Today in Tabs: The Union Forever

Gawkers of the World, Unite!

Today in Tabs: The Union Forever
[Photos: Flickr users Steven Storm, Pabak Sarkar, Keoni Cabral]

The Union Forever!” voted Gawker’s editorial employees yesterday, 80 to 27, making Nick Denton’s Rosebud a WGA East shop. A subsidiary motion that “You can’t lick Andy Jackson!” was narrowly defeated, 50 in favor to 57 against. The Great Unclenching proceeds, with the union vote prompting ex-editorial director Joel Johnson to write a long Kinja explaining Gawker’s financing and cash flow, and skewering the “faff spewed about democratizing journalism [and] overthrowing governments via Kinja.” Some of that faff was spewed by Johnson himself, at this excruciating July 2014 Gawker editorial all-hands, and it is reassuring to learn that Joel did indeed know that most of what he said there was total wank. I don’t want to undersell it, Joel’s comment is astonishing enough that John Herrman aggregated it with a little commentary, closing with a glancing reference to “a large settlement” that seems to mean the Hulk Hogan sex tape settlement, which I only mention here because it is hilarious.


Nick Denton replied to Johnson, observing how very positive and democratizing it is that their conversation is happening on Kinja, instead of in private before Johnson had been fired when it might have done some good. “The jury is still out on Kinja,” says Denton, which is only true in the sense that the jury long ago condemned Kinja to death, left the courtroom, went on with their lives, and tried to put the whole sordid mess behind them.

An anonymous Vox opinion piece by the proprietor of the “White Hot Harlots” white men’s whining community explicitly cites Chait’s imaginary “new political correctness” bogeyman, and then is held up by Chait as a shining example of the very thing he was talking about! If that’s confusing, I made a diagram for you:

“The author, an anonymous professor, confirms virtually everything I wrote…”

Speaking of Joel Johnson, he wrote some great fiction about the future / end of work for the Awl. Pretend space exploration company Mars One wrote some great fiction about how many people applied for its totally imaginary Mars expedition and then ran around the kitchen making rocket noises until lunch was ready. A flooded Texas upgraded its “worms…?” advisory to a “Worms!!” warning. Nick Bilton continues to set new lows for the rest of the NYT columnists to sink to. MALTWEET GLADSTORM! Negroni Season Revisited. “Publisher of The Toast Nick Pavich Is Out” reports Natasha Vargas-Cooper from the past. For $299, Thync will show you how to make someone look like an idiot. Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Overlook Hotel.”

I don’t know about you, but I could sure use some Good Vibrations! That’s the only Beach Boys reference I have.


Everyone’s still talking about Entourage, but I can’t stop thinking about the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, which comes out this Friday. I’m pretty excited.

See, I love The Beach Boys. I love their silly, throwaway surf and car ditties, and the beautiful weirdness of Van Dyke Parks, and the more political Jack Rieley years. I loved them when I was 6, and–plagued by either undiagnosed childhood depression or just some serious emo feels–I would play alone at the old grain elevator, rewinding my Walkman to listen to In My Room again and again and again. I love Bruce Johnston’s earnest critiques of the American Dream, and Dennis’s evolution from “the hot one” to a hoarse, alcoholic, hippie poet. My heart swells when I think of how ably Carl stepped up to lead after Brian’s breakdown, becoming a stellar songwriter and composer in his own right. I love Al, even when he just needs to syncopate, dammit.

Most of all, I love Brian. As my longstanding issues with mental illness started to hit me hard in my early twenties, his importance to me grew. I needed a lot, and his music always provided. He made me believe in the giddy possibility of love after heartbreak, and that something as corny as a children’s song could soften my hardened heart. He showed me that love could be quiet. He made me believe that not only could I make it through, I could make it good.

With his life, he made me see that sadness and optimism can live beside one another, and that as far gone as I thought I was, I had the ability to make it back. Comparing my relatively trivial issues to his, I began to have faith that I could come out the other side and remain kind. He helped me realize that I could find ways to work and create, even with my illness. And when I–still–worry that I’ll eventually have to tune out the world in order to survive, I can put on Love and Mercy, and believe, if only for three minutes at a time, that one can see the world for the garbage place it is and still, somehow, have hope.

Thanks for the tunes, Grain Elevator Bijan! And that’s it, that’s Tabs for the week, comments are closed.

Today’s Song: The White Stripes, “The Union Forever


~Oooooooooo tab-tab-taboooooo…~

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