The Gay Days of the Week
Sorry, it's still just Wednesday for everyone.
Garrett Schlichte is right, working is homophobic. Here’s a followup with the whole article if you want to read it, and starting today Tabs will accept Gay Friday as an equal alternative to Gentleman’s Friday for any readers that are queer, or queer-identifying for purposes of avoiding work.
Unfortunately whether you’re gay or straight, today is just Wednesday and all of us have to work. According to the L.A. Times Yashar Ali will be hard at work avoiding the debt collectors who are trying…
…to seize funds sent to Ali on various online platforms, including PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, GoFundMe and Square. The debt collector also wants “all rights to future payments” that Ali may get from his newsletter on Substack; income he derives from Twitter, where he has more than 700,000 followers; as well as future payments he may get from freelance journalism he publishes at Huffpost, MSNBC News or New York magazine, according to the filing.
Ali owed $232,769 on original loans of $180,000 from Ariadne Getty, who has sold off the debt to a collection company that’s having trouble figuring out whose couch he’s currently surfing. Yashar has been repeatedly, not to say strategically, public about his struggles with depression, and I sympathize with him. But in the interests of normalizing mental illness it’s important to remember that people who suffer from depression can be grifters too.
Racist argument guy Steven Chowderwill work on putting his life back together after the woke state of Texas somehow allowed his wife to divorce him. Incredibly, Chowder was not even yesterday’s most embarrassing wife guy, an honor that went to the “at least my ugly wife is a good mom” guy. Also today in men at work: “The Incel community is having a nuclear meltdown because one of their leaders finally got laid.”
And Elon Musk will never stop working to kill Twitter. Zoë Schiffer reported that he took the handle @e from a user who would rather have kept it, Christopher David alleged that someone at Twitter deleted his tweet about the FAA shutting down SpaceX’s Starship program, and screenshots of Twitter’s new crop of $8 brownshirts cheering calls for “public executions of anyone who helps a child transition” seem to be mysteriously disappearing. Here are the original images, still up as I write this. With Twitter’s deep social and technical degradation here in Q2 of the triple deuce, it’s hard to tell whether these are just random glitches or intentional acts by a CEO with full-blown Lowtax disease, but either way they’re bad news. We’ve finally reached the point that one Twitter user was able to compile a 32-item Elon Twitter Clusterfuck-Off Bracket, to determine what Musk’s worst screw-up has been so far. Personally I think the company is less than six months from bankruptcy.
When Twitter finally collapses, we’re all going to have to go back to reading books. Do they still make those? Senior RomComDom Correspondent Allegra Rosenberg found out in:
According to literary agent Anna Sproul-Latimer, reporting live from the London Book Fair, the big “trend” in publishing this year—the way it was vampires in 2009 and BDSM in 2011—is, uh, romance. Just romance, hot and ready! We need our fix, so make it snappy, kid!
“Readers worldwide want a speedball of social connection right now, and nothing provides that like romance,” Sproul-Latimer says, due to The State Of Everything, which I can’t really argue with, honestly. Bearing out her point, the “book of the fair” at the LBF was doubly genre’d up to fuck, a hyped time-travel romance between a civil servant and a polar explorer. (It would be weird to assume I personally know everyone in the world with an interest in polar exploration, but in this case I do in fact know the author.)
The pathological fervor of the publishing industry to throw money at romance novels has meant a lot of people are trying to make a living as romance authors, with varying levels of success. The hungry denizens of BookTok, their mouths open like baby birds for regurgitated trope goo, require that authors market to them in increasingly embarrassing ways. Authors do this because BookTok can spectacularly make or break a novel, but I don’t think anyone’s actually happy about it.
Despite that nonsense I am glad romance novels are The Big Thing. I think everyone should read them—including and especially men—but only if they’re good. I just finished Georgette Heyer’s Regency classic Venetia and it’s living rent-free in my head, highly rec. But I definitely won’t be reading Coco Mellors’ best-selling debut novel Cleopatra and Frankenstein, thanks to the efforts of @uncanny_eli who put himself through the wringer livetweeting the whole demented thing. Highlights (lowlights) include “an evening purse of pussy” and an inexplicable beef with Poland. At the end of the day, the main thing you need to remember about books is that they let literally anyone write them.
—Allegra Rosenberg knows her apples
Also Today in Books: Here’s an app to calculate when you will earn out your advance. You did get an advance, right? And newly-ex Bon Appétit EIC Dawn Davis is happy to be leaving here and returning to Simon & Schuster now that everyone has forgotten why Condé was desperate to hire a top executive of color for Bon Appétit in 2020.
Good lord we’re past the Special Report already and I’ve given you nothing but nonsense today. The big juicy tab of the day is Ben Terris’s profile of Democratic Party pollster, degenerate gambling addict, and effective altruist of convenience Sean McElwee, who is apparently disgraced enough that Terris didn’t feel any need to give him the velvet glove treatment he extended to Benny Johnson back in 2015.
Sean was not a subtle man. He was fond of saying things that seemed intended to get a rise out of people. He called himself a “Clarence Thomas Democrat” because, like the conservative Supreme Court justice, he advocated for more money in politics (which Sean thought would benefit Democrats). He called Lee Atwater, the infamous consultant who had helped Republicans win elections by being racist without appearing racist, his “political idol.” He once told me (in jest) that “no one understood the value of earned media” — a term for free press attention — “better than Osama bin Laden.” He walked right up to the line of what was acceptable, and kept walking. “I literally have a daily calendar alert that says: ‘Don’t put s--- in texts,’ ” I once overheard Sean say at a party. His general advice for staff, he joked, was that “it’s not illegal if you do it over the phone.”
What a charmer! McElwee also made bets against his own clients (not in jest), including John Fetterman and Nina Turner. If the only way someone can feel like they have any stake in elections and public policy is by betting money on them, that may be a sign they shouldn’t work in politics? Unfortunately every bigshot in American politics is just about this awful.
Finally: “Read” Max Read, What Were the 2010s?
Today’s Song: Ski Mask The Slump God, “OOGA BOOGA!”
Music Intern Sam is back at it. Senior Correspondent Allegra promised me that BookTok wouldn’t cancel me for this so if you have a problem please take it up with her. I can’t believe it’s almost the new week already! Please join me again tomorrow here in your email inbox for Gay Friday.
Not a typo.