What Did We Learn?

A good news / bad news situation for RFK Jr.

Yesterday I complained about the lack of good tabs lately in order to prod the monkey’s paw of discourse to shake a finger, and this morning The Cut came through with pseudonymous writer Evelyn Jouvenet’s essay about her physically healthy but emotionally terrorizing mother’s assisted suicide in Switzerland at age seventy four: “The Last Thing My Mother Wanted.” The specific last thing her mother wanted, it turns out, was to unsubscribe from Politico. Relatable.1  

And in an even more obvious response to my plea, today The New York TimesSusanne Craig reports that Robert F. Kennedy Jr., would-be presidential spoiler and the last damp squib of a once-proud American crime family, has actual brain worms:

The doctor believed that the abnormality seen on his scans “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died,” Mr. Kennedy said in the deposition…

About the same time he learned of the parasite, he said, he was also diagnosed with mercury poisoning, most likely from ingesting too much fish containing the dangerous heavy metal, which can cause serious neurological issues.

This leaves us with the hilarious possibility that his brain worm died of mercury poisoning. A real good news / bad news situation for Mr. Kennedy.

@vegetablegremlin@jorts.horse posted an AZ Quotes meme with a picture of Ursula K. LeGuin and the quote: ”We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable - but then, so did the popularity of dubstep. For awhile it was like, you can't go anywhere without hearing the stuff, and now it's like "Skrillex who?" I dunno maybe people are still into it. I shouldn't talk shit. Always getting my dumb ass in trouble talking shit. Anyway if you know any cool new dubstep hit me up in the DMs. —Ursula K. LeGuin”

Futurism continues to own the A.I. content marketing scammer beat, with Maggie Harrison Dupré reporting that AdVon, the affiliate marketing grey goo factory that effectively killed Sports Illustrated, also had deals with “more than 150 publishers.”

An earlier, archived version of its site bragged that its publishing clients included the Ziff Davis titles PC Magazine, Mashable and AskMen (Ziff Davis didn't respond to questions about this story) as well as Hearst's Good Housekeeping (Hearst didn't respond to questions either) and IAC's Dotdash Meredith publications People, Parents, Food & Wine, InStyle, Real Simple, Travel + Leisure, Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living (IAC confirmed that Meredith had a relationship with AdVon prior to its 2021 acquisition by Dotdash, but said it'd since ended the partnership.)

AdVon is currently being put out of business very gradually by Futurism calling each of its customers one by one to ask if they’re ashamed of themselves. Meanwhile Garbage Ryan reports that all of social media is A.I. goo now. We don’t need to grieve for it. Nobody will miss it.

Jordan Stone is somehow the opposite of all that:

FTX now has enough money to pay all account holders back with interest, as the larger crypto Ponzi somehow continues unabated. (A) Uh, good for them I guess but (B) no this doesn’t mean SBF didn’t do any crimes.2  Also Matt Levine points out that:

If you had $100 in your FTX account in November 2022, your money got locked up for two or three years, but eventually you’ll get back $118 or so, which is something. But if you had 10 Solana tokens in your FTX account when it filed for bankruptcy, they were worth about $143, and you’ll get back perhaps $170 or so. Meanwhile 10 Solana tokens, today, would be worth about $1,480. If you had one Bitcoin at FTX, you’ll get back $19,600 or so; one Bitcoin is now worth more than $62,000.

Lol. Lmao.

Uncle Duke posted: “i think someone might want to check in on the laffy taffy guy” with a picture of a Laffy Taffy wrapper that includes the joke “Why does the cow say moo? So that he might, for a brief moment, escape the unbearable scream that is silence.”

What Did I Learn?

Many of you sent me tabs yesterday and I learned so much.

I learned about Animal Crime: After dragging the victim of a car crash out of his car and into the woods, a Massachusetts bear “wandered away while police were at the crash,” presumably out of professional courtesy. I also learned from Jake Bienvenue what it’s like to be the Chik-fil-a cow and get beat up by a whole dojo of vicious Taekwondo kids. And apparently there is a “global monkey torture network?” What the hell. We don’t need that!

I learned about Art: Yesterday’s centaur sculptor David Černý made a giant rotating David Lynch head in Santa Monica, and Aron Wiesenfeld‘s Post-it note art is cool. I also learned that Jeff Koons’ “authorized” moon lander artwork “Jeff Koons: Moon Phases” will probably outlive both of those, as well all other earthbound art and the existence of humanity.

From Joshua Rigsby I learned that Babyland General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch Kids are born, not only still exists but still puts on an unsettling “live birth experience.” Stretching the “today” in Today in Tabs to a geological scale, in 2003 the Tampa Bay Times reported that “Tampa's 1958 Snow Show was an epic fiasco.” I include it here because headline technology in 2003 was not as developed as it is now, and this headline significantly undersells the disaster that unfolded when a thirty two year old adman attempted to create a winter wonderland in Tampa, FL. I don’t know what category this is but these two tabs have the same vibe in some ineffable way.

I learned that Dudes Rock: including Victor Wembayana who rocks at basketball and “Three co-workers” who rock at spending their "day off burglarizing cars at Oakland airport.” And I learned that Garth Brooks was a college javelin thrower. Don’t stop rocking, dudes.

And finally I learned that according to Marie Solis, Miranda JulyWrote the First Great Perimenopause Novel,” but we’re all still waiting twelve years later for the Congressional report on what exactly Miranda July’s whole thing is.

Everyone who sent me a tab yesterday, thank you! It was a delight reading them all, whether I found a place for yours above or not.

Not a delight is the news that legendary musician and producer Steve Albini died yesterday, far too young at age sixty one. In memoriam, here’s his landmark 1993 Baffler story, “The Problem With Music,” which has been made free for everyone to read. RIP Steve, you were one of vanishingly few people who ever grew out of being an online edgelord.

Today’s Song: Big Black, “L. Dopa”

No Big Black on Spotify so this one won’t be in the playlist, sorry.

1  I feel ethically obligated to remind everyone that you can unsubscribe from Politico any time you want, and a fatal dose of Nembutal is not required. If you find yourself identifying with the mom in this story, please call 988 and they will help you find safer ways to stop reading Playbook.

2  I asked Liz and she said no, and that the judge specifically addressed this possibility in Bankman-Fried’s sentencing. I imagine she’s working on a post about this already.