Today in Dabs
One tab over the line, sweet Jesus
It’s 4/20, aka Talk Like a Pirate Day: Weed Edition. A day when every content creator has to ask “am I too fancy to make a lot of weed jokes today?” I don’t hold such a high opinion of myself, and you’re all familiar with my chronic wordplay, but to be blunt I’d probably just make a hash of it if I tried. So instead let’s turn on the black light and get real mellow with some…
#Longreads? More Like #Bongreads
The dank lord has blessed us on this day with a new Caity Weaver that isn’t a celebrity profile. She’s one of the best in that business but I will always take a Caity’s Big Adventure, and this time Caity finds herself sampling #vanlife in a rented E-150 with a formerly anxious friend turned meditation guru:
I may have set expectations a little high. Based on my pitch, Michael later told me, he’d imagined us cruising California in something resembling “a Beyoncé tour bus.” Instead, our 2013 Ford Econoline E-150, with a psychedelic jungle-scene paint job, resembled a Rainforest Cafe on wheels. Thanks to a huge acid yellow and electric blue bug-eyed chameleon perched just behind the driver’s door, it looked like a vehicle a mobile vape company might use to dispense free samples, or something a person might drive to let onlookers know: Here is someone willing and able to perform unlicensed aquarium repairs — for the right price.
It’s easy to guess that Caity Weaver is not cut out for vanlife, but she captures the sensation that you never really get out of the van and the way all the pictures you take are accursed lies.
In The Verge, Amanda Chicago Lewis turned in a slightly lower-stakes Uncut Gems about a would-be PPE hustler who never really made any big deals, but discovered that perhaps the only real personal protective equipment is... love?
Buoyed by the strength of Milla’s love, Kaplan contemplated why he hadn’t yet completed any big transactions. He started to believe that the glove companies were intentionally sowing chaos, sabotaging deals and brokers in order to stimulate demand and drive up the price of their products.
“If you take a marketplace and flood it with disinformation, the people who are really looking for that product get desperate very quickly, and when people are desperate, they’ll pay any price,” he said. It reminded him of a gig he’d had many years back, in a “ruse room” at a recruiting firm. His job was to call hiring managers and pretend to be various job applicants, all of whom would flake on their interviews, driving the hiring manager crazy, such that when his recruiting firm ultimately called and offered a real and reliable applicant, that person was much more likely to get the job.
Also Emily López deserves a special mention for the stellar art in this one.
TikTok is a social media hellbroth that combines the worst features of Snapchat, Instagram, and Olds & Milner’s Skinner box, but when Mexican American teenager Daisy De La O was murdered in Compton last year, TikTok was still more useful than the police at finding her killer reports Jennifer Swann in The Cut. The police, predictably, disagree.
To some friends and advocates, Instagram and TikTok have become a lifeline, especially when the news cycle dies out and police investigations lose steam. They offer a way of telling stories that go beyond the sterile facts on a missing poster or a wanted sign, a way to depict women dubbed “Jane Doe” as multidimensional humans with infectious laughs and goofy dance moves. And because TikTok’s algorithm serves up a unique sequence of videos from users who don’t necessarily follow one another, TikToks can reach an incredibly wide audience — fast. This is why, to some criminologists, using the app to fish for a murder suspect can be dicey…
Yet the proliferation of cold cases on social media makes perfect sense to Tamborra, who sees it as a natural evolution in Americans’ fascination with crime — particularly when it hits close to home. “We have so many stories of families putting pressure on departments; why wouldn’t they then turn to social media?” Tamborra says. “Now the problem obviously is: Why should they have to?”
Am AI The Asshole? Ezra Miller is still extremely at it in Hawaii. At long last, scientists have a plan to probe Uranus. The ridiculous “Freedom Phone” runs a license-violating and privacy-violating fork of Signal. Stay far away, if the grifty MAGA branding wasn’t already enough to convince you. Instead of gaining 2.5 million subscribers last quarter, Netflix lost 200,000. Yikes. Suddenly Reed Hastings is considering taking ads: “But as much as I’m a fan of [subscriptions], I’m a bigger fan of [making money].” (I paraphrase very slightly). The Fence: What was it like at Random House in 2012, the year the publisher got rich from softcore S&M? Someone comes to Substack, someone leaves Substack, and our platform gets a little more regrettable. How dirty is Bitcoin? “It should die for the common good of the planet and be replaced by a new model. It consumes more electricity than a country. All the rest is detail.” And Alex Pareene points out that the Greenwald / Rogan / LibsofTikTok right aren’t confused about what journalism is, they’re “philosophically and materially opposed to the idea that true things should be uncovered and verified and disseminated publicly about, well, them, and their projects.”
Today’s Song: Gen Z trend plug After School introduced me to Swedish/Thai hyperpop collective Drain Gang this morning via Keegan Brady’s Rolling Stone profile of them. I’d describe their vibe as “420 gecs,” but if you search Spotify for Drain Gang you’ll only find one single and it’s not by them. Here’s their current tour setlist, and another track that isn’t on it, bladee & ECCO2K, ”Cinderella”
~ hey man, do you smoke tabs? ~
Fresh tweets when the hot light is on @fka_tabs and @TodayinTabs. Everyone knows you’re high and you’ll most likely never stop feeling like this. Registered at the Post Office as ”does this alright.”