Tabs Poetry On The Game's Greatest Stage

In which we try, but largely fail, to determine whether things are real.

Are things real? This is one of the core questions of the Today in Tabs philosophical project, to the extent there is a Today in Tabs philosophical project.1 Yesterday left us wondering: Is Baby Gronk real? Is Livvy real? Is any of this stuff real? Fortunately “ReadMax Read talked to Henry De Tolla, the unblinking UMass lax bro whose Tiktok presented us with these questions, and found out that the answer is: “kind of.”

Tweet, with video, by @jobscantfindme: “baby gronk has committed war crimes in the balkans”

Also Kind Of Real: Michael Singer’s story about Game Three of the NBA finals for The Denver Post, which I assume is accurate but also can’t possibly have been written without Hunter Thompson’s Rolling Stone coverage of the 1974 Super Bowl in mind. Singer writes:

The Nuggets stormed into South Beach and stomped the life out of the crowd on Wednesday night.

With surgical passing and physical, hard-nosed play, the Nuggets seized control of the NBA Finals with a dominant 109-94 win in Game 3…

Their devilish pairing proved unstoppable. With endless counters and unquantifiable chemistry, the two shredded the Heat with their shared basketball language. It was hoops poetry on the game’s greatest stage.

Thompson continues:

The precision-jackhammer attack of the Miami Dolphins stomped the balls off the Minnesota Vikings today by stomping and hammering with one precise jack-thrust after another up the middle, mixed with pinpoint-precision passes into the flat and numerous hammer-jack stops around both ends…

This is probably something you only get to do once in your sportswriting career, so congratulations to Michael Singer on his Thompson Day.

The smoke in New York (and now DC) is real, but the usual coterie of culture war hucksters are out there telling your grandparents it’s either harmless to breathe, the result of Jewish Space Lasers and Antifa arson, or both. Tom Scocca reflected on how the Weather Reviews have gotten a little bit too real lately:

THE JOKE ABOUT reviewing the weather, originally, the first time around, was of course that the opinion of the weather critic didn't matter…

The longer I did it, though, the less funny or harmless that impotence seemed. Day after day, in aggregate, I wasn't just marking down the caprices of a distant God or the breathtaking variability of our changeable planet—I was, I had to understand, taking notes on a crime scene.

Hopefully the one million free N95 masks that will be distributed to New Yorkers today are real, but I fear this “buses are ableist” take is real as well.

Tweet by Justine Barron: “Transit purists caught in wildfire smoke can maybe think about if you expect disabled folks, asthmatics etc to wait outside for buses, no problem. And what about when the wildfires approach your homes? Wait outside for public escape vehicles??”

Squares and traditionalists may not approve, but the love between Baller the grackle and his tennis ball Kong is extremely real.

“He drops in and checks on [Kong] and then hops back up. And then sometimes he does the full song and dance. He comes every three to five minutes during the day.”

*spins chair around backwards* You know who else comes every three to five minutes during the day? Primates. And hey, today Pride feels real too.

Over a rainbow background, an acrostic reads “Par Robertson Is Dead Everybody!” spelling out PRIDE

It’s the last day of her first week as our June Intern, and I’m sorry to report that Intern Mariam has already…

Gone DeLulu Lemon

Conservatives are adding Lululemon to the ever-growing ‘woke companies’ boycott list after CEO Calvin McDonald stood by his decision to fire two employees who tried to stop masked thieves from making off with armfuls of merch. The narrative on the right was “they were fired for calling the cops,” but the company clarified it was due to their zero-tolerance policy for engaging directly with shoplifters. Anyone unfortunate enough to have worked retail knows this is pretty standard, and a good way to limit liability and potential injury. Lululemon is probably *especially* sensitive given *that one thing that happened.*

"It's only merchandise," McDonald very reasonably told CNBC in an interview that served as a pretext for trickster voice effect inspiration Ben Shapiro to rail against Lululemon for “pander[ing] to the woke crowd,” Fox News bobblehead Laura Ingraham to make foggy allusions to “the American ideal” (???), and a general weeklong meltdown from the most tragically brain-wormed people alive. Business as usual from the folks that don’t want service workers to make a nickel above minimum wage but expect them to literally put their lives on the line for yoga pants. GOD these people are boring. Say what you will about Alex Jones but the man knew how to put on a SHOW!

Alex Jones dressed as Geronimo Frost, the totally cool gay frog. He is definitely also very drunk.

What happens when the GOP runs out of stores and restaurants to cancel? I hope to never find out, for fear of losing delightful turns of phrase like “the Lord’s chicken.” “Gone budlight” was pretty good, but Gone (de)Lulu is even better. 

—Mariam Sharia is a totally cool gay frog

It’s extremely Gentleman’s Friday, so if you need anything more to distract you today or this weekend, let me leave you with Josef Adalian and Lane Brown’s Vulture dissection of how the television industry fumbled the most lucrative media business setup in history (cable carriage fees), and what comes next (????):

“The entire industry,” says the director Steven Soderbergh, who has been navigating structural changes in Hollywood since 1989’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape, “has moved from a world of Newtonian economics into a world of quantum economics, where two things that seem to be in opposition can be true at the same time: You can have a massive hit on your platform, but it’s not actually doing anything to increase your platform’s revenue. It’s absolutely conceivable that the streaming subscription model is the crypto of the entertainment business.”

Today’s Song: Mahalia, “Terms and Conditions”



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