Today in Tabs: Yesterday’s Tabs Tomorrow

A.K.A. The Preface To The Norton Anthology of Telescopic Fiction.

Today in Tabs: Yesterday’s Tabs Tomorrow
[Photos: Flickr user Official U.S. Navy Page; Flickr user Christian Haugen]

Memoir,” in publishing, is a euphemism for “fiction that will sell,” so it comes as no surprise to learn that Primates of Park Avenue is full of lies. Author “Wednesday” (Wendy) “Martin told The Post she ‘telescoped certain parts of the narrative…’,” which is a strange way to use a word that means “looked at real things that are far away.” If you need a word that means “made up fake things that are right up close,” can I suggest “imagineered?” Publisher Simon & Schuster has said that “A clarifying note will be added to the e-book and to subsequent print editions,” which will presumably read: “Lol, j/k!!! ^_^” Also accused of sociological imagineering is Alice Goffman, who, as white people do when we want to signal seriousness, hung out with some black people and then wrote a book about them. But “On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City” is the subject of increasing doubt and already has attracted at least one long anonymous pastebin critique. As the saying goes, “Pastebin at morning, Blappo take warning!”


Also in fiction: no, the Hamptons Police do not have a surplus military submarine. David Brooks asserts that “according to a range of academic studies, about 23 percent of the electorate can be swayed by a compelling campaign,” but neglects to mention that 88 percent of statistics are made up. A short story about Silicon Valley is being marketed with incredible effectiveness, and is probably an ad for something. And finally, Paul Ford, who we can always count on to correctly label his fiction and also use it to tell the truth better than most journalism, wrote a story for Motherboard about getting old in Silicon Valley.

Forget the Times’s Wilderness-Collective-in-a-treehouse “Bro-topia” or this summer camp for “grownups”, let’s all go live in a haunted mansion! Defending a hedge fund billionaire is the hottest take of all. I’d like to correct one point in this long Slate tab about Clickhole: “lol nothing matters,” is a security blanket for NY media babies. Tabs believes that everything matters. Another clickbait publisher tries to appeal to snake people. I bet the catcher signals one if by land, two if by sea. We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Corporate autopsy dot io. Write with your tabs. And Elon Green found the Orson Welles lesbian shower scene!

Medium lost no time in its pivot to “engagement” and income, launching a series called Work: Reimagined about how great it is not to have a job, which is coincidentally sponsored by a freelancing platform. The series is “presented by” the sponsor, but the content is pretty clearly pro-freelancing, which leaves it vague whether this is advertising or what, and opens up the question more generally: is this sponsored content? Is this? What about this whole On-Demand series?

Let me be clear: Intern Romy and I are both completely in the tank for this month’s intern sponsors, Slack and Qapital. When we sell our independence and credibility, I will make damn sure you know it.


Glossary of terms:
Cisgender; noun; identifying with the gender you were assigned at birth.
TERF; noun; trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Sense8; noun; a new Netflix show which seems like it might not be very good, but is co-created by a trans woman, and features a trans actor playing a trans character, so may be worth supporting?

Caitlyn Jenner’s record-breaking Vanity Fair cover set off a week of trans-related #content, some good, some bad, but mostly the latter. From the moment it was released, a clock began ticking down to the moment when the wave of support would break, and some entitled white woman would emerge from the foam, muttering things like, “Look at how she’s dressed,” and “We’re still doing 70s-era second-wave feminism, right?” This week, that white woman was Elinor Burkett, who teamed up with the New York Times’ Sunday Review to drop her steaming take.

The tab reads like a game of TERF bingo (nail polish, blackface comparisons, internal inconsistencies, check, check, check), and boils down to, “Gender is a meaningless social construct that we need to destroy, but my gender is mine, so HANDS OFF”.

Here in Ontario, we’ve been having a related debate about how to handle transgender youth. It was resolved in part this week by banning gay and transgender conversion therapy for anyone under 18. Hopefully, it’s a move that will be extended across Canada and the world, although Wired’s Alice Dreger has some compelling anecdotal evidence for that being a bad idea. As always, what about the children!?

Hoda Kotb speaking with Dr. Margaret Moon

Still, no matter how troubling the public conversation about trans people gets, at least the greater queer community will always be completely supportive.

I read that NYT Jenner tab and just kind of flinched, so thanks for tackling that one, Romy!


Today’s Dystopian Blooper Reel: Sure, the robots are funny… FOR NOW.

Today’s Song: Ed Sheeran, “Trap Queen” (Yes I am trolling you with this).

~Sometimes in our lives we all have tabs, we all have sorrow~

Today in Tabs was unexpectedly off yesterday. We may or may not be off today too, I leave that for you to decide. When we’re on, we’re on Fast Company and email.


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