People use the word “Kafkaesque” to mean an impossibly Byzantine bureaucracy, but Kafka’s stories are just as much about that funny feeling of confronting something so bluntly self-parodic that the only response is half brittle laughter and half despair. Tomorrow a 90-year-old William Shatner will blast off for the edge of space from Jeff Bezos’s West Texas penile colony in one of Blue Origin’s hazardous weiner-shaped rockets. John Herrman wrote about the new billionaire space race compared to the original U.S.-Soviet space race, on an Eighteenth Brumaire “first as tragedy then as farce” vibe. And in Popula, Christopher Schaberg looks at it as an aesthetic project: Blue Origin and SpaceX gentrifying the giant leap for mankind into a hyper-exclusive AirSpace in space.
Twitter Support @TwitterSupportThe option to remove a follower is now rolling out to everyone on web.
We’ve once again reached the nadir of political discourse between two Presidential elections traditionally marked by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson floating his possible electoral ambitions. Last time it was to Caity Weaver in GQ, this time it’s to Chris Heath in Vanity Fair. Your feature writers were so preoccupied with whether they could profile Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, they didn't stop to think if they should.
For every cow… turn, turn, turn… there is a bean… turn, turn, turn.
Let’s catch up on the current Discourse, after this musical interlude from Hall and Nails:
Ozy is hiring! If you’re interested, you might want to let Eugene S. Robinson tell you what it was like to work there. Robinson also suggested that Ozy founder and CEO Carlos Watson has previously unsuspected acting talents. Sounds like an exciting opportunity. Meanwhile the Bad Art Friend discourse grinds on, with The Daily Mail posting a recap that was picture-heavy enough to finally get Jesse Singal and the calipers brigade interested. In The New Yorker, Katy Waldman reviewed the actual story at the heart of the dispute: “the prose is bad.” Michael Hobbes rewrote the Times story in chronological order from legal filings and without Kolker’s storytelling skill, and concluded that when written badly, the story “is probably not worth a New York Times feature and absolutely not worth the weekend I have spent reading blurry screenshots in PACER pdfs.” Fair! Lyz Lenz declared that Dawn Dorland, Sonya Larson, me, you, herself, and the Discourse are all the Bad Art Friend which seems if not satisfying, at least self-evidently correct. And after 29 days adrift in their tiny boat, rescued Solomon Islanders Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni took one look at the developing Sally Rooney BDS discourse, grabbed a fresh bag of oranges and headed right back out to sea.
I said delete your account in Embedded. Kaitlin Phillips threw a party. Isaac and Delia took a walk. A Canadian apologized. Netflix responded to the criticism of lazy comic Dave Chapelle’s transphobic new special by suspending a trans employee. “Time millionaire” is apparently a new thing to envy not being, along with “money millionaire.” Josh Barro will never stop having terrible food opinions. Just saw #TheEternals, and although I've been sworn to secrecy about its mind-blowing and game changing revelations for the #MCU, I can simply say it's like *nothing* you've ever seen before. Mythic and intimate, cosmic and diverse, what the community has been waiting for.
Maxine Waters @RepMaxineWatersI have been hacked and my Twitter account has been erased. I know who has done this. I will take care of this. M Waters.
And finally, let’s go way down south to the
Today’s Song: No Age, “Life Prowler”
~ the first time as tragedy, the second time as tabs ~
Thanks today to Tabs Senior Shadow Hyphenation Editor Silvia Killingsworth. Hey, The Atlantic: call me. 📞😉 The rest of you, put down your espresso martini and follow @fka_tabs. And if you don’t subscribe already, this is as good a time as any to correct that oversight.