It’s March seventh, Pi Day in the traditional Pythagorean Calendar, and Parker Molloy wishes a “Happy Casamir Pulaski Day to all who celebrate.” In Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture the Sessho-seki or “Killing Stone” has cracked open and released the imprisoned spirit of nine-tailed fox demon Tamamo-no-Mae to once again sow international murder and chaos. Good luck in breaking through the ambient background level of that. Also fractured, according to Megan Garber, is the American attention span, and I sympathize with her argument but at the same time Anna Peele just opened a Bustle story about Kourtney Kardashian with this paragraph:
Kourtney Kardashian has pulled down her pants and is showing me her underwear. Not her underwear exactly, but the underwear she is currently wearing, which normally houses the groin of her fiancé, Travis Barker. “They’re Balenciaga,” she says through an enormous smile, showing off the black cotton.
I’d love to, as Garber urges, “give [our many crises] the undivided focus that emergencies deserve” but the phrase “houses the groin of her fiancé” just hard-formatted my brain and I haven’t been able to hold on to any other thought for more than… uh anyway Dr Kate Lister collected the first known semi-scientific data set on the prevalence of hedge porn.
Speaking of broken attention spans, Bari Weiss is still out there profitably hawking bougie Goosebumps tales of sPoOkY CaNcEl CuLtUrE, but New York Times Opinion has already moved on to Bari Twice, in the form of University of VA sea lion Emma Camp’s lament that her college friends feel obliged to keep their shitty opinions kind of quiet so people don’t think they suck as much as they do. Emma: Welcome to Substack. But at least that’s the worst thing we’ll see on Times Opinion tod—
Last week Insider media reporter and three-time Academy Award winning director of “Schindler's List” Steven Perlberg wrote about the New York Times’s opaque side-project approval politburo system, and quoted Taylor Lorenz expressing the last two decades of j-school conventional wisdom:
"Younger people recognize the power of having their own brand and audience, and the longer you stay at a job that restricts you from outside opportunities, the less relevant your brand becomes."
Because it was said by Lorenz, who covers a beat many reporters find insufficiently serious compared to, say, New York City real estate development gossip, this otherwise unobjectionable view prompted sneering callouts like this one from a new co-worker of Lorenz’s at the Washington Post:
Steven Perlberg @perlbergNYT editors are focusing on staff retention as policies about outside projects spark frustrations. “The longer you stay at a job that restricts you from outside opportunities, the less relevant your brand becomes,” says ex Times reporter @TaylorLorenz https://t.co/z0OxSXTMg4
And this, from another Washington Post co-worker:
A charming welcome to her new workplace. Lorenz has been very open about the intensity and scale of harassment she experiences, so a few more mean tweets from Maggie probably don’t move the needle much, but Politico’s Rachel Bade won the bad-tweet aggregation smarmstakes with her header “JOURNALIST HEAVYWEIGHTS TO TAYLOR LORENZ: SIT DOWN” and conclusion that “Lorenz will have to get used to the pushback in her own industry.” Lol, but in a very real sense: lmao. Liz Spiers followed just about every useful thread in this whole mess, focusing on the question of journalists as brands, but if you look at the Haberman tweet that really kicked it all off it’s clear that this is purely about contempt for the subject of Taylor’s work:
They’ll all be sorry when Taylor’s the most powerful reporter in the world during the Logan Paul administration.
Jason Johnson: The new Batman is just another fucking cop. Today in moose. Extremely Fungible Tokens. NYT tech workers vote overwhelmingly to unionize and the GMG union pried a good deal out of the Herb. The Duolingo blog really goes above and beyond answering the question “Is Ukrainian a different language than Russian?” The trucker convoy vastly underestimated DC beltway traffic. Farida Rustamova: “‘They’re carefully enunciating the word clusterf*ck:’ How Russian officials and members of parliament really feel about Putin’s decision to send troops to Ukraine.”
And finally Joyce, what do you think a lion… is?
Lorenzo The Cat @LorenzoTheCatThey Made It Out---lions from a sanctuary in Ukraine have arrived at Poznan Zoo in Poland. Although the volunteer convoy was surrounded by Russian tanks and shot at, they arrived safely. Traumatized and tired, the lions are fine. Thanks to @ifawglobal for their assistance. 🇺🇦 https://t.co/K6LanpOSUd
Today’s Song: Nena, 99 Luftballons
~ Neunundneunzig Jahre Tabs, ließen keinen Platz für Sieger ~
I was kidding up top about it being Pi Day. It is, of course, actually Star Wars Day. I tweet under the increasingly inaccurate handle @fka_tabs. Also author, advice columnist, and tabloid darling Heather Havrilesky and I do an occasional advice column here called Today in Polly. If you are wrestling with a life issue, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and perhaps we can help in an upcoming episode.