Today in Cringe

It's too late to turn the train around, lets have an app-a-ball spitz-ee.

[Pleasantly] I took yesterday off, due to my many agonies,1 but Tirhakah Love of New York Magazine’s Dinner Party agreed that the vibes were bad:

Most days I’m perfectly fine putting the puzzle pieces together. And then some weeks, like this one, the “check engine” light is flashing all too bright for me to just be careening through your inboxes at full speed.

Anyway who has time to write a newsletter? I’m busy updating my jictionary with all of Merriam-Webster’s dumb new words, like rizz, zhuzh, kayfabe, stagiaire, smishing, gropher, finsta, and jorts. How is “jorts” not already in the dictionary? Also I made up one of those words, good luck guessing which one.

Way back in 2017 Lord_Mandalore posted: “Finally got banned from the flat earth discord by posting a. forbidden image.” With a four-panel image: 1) A meteor hurtles through space toward the flat Earth. 2) A dinosaur looks up at the meteor shooting across the sky. 3) Back to a space POV, the meteor hits one side of the Earth disc, tipping it like a struck frisbee. 4) Dinosaurs go flying off the disc Earth into space. This is just science.

Today in Cringe

The writers’ strike is over and the WGA appears stronger than ever, having come through with its unity intact and most of its demands mostly met. This is probably a good time to recall marketing professor and idiot clown Scott Galloway’s prediction from May that Margaret Thatcher would simply nationalize Hollywood and crush the union forever:

This month, TV and movie writers walked off the job, demanding higher pay and protections from technological disruption. I believe the Writers Guild of America, like the U.K.’s National Union of Mineworkers back in the ’80s, has incorrectly assessed the situation and will exit the strike severely impaired.

Galloway should stay away from coal mining metaphors, it never goes well for him.

Now it's too late to turn the train around without getting into a Target situation,” posted Atlantic Magazine contributor and alleged professional writer Caitlin Flanagan, so flustered over a cartoon dog’s ambiguous genitalia that she forgot how trains work.

Couples are sharing their weirdest personal dialects on TikTok,” wrote Jessica Roy in The New York Times, and if you can make it through the first sentence you might survive the rest of the piece:

The word for a TV remote is marote; for chicken, it’s chimpken, and for the Aperol Spritz cocktail it’s app-a-ball spitz-ee. Shrimp is swimps, hair ties are hair gigglies and Starbucks is Starbonks.

Regrettably, I did not survive. RIP Rusty, he died doing what he loved (experiencing vicarious cringe). It’s also wild that the Times just gave this a completely raw dog “Jessica Roy” byline with no way to tell which of the media Jessicas Roy it is? Ftr it’s Jessica K. Roy, not Jessica J. Roy. Maybe I’m the only one who cares.

Meta is departing from its Silicon Valley rivals by creating a large cast of AI bots that “that have more personality, opinions, and interests, and are a bit more fun to interact with,” according to a press release…

Among those high-profile names are Tom Brady, who plays Bru, a “wisecracking sports debater,” Paris Hilton as Amber, a “detective partner for solving whodunnits,” MrBeast as Zach, a “big brother who will roast you — because he cares,” and Snoop Dogg as Dungeon Master, a “choose your own adventure” bot for roleplaying games.

MrBeast as Zach, a “big brother who will roast you — because he cares.” Good thing I’m already dead!

Filthy Lucre: A paid announcement
Garbage Day LIVE with Special Guest DJ Cummerbund: “A Night to Save the Internet”

Hi there, my name is Ryan Broderick and I'm hijacking Tabs today to tell you about the upcoming live show for my newsletter Garbage Day. It's on October 18th, at Elsewhere in Brooklyn. It's a night of music and comedy (and angry diatribes) all focused around the very simple of goal of trying to make the internet suck less. It's also packed with guests including reporter Katie Notopoulos, comedian Ena Da, YouTube essayists Patrick Willems and Emma Logsdon, and DJ Cummerbund.

Tabs Business Note: It’s been quite a while since I ran any ads here, but (1) I mean come on, it’s Garbage Day Live, if you’re reading this and you’ll be anywhere near New York on October 18th obviously you should go and (2) I have Interns booked for October and November and I don’t make a lot of money this time of year, so if you'd like to inquire about an ad or sponsor an intern, hit reply and let’s discuss it!

Also Today in AI: OpenAI founder Sam Altman posted on Reddit that “AGI has been achieved internally,” then deleted and said he was only “memeing,” leaving observers uncertain whether OpenAI has even achieved natural general intelligence internally. Formerly incisive commentator Ian Bogost found that three of his books had been used to train AI and decided he was just glad someone is reading them. If you wrote a book for humans and found it in the Books3 dataset, the Author’s Guild posted a “You Just Found Out Your Book Was Used to Train AI. Now What?” explainer. Spoiler: now nothing, you wait for the class action lawsuits to work their way through the courts and you’ll probably receive a settlement check for $1.38 plus six months of free LifeLock by Norton identity theft prevention sometime around Q3 of 2075. The wheels of justice, baby.


The extremely crucifixion-ey hero image for the Financial Times’ profile of Linda Yaccarino.
Emily Murnane posted: “Babe, what’s wrong? You’ve barely chugged your Eggo Brunch in a Jar Appalachian Sippin’ Cream” and listen, I wish I could tell you that it doesn’t include a photograph of a quart jar of Eggo Brunch in a Jar Waffles & Syrup Cream Liqueur 40 proof Appalachian Sippin’ Cream but that is in fact exactly what the photograph shows. God’s light is only a distant memory in the addled brains of the most ancient among us.

As a fellow hot girl with a banging creative career and plenty of money Jia Tolentino talked to Julia Fox, who has never been more relatable:

People keep asking me what the hardest part was about writing the book, and I tell them, it was just sitting my ass in the chair in front of the computer every day and typing the first line. Some days that took me three hours. I’d be pacing over here, cleaning this, going on TikTok, everything but the task. And then, eventually, I just started writing, and it was fine.

Liz is getting warmed up for the SBF trial, and wonders whether it might prove fatal for the rest of crypto. Bitcoin is still over $27,000 though, so we may just be stuck with that forever.

And Finally: Rinse away the cringe and head into your Gentleman’s Friday evening cleansed and uplifted by Jude Ellison S. Doyle’s profile of “tarot legend and comics writer” Rachel Pollack for Xtra Magazine.

Here is another miracle in the story of Rachel Pollack: as early as the 1970s and 1980s, in the midst of a TERF stronghold, a transfeminist lesbian was trying to create a trans-inclusive vision of spirituality. Not only was she not kicked out, but she actually won.

Today’s Song: "Bet You Do" by Pixel Grip

Music Intern Sam is probably streaming live on (moca geffen) right this very moment.

After much discussion, the Tabs discord decided that if you want to know when I’m taking an unannounced day off you should subscribe and join them, because I always post there when Tabs is off. Is this the only solution, or just the one that gives me an excuse to tell you to subscribe? Sure.

Also, again, if you want to sponsor an intern please @ me!

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