The Ackmanaissance

Oops! All kids left behind.

Bill Ackman is back, man, with a profile by Elizabeth Dwoskin in The Washington Post on Saturday that he did not care for (link included for journalistic integrity, do not click). The Post profile mostly just makes it clear that Ackman is an overconfident dimwit whose personality is “tall.” But the Ackmanaissance got more fun this morning with a delightfully shady New York Magazine profile by Reeves “Read” Wiedeman, so here are:

The eight best New York Magazine roasts of Bill Ackman that he won’t understand:

  1. San Jose drip on a Manhattan budget:

    “When we met, Ackman, who is 57, wore navy Allbirds and a Bremont watch1 that glowed whenever he pulled up the sleeves on his stone-colored quarter-zip.”

  1. Mentioning that Ackman’s office is in the single most soulless part of an island that also contains Midtown and Times Square:

    “We were on the ninth-floor headquarters of Pershing Square’s offices on 11th Avenue, in the part of Hell’s Kitchen dominated by car dealerships…”

  1. Lol:

    “‘I use Twitter as a source of information — I should say ‘X’ to be respectful to Mr. Musk,’…”

  1. Generally its portrait of a life shaped by former New Republic owner and racist ghoul Marty Peretz, and specifically the horrors evoked by this sentence:

    “Ackman joined Twitter in 2017, when Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker recommended the platform over dinner at Peretz’s house.”

  1. Henry Blodget catching strays for writing like a golden retriever:

    “He called a ‘director’ at Business Insider, who promised to look into the issue, agreeing that the definition of plagiarism had become so broad as to be meaningless. (While Ackman didn’t name the director, employees at Business Insider recognized his writing style — ‘If you ever get sick of managing money, you will be in great demand as a writer. I know from experience that it is harder than it looks!’ — as belonging to Henry Blodget, the site’s founder and chairman, who is fond of using exclamation points.)”

  1. The Amanda Palmer of the Hamptons:

    “‘I was in a restaurant two weekends ago — the whole restaurant gave me a standing ovation.’

    I asked where the restaurant was. Ackman smiled. ‘This incredibly diverse community called the Hamptons,” he said.’”

  1. He will not in a million years notice anything askance about this line:

    “We’d been talking for nearly an hour and a half when Ackman asked me what my name was…”

  1. And finally, no one can roast Bill Ackman harder than Bill Ackman can roast himself:

    “…the Financial Times published a quiz testing readers’ ability to tell the difference between Ackman’s tweeting and Patrick Bateman’s unhinged inner monologue from American Psycho. ‘I took the quiz,’ Ackman told me. ‘And I got a perfect score.’”

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman making his "Oooh!" face.

The tasteful thickness of it

Today in Sports:

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last night, as scripted by the NFL, the Democratic Party, and the CIA. In a spectacular halftime show, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce appeared on stage at midfield to declare their mutual love for surprise guest Joe Biden, who then officiated at their impromptu wedding. After a stunning costume change and obstetrics-themed dance number, Swift gave birth to the couple’s first child: a nonbinary baby named Psyop Voteforjoebiden Twentytwentyfour Kelce-Swift, who was born singing the Star Spangled Banner (Woke Version) and made everyone watching turn gay. Congratulations to the Kelce-Swifts, their biological President Joe Biden, the Deep State, and Gay America.

Also Today in Sports: "Matt Damon Stars In Super Bowl Commercial Promoting Paper Money” and dynastic embarrassment RFK Jr. ran a Super Bowl ad promoting his 1960 Presidential campaign. When everyone got mad he apologized on Twitter, explaining that despite being the only candidate in the race to vote against the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, he regrets any harm or offense caused by the ad, which he had nothing to do with and has never seen. At press time it was still his pinned tweet.

lanyardigan posted: “Gimme Magritte, boys, and free my soul / Ceci n’est pas une rock ‘n’ roll / Green apple face”

“Part Four: Here and Now”… The name of Part Four suggests that he will perhaps lay out a list of blockchain projects that are currently successfully solving real problems.

This may be why Part Four is precisely four and a half pages long.

In Vice Jordan Pearson reported that Dixon’s VC firm A16Z and companies it’s linked to put the book on the bestseller list with bulk purchases, although that only takes like 2,000 copies so it’s possible they were just trying to kiss Dixon’s ass and made his book a bestseller by accident.

Stingray Jesus anticipated. Cheese crisis looms. The category 6 hurricane has already arrived. Driverless cars provide revolutionary advances in arson safety. Crown Heights “eco-yogi slumlord” house for sale. We can, should, will, and must eat the old egg. Live Aella dating show (not safe for anyone) (also… this??). Liz Lopatto’s ten year Slack retrospective. I was looking at a Tabs from 2015 today and one of the Intern sponsors was Slack. I guess the ad worked.

Boulet posted: “Le débat du lundi: Batman est-il techniquement un furry ?”

And Finally: A pair of great posts by philosophy professor Adam Kotsko. In Slate, Oops! All Kids Left Behind, and some different but related thoughts on his blog about knowledge vs. information here at the end of the Google age:

ChatGPT… promises to give you exactly the information you’re looking for in an unobtrusive “neutral” prose style. Much as I hate ChatGPT—and I do hate it with all my heart, unconditionally, unchangeably, eternally—I do get why that fantasy is attractive. But it is a fantasy, because as the man says, there is nothing outside the text. There is no such thing as the raw information devoid of presentation and context. We can’t get at that raw information, and we certainly can’t program computers to do so, because it does not exist. It is a fantasy, and it is increasingly a willful lie.

Today’s Song: Say Now, “Not A Lot Left To Say”

~ We sit outside and argue all night long about a tab we've never seen, but never fails to side with me ~

Scheduling Note: Today in Tabs was off at the end of last week because I was inexplicably sleepy. I was sure I was getting sick but then I didn’t get sick? So I don’t know what that was about. Anyway this is the last week before the end of Season Nine, which feels like it’s been going for about eighty metric years now. The traditional inter-season hiatus will begin this Friday, February 16th, and I’ll be back for Season Ten (!) on Star Wars Day: Monday March 4th.

Thanks to Music Intern Sam and Dark Brandon. They both know what they’ve done.

1. I’m not a watch guy™ so I Googled this, and as far as I can tell, Bremont watches are for when you want to spend $5,000 to look like you’re wearing a Timex Weekender.