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Today in Tabs: Dog and Pyongyang Show

Get ready for the War and Peace of Today in Tabs.

Today in Tabs: Dog and Pyongyang Show
[Keyboard: Flickr user Ben Crowder, Pyongyang: Flickr user Roman Harak]

The dog, of course, is Franco/Rogen vehicle “The Interview,” which was an unfunny mess that ended in a bloodbath. Precisely how much of a bloodbath was partly the decision of the State Department. (Aside: Just when you think The Daily Beast has reached some kind of bottom, it hands you this: “…the first threat lobbed by North Korean officials against the holiday blockbuster seemed as empty as a North Korean villager’s lunch box.” A mass-starvation joke. Great.) The FBI initially said there was “no evidence” that North Korea was involved in the Sony hack, but yesterday, with gramatically-questionable threats proliferating and theatres deciding to pass on it, Sony finally pulled the plug altogether, canceling The Interview’s release in any format or medium. The only way you’ll see it now is when the hackers release a torrent of it later this afternoon.

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I’ve gotten so used to reading Sony executives’ email that it seems strange I don’t already know what they think of all this, but there was no shortage of takes online. Rob Lowe compared Sony to Neville Chamberlain and Mitt Romney somehow dragged hashtag-Ebola into it. Vox’s Todd Van Der Werff url-slugged Sony “cowards” for pulling the movie, though he admits it sounded like trash and “I wasn’t planning on seeing The Interview… But the current situation makes it feel all the more urgent that none of us can.” So feelings is what really matters here, I guess.

But did North Korea even do this hack? Gizmodo’s Ashley Feinberg is like idk idk maybe?? The New York Times published this pile of nonsense where anonymous “senior administration officials” assure us North Korea was definitely responsible and not just because that’s really convenient, srsly we pinky-swear it. As if we’ve believed anything the NY Times attributed to “senior administration officials” since 2003. Wired’s Kim Zetter, in contrast, finds the evidence flimsy, and also bothers to source her article, like a real journalist. VICE’s Jason Koebler talked to Peter W. Singer, who rightly points out that yesterday’s hysteria was “[l]iterally…in the realm of beyond stupid.” The thing is, if this blows up into an international incident pitting America against an Evil Communist Empire, then it’s no longer a case of one dumb private corporation losing hundreds of terabytes of sensitive data through its own incompetence, but instead an Attack On Our Freedom. The North Korea theory, which has already become the official truth, is the life raft that will save Sony Pictures Entertainment as a functioning company.

Oops, my Take got a little hot there. Anyway, Sony is probably also burying the movie in order to collect on the insurance for it, although the hack alone will still cost them perhaps $200-$300 million, according to NYMag’s Annie Lowrey.

Ok Enough, What Else You Got? Slate tracked the whole year’s outrages and got Choire, Paul Ford, Willa Paskin, Jamelle Bouie and several more to write about it. There is certainly a lot there for connoisseurs of outré-age, n’est-ce pas? Andrew Goldman’s essay about his own twitter shredding prompted Emily Nussbaum to tweet her own recollection of the incident (see tweets preceding that one, mostly), which was interesting. To me. Which is maybe a personal failing.

Give Jessica Williams a gossip site! The secret history of the Noguchi table. Lol, Bitcoin. Writer Mimi Pond recalls the first Simpsons episode: “I wasn’t invited to be on staff at the Simpsons, because they didn’t want any women on staff at the time.Adam Weinstein’s “Gift Guide for the Recently Divorced Dad” is unexpectedly touching. Reply All found Jennicam! Mallory did a Shouts & Murmurs dot com! Buzz Bissinger is auctioning off his sweaty leathers! A New Zealand couple reportedly nearly died in their keyless car after spending 12 hours neglecting to try the door handles. A convicted rapist being interviewed by an up-and-coming young rapper at the behest of a clothing brand is the future of media. If there is any justice, the Washington Post’s terrible editorial board is the dead past of media.

I know this is already long, but Bijan decided to ramble today too. Sorry.

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TODAY’S INTERN TAB, by BIJAN STEPHEN

We here at Tabs Co. think a lot—but not too much, tbh—about the words in heavy rotation around the office. As resident millennial, it’s my job to neg Rusty whenever he says something Old, or stupid.

In our line of work—when we’re out in the ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ ғɪᴇʟᴅs harvesting the tabs, slicing their buds with a lancet so the milky opioid trash liquid dribbles out—we need a word for the things we constantly encounter. We’ve chosen garbage. Garb in, garb out. Leave no trace, but for garbage. Word to ur mother.

There’s a lot of cool stuff on the ‘net, but most of it (sickly sweet, overripe, rotting) is garbage, and merits the classification. In this case, form followed function. Or something.

ANYWAY this is all to say that Rob Meyer published an article in The Atlantic about the use (and overuse) of garbage and its attendant abbrevs:

But… a garbage year? A year not even worth paying attention to? A year to be discarded, and nothing more?

No. Garbage is a crutch.

Sure, garbage is a crutch. (And yes, actually, I’d love to forget 2014 ever happened.) It’s here to stay, though. I’d argue that its use has wildly increased not because of semantic satiety, but because it adds to the conversation. In tone and in signaling—the word’s connotation is (generally) appropriate to its (liberal) application. When something disturbs me on a level equivalent to rotting food, bloody syringes, or industrial waste, I call it like I see it. It’s all garbage. And the beautiful thing is that we’re all attuned to different garb frequencies: One man’s garbage is another man’s superfund site. This is okay! People are different, and have correspondingly different standards for things!

It’s worth remembering that words aren’t pure; they adapt when we need them to. They’re superhuman like that. In other words: Not garbage at all.

Personally “garbage” feels kinda played to me, but ok Bijan if that’s how you feel about it. liz lemon eyeroll dot gif

Today’s Mashup: Bonsoir, “Tuesday vs the Pina Colada Song

Today’s Song: Waka Flocka Flame, “3:30

~Somebody’s going to die, or somebody’s going to get sick, someone might leave. It’s not going to last forever. You know, it’s going to be over soon. You know, the thought of that never enters my mind. This is the reality of life. I watched that movie The Notebook.~

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Today in Tabs might take tomorrow off just cause today’s is so damn long. So many tabs. So many. Sorry. FastCoLabs, Tinyletter, Twitter.

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