What Places Do We Love?

I threw out my team’s tabs because they were stupid.

The Lauren Oyler deep dive yesterday overshadowed Interview’s other notable interview, the Interview Spring 2024 cover interview where Rihanna interviewed her former stylist and now Interview’s editor in chief Mel Ottenberg about “being interviewed by the Mel Ottenberg.” Though it’s titled “Rihanna is Ready to Confess” I don’t think she confessed anything. For example, you might wonder if she’s working on any new music. Well wonder that somewhere else, loser:

OTTENBERG: Okay. I’ll let everyone else ask about that other stuff.

RIHANNA: [Laughs] What? The new album?

OTTENBERG: The new music, yeah. I’m like, these are the kind of questions—

RIHANNA: That’s not a Mel Ottenberg question!

I read the whole thing, and I genuinely don’t know if this interview is good or not. It’s like asking if Duchamp’s “Fountain” is a good sculpture. Like… was it supposed to be? This reads more like a theatrical dialogue exercise meant to destabilize and undermine the phenomenology of human communication. I mean:

OTTENBERG: I can’t believe you have two babies.

RIHANNA: I can’t believe I have two babies.

OTTENBERG: I can’t believe I’m backstage with you at 3:30 in the morning and you have two babies.

RIHANNA: Mel Ottenberg, have you met me? That’s the usual.

OTTENBERG: No, no, no. I’m just shocked that we’re doing this interview here. I haven’t been backstage and I haven’t felt the reverberations of a stadium in so long, so it reminds me of when I first worked with you and how scary it all was. It’s exciting, but it’s not PTSD. It’s more like—


OTTENBERG: No, it’s not.

RIHANNA: We lost a diamond hoop on our first performance.


RIHANNA: Did you have insurance for that one?

OTTENBERG: No, it wasn’t real.

RIHANNA: So why did you pass out over it?

This is like raw-dogging the Nixon tapes. Ottenberg started this by saying “I threw out my team’s questions because they were stupid,” and then we’re off on a mad quest to prove Edmund Husserl wrong! Good luck to him and his stupid team in the days and weeks to come.

merritt k posted “Hey guys what's up, today we're loosing the blood-dimmed tide, but first a big shout-out to our sponsor Raycon. If the falcon had the Everyday Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds, he would have been able to hear the falconer no problem”

Another Q&A that’s a lot better than we have any right to expect, given the subject and publication, is Jason Kehe’s Wired interview with Noor Siddiqui, a Peter Thiel Fellow who (at age twenty five) founded a tech-investor backed biotech startup called Orchid that claims to be able to run a full-genome assessment on IVF embryos for $2500 each and identify the ones least likely to suffer from an array of genetically mediated health conditions. Siddiqui claims they need only “[a]bout 5 picograms per cell [of DNA] in an embryo sample. That’s a really, really tiny amount.” So, uh, is she the new Elizabeth Holmes?

I must now ask a question I’ve been dreading. I’m sorry in advance. Here goes. It’s the inevitable question about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes.

No, this is the worst question. This is so mean.

Tell me why it’s so mean.

I find it sad. It’s a sad state of affairs where—my friends who aren’t even in health, they say they get it too. It’s like, any female CEO with any tech-adjacent thing is constantly being questioned—by the way, are you like this other fraud? Do you want to comment on this other random fraud that occurred that has absolutely nothing to do with you besides the person being the same gender as you?

Yeah I guess there aren’t really any parallels, aside from all the obvious ones. Orchid “prefers [we] not utter” the word eugenics, so that takes care of that issue. Are there any other eugenic red flags here?

Does population decline worry you?

I mean, it’s super important. The population of all of the places we love is shrinking. In 50 years, 30 years, you’ll have half as many people in places that you love. Society will collapse. We have to solve it. It’s very critical.

Angry goose meme, where a goose is saying “What places do we love?” and then chasing a running person with it’s head down, saying “what places do we love?!”

⌘-f “immigration” zero results

And Choire cannonballed into The Cut with a profile of “Brooklyn literary power throuple” Danny and Grace Lavery and Lily Woodruff, which includes bed sharing details, a digression on “lesbianism and the processing of the lesbian school,” “Killing Eve fanfic,” clown cosplay that leads to sexting, and the names Maxim Casaubon Lavery, Huckleberry Rigaud Lavery, and Rochbert “Rocco” Ozymandias Wolverine Lavery, only two of whom are dogs.1 In classic Choire fashion, some questions remain tantalizingly unanswered: What happens between 8:30 and midnight? Are there any other ways to “have an aesthetic life?” Is quiet inherently heterosexual? We may never know.

For some reason this piece reminded me of Choire’s 2013 book “Very Recent History,” which more people should read if they still read books. Unfortunately for Lauren Oyler, they do not.

New Boeing whistleblower is nearly inaudible among all the whistles already blowing. *five seconds later* We regret to inform you “that the author of the bookforum lauren oyler takedown organized the peter thiel-funded anti-woke film festival.” Je téléphone á la police. I will never get tired of stories about honesty researchers lying about everything. “The pants are exactly the same,” they said.

Today’s Song: “Cradle” by Killgurls

Riot grrrl is back, you heard it here first. What a month this week has been. Please subscribe to this newsletter or my upcoming other newsletter. Where’s that confounded bridge.

1. My name is “Rusty,” so I’m allowed to make this joke, back off.

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