Oliver Tabs; or, the Pundit Boy's Progress

Please, sir, we don't want any more

It’s January of a midterm election year, the starving time for political pundits forced to scrape in the frozen dirt for the tiniest hint of a take or the foulest, most wizened husk of a column idea. Thomas Friedman, wrapped in rags against the cold, eyes red-rimmed and rheumatic, unwraps a stinking parcel and presents it with a leer. “Biden… Ch-Cheney 2024?” he wheezes. “Biden-Cheney 2024?

“Get away!” you cry, disgusted, and cuff his pox-ridden ear, forgetting for a moment your own humanity and descending to his level of wretchedness. He capers away, gasping, plucking cornhusks and potato peels from the reeking gutters to fashion his next revolting column.

But no sooner are you free of him than Douglas E. Schoen and Andrew Stein reel from the half-rotten door of a flophouse, staggering and clutching each other for support, and yelling “Hillary Clinton’s 2024 Election Comeback!” Right behind follows the worst of them all, Chris Cillizza, braying “let’s break down these ideas one by one!”

Focused as you are on avoiding Schoen and Stein, who spray spittle as they jabber something that sounds like “stained, stober, spable and crodunktive,” you accidentally let Cillizza get close enough to clutch your arm with a pale hand, clammy and horribly soft, like half frozen bread dough. “Come down and consider the merits with me, beautiful,” he hisses. “It’s so dark.”

White House Official Ridicules Idea of Sending Free N95 Masks to Everyone,” reports Matt Novak, which means in three weeks the Biden administration will announce they’re building a website where you can request free masks, in two months they’ll announce that the website is only a couple weeks away but meanwhile your health insurance will be required to reimburse you for masks starting next week, and in three months they’ll declare the pandemic over. Again.

Meanwhile in ol’ Knifey, Boris Johnson is not sure what a “party” even, like, is, man, and in Turkmenistan they’re attempting to close the Gates of Hell after 51 years. Better late than never I suppose.

Back in June we heard about a new DC-based media company that raised $10 million and recruited Matt Yglesias for a vaguely-defined advisory role. Today it launched with the name Grid News and the general look of a Medium vertical from two pivots ago. It appears to be pre-post-social media and aimed at people who someone is already treating like an audience, so we may never hear another word about it, but I would say to them: good luck, and if you see Chris Cillizza, run.

I absolutely despise copycats. Shameless copying is so dumb,” posted the guy who would go on to brag about the numbers his Wordle ripoff was doing in the app store yesterday. Apple took all the Wordle clones down, and this developer posted what is probably the closest you can get to an apology in grustle-bro culture. No lessons were learned.

Andrea Long Chu wrote what’s being described as a pan of Hanya Yanagihara’s new novel but is more like a general roast of her entire life and career.

Indeed, Yanagihara’s onslaught of horrors could allow readers to block out, like a childhood trauma, the fact that they were reading luxury copy. Her first book was quite literally a travelogue written by a pedophile; in To Paradise, Yanagihara has not lost the familiar voice of a professional chronicler of wealth. Here are rose-hued Oriental carpets, dark-green douppioni-silk drapes, wood floors polished with macadamia oil; here are wok-fried snow peas, ginger-wine syllabub, a pine-nut tart (another one!). As in A Little Life, Yanagihara cannot help giving cheerful directions as she maneuvers her characters, tour guide–like, through New York. “We’ll cut across Christopher, and then go past Little Eight and east on Ninth Street before turning south on Fifth Avenue,” a minor character proposes during a crisis.

I want to quote the whole thing, but just go read it yourself.

Visit Roy's NFT Emporium on the Web 3.0, “guaranteed non-fungible and backed by CSV technology.” Condom sales have “slumped as much as 40% in the last two years,” as apparently everyone has been busy rawdogging their podmates. Emily Stewart wrote about the modern day Beanie Baby market, in a piece that will be a must-read for NFT collectors in 2046. MAGA app Gettr finds out that moderation is hard. I guess we’re smoking again, and the Times is On It. Anil posted a link to show you what your current Twitter timeline was saying 14 years ago.

Finally: a full hardcover “MR. BOOP” collection is currently on pre-sale. If you don’t already know what that is… probably don’t investigate.

Today’s Song: Radiohead, “Just”

~ He smiles a lot. But I think there might be tabs inside him making him smile. ~

In the discord yesterday, Clay said something about Dickens and I think it infected my brain, sorry. The discord is fun though, subscribe to join (or reply and ask me if you already subscribed and can’t find the link). Come down here and read tabs with me, beautiful. It’s so dark.

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