Tic Talk

We're all Beliebers now

Yesterday Off The Record whispered to its dozens of subscribers that The Believer’s masthead is looking a little sparse. As if they’d been hit with some kind of chiaroscuro Ben Smith exposé, UNLV and the Black Mountain Institute immediately announced they would be shutting down the literary magazine, since it “consumed a significant portion of BMI’s resources” and with only a few small tweaks to the branding and print assets it could be relaunched as the far more profitable Justin Bieber fanzine The Belieber.

Also Today in Rebrands: Alex Heath reported in The Verge last night that “Facebook is planning to rebrand the company with a new name,” in the tradition of corporate evildoers ever since The East India Company rebranded itself “The British Government.” But what could Mark Zuckerberg’s cornucopia of pawsome animal stories rename itself? Kapie has some suggestions you can vote on, but maybe they’ll just go with the NFL option and call it “The Menlo Park Website.” “Succession” rebranded the opening credits for season 3, with some savage new headlines. Kanye is rebranding as Michael Myers, and John Hinckley is rebranding as a Poster.

If you read Intern Linda in The Browser you already knew about the Tourette-like “mass social media-induced illness” that researchers have documented in Germany and the U.S. Yesterday Julie Jargon focussed on one specific case in the Wall St. Journal which humanizes the dry medical research papers, but also starts to fit the story into what Ryan Broderick points out is an existing techno-panic-shaped box that might not be appropriate here. Researchers believe this is the worst fake-Tourette’s outbreak since the devastating “Motherless Brooklyn” crisis of 1999.

Take a deep breath. Wu-Tang’s famously Shkrelified single-copy album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” is now owned by distributed crypto-org PleasrDAO, stay with me we’re gonna get through this, who want to bring the album “to the people,” but “it’s gonna take a long time to be done right,” reports Elias Leight in Rolling Stone. Elsewhere in crypto nonsense, “Realms of Ruin” is an impending young adult lit NFT project that the famously level-headed and welcoming YA community is greeting with a characteristic spirit of open mindedness. Here’s a brilliant founder/author who reinvented GoodReads in order to “disrupt the publishing industry.” What could go wrong? And the new Sonya Larson story is just savage.

Chappelle fans, with signs featuring phrases such as “Jokes are funny” and “Dave is funny,” squared off with walkout participants with posters that read “Support, uplift, protect trans voices” and “Gender is NOT a fact. Educate yourself.”

…oh. According to James Vincent, that Delphi AI oracle is partly trained on data from Reddit’s r/AmITheAsshole, which might explain why it thinks “that eating babies is ‘okay’ as long as you are ‘really, really hungry.’” And a belated happy None Pizza With Left Beef Day to all who celebrate.

Today’s Song: Let’s have some more Petey, with “We Go On Walks”

~ I grew up on the crime side, the New York Tabs side ~

Registered at the Post Office as “the kind of obsessive completists who might recognise it.”

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