Today in Tabs: The Worst Are Full Of Passionate Intensity

The blood-dimmed tide is looser, at least.

Today in Tabs: The Worst Are Full Of Passionate Intensity
[Photo: Flickr user Jamelle Bouie]

As you surely know by now, Donald Trump, losing ground to the more mainstream-plausible but no less crazy Ted Cruz in Iowa, said something stupid to regain control of the news cycle, and everyone went along with it. And here I am doing the same. Trump said he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country (including, he clarified, American citizens who happen to be abroad), which is obviously absurd, impossible, and wildly unconstitutional. It’s not a real proposal, any more than his followup suggestion that he would get Bill Gates to “clos[e] that internet up in some ways.” Or if he had said that he wants to make his pal Tom Brady King of the Moon, or replace Mexican day laborers with the Wee Fairy Folk. These ideas all exist in a big stupid heap at the far right end of the policy<–>gibberish spectrum.


Nevertheless everyone scrambled to produce a Take, because He Is A Leading Candidate and We Must Report Even Though He Is Obviously Bullshitting. Vox’s Andrew Prokop observed that this attention was exactly the point. G.O.B. Bush, who just got done proposing we only let in Syrian refugees if they can prove they’re Christian, called Trump’s slight extension of his own idea “unhinged.” Ben Carson “told Business Insider that he would advocate visitors to ‘register’ upon coming to the US,” so good news Ben! We’ve had that for a while, it’s called U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Prospective Trump VPs Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were both like, “ayyy lmao.” Dragonlord Jeff Bezos offered to send Trump into space, which I’m pretty sure he can actually do, and even Darth Cheney was like “ayfkm with this?” Meanwhile Arianna Huffington hopped on a noisy media moment to revoke the Huffington Post‘s policy of only covering Trump in the entertainment section, which had finally grown unbearably grotesque, even by her standards.

But the response wasn’t all negative! Our nation’s absolute worst people were generally encouraging. The co-chair of Trump’s New Hampshire state veterans coalition called the idea “no different than the situation during World War II, when we put the Japanese in camps,” referring to a shameful act that Ronald Reagan’s government officially recognized was the result of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership” and paid reparations for. Neo-Nazis were thrilled to see their ideas discussed so prominently. And I’m going to go ahead and count this pig’s head thrown at the door of a Philadelphia mosque last night as the racist equivalent of giving Trump’s proposal five stars on Yelp.

The problem, of course, is not the risk of Tom Brady ever ruling the feckless moon people. The problem is that Trump’s racism, and the attention we grant it even in condemnation, is acting as an icebreaker for Ted Cruz and anti-Muslim nut Frank Gaffney. Little by little he’s mainstreaming the ideas of literal Nazis, and empowering his most violent supporters. And from a distance, it’s hard for a big world full of Muslims not to assume that the spokesperson for 20% of one of our major political parties speaks for us all. But if you’d like to emerge from this 500 yards of shit-smelling foulness with some actual insight, read David Neiwert on how “Trump May Not Be a Fascist, But He is Leading Us Merrily Down That Path.”

Elsewhere Today: Kim and Kanye took this rando’s advice and named their new baby “Saint,” after Pete Wentz’s 2014 fall-out boy. Saint West’s Twitter account is already off to a great start. Calling for genocide is ok, but Fox News will get upset if you use the P word. Zoo Miami is closed due to floating lions. Aminatou Sow and Jenna Wortham released their “Black Goop” Bloop 2015 Gift Guide. Lara Setrakian launched Arctic Deeply, her newest single-subject “News Deeply” project. VICE’s “women I guess?” vertical Broadly sent what appears to be a white dude to interview Rachel Dolezal, although how can anyone be sure. But don’t read that, read Devon Maloney’s interview with the guy who made the Animorphs covers instead. Chi-raqis a message steeped in politics of respectability. It is a tired song, with an even more tired refrain, and you are not better for hearing it. You are not better for watching it.” Hooray, bacteria resistant to our last-resort antibiotics, polymyxins, have been found in both Denmark and China. But while we all await the pan-resistant plague, at least there’s a new version of Nethack.

Intern José, a deeply bummed-out nation turns its lonely eyes to you1, please cheer us up.


Though I don’t know exactly what Rusty aka “Larry Foster” will be covering today, I do know that he won’t be able to avoid covering Trump vs the Muslim World. So I posted the above. As it plays, read on, remembering that:

It can be really hard to find a job. A false conviction and the logistics of homelessness can make it almost impossible. Even if you’re a security expert getting 6-figure salary offers. Maybe he’d be better off finding a bunch of little crappy jobs. Or maybe he should just not be paid to do what he loves. That’s what I do—mostly because I work in a dying industry (music) while interning in another one (internet writing).

A.V. Club is giving out awards for podcasts now? They are calling it Podmass, which is terrible. Moreover, both Mystery Show and Reply All are inexplicably absent. Hello from the Magic Tavern,” however, looks amazing. And congrats to my man Marc Maron (I do not actually know Marc Maron) who won the “Biggest Get” award for his interview with President Obama. After the President’s been to your garage, do you even need an award? Maron also wrote an interesting little thing about being in the Highland Park/NELA Christmas Parade (which involves riding around in a bugatti or something?) and the discomforts of loving the neighborhood you helped gentrify.

Hey pal, “Aka Larry Foster” is my Dad. Just call me Aka. And I can’t believe you doxed me! I’ve struggled for years to be declared non-notable, but no luck yet. Maybe someone out there reading can help?


Let’s Just Close With Yet More Ominous News, what The Hell:Twitter Is Testing Timelines That Aren’t in Chronological Order

Today’s Song: Desaparecidos, “Golden Parachutes” (or just put that Ennio Morricone on repeat)

~A tab blank and pitiless as the sun~

Don’t worry, Today in Tabs is confident that everything will eventually work out in the normal only-vaguely-awful way, rather than the apocalyptically awful way we seem to be confronted with lately. But as long as I can move my two typing fingers, I will continue to try to tell you about it on Fast Company and in your email.

Hey put your email address here and press subscribe, because reasons.


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