Everything was garbage and everything hurt.
— Heather Schmelzlen (@anchorlines) October 2, 2014
I am obliged to examine the Tabs that are, rather than the Tabs I would like there to be. So we must once again recognize Ed Champion‘s regrettably continued existence, first with a Salon two-fer: this finger-waggy thing by Laura Miller which basically says “don’t feed the trolls,” a shopworn piece of ‘net-dot-wisdom that has never been useful and post-#gamergate (or really mid-#gamergate) is entirely laughable. And second, in a fascinating display of editorial schizophrenia, Salon also published the rebuttal to Miller’s tab, where Andi Zeisler argues that the criticism female authors get is particularly gendered and is not the same as the net’s ambient level of trolling. Both of which I could have ignored were it not for Elon Green‘s worthwhile Toast review of all the theories about why Champion even still exists as, like, a thing. And now let’s fervently hope that Elon’s is the last word and we are done with Ed Champion forever.
But even if we are, don’t worry about running out of tabs! In the past few days, the ALT LIT rock has been flipped over, exposing many nasty wriggling things to the light. TRIGGER WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IS SUPER DISTURBING IF YOU HAVE HUMAN FEELINGS. Last week, Canadian writer Sophia Katz posted an account on Medium of a visit to NYC where she was repeatedly coerced into having sex with her host, who she refers to as “Stan” but who was quickly unmasked as Stephen Tully Dierks, editor of #crayolacore ‘zine POP SERIAL and what passes for a valid notable personage in this minuscule lit scene. Dierks quit public lief, explaining that the patriarchy is to blame, of course: “being a straight white male who clearly has taken in the toxicity of our society’s patriarchal structure has led me, to an incident I deeply regret…” But the king of alt-lit has always been Tao Lin, and anyone who has ever read a word Lin wrote could have predicted what came next. The then-16 year old subject of Lin’s second novel Richard Yates described his relationship with Lin in a disturbing series of tweets. In response, Lin explained that having sex with a 16 year old was legal in Pennsylvania when he did it, at age 22. Charming. Here’s Allie Jones in Gawker and Erin Gloria Ryan in Jezebel rounding up the Tao Lin situation. Perhaps the second best-known alt-litster is Steve Roggenbuck, who hasn’t been accused of anything that I know of and dear god please let him not be a rapist too? Roggenbuck posted a blog entry about the idea of “enthusiastic consent” also calling attention to similar accusations made last month against another alt-lit scenester named either Janey Smith or Steven Trull, it’s not entirely clear.
So that was awful and laborious, I’m sorry, but here’s the thing to take away. In the last couple months, we’ve seen men acting egregiously terrible in gaming, publishing, and now this tiny sub-sub-literary culture of alt lit, which has a reputation of being super #posi and liberal. My conclusion is not: “gosh these three disconnected and entirely random subcultures sure are beset by awful dudes!” but “gosh every part of our culture is beset by awful dudes who act like this openly, all the time and all that’s necessary to find them is for someone to look. Whatever subcultures you’re part of: look for these dudes, and speak out when (not if) you find them. It helps? I hope?
I have already seen Lena Dunham’s book for sale in an urban outfitters
— leslie (@LesHorn) October 2, 2014
Knock knock. Who’s there? Ebola!
Yes ebola has come to the US, the real uncontrolled kind. Should you panic? Vox says no. But more than 80 people had contact with the Dallas ebola patient when he was contagious. The Guardian says we still shouldn’t panic. But the ebola patient was literally spraying ebola-vomit all over his apartment complex bushes before the ambulance finally got him! Luke Russert says… uh, “who broke the ebola story embargo?” is actually what Luke Russert says, because he is a half-witted legacy news-potato. I’m gonna go against the grain here and say that a reasonable amount of panic is a good and healthy option at this point, and I for one will be engaging in it.
Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Can we trust Uber? Um, lol no? Another word added to our app-cabulary. Path pivots. The New York Times gets a little hollower. How did Papple forget about women? Rookie‘s female PUA Guide is hilarious. Crossfit for preschoolers :-/. Air Canada pilots “flying high on porn.” Mirror for sale.
Confusion about revealing the D in Slack pic.twitter.com/f1kJcfsVTe
— Reyhan Harmanci (@harmancipants) October 2, 2014
Nw here’s Bijan with a crisp, cool Fall Tab for us.
We are obliged to examine the Tabs that are, rather than the Tabs we would like there to be, Bijan. I make no promises.
Today’s Oracle: Net Tarot is amazing
Today’s Song: Jaden Smith, “Blue Ocean“
~Do not spoil the ship for a ha’pworth of tab~
*The person who accused Tao Lin of assault was incorrectly identified as “her.” Tabs regrets the error.