- Today in Tabs
- Aujourd'hui, Le Messager Est Mort
Aujourd'hui, Le Messager Est Mort
I can't accept drum & bass.
The Messenger died yesterday, four months ahead of schedule. It was a shitty idea, poorly executed. Everyone involved should have known that they weren’t making anything worth their talent or expertise, and the whole website has already been deleted.
No one will get what they deserve from this. The employees deserved meaningful journalism work while the site existed and deserve severance and health insurance now, but they will get neither. Jimmy Finkelstein deserves to
I don’t think I can legally finish that sentence. Also I sound like fucking Camus. Aujourd'hui, le Messager est mort. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas. Christ this is depressing. Let’s try again.
When The Messenger launched I predicted it would last twelve to eighteen months, but it turns out I was far too optimistic. Yesterday its staff found out the website was out of business from a Ben Mullin article in the New York Times shortly before they were all booted from the company Slack and “got an FAQ with our ‘sorry you have no job now’ email” according to Ryan Nanni. They will receive no severance and their health insurance is cut off. The entire website was deleted within an hour, which is not exactly a loss in itself since almost everyone employed by The Messenger was doing work they knew was garbage, but it is emblematic of the way its smirking failson founder Jimmy Finkelstein conceived of the website’s purpose: if the company is closed, there’s no reason to collect clicks on it and therefore no reason for any of its journalism to exist. Delete it.
The stupidity of the site’s business plan was obvious from the moment it was announced. Josh Marshall has a good summary of what happened and how overdetermined this failure was from the start:
“Run incredulously,“ Dylan? You’re saying the indestructible Richard “Mad Dog” Beckman ran The Messenger in a manner indicating disbelief? What could that possibly mean? I am begging you to buy a dictionary. Anyway Byers titled his post “Jimmy’s Quibi” but in some ways, The Messenger was a significantly worse idea than
Arrrrrgh. Am I seriously about to defend Quibi here? I mean Quibi was executed in the dumbest way possible, but it was directionally kind of the right idea. What is everyone doing on their phones now? They’re watching short videos on TikTok. And what’s TikTok doing now? Pushing creators to make ten minute long horizontal videos.
Sure, Quibi was like if a horse carriage magnate figured out that the horseless carriage was the next big thing and then spent two billion dollars inventing an internal combustion horse. Stupid? Of course. Doomed? Unquestionably. But at least in retrospect you can see that they were looking in the right direction. Calling The Messenger “The Daily Mail of Quibis” is funny but kind of unfair to Quibi.
But do I want to go on record as the guy who was like “actually maybe Quibi was making some good points?” What a mess. Maybe I just can’t write about this without getting too mad. There’s only one way to rescue this absolute disaster of a newsletter:
We Need Jungle I’m Afraid
“Michael Shannon is to play assassinated President Garfield with Matthew Macfadyen as his killer Charles Guiteau in a new series for Netflix,” reports Peter White for Deadline. There are only three things most people know about President Garfield:
He was assassinated by Charles Guiteau,
He loved lasagna, and
He hated Mondays.
Via Boing Boing, where Rob Beschizza provided the appropriate Borges and Ballard quotes, Alex Chan wondered if she could make a PDF that’s larger than Germany.
Today in Theoretical Physics Drama
Here's that video I made a while back by the way: @Dr. Blitz #stem #science #physics #drama
“Tesla did a whoopsie at their Fremont factory and polluted a bunch of water.” Twitter voted that Elon should reincorporate Tesla in Texas instead of Delaware so I guess that’s all settled. It’s funny that the eventual shareholder lawsuit about this will almost certainly be heard in the Delaware Chancery court too. If you’re not sure what that is, you know who to ask. Meanwhile, still no updates on that Neuralink tweet. Weird!
doing dishes and had the thought “the sink helps you with water”. such a hauntingly dimwitted sentence to produce that im actually a bit frightened now. there’s no way the brain that produced that thought is capable of making something of my life. time will tell
— h (@ipodmacbook)
Jan 31, 2024
Ryan McGrady on YouTube as infrastructure. How many videos are there on YouTube?
Today’s Song: Dr. Octagon, “Blue Flowers”
I hope people aren’t annoyed by my interior monologue intruding into the newsletter today. I guess if they liked it they could let me know by hitting reply to say so, or just upgrading to a paid subscription. I should probably put a button in for that.