Marie Antoinette Reports on the Breadlessness Crisis
"Let them eat cops."
Someone at The Badlantic did too many caviar bumps and commissioned literal heiress Nellie Bowles to explain why voters were right to recall Chesa Boudin last night, and to not quite explicitly say that San Francisco’s homeless population should be bulldozed into the Bay. “Between the bead curtains of my aunt’s house, I learned you had to let your strangeness breathe,” writes Bowles, about the Bohemian doorways of her Aunt Bea’s Russian Hill mansion, where a younger Nellie and her aunt “collaborated on parties” and were presumably not too inconvenienced by San Francisco’s already growing housing crisis.
And who is to blame for the city’s woes? “Progressives” of course, a convenient catch-all that can mean anyone from The Weather Underground to elderly homeowner NIMBYs who oppose all development, depending on who Bowles needs us to blame in a given sentence.
San Franciscans tricked themselves into believing that progressive politics required blocking new construction and shunning the immigrants who came to town to code. We tricked ourselves into thinking psychosis and addiction on the sidewalk were just part of the city’s diversity, even as the homelessness and the housing prices drove out the city’s actual diversity. Now residents are coming to their senses. The recalls mean there’s a limit to how far we will let the decay of this great city go. And thank God.
This is the end of the article, and you won’t find any actual solutions to the problems of the homeless population here. But if you’re extremely alert you might notice that she links “homelessness” and “crime” in virtually every paragraph, which Tom Scocca pointed out that Shane Goldmacher also does in the New York Times today, casting a primary election in L.A. and the San Francisco district attorney recall as “a stark warning to the Democratic Party” from “voters in California.” It has been clearly demonstrated that the solution to homelessness is giving people homes, but as Henry Grabar wrote in Slate, that isn’t something you can accomplish by recalling a district attorney. So get ready for another cruel, expensive, and absolutely fruitless wave of criminalization and “broken windows” police harassment and brutality.
Yes, San Francisco dumping its progressive DA Means Something. But it doesn’t mean everything, and it doesn’t necessarily validate the pre-existing worldviews of authoritarian TV hosts or Substack opinion-havers for whom San Francisco serves as an allegory, concept and modifier more than as a city.
Speaking of the homelessness crisis, Emily Gould will not move to New Jersey, so please stop suggesting it. I have received some questions about Today in Tabs’s dedication to chronicling the wall to wall Gould/Gessen coverage, so if you’re wondering why you should care: you absolutely shouldn’t. I appreciate your patience as I work through this embarrassing personal compulsion. Anyway we also learned today that the family only has one NYMag subscription, and it’s in Keith’s name.
Gabriella Paiella visited the headquarters of Life is Good for GQ and discovered that the founders are actually living stick figures. Horrific. Enjoy Matt Levine’s soothing good-humored baritone on The Longform Podcast, and I’m only partly saying that because he once again gave Today in Tabs credit for inspiring him to start Money Stuff. Hanna Rosin’s tweet from yesterday was so bad that it got the Bechdel Test updated:
If only William of Ockham would come back and say that sometimes things do have to be complicated. Are Disney Adults just members of an especially dumb religious cult? And if so, does that mean we should stop making fun of them? (Yes and no, respectively.)
Twitter will oblige Elon Musk’s demands for data by subjecting him to the full force of the firehose, so good luck sifting through five hundred million tweets a day to figure out who is a bot I guess. I’m not saying you should, but if everyone tweeted “Elon is a butt” four or five times a day, now we know he could see it. Vice’s Edward Ongweso Jr reports that “2 Burned Poops = 1 Shit Beast.” Once again, there is no joke NFT project so stupid that it couldn’t be a real NFT project. In Hell Gate Nick Pinto reports on the developing feud between New York mayor Eric Adams and former New York mayoral candidate Eric Adams. And in The Present Age, Yashar Ali sort of responds to the LA Magazine profile of him that came out a year ago and no one remembers. I think it basically just said he was kind of a weird dude, and Yashar going silent for a full year and then quibbling over how many times a week he goes to mass is not really refuting that.
And Finally: The Fence asked Nobel laureates what they don’t understand about their fields and other questions unrelated to Nobel Laureation.
TF: Have you ever emailed something to yourself, received the email notification, thought ‘Ah, an email’, before realising it’s just the very email that you sent a second before?
Prof. Frances Arnold (Chemistry, 2018):
All the time. My inbox is clogged with notes to myself. I talk to myself, too.
Same, Frances. Same.
Today’s Song: Petrojvic Blasting Company, “Princess Andy”
~ what a piece of work is a tab ~
Tabs is late today because I was sleepy. My t-shirt guy texted me yesterday that the first batch of Tabs t-shirts are going into production. More news on that very soon, but I can tell you that if you really want a t-shirt the best thing to do right now is become a paid subscriber. This whole Petrojvic Blasting Company album is great, by the way. They rebranded as The Blasting Company and did the Over the Garden Wall soundtrack but haven’t put out very much other music, as far as I know.