Slutty sweets, Spotify sparring and standup
Your second bowl of Alphabet Soup, filled to the brim with new"S"
Greetings beloved subscribers,
January has come and gone alarmingly quickly, and writing for you all seems to be the only resolution I’ve kept. I had this crazy idea of using reverse psychology to keep resolutions next year: maybe if I write down don’t get a job, eat worse, never work out, never respond to emails in a timely manner this December, I’ll be an employed fitness queen at inbox 0 by the time 2023 rolls around. That’s a problem for later though! For now, enjoy a taster of this week’s discourses and delights.
A is for Annie Hamilton, from Substack to Styles to Standup
Unhinged it-girl and Vampire Weekend fan Annie Hamilton (a fellow Substack author!) recently got a New York Times profile and a monthly performance slot at The Jane Hotel in the West Village. I hauled down to NYC on Tuesday to cover her debut show for the upcoming Drunken Canal (if you’re a New Yorker, snag a free copy downtown in a couple weeks). You remember those memes that were like “choose your quarantine house”? The crowd was sort of like that, though I’m terrified to think about quarantining with Caroline Calloway, Sandy Kenyon from Eyewitness News, and this guy from I met at creative writing camp in high school.
G is for the Green M&M, No Longer High Femme
The internet has gone crazy over the Green M&M’s makeover from femme fatale to PTA mom, which happened as quickly as a pair of basic white sneakers. “Let the Green M&M Be a Nasty Little Slut,” EJ Dickson over at Rolling Stone declared. Fox News Host Tucker Carlson declared "M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous.”Tucker: M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity…
I’m personally in stitches over this interviewee quoted in the Wall Street Journal:
“I know this is weird to say about an M&M, but she was the sexy, hot candy,” said Mr. Hammond, a 32-year-old stand-up comic from Cincinnati who eats peanut butter M&Ms. “She was the strongest character. She would put the red one in its place.”
My two cents?
A) the sneakers could conceivably be Common Projects.
B) …and maybe they were an anniversary gift from Brown M&M
U is for Ultimatum: Spotify chooses the Joe Rogan Experience over Harvest (Remastered)
Rocker Neil Young offered streaming service Spotify an ultimatum this week: take down Joe Rogan’s podcast — which Young criticized for promoting false information about COVID-19 — or take down his entire musical catalog. Spotify chose Rogan, and so now thanks to an MMA commentator and vaccine skeptic, I can no longer pop “Cortez the Killer” on aux to impress people I invite over. Spotify’s decision is a financial blow to Young, who estimates he’ll lose 60% of his worldwide streaming income without his songs on Spotify, but, as Ashley Carman reports for The Verge, a financially obvious choice for Spotify, which racks in millions of dollars in advertising revenue from the podcasting industry.
Carman has written before about the difficulty podcasting platforms have faced in moderating audio content, and the Neil Young story is interesting to me because it highlights both a common and ever-evolving issue with social media platforms (that is, the issue of what role platforms ought to play in moderating or contextualizing harmful or misleading speech), and the unique difficulty of how to scan hours and hours of audio — an issue I actually wrote about before in regards to Clubhouse. In any case, I’ll miss “Harvest Moon” and “Powderfinger” dearly.
That’s all, folks — see you next week for C, which I promise will be juicy!