Soviet Tabs Theory

There's a wolf spider watching you right now. (It’s not where you think.)

I have a real Wednesday situation going on in my tabs. For example: Eton is closed because the toilets are clogged up. The Princes and Young Masters cannot be expected to begin spring term without a functioning conduit for the least salubrious byproducts of their studies, wot wot. But also someone discovered a new pen name used (probably) by Louisa May Alcott in the 1850s. What do these have to do with each other? Absolutely nothing.

Conservatives are trying to keep flour white, threatening to boycott King Arthur “for holding a competition exclusively for people of color-owned businesses and brands,” reports Katherine Huggins in Daily Dot. As if we needed another reason to love the employee-owned, Vermont based flour company. And Molly White reports that the Peregrine-1 moon lander was carrying a physical bitcoin. “However, due to a fuel leak, the moon lander and its bitcoin cargo are stuck somewhere in space with ‘no chance’ of making it to the moon.” Lol. Again, I’m putting these things next to each other in the hope of triggering some kind of Eisenstein montage effect where your own brain tricks you into seeing a relationship between them, because I’ve got nothing. And Defector’s Corey AtadCan’t Stop Watching ‘Tenet,’ And I Finally Know Why.” Is it weed? (It’s weed.)

@krystal.swor.ds posted: “i know not with what instruments Mambo No. 6 will be played with. but Mambo No. 7 will be played with sticks and stones”\

Ok here we go, this is something:

Today in Animals

Sabrina Imbler reported out the story about Sephora’s spider-attracting body butter and found there’s probably no truth to it and also there’s a wolf spider watching you right now. (It’s not where you think.) Also from Imbler: “The Year In Parasitic Wasps.” A shamefully Beatrix Potter-ass mouse was caught tidying a retired Welsh postman’s shed each night. In fact, if you had a nickel for every time Rodney Holbrook found a mouse tidying up a shed, you’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it happened to the same guy twice, right? In the world of digital animals, there is Neopets advent giveaway drama. And here is Gaia, allegedly The World’s Deadliest Cat:

An extremely adorable 8-month-old black-footed cat named Gaia sits in a snuggly little cat bed and looks at the camera with the biggest shiniest kitty eyes, literally begging for snoot kisses, but apparently she would murder us all without hesitation.

I can fix her.

Today in Cancel Culture

Food for hungry children canceled in red America, reports Annie Gowen for the Washington Post.

Republican governors in 15 states are rejecting a new federally funded program to give food assistance to hungry children during the summer months…

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she saw no need to add money to a program that helps food-insecure youths “when childhood obesity has become an epidemic.”

There’s a quote that’ll blow your hair back. In TNR Ben Metzner reported that the Freedom Caucus is gearing up to cancel Mike Johnson for making the same budget deal they canceled Kevin McCarthy for, a.k.a. the only budget deal available. The entire midwest is devastated to learn that “more than 60 years and four generations of Krause ownership later, the Kum & Go brand will disappear by 2025.” “Get the merch while you still can,” broken-hearted native Iowan Liz Lopatto tells Today in Tabs. And David Zaslav’s latest boneheaded mistake at Max is cancelling “Our Flag Means Death” before its third and final season, despite one of the most active and engaged fandoms in media.

TayLo and WillOre caught up with the ongoing Substack fiasco at WaPo. Speaking of which, today Ryan Broderick announced that Garbage Day will also leave the right wing newslettering platform. Ryan identified something that hasn’t been mentioned enough, which is that instead of improving its core product, Substack spent the last year building a nonsense social media feed that doesn’t help writers find readers and instead ensures that independent writers suddenly have to care what the whole platform’s moderation policy is. Ultimately, he writes:

I don’t think newsletters like Garbage Day leaving will make a dent in Substack’s bottom line. And, honestly, part of me would feel better if they just said, “conservatives make us more money, so we’ll do what they want.” Though, that tends to only work in the short-term because conservative media is a race to an oftentimes violent and always irrelevant bottom.

An oftentimes violent and always irrelevant bottom? Let’s not drag Glenn Greenwald into this.

And finally Today in our Terrible Future, John Herrman went live on Tiktok selling a random mechanical pencil that he found on his desk, and reports that “within two minutes, I had hundreds of viewers.” Between TikTok’s “parent company ByteDance… [jamming] e-commerce directly into its platform’s promotional machinery” and Instacart introducing “smart” grocery carts that Albert Burneko imagines we’ll soon see “surveilling a series of grocery selections, analyzing them, and blaring the resulting personalized ad into the gray and haggard face of a broke gig-shopper who is dutifully following somebody else's shopping list,” it feels like we’re one step closer to the world of Keiichi Matsuda’s 2016 short film HYPER-REALITY.

Today’s Song: Kero Kero Bonito, “Only Acting”

The second half of this song is amazing. Brett G Porter and Jake Harris combined to remind me of that short film, and I thank them for it. I promised I was going to coast today, and I feel like mission accomplished on that. Join me back here tomorrow for: Email.