THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED CAPSLOCK
— Geoff Sebesta (@geoffsebesta) June 3, 2015
I get bored easily, and I try to read everything I tab here. The combination of these two facts is what saves us both from the endless Snowfall of prestige #longreads that constantly parallax through the background of my feed at subtly different rates, simulating depth.
But not today! Today I have no fewer than three excellent long tabs for you, and I’m going to explain why you should read all three of them.
The Agency: Adrian Chen went to Russia and tracked down a small part of the enormous state-supported Russian internet trolling industry for the NYT Magazine. You have probably seen links to this already, but you should read the whole thing because near the end it reveals itself to have been a spy thriller all along, complete with setups and double-crosses and surveillance.
— Adrian Chen (@AdrianChen) June 2, 2015
The Mad Woman’s Troubles: Valerie Solanas and Her S.C.U.M Manifesto: In some kind of Kinja called The Membrane (what is it? I don’t know!), Sady Doyle wrestles with S.C.U.M. Manifesto author and would-be Warhol-icide Valerie Solanis both as the feminist icon she vigorously resisted becoming and as a real, and by all accounts awful, woman who actually existed and made her friends cry.
To force an artificial division between “mentally ill Valerie” and “genius writer Valerie” is to both demean her struggle and miss the point: Solanas doesn’t operate from a lofty, Swiftian remove. Instead, the tension and energy of the Manifesto is generated by the dance between intellectual satire and emotional honesty.
After Water: Journalist, illustrator, and California native Susie Cagle writes about the effects of the drought on a small unincorporated Central Valley community called East Porterville with a level of detail and empathy that I haven’t found in any of the endless tabs about what fruit or nut we should boycott this week. Cagle doesn’t just write about the weather, she shows how human political systems and the environment feed back into each other. The way we live changes the environment and the environment in turn pushes us around the country and forces us to reorganize ourselves politically, from the Dust Bowl of the 30’s to the historic drought and extreme weather of today.
Meanwhile, Nearby: They found a 350 year old French noblewoman’s coffin in Rennes, in northern France, and the lede was buried nearby: “The heart of her husband, Toussaint de Perrein, was found nearby, archaeologists said on Tuesday.” Nearby? What exactly does that mean, in the context of 350 year old human hearts?
Fusion‘s traffic is really low. Alexis Madrigal replies: “¯\_(ツ)_/¯.” Brett LoGiurato both de-Fused and BI-boomeranged. Obsolete print media is still doing ok though. HuffPo? Yup, still hell. Gawker‘s union vote is today! Here’s a Koch-shill doing that dumb thing where they point out that unions pay their employees a salary as if paying good wages isn’t literally the point of unions. Nevertheless the vote will probably pass and I look forward to the Red Dawn of ☭awker.
“Comedy” is a terrible industry, and the fact that Intern Romy is apparently interested in it makes me seriously second-guess the decision to hire her.
The lineups for both Just for Laughs‘s Montreal comedy festival and Toronto offshoot JFL42 have been released. Surprise: the ratio of male to female comics, particularly headliners, is abysmal! Just scanning the posters gives you the general idea, but wouldn’t it be more accurate (and depressing) to actually count the women?
As a former hotel concierge, it would be my pleasure to get that for you. While a number of names have yet to be released, according to each website as of this morning, the percentage of female performers in Montreal is 17.4%, while in Toronto we’ll be seeing a slightly more respectable 23%. Only three men for every woman! We’re progressive like that.
The JFL42 lineup feels like a white man collective is having a a “bring your diverse friend to work” day!
— Celeste Yim (@celesteyim) June 2, 2015
Seem grim? “Not at all!” say men on Twitter. “You just don’t understand how the comedy industry works!” they yell in the direction of professional female comedians. “There is logistics, you see, and, um, schedules, and it’s probably some of the ladies, like monthly time,” they scream at the sun.
But all is not lost! Because instead of a proportional representation of female comedians, we’ll get several male comedians who deeply care about and connect with their female audience. Like Ari Shaffir, who refuses to let our usual taboos about disability get in the way of him calling a one-armed woman fat. And TJ Miller, who you may remember from his “bitch”-laden Techcrunch hosting gig. And Patton Oswalt, who has in the past year pivoted from “comedian” to “professional troll“.
Luckily, the lady comics that are on the bill are great enough to make braving the Canadian summer chill worthwhile. But if the deluge of dudes is getting you down, come find me at the @aparnapkin show. I’ll take you out for a beer and some tax-free tampons.
I’m pretty sure Patton Oswalt has been a professional troll for more than the last year, but I’m glad everyone has finally noticed. I hear there’s a great place in Toronto that has $1 drafts and half-price tampons every day at happy hour though!
Today in Choire: “Unencumbered, naked and glassy, I feel perilously close to a dozen superfun midlife crises.”
Today’s Dumb Kickstarter: The Hidrate Me Smart Water Bottle.
Today’s Octopus With a Coconut: This octopus with a coconut.
~For two bits she will do a mazurka in tabs, with a view of Niagara that nobody has~