You Can Always Quit (A Little)
Bless my soft cerulean eye, it's Gentlemen's Friday.
I’ve only been back from vacation three days and I’m already exhausted. Gentlemen’s Fridaycouldn’t arrive soon enough this week. But is that a reason to blow off my own work and just do a roundup of stuff I found in other newsletters? You bet your ass it is, cupcake. As today’s Morning Brew noted in the intro, even five time reigning world chess champion Magnus Carlsen agrees that you can always quit. You can even just quit the stuff you don’t like:
“I enjoy playing tournaments a lot,” he said on the podcast. “Obviously, I enjoy them a lot more than I enjoy the world championship, and frankly I don’t see myself stopping as a chess player any time soon.” He said he was heading to Croatia for a tournament later Wednesday.
Mini Kiwi Korner: Ohr Naur!! The Brü Crü’s Matty Merritt also reports that if you’re on Glassdoor in New Zealand calling your boss a great hairy fern hole, you might be in trouble. Also: FaZe SPAC.
Via The Browser: I’m not sure whether Amber Medland’s Paris Review story “E. E. Cummings and Krazy Kat” has, like… a point? But I didn’t mind while I was reading it.
In his 1946 introduction to the first edition of the collected strips, Cummings wrote that the brick unleashed joy within the “ultraprogressive game” of the real world, with its preestablished rules, of which it flouted the most sacred: “THOU SHALT NOT PLAY.” (Winnicott defines play as “the continuous evidence of creativity, which means aliveness.”) Herriman gives pleasure without the instant gratification of a punch line, undercutting the expected gag trajectory. The brick hurtling across the page doesn’t end the joke; games end, but play is infinite. There is no winner, and if there is, it is Krazy, who, for private reasons, interprets the brick as love.
Posts end, but Tabs is infinite. There is no winner, and if there is, it is Rusty, who, for private reasons, interprets the tab as love. The other story in The Browser today is also great: Bree Kessler in Eater last week on what it’s like provisioning groceries in the Alaskan bush. Just two links! Those guys at The Browser have a pretty sweet gig.
In Indignity, Tom Scocca is finally watching “The Sopranos.” Tom is world class at writing essays that weave their way through a landscape of cultural signifiers, exploring the space without either he or you feeling a strong need for there to be a specific peg or conclusion. In this one he travels through prestige television, prestige journalism, the Philly / New Jersey suburbs, the experience of watching contemporary media that has turned into historical costume drama with the simple passing of time, the lived experience vs. cultural signifiers of Italian-ness, garlic, and “gabagool” or the real-world lack thereof.
Not Exactly a Newsletter, But: Hell Gate finally got themselves a working paid subscription button and a nice New York Times profile.Journalist-owned media is great, because as Brad Esposito observed: “There's plenty of money in media – just not for you.” Or to put it another way, “Who Won BuzzFeed’s SPAC Debacle?” as Andrew Fedorov asked in The Fine Print today. I bet you can guess who didn’t win.
What’s Wrong? In The Verge, Richard Lawler reports that Amazon plans to spend $3.9 billion to acquire Uber-for-doctors Millennial health care startup One Medical, which promises every extremely fit young twenty-something a physician who looks like Michael Stipe (because everybody hurts, sometimes). I can’t wait to join One Medical Prime and have free same-day access to my new PCP, Dr. Nertpow.
What’s the deal with the rooftop Minion in Hayward? “He’s just up there doing his thing,” apparently. J.K. Rowling sucks so bad that Quidditch changed their name to “Quadball” and their pronouns to they/them. “Où tout le monde connaît ton nom…” Amanda Chicago Lewis looked into scromiting and found that it’s real and it’s the subject of a bitter ongoing research feud. Anna Wiener: “Waymo Cars and Honey Bears.” And Brian Feldman tracked down the history of Basketball (so funny you’ll pee your pants).avi, which apparently happened at Charlie Warzel’s high school, because I guess everything has to happen somewhere.
Everybody but the FBI stop reading
Today’s Song: Sun Kil Moon, “Neverending Math Equation”
~ His tabs emptie lefte, him selfe esaped cleene ~
Was this just a backdoor way to get another Modest Mouse song on the playlist? Shut up, he explained. Let’s see if I can get you to subscribe today:
Here I are here, and here you is here too. But, if I are here, and you is here, how come I are in the paper, and you also—ansa me that.
Tomorrow will be: The People’s Friday.
If I haven’t already made this clear, ladies and enbys are gentlemen too, so go on brush your responsibilities off.
You know who hasn’t had a NYT profile yet? 👀