel-coded if you ask me. Of course Twitter is being very normal about the prospect of a “Jewish tunnel” in New York. Everyone involved in the war in Gaza is obsessed with tunnels; they’re the new Tora Bora cave complex. Boing Boing reports that “a 35-year-old gentleman in Virginia broke into a used car dealership, and when he didn't see what he wanted, tunneled his way into another car dealership next door.” And in Brazil, “A pensioner has died after plunging down a 130-ft hole he dug under his kitchen floor after dreaming he had gold buried under it.”
Is this even new? A Reddit post from back in 2022 is going around again: “How can I get my boyfriend to stop digging his tunnel?”
The boys are minemaxxing pitpilled molemogging undercels, that’s all there is to it.
David Roth on the New York Times and Claudine Gay / Neri Oxman / Bill Ackman. Ackman was back on Twitter last night admitting in five thousand six hundred partially new words of plainly AI-assisted tweet substantially all of the claims Business Insider made against his wife and also recounting in detail the ways he has no idea how journalism works. Charlie Warzel predicts that “plagiarism” is the new “fake news” and I’m afraid he might be right.
There’s a new AI gizmo, but I can’t figure out why it isn’t just an app. Neither can Richard Lawler. $200 one-time to run an unlimited cloud AI platform with no subscription fee? How is that possibly going to work? Also Today in AI: some losers made a fake “George Carlin” comedy special that would make George Carlin wish he could die again somehow. “Hello, my name is Dudesy!” Jail for one million years. BLOVO: ChatGPT for animals.
Today’s Song: Songs: Ohia, “Farewell Transmission”
Happy Gentlemen’s Friday, I hope you enjoy a restful long weekend if you celebrate MLK Jr. Day, or I guess even if you don’t. We all deserve a restful long weekend. I might take Monday off myself, so don’t be shocked if no Tabs arrives until Tuesday. We’ll see how inspired I am. But tomorrow there will be something for paid subscribers. I’m not sure what yet! Let’s see if you’ll get it:
You’re currently a free reader. I’m so glad you’re here, but you should upgrade if you want to get the Friday posts too.