Everything Happens So Much

It's more of an anxiety pile in an apocalypse bowl.

For the next ten years and still counting, everything did indeed happen so much. And while very few tweets have the rhetorical oomph to create a conceptual framework for over a decade, they can still be useful. For example, Nash Flynn’s “apocalypse pile:”

What’s on the apocalypse pile today? The newspaper business has been a slow apocalypse for some time, but today Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab noticed that the daily newspaper of “Florida’s Friendliest Active Adult 55+ Retirement Community,” The Villages (pop. 129,752), sells only slightly fewer copies every day than the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, serving a metro Atlanta population of 6.9 million.2 

“Wow, that’s bad news,” you might think, you infant, you naïve baby. But that’s not even the bad news. What puts this on the apocalypse pile is that despite circulation declines exceeding 90%, print newspapers still make most of their revenue from print ads. Benton cites Axios reporting that this will continue until:

2026. That’s how long it’ll take for newspapers’ digital ad revenue to “eclipse” print ad revenue. Though as the chart shows, it’ll be that weird kind of “eclipse” where the Moon stays perfectly still for a decade while the Sun goes black dwarf.

But don’t think everything’s peachy in digital media either. Jen Wieczner has an update on the disastrous BuzzFeed SPAC, which is “now trading at just $1.68 — a decline of nearly 85 percent since the moment it went public on December 6...” How screwed were ex-employees who took lower pay in exchange for stock options they were later prevented from selling? And did Ben Smith have any trouble unloading his shares, in between covering his conflicts of interest for the New York Times and going into the soup business? The answers to these questions and more will absolutely not surprise you.

The U.S. Supreme Court seems determined to keep clawing its way to the top of the apocalypse pile. In The Guardian, Moira Donegan documented how the majority in the praying football coach case Kennedy v Bremerton School District simply made up facts to suit their desired outcome in favor of Coach Kennedy’s “private” religious observance:

Before his departure from Bremerton, Kennedy spent months working with his media-savvy legal team to draw attention to his own prayers. The football games became a chaotic mess of culture-war politicking, with reporters, politicians, and evangelical Christians flocking to the field to witness Kennedy’s displays and join him in prayer. Parents complained about the shambolic “stampedes” of Kennedy’s fans, who would run, phones outstretched through the stands to join his prayer circles at the end of the games, sometimes knocking people down.

At least they aren’t ready to throw out the malice standard in American defamation law (yet). Maybe they watched the Johnny Depp trial and decided they didn’t need to. Richard J. Tofel has what might seem like an obvious suggestion: what if reporters covering the Supreme Court treated the nine unelected wizards of our third branch of government like they were politicians? What if we started….

…covering the annual selection of judicial clerks in the same way we do the staffing of other key federal agencies. Who are these young people? What do we know about their views? Who is sponsoring them for their jobs? To whom are they indebted or obligated?

My advice is to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and set keyboard macros for “Yale Law” and “Federalist Society.”

Instead of paying lifeguards more, Eric Adams is “rolling out a public campaign for awareness about drowning.“ Speaking of drowning, “Lake Superior hasn't wrecked anyone like this since the Edmund Fitzgerald.” And what happens when your boat gets wrecked? If you’re lucky you wash up on a desert island. If you’re not lucky you wash up on Desert Island Discs with Bono talking about his surprise half-brother and how annoying even his own band finds him. Fellas, it's been good to know ya.

Crypto is always the comic relief of the apocalypse pile, and sure enough here’s Charlie with a good little collection of web3 hucksters unable to explain why web3 is useful for literally anything. Given a friendly podcast and a wide open field to pick his own use case, Egg still can’t do it. And ninety-nine-centcoin Tether, the keystone of the entire defi ecosystem, continues to insist it is fully backed by cash and cash equivalents and only regrets that no one has ever invented the concept of an independent third-party audit. Yes, it hasn’t actually returned to its $1.00 peg since Terra collapsed, and maybe “hedge funds have been borrowing millions in loans to short USDT” since then, but I’m sure everything is fine.3 

Today’s Song: Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

~ that good ship and true was the bone to be chewed when the tabs of November came early ~

Does any one know where @fka_tabs goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours? The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay if they'd put @TodayinTabs behind her. They might have split up or they might have subscribed, they may have broke deep and took water. And all that remains is the faces and the names of the generous paying subscribers.


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