White Gladis's Revenge
Defensive behavior based on trauma? What are you, my therapist? Folks,
Ever since Bill DeBlasio murdered that groundhog, human-animal relations have been tense. But recently a pod of orcas have intentionally disabled or sunk numerous yachts in and around the strategically important Strait of Gibraltar, which we can only assume is the opening stage of a campaign to take control of the entire Mediterranean. Scientists, who work for decades to come up with whimsical tales like “this is what whale ancestors looked like” and “platypuses are real” but can’t even answer the basic question “why are crabs,” do not yet agree on what bullshit story to foist on the rest of us this time. Candidates include “they're asking to have the propeller in the face” and “this might be more of a play thing as opposed to an aggressive thing." You know, the way dogs chase cars and then tear their tires off.
The Iberian pod of cetacean revolutionaries is led by a matriarch named White Gladis, and yea, if you can convince them to speak of her at all, the old salts will tell ye her gimlet eye be like a blue flame, and her mighty fin breaches like a towering, rubbery mountain, and when she puffs her foul blowhole at ye, ye stays puffed at but good. In his darkest moments, resting by the taffrail in the utter lightless profundity at five bells in the middle watch, University of Aveiro biologist Alfredo López Fernandez has been known to mutter, so soft as to be near inaudible even over the gentle swish of the rushing wake that divides at the bow and meets again at the stern, closing up the brief wound of his ship’s passage like it never existed, like he never existed: “we don't know the origin or the motivation, but defensive behavior based on trauma, as the origin of all this, gains more strength for us every day.” You press, but he demurs. He will not say more, not in those latitudes. He merely taps out his pipe and returns to his rounds.
In other animal news today: In what seems certain to be an escalation of the conflict between humans and ocean dwellers, tiger sharks attacked Sir David Attenborough’s film crew north of Hawaii. And woke Tony the Tiger is cancelled. Intern Mariam once again went spelunking in the caverns of right-wing culture war stupidity to bring us the story:
Right-wing outrage has found a new target in Kellogg’s, when trans activist Dylan Mulvaney was photographed posing with a cereal mascot at the Tony Awards on Sunday. That’s right, folks. Frosted Flakes spokes-tiger and furry ally Tony the Tiger has fallen.
“I usually start my mornings with either Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes so this one hurts… Looks like it’s Froot Loops tomorrow mornting!” [sic] wrote “political strategist” Joey Mannarino (cw: slurs and potentially fatal stupidity), apparently unaware that both cereals are owned by Kellogg’s, as are dozens of other foods. Similarly unhinged tweets from equally rizz-free “wacktivists” threatened that Mr. the Tiger is “coming for your kids,” questioned (disrespectfully) whether he’s dating Mulvaney, and, most puzzlingly, accused him of having a penis. My brother in christ, this is a man in a felt tiger suit! (But if he did have a tiger penis, it would be barbed.)
If a Kellogg’s boycott sounds oddly familiar, that’s because it happened in 2016 when the brand pulled advertising from Breitbart and again in 2021 when Kellogg’s dropped a pride month cereal featuring an array of mascots, our queer-coded neckerchief-accessorized king included. The cyclical discourse really goes to show how inauthentic these right-wing Twitter cranks are, how dumb they know their followers are, and how ultimately none of it matters because Kellogg’s is one of like ten companies that dictate what Americans consume. Still, as I’ve mentioned, watching conservatives rapidly exhaust their food and beverage options in real time is one of the few joys remaining on this hellsite imprisoning me, and I will do my due diligence “reporting” on their paranoia when the time comes to cancel non-binary ketchup and woke mustard or whatever.
—Mariam Sharia, like Rusty and each and every Today in Tabs reader, believes that trans rights are human rights
Today in T_H_E M_A_C_H_I_N_E_S: “Artificial Artificial Artificial Intelligence:” researchers estimate that on platforms like Mechanical Turk where workers are supposedly producing “human gold-standard annotations” as training data for AI models, 33-46% of the work is already being done by the AIs themselves. LLMao. In the human gold-standard Tabs Discord (subscribe for access!) stuffisthings described this process of AI output poisoning AI input as “the Internet… being LLM Kessler Syndromed,” which is canonical phrasing for me now.
Along the same lines, Mia Sato has a Verge feature about the way Google’s rules for website indexing have “left Google and the web drowning in garbage text,” if you’ve wondered why every product online is named something like “Welcome To Adulthood You Have A Favorite Spatula Now Dish Cloth Towel / Novelty Silly Tea Towels / Cute Hilarious Kitchen Hand Towel.”
Taliban trying to find the guy that blew up those Buddhas, which you can now buy a ticket to go see the ruins of. In Vice, Becky Ferreira reported that “Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Is Habitable” which is maybe a stretch for a 310-mile diameter snowball where the noon high temperature is minus 324.4 degrees Fahrenheit but hope springs eternal. Insider union won! Nich “Big Boy” Carlson zero. “The Flash?” More like the trash, writes Angelica Jade Bastién for Vulture. And in Defector, Alex Sujong Laughlin identified the key lesson of Gimlet closing:
If Gimlet was meant to last, to become a household name like the other three-letter media companies before it, if it was meant to make narrative podcasts for the foreseeable future, it failed at all of those goals. But Gimlet also succeeded in all the ways it was supposed to. When Blumberg and Lieber pursued VC funding right at the beginning of this story, they wrote that story’s end, too.
Over a three-year period, Taylor appeared to pay Denise Lodge more than $37,000 for human remains. One payment, for $1,000 included the memo "head number 7." Another, for $200, read "braiiiiiins."
Today’s Song: Autre Ne Veut, “World War Pt. 2”
Also, new paid subscriptions have been VERY slow lately, so if you’ve been thinking “I really love this newsletter and I should probably pay Rusty for it one of these days,” right now it’s a historical bargain in terms of the my-gratitude to your-subscription-dollar ratio. And of course, you are deeply missing out on the Discord.