The Détourne of Bruno
That title doesn't make any sense, but at least it's Friday.
“It’s always Tuesday somewhere!” as they say, and today somewhere is here. But every day is Friday (as they also say) so let’s take a casual Friday approach to this Tuesday content and see if we can end up somewhere around Thursday afternoon.
Bruno Latour died, and wow this casual Friday approach is already not going very well. Latour was the only French postmodernist who could write in a way that conveyed ideas, and maybe the only person in history who could look at a door hinge and think:
We have been able to delegate to nonhumans not only force as we have known it for centuries but also values, duties, and ethics. It is because of this morality that we, humans, behave so ethically, no matter how weak and wicked we feel we are. The sum of morality does not only remain stable but increases enormously with the population of nonhumans.
Also dead: Nikki Finke, who Hollywood was afraid of from 2006 to 2013, and then immediately pitied. If she ever wrote one good or memorable story, no one seems to have a link to it. Matthew Belloni called her “a journalistic terrorist” and claimed “Nikki once told me in blunt terms that she occasionally wrote horrible things she knew to be untrue about people in order to get them to play ball with her in the future,” but the meanest obituary was probably this fawning one in Variety, which she would have hated so much.
Today’s SooooOOOOOoooooOOOOOooong: It’s release day for “Poland” by Lil Yachty. Complex explains what this is for the 32 year olds in the Discord.
If you can think of another newsletter that keeps you updated on both Bruno Latour and Lil Yachty you should subscribe to it. Otherwise…
Today in Threads: Did the Google Glass team understand their product was doomed? Yes they did.
Today in Bad People: Elon Musk is representing Vladimir Putin in his attempts to negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine on Twitter, Matthew Champion reports Ian Bremmer reports. Seems extremely legal. I hope Ukraine isn’t running any sensitive communications through all those convenient free Starlink terminals. AI Joe Rogan interviewed AI Steve Jobs at podcast.ai, and the ninety seconds I listened to was exactly as dull and baffling as the first ninety seconds of every other Joe Rogan podcast. CNN shut down its Vault NFT project. My heart goes out to the Vault NFT buyers, they both deserved better. More like Weatherscan’t. Withdrawals are suspended from Celsius Network, but not for ex-CEO Alex Mashinsky who has taken out “almost $1 million in CEL and USDC… since the beginning of October” writes Sam Reynolds at Coindesk. That’s 33.8 crimes Fahrenheit.Tulsi Gabbard is the last to learn that Tulsi Gabbard is not a Democrat. And the only person in media with a worthwhile take on Kanye (present company included) is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Reeves Weideman has a Watcher update! Ok, it’s mostly a tie-in for the release of the Ryan Murphy Netflix series without any real news, but at least this gives me an excuse to introduce you to the saga of The Watcher of 657 Boulevard, Westfield, NJ if you somehow missed it in 2018.
Why Is Every Vox Article So Long? The first 60% of this Emily Stewart look into NYC’s booming but illegal weed retail market was really interesting, but I got full so I left the rest of it for you.
Dan Kois dug up the forgotten history of America’s most famous horny poet, Rod McKuen:
It’s hard to characterize McKuen’s fame, with its mix of books, music, and TV, in a contemporary context. “It would have been some combination of Rupi Kaur, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ed Sheeran,” said Stephanie Burt, a poet and critic who teaches at Harvard. “He was really that level of everyone knows who this person is.”
You know the song “Seasons in the Sun” right? Of course you do. “We had joy, we had fun…” That’s Rod McKuen! Sort of! Play us out, Nirvana.
Oh yeah I also liked this Matt Webb post: “I wish my web server were in the corner of my room.” Free shipping on t-shirts ok bye
I’m not sorry.