The Badlantic Strikes Again
The Atlantic’s nasty little goblin twin gets loose, and we return to New Zealand: "A Land of Contrasts."
It was a peaceful week at The Atlantic, a week when even David Frum was making as much sense as he ever does. Caitlin Flanagan has been quiet since November, and Charlie is still trying to get his Substack subscribers moved over, as always. All was well.
But at dawn yesterday, The Atlantic’s nasty little goblin twin, vicious Leonard to its harmless goofball Lanny The Badlantic crept out and scrobbled its way through the ventilation ducts to the magazine’s main posting deck where it dumped this reeking carcass of a take by American Conservative contributing editor Matthew Walther, a writer and thinker so inept even other far-right Catholic integralists find him embarrassing. “Where I Live, No One Cares About COVID,” he claims, which certainly doesn’t include the doctors begging him and his neighbors to stop spitting their COVID juice in each others mouths. Steven Thrasher pointed out that it also doesn’t include the 800,000 dead (so far), and Jay Willis noticed that the ”typical American,” 83% of us, lives in an urban area, not Walther’s imaginary yokel pastoral. Jamelle Bouie flagged his wild dismissal of infant formula as a “silly novelty.” Other silly novelties apparently include: “no-fault divorce, factory-sliced bread,” and “frozen meals.” He also claims that “my wife and nearly all of my female friends” are problem drinkers.
The only good news for The Atlantic is that this awful post isn’t the most cursed piece of media involving Matthew Walther, a distinction claimed by his seemingly drunken 2016 Chapo Trap House appearance. But Walther’s post is currently number one on The Atlantic’s Popular list, so I’m sure all the right lessons have been learned.
AWS posted a quasi-explanation of what happened in the big outage last week, which was basically “the little network that lets us manage the big network had a computer whoopsie,” but it contains this outstanding piece of ops postmortem circumlocution:
This code path has been in production for many years but the automated scaling activity triggered a previously unobserved behavior.
If you’ve ever been involved in any kind of cascading computer failure you will both wince and lol at the story here.
In media news, as the WSJ reported yesterday Vox is indeed buying Group 9 Media and its grab bag of leftovers which include pivot-to-video patient zero NowThis News, POPSUGAR, the digital media equivalent of a “Live, Laugh, Love” poster, and the Lerer kids’ vanity media projects. “Lol. Lmao,” replied Vox’s Jim Bankoff, who will lead the combined company, when asked if this deal was in fact a “merger” as the WSJ reported.
Graydon Carter’s Air Mail raised $17 million, and claims to have 130,000 readers and 50 staff. Is any of that possible? I don’t know! But this report comes from Sara Fischer at Axios, who previously got the scoop about Ozy’s 20 million newsletter subscribers, so I guess it must be true. Hollywood Reporter legend Janice Min just joined baffling Hollywood industry newsletter The Ankler, to create “a network of business-focused subscription newsletters for the entertainment industry,” along with the ubiquitous but vague “podcasts & events.“ It will be funded by Our Regrettable Platform Substack and equally regrettable tech incubator Y Combinator, for some reason. Apparently the Ankler subscriber list is “a Who’s Who of power in the entertainment community.” If direct access to a “Who’s Who of underpaid toilers in the media community” is worth anything to you, my DMs are open.
It’s been a while, but the Hobbits are still extremely At It, so let’s check in with the:
From its soaring mountain peaks, to its… flatter areas, New Zealand is a land of contrasts. It’s a land where Member of Parliament Julie Anne Genter rode her bike to the hospital while in labor and gave birth less than an hour after she arrived. But it’s also a land where a bad service experience turned John “Sausage Rolls” Bishop into an ex-customer, and spawned an RNZ radio appearance, a confession that “It was me. I ate all the sausage rolls,“ a thrilling hunt for the missing sausage rolls, and some epic poetry. It’s a land where dogs are named “Captain Nana Spider-Pig Wolfstein The Second“ and “Nuggie McSchnugglebutt.” But perhaps most of all, it’s a land where orgies are open again.
Etc.: In the democratized future of art and commerce, a typo costs $297,000. Meanwhile, everywhere but Maine: People are just finding out about Max Linn for the first and presumably last time. Former Tabs editor Reyhan Harmanci wrote about the distinctive pleasure of running into an acquaintance again, even when you quickly realize that you know them because they’re your enemy. ”Ex-SpaceX Engineer Claims Elon Musk Is 'Sadistic,' Misogyny Is 'Rampant',” reports Maxwell Strachan in Vice. I think this is the first sexual harassment allegation I’ve seen that was published along with an NFT? Seems weird but if you want to spend $26,000 on some commemorative cringe, who am I to tell you not to.
Finally, in Bird News: “Friendly, foul-mouthed crow befriends entire Oregon elementary school before state police are called in.”
Today’s Song: Low, “More”
~ She says it may be a happy Life Day for you, but personally she’s seen happier ones ~