Alphabet Soup #1
A small little bowl to tide you over
Forgive me – I lied! I said this newsletter would come out every two weeks, but I missed you too much. I also figured you deserved a more conversational treat after digesting last week’s Big Essay. So here’s the inaugural Alphabet Soup, an informal off-week update featuring a handful of opportunities I’ve come across, news I’ve heard, or things I can’t shut up about.
W is for Wu Tang: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, an album once owned by Martin Shkreli, is on its way to the people!
Remember “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli? That guy who jacked up prices on a drug used by AIDS patients, and who offered $5000 to the first person who brought him a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair? Until recently, Shkreli also owned the sole copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the album-cum-art-object that the Wu-Tang Clan produced in 2015 as a single CD to protest the devaluation of recorded music in the age of streaming. When Shkreli went to jail, Shaolin was seized by the Justice Department, and put up for auction; PleasrDAO, a "crypto collective" dedicated to acquiring "culturally significant" digital art and NFTs, purchased the album off the Department of Justice in July for the equivalent of $4 million. On January 11, PleasrDAO tweeted that they’re looking for “an extremely experienced project manager and leader to help us shape and advance the strategy and roadmap for the experience surrounding the iconic Wu-Tang Clan album.” If this sounds like your dream job, apply here.
B is for Butter-Loving Bisexuals
Remember this iconic tweet?Wow, a cow made of butter. My girls would love it. In fact, the first sentence Caroline ever said was "I like butter"
Caroline “I like butter” Cruz, Ted’s daughter, is now at the center of online controversy after LGBTQNation ran a story claiming the 13 year old had come out as bisexual. Caroline didn’t carve “I like girls too” into butter (bummer) — LGBTQNation was really just reporting on screenshots culled from Caroline’s (now private) TikTok, a journalistic move which Forbes questioned the ethics of. Regardless, this bisexual really enjoyed her detour down the butter sculpture Wikipedia page, which features this epic picture of butter sculptor Caroline Shawk Brooks. Waiting patiently for her biopic.
C is for Crossword: NYTimes announces “Diverse Crossword Constructor Fellowship.”
If you know me well, you might know I’m an avid NYTimes crossword puzzle fan — I’ve recently started making baby steps on my own puzzles too, which is super fun. Unfortunately, a Woman in Puzzles is still a rare thing — this striking chart shows that a majority of NYTimes crossword constructors are men working solo. On January 10, the New York Times announced that they’ll be offering a program for emerging crossword constructors from underrepresented groups which offers puzzle mentorship from top game editors, including Will Shortz himself! If you’re interested in crossword construction but not quite ready to apply for a mentorship, let me recommend this enlightening article about how puzzlemakers create themes, and this easy software which helps you build a puzzle of your own. And Williams folks, keep your eyes peeled for the back page of The Record — someone you know may have a puzzle in it real soon!
N is for New Music: FKA Twigs and Earl Sweatshirt both dropped fresh music today — Pitchfork agrees that Sweatshirt’s album is Sick!, and the group chat agrees that Twig’s mixtape is danceable.
That’s it for now folks, and catch you next week for another installment of A to Zeitgeist. <3