A Speechable Moment
Plus, turning Congress in Jackass.
The internet has changed the way we view everything and, sadly, that includes the First Amendment. In The Verge, Adi Robertson reflects on the challenges to freedom of speech and how some horrible political solutions will make things even worse. How America turned against the First Amendment. (Someone could probably write a great book on this topic—and then it would get banned.) "The shortcomings and tradeoffs of the laws governing that speech have never been so evident, and their troublesome edge cases never so numerous. And instead of trying to reckon with a new world, the people who make and enforce those laws have abdicated their principles and responsibilities in favor of wielding raw power — and, often, abdicating a lot of their common sense as well." That combination is all the rage these days.
2. Criminal Minds
"By the day after the attack, two things have happened: the victim has become target for jokes by opposition-party candidates and pundits—a former president’s son posts a picture of a hammer and a pair of men’s briefs and suggests it as a Halloween costume. An opposition party candidate in Arizona suggests that the political leader had insufficient security and her audience laughs and applauds. The second thing that happens—and it begins right away, in the hours after the attack, and snowballs with extraordinary rapidity—is that an entirely different narrative takes root and rapidly gains currency among the opposition party. What was a straightforward attack—an attempted mutilation of a well-known political figure—becomes the subject of a wild, wending theory that pulses with homophobia." The attack on Paul Pelosi has been followed by an attack on the modicum of decency that used to accompany the world of politics. Tal Lavin On Lying About Violence. "In a political system that begets and rewards violence, Paul Pelosi's fractured skull is not the first. It will not be the last." It doesn't just beget and reward violence, it laughs at it. Our political system is being turned into a Jackass movie.
+ "The officer in D.C. quickly pulled up additional camera angles from around Pelosi's home and began to backtrack, watching recordings from the minutes before San Francisco police arrived. There, on camera, was a man with a hammer, breaking a glass panel and entering the speaker's home, according to three people familiar with how Capitol Police learned of the break-in and who have been briefed on or viewed the video themselves." Capitol Police cameras caught break-in at Pelosi home, but no one was watching.
3. Only Predators in the Building
"Predator-hunter videos take an enduring social-media trend—performing stunts for clout—and add a dash of vigilante justice and participatory true crime. In the past few years, they have become a minor YouTube phenomenon, one of the platform’s proliferating subgenres that can feel ubiquitous in some parts of the online universe yet invisible in others." The New Yorker: The Disturbing Rise of Amateur Predator-Hunting Stings.
4. Liquid Assets
"The fandom has helped catapult Liquid Death to more than just a highly branded can of water—it’s a way of life. Since the brand’s first sold can in 2019, more than 225,000 people have 'legally sold their souls' to the Liquid Death Country Club, a membership program that allows patrons early access to merch drops and live events, according to a spokesperson for the company. Others have gone so far as to tattoo the brand logo on their body, making a reality out of what I can only assume has been every CMO’s dream for the past decade. Liquid Death is the third best-selling carbonated water brand on Amazon and its most recent round of funding has bolstered the company's valuation to a staggering $700 million." How Liquid Death Became Gen Z’s La Croix.
+ I'm sticking with Polar's Orange Vanilla Seltzer. Til death do we part.
5. Extra, Extra
Netanyahu Let the Dogs Out: "Votes were still being counted and results were not final. But if preliminary indications were correct, Israel was potentially headed to its most right-wing government, bolstered by a strong showing from the ultranationalist Religious Zionism party, whose members use inflammatory anti-Arab and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric." Israel’s Netanyahu appears to edge toward victory after vote. (You know there's a guy in Florida watching this political comeback very closely.)
+ Jair Apparent: Bolsonaro didn't admit defeat, but he announced that the transition of power would begin. His supporters aren't as open to that idea. Bolsonaro supporters call on military to keep him in power.
+ Gin and Chthonic: "The messages were part of a batch of eight emails — obtained by POLITICO — that Eastman had sought to withhold from the Jan. 6 select committee but that a judge ordered turned over anyway, describing them as evidence of likely crimes committed by Eastman and Trump." Trump lawyers saw Clarence Thomas as 'only chance' to stop 2020 election certification. I wonder who gave them that idea.
+ Commander in Grief: After an explosive report from ESPN, Washington Commanders co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder announced that they have hired Bank of America Securities to explore potential transactions involving the team.
+ Raving Lunatics: One of the first laws Italy's new right-wing government is trying to pass would outlaw raves. It's sounds almost funny, but it's not.
+ Dead Set: Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during filming of her show’s final season, Christina Applegate was determined to finish the story. NYT (Gift Article). Christina Applegate Pours One Out for Dead to Me. "It’s not like I came on the other side of it, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine,’ ... Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed."
6. Bottom of the News
Some stories are just so Florida, they're almost impossible to relate to. For example, consider this headline: Florida motorist stranded in canal near alligator rescued after paraglider's emergency landing.