Mission Accomplished

The trucking industry is desperate for labor.

James Kirchick kicked off the inevitable Armie Hammer redemption effort in Air Mail1 with a million word feature claiming that [deep breath]:

  • Hammer’s cannibalistic sex slave fantasies were driven by childhood sexual abuse,

  • BUT ALSO they were initiated and enthusiastically planned by the women who accused him of sexual assault and manipulative behavior,

  • AND they are not even a big deal, actually, in fact they are widely shared sexual interests that are not even in the DSM anymore,

  • AND for that matter he is very sorry,

  • AND he was drunk,

  • AND on a lot of drugs at the time,

  • ALSO MAYBE some of it was driven by his conniving not-quite-ex-wife who is trying to get custody of the kids,

  • BUT who told E! that Hammer is: “trying to be ‘the best father, the best person he can be,’” so she’s kind of also a character witness here, as you can see,

  • WITH SPECIAL GUEST STAR Dan Savage who pops in to say that kink-shaming famous people is a terrible social problem these days.

I feel like I hallucinated half of this story during a fever, but I guess we’re welcome to choose whichever combination of excuses resonates with us? It’s never a great sign when a feature comes bundled with a “Why We Published This” post. If Kirchick couldn’t make that clear in 9,000 words, I don’t know what Graydon Carter thinks he’s gonna add. The reader is meant to be left with the question: if the six foot five inch tall, conventionally handsome scion of a generational climate destruction fortune can’t be a movie star, and can’t even make some extra cash illegally selling time-shares in the Caymans, hasn’t #MeToo gone too far? I don’t know, man, I think there are other jobs? Thousands of people drive trucks for a living. Maybe look into that.

Toot by @woodyluvscoffee@ohai.social: “Server: Here’s your imitation crab. Me: I also ordered a Coke. Imitation Crab: “𝙄 𝙖𝙡𝙨𝙤 𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝘾𝙤𝙠𝙚.””

The only worthwhile thing Armie Hammer ever did was inspire Anne Helen Petersen’s 2017 BuzzFeed story “Ten Long Years of Trying to Make Armie Hammer Happen,” which reminded me this morning that Adam Brody played Seth in “The O.C.” and also played Seth in “Fleishman Is In Trouble,” which is a pretty inspired bit of casting. The Cut’s Rich People Stuff correspondent Caitlin Moscatello talked to some “Rachels and Libbys” across the Ridgewood to Upper East Side cultural axis who are having a tough time digesting a show that pitilessly portrays how unbearable their lives are.

Her takeaway from the show: “Both avenues are shit. You can stay in New York and climb, climb, climb and never get where you need to go and give yourself a nervous breakdown, or you can move to the suburbs and be like, Who the fuck are these pod people? Neither seems great. Is the secret to it all that we have to just choose a lane and embrace it?”

It’s an accurate read of the show, but I think we’re meant to see these characters from the outside, where we know that life offers more than those two options.

For example, you could choose to be one of the five women that #grustle bro Simon Berens hired to awkwardly sit behind him and shame him into being productive for 16 hours a day (as well as normal adult-man mommy stuff like cooking and chores). You could be the CEO of Goldman Sachs and a professional amateur DJ like David Solomon, the first person in history to become his own nepo baby. You could spend all your time devising ever more elaborate role-playing scenarios to trick ChatGPT into saying the n word. You could be a producer of the famous Broadway flop “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark,” like George Santos. Or you could be Vice President of the United States like Dick Cheney, who in 2006 shot his hunting partner Harry Whittington in the face with a shotgun. Whittington finally died this weekend, aged 95.

George Bush in front of the famous Gulf War “Mission Accomplished” banner.

News For Nerds: Twitter will allegedly turn off free API access this Thursday, killing thousands of the bots that make the service valuable. The policy is already being haphazardly modified by CatTurd Support Technician Elon Musk, who suggested there might be a “a light, write-only API for bots providing good content,” which would be worthless for most legitimate bots and irrelevant to bad actors, who will simply use the app keys. Meanwhile, Michael H. Keller and Kate Conger report that surprisingly, firing all the moderators has allowed child sexual abuse material to flourish on Twitter. Over on Mastodon, the Nuzzel replacements keep getting better. Kotaku: “Twitch's Popular AI-Powered Seinfeld Show Gets Banned For Transphobia.” Why did the milkshake duck cross the road? And you can laugh at boomers sharing every Las Vegas magician hoax video they see on Facebook if you want, says Chris Stokel-Walker, but TikTok is full of zoomers doing the same thing.

Gif of an audience flinching at the Lumière brothers 1896 short “The Arrival Of The Train At La Ciotat Station” from the 2011 film “Hugo.”

Alex Russell roasted the last decade of popular frontend web app frameworks in “The Market for Lemons:”

The complexity merchants knew their environments weren't typical, but they sold highly specialised tools as though they were generally appropriate. They understood that most websites lack tight latency budgeting, dedicated performance teams, hawkish management reviews, ship gates to prevent regressions, and end-to-end measurements of critical user journeys. They understood the only way to scale JS-driven frontends are massive investments in controlling complexity, but warned none of their customers.

Amy McCarthy just wants to eat grownup Lunchables for every meal, and that’s extremely normal. Are you implying that it’s “picky” to have a meltdown if your chicken tendies touch your mashed potatoes? How dare you.

RIP Jericho (Who Was Also a Lion):

And finally, this Slate post by Andrew Bullis on what it’s really like to be a veterinarian is exceptional but set aside a quiet hour or two to get over it.

Today’s Song: Ber, “Your Internet Sucks”

Yes this is peak Indie Girl Voice but I like it. Welcome to the last two weeks of Season Seven! Has it been season seven for a thousand years now? Objectively, yes. Do we even remember what previous seasons were like, or when they happened? That information is lost to the sands of time. I feel obligated to warn you that I’m gearing up to offer a great subscription deal at the beginning of Season Eight, in early March, so if you’re like “I want a great subscription deal!” probably just wait for that? I’m really doing you a favor here, against my own interests. But if you are the kind of oppositional-defiant personality that would take this as a direct challenge to subscribe right now and show me exactly what you think of my so called “great” “subscription” “deal,” I will reluctantly cater to you as well:

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