Signs and Omens

My brain just went ⎣mode 7⎤.

A pure white horse, fair drench’d in bloody gore
from smashing glass of buses double-deck’d.
Another black as Night’s Plutonian shore
rampaged through streets as punters rubbernecked.

A boy but nine years old, yet fully fledged
the scream of gulls his throat’s contortion shrieks.
“Transform me to a Seagull Boy!” he pledged
when, tuna sandwich fed, he felt one’s beak.

While long-necked Karen’s snack unlocked but death
we may not bury our heads in the sand.
For NYFD’s robot drew not breath,
nor stimulated canine prostate gland.

It’s only Wednesday but Elon Musk and Tesla are already having a pretty terrible week. After recalling all of the paltry four thousand or so Cybertrucks shipped so far for a flawed accelerator pedal that can leave the seven thousand pound electric truck pinned at full throttle, an owner reported that his shift selector fell off the windshield. Why is it even on the windshield? No one knows. The company will cut about six thousand jobs in Texas and California, and announced a 55% drop in profit in yesterday’s quarterly earnings call upon news of which Tesla’s stock, which had been hovering in a “no man’s land” below $150, immediately shot up in after-hours trading above $160. As influential economist and Tool frontman John Maynard Keynes famously said, “a stonk can remain meme longer than you can remain solvent.” To obscure the dire sales news, Musk has been spewing an ink cloud of vague robotaxi promises, claiming as he has continuously for the last eight years that “full self-driving” is just a few months away. Last Friday a 28 year old motorcyclist was killed when a Tesla using driver-assist while its driver scrolled on his phone plowed into him from behind at full speed.

e.w. niedermeyer posted: “Tesla's automotive revenues are down double digits and it torched $2.5 billion in negative free cash flow, but they also "increased AI compute" by 130% so who is to say if the quarter was good or bad”

E.W. Niedermeyer seems to think we’re near the end of Musk’s ability to coast out of trouble on luck and what Dave Karpf described as “infinite rebuys,” writing that:

In this final choice, electing to hype a nonsensical robotaxi using a thoroughly debunked approach to driving automation instead of shoring up Tesla’s crumbling core car business, we see the logical conclusion of what this story has always been: a gambler who found himself in an industry that bankrupted most (if not all) of its gamblers a century ago.

I hope he’s right, but I’m not sure we live in a world that contains the possibility of consequences for an Elon Musk anymore.

Mikey Barbs going “Hmmmmm”

The face I made, watching this video of Kirstie Alley describing how her “parents were dressed when they died in a car accident?” Even Kirstie Alley wouldn’t be able to describe it.

Apple finds PDFs are just not hitting like they used to, cuts PDF Goggles Pro production and sales targets.

Today in Mask Off:Free speech absolutist” and Harper’s letter signatory Caitlin Flanagan tweets: “Dear NYPD: Please, please please arrest these faculty members.” And linguist and monumental dumbass John McWhorter, currently teaching (“teaching”) a music humanities class at Columbia, kicked off his New York Times Opinion column by admitting he has no clue what John Cage was trying to do:

Last Thursday, in the music humanities class I teach at Columbia University, two students were giving an in-class presentation on the composer John Cage. His most famous piece is “4'33",” which directs us to listen in silence to surrounding noise for exactly that amount of time.

I had to tell the students we could not listen to that piece that afternoon because the surrounding noise would have been not birds or people walking by in the hallway but infuriated chanting from protesters outside the building.

Higher ed in America today is paying $66,000 a year to have an anti-woke media scold tell your kid that John Cage only meant for it to be nice sounds.

Michael Barbaro says: “Explain that”

In case you thought his tweets were a mistake, Drew Carey went on After Midnight and reiterated that he had a really good time at that Phish show (pretty much SFW, you cowards).

Jessica DeFino is running a modern pubic hair preferences poll.

lanyardigan posted “CAUTION: Do not back up. Severe that thang damage”

Because no one else seemed willing to do it, Brandy Jensen wrote something good about the Poly Discourse, for The Yale Review.

It’s easy to have your scene ruined by annoying rich people (for example, San Francisco) or to make something cool sound uncool by talking about it too much (for example, weed) or to be right and yet still be embarrassing about it (for example, atheism). The lighthearted mockery of terms like “compersion” is mostly a harmless good time, until it inevitably provides cover for reactionary sexual politics. Suddenly someone is writing an essay in The Atlantic about how polyamory is bourgeois, and before I can even think, “That doesn’t seem right,” a bunch of revanchist weirdos eager to roll back the Sexual Revolution are chiming in on X to call polyamory both bourgeois and morally degenerate, and all the fun has been sucked out of my eye-rolling. And so I end up back in bed with the polyamorists, wishing they could figure out how to make having sex sound sexier.

M-Barbs says: “Right.”

Today’s Song: Alphabeat, “Boyfriend”

The biggest difference between Gen X and Millennials is whether or not you think this just sounds like Tiffany. Thank you Music Intern Sam for transporting me back to the mall in 1987.

So yeah, I guess I wrote a sonnet today? Sorry my brain just went ⎣mode 7⎤.