Welcome to the Non-Fun Squad Universe
"groimes would you loik an idit battan"
Hyperdivorced Scrooge McDork Elon Musk, “both the wealthiest and most insecure person on the planet” according to Matt Novak, turned Twitter into a meme stonk by buying 9.2% of the company while filing the wrong type of disclosure, late. Did you ever notice that laws literally don’t apply to rich people? “This is revolutionary new territory for shitposters everywhere,” writes longtime Elon chronicler Liz Lopatto. When you take a position in a public company this aggressively, it’s only natural to assume that the CEO will, uh, do goofs and gags with you online and then appoint you to the board, I guess. But in his board agreement, Musk promised not to buy more than 14.9% of the company, and this piece of paper will definitely restrain him. Ranjan Roy traced the roots of all this to Musk’s ongoing dispute with the SEC, a government agency tasked with watching rich people commit securities fraud over and over. Bosses don’t read this footnote:
Also Today in Dystopia:
“iHeartMedia building new NFT network for podcasts,” transcribes Sara Fischer in Axios directly from an iHeartMedia executive.
iHeartMedia is currently in talks to make 10–15 investments in prominent NFT collections over the next few days—including CryptoPunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and World of Women… The idea is to combine the IP from the various NFTs it acquires into a content collection that it will call the "Non-Fun Squad" universe
What does any of that mean? Who wants this? Why would owning NFTs have anything to do with creating podcasts? …are just a few of the questions Fischer didn’t ask. Also unasked: any other question. Not content with trying to ruin podcasts, the NFT hucksters are going after rock climbing too, according to a deeply credulous story by Owen Clarke in Climbing Magazine. “What do NFTs have to do with climbing?” asks one subhead. Nothing, absolutely nothing. The UK’s Royal Mint plans to issue an NFT this summer, but to be fair, this is far from the worst thing the Royal Mint has ever done. In Vice, Edward Ongweso Jr reports that Axie Infinity is mostly digital sharecropping now, with “managers” owning the game’s assets and “scholars” employed to actually play it, for a living. Everyone involved understands it to be a Ponzi scheme and is just hoping not to get stuck with the bag. Meet Will, the “first homeless person in the metaverse,” according to someone who’s never played Grand Theft Auto. “Robotic dog equipped with a loudspeaker broadcasts anti-pandemic measures in eastern China” is a hit of the purest crystallized cyberpunk dystopia. And according to Ken Klippenstein in The Intercept, Amazon is planning a worker chat app that blocks union-related words. Everyone’s focused on “fire” and phrases like “this is dumb,” but what really landed for me was the prohibited trifecta of “diversity,” “ethics,” and “fairness.”
Here’s a type of guy so new he’s not even on the Wheel of Guys yet: a guy who’s tweeting through his time as a research subject in a dysentery vaccine study. This is why we post. ✊
After angering staff by too quickly firing Fred Mogul for one story that contained credited AP content, WNYC management has now also angered staff by being too slow to take any action against Jami Floyd, the subject of this opaque Gothamist editor’s note who copied from Wikipedia in dozens of articles, reports Sara Krolewski in The Fine Print. According to a statistician, WNYC’s new editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper is on average doing great.
“More Than Half of the Working Day Is Spent Kinda, Sorta Working,” reports Bloomberg, optimistically. The big headline scoop of Sean Campbell’s NY Magazine story is about the six million dollar house that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation secretly bought in Southern California, but the real red flag for me was the line: “BLMGNF was awarded tax-exempt status from the IRS in December 2020… But BLMGNF has not submitted [a form 990] for 2020 or 2021.” 🚩🚩🚩 Demi Adejuyigbe’s “Lana Del Rey - City Mouse” (feat. Natalie Walker) is on Bandcamp, so now you can download it and forget it’s not an actual LDR song. And Amy Schumer’s lawyer apparently has much better comedic judgement than she does.
The “world’s first legally authorized Austin Powers impersonator” is running for mayor of Auckland, and The Spinoff’s Alex Casey made an impassioned and convincing case that he should run (and presumably serve if elected) in character. Also the ocean is glowing, because New Zealand is made up.
Today in Bones: Ashley Harrell has a great feature in SFGate about conflicts between cattle ranchers and the state’s tiny but growing population of gray wolves that doesn’t end the way you think it’s going to, and includes this incredible bone pile:
Today’s Song: Happy new Wet Leg day! It’s “Ur Mum.” Am I going to just post this whole album one single at a time? Signs point to yes.
~ ok, I’ve been practicing my longest and loudest scream ~
Hey I can keep clicking “everyone” in the “This post is for:” selector every day because more than two thousand of you choose to pay me for it! That‘s wild. If you like Tabs and want to help everyone keep getting it, it’s just $35 for a whole year, which Substack tells me is only $2.92 a month.
If you’re not sure yet, no worries! I’ll keep asking. And if you’re already one of the thrice-blessed host of paying subscribers: thank you so much.
Twitter workers, you have to form a union. It might already be too late but if not, it will be too late very soon. Find out who’s organizing inside your company, or talk to your friends at the NYT or Kickstarter. It will happen, the only difference is whether it’s too late to matter or not.