Pabst Brown Ribbon
If you're under 40, you've never experienced a year of below-average posting.
2021 is over, and if we’ve learned anything since 2015it’s that every new year will be worse, so let’s take one last look back. Ikran Dahir and Julia Reinstein collected the defining memes of 2021 for BuzzFeed and it already reads like a carved tablet from ancient times:
THE XXXII FVNNIEST MEMES OF MMXXI. In Vice, Hussein Kesvani and Phoebe Roy collected “The Most Deranged Posts of 2021,” from Naomi “Be” Wolf’s Build-a-Bear antivax protest to “porn for children” to the Taliban getting updogged. There are some posts in here that even I missed, and they are all fully deranged. @Spaghetti collected the worst tweets of 2021, and incredibly there’s almost no overlap with the Vice list. Remember when Joyce Carol Oates got mad at bones? Truly a peak year for posting. Tesla closed out the year with a list of the 475,000 worst electric vehicles it ever sold, in Wales “Bloodthirsty, 'Psycho' Squirrel Attacks 18 in Small Town Christmas Rampage,” and it rained fish in Texas. In throwbacks to the 1940s, Colorado brought back the “urban firestorm” last seen during “the fire bombings of Dresden and Japan,” and Fusion finally stopped broadcasting.
Squeaking in just under the deadline for deranged 2021 posts was Warwick, R.I. state representative and haunted Victorian doll Patricia Morgan and her quote Black friend:
"If we have a book say from Ibram Kendi on anti-racism, then we should have another book on the other side of that divide so that children can read both perspectives and that will promote critical thinking," Morgan said.
The last thing 2021 took from us was Betty White, who died just before the new year. I think People Magazine said it best:
BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Pony, but it’s the ”Succession” theme.
But let’s leave 2021 in the past and cannonball into 2022, where Pabst Blue Ribbon suggests we “try eating ass” at 9am on a Monday. I told you it wasn’t gonna get better.
2022 is the year we finally discover that the real Soylent Green was the people we ate along the way (possibly on Mars, according to Edinburgh University professor Charles Cockell). It’s been almost a year since the January 6th Capitol riot, which was clearly the beginning of something, not the end of it. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q., GA) may be banned from Twitter, but one third of Americans now believe violence against the government is justified, and even the New York Times editorial board has noticed that things are getting worse, not better. Canada is preparing for wholesale democratic collapse in its paranoid and heavily armed downstairs neighbor, and NPR’s normally sanguine Morning Edition today was all about how democracy is probably over.
But it’s not all bad. In the New York Times, Timothy Snyder absolutely roasted Jonathan Gottschall’s dumb new book, “The Story Paradox.”
He promises a paradox in his title, but none is forthcoming. He does not know the difference between a metaphor and a simile. When bungling the details of the Holocaust (who needs history?), he treats the reader to grammatical errors.
Olivia Nuzzi’s profile of Dr. Oz’s soon-to-be-abortive political career was a classic of the genre, anchored by a self-incriminating failed speakerphone hangup. Web0 is coming back and the “‘listen UP crumbfuckers’ thread from WookieAss82” is over. I’ve “got a good feeling about my bingo card this year !” And someone collected all of “Achewood” in a PDF (here it is on Google Drive). We have Wordle now, so that’s three decent minutes a day to look forward to, which is three more than last year, and Daniel Victor reports that its creator Josh Wardle made it for his partner, which is sweet. Congratulations in advance to them both for when the Times buys it and puts it behind the puzzles paywall.
January first was public domain day, with all works up to 1926 now free, including the first A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh book. But heed the warning:
And finally, Bloomberg‘s Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, and Hugo Miller have the tale of freshly extradited Russian IT oligarch Vladislav Klyushin, who supposedly knows all about Russia’s 2016 election interference and is maybe low-key defecting under cover of securities fraud charges? There’s a lot going on here.
Today’s Song: Petey’s cover of Dave Matthews’s “Crash Into Me”
~ we'll tab a cup o' kindness yet, for days of auld lang syne ~
Yes NFTs are still a thing but I thought we could take one day off from them. There will be plenty more dumb ape news in 2022 (you can tell it’s true because it rhymes). If you need me I will be doing “important research” on twitter @fka_tabs. I guess I didn’t forget how to write yet.
We have not.