Hi. How are you? Hopefully good.
I’ve been on a subscribing spree of late, adding lots of good newsletters in my inbox, and I only just figured out how to set up a filter in Gmail to make all Substack publications go to my “Primary” inbox instead of the “Promotions” one. Perhaps that will be of use to you if you, like me, just expect Google to intuit your problems for you and get confused when they’re not solved automatically.
I’ve also been listening to the new Grimes album a lot. I’m sorry! I wanted to hate it so I could have another reason to resent Elon Musk, but the album is good. I don’t know if anyone needs my endorsement on that, but if you’ve been on the fence, I gotta say you should check it out.
What other things should you check out? THIS STUFF, BABY:
Everyone said this piece was good so I finally read it and it’s REALLY good
HOOO BOY, Dayna Tortorici’s longform essay “My Instagram” (subtitled “We all die immediately of a Brazilian buttlift”) is so well-written and funny and dark and great. It’s a perfect snapshot of the many ways social media has transformed our lives for the worse. That made it a helpful read for me this weekend, because I’m struggling to keep my Lenten promise of giving social media up.
New storefronts and restaurants were likewise optimized for the image. Considerations like comfort, accessibility, and acoustics were secondary to visual appeal. It was as if the landscape itself had dysmorphia, altering its physical appearance to fit an arbitrary standard that undermined its primary function. But maybe I had it backward. Maybe the point of a physical space was no longer to shelter physical people. Maybe a storefront was a marketing tool for a direct-to-consumer internet start-up, the way a website was once a marketing tool for a brick-and-mortar store. Glossier. Everlane. Warby Parker. The Sill. Walking into such places felt like walking into an app. They always looked smaller in person, like actors who are shorter in real life.
Fascinating! And wild! And bad!
I’d never known anything about the topic covered in Charlton D McIlwain’s piece for the Guardian, “Silicon Valley’s Cocaine Problem Shaped Our Racist Tech,” but it makes sense! In a bad way. It’s a quick read but I learned a lot about the movement of cocaine and crack in Silicon Valley and the surrounding areas in the 80s.
In broad daylight they distributed so much cocaine — DEA agents in the Valley seized 374 pounds of cocaine in 1986 and 1,000 pounds the following year — that insurance companies raised the premiums of high-tech workers in order to cover the additional health risks.
Spring cleaning time, maybe
If you have any cleaning conundrum at all, professional clean person Jolie Kerr probably has the answer for you. Her “Ask a Clean Person” column has had a few different homes across the internet, so you can browse her archives at the Hairpin, Esquire, or Kinja for all kinds of deep-cleaning content. But you can also just Google whatever problem you’re having + her name and find a write-up with the expertise you need. You can start with her post “Ask a Clean Person: the Basics” as a resource for establishing a cleaning routine. Do I do all these things? Oh, heavens, no. But this is a nice guide for getting started, like, thinking about doing some of them.
Jay Som time, definitely
I have a very particular type of music that I like to listen to in the spring, and it’s stuff with California-y guitars. That’s a very broad category that exists in my head, but it makes sense to me because it feels like it’s summoning warm weather.
Jay Som’s album Everybody Works is a great example. It’s an intimate indie rock album with moments that remind me of the Pixies or Modest Mouse but at the same time shows how often Melina Duterte was listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion while recording it. (So maybe I just like it because with those references it’s pandering DIRECTLY TO ME.)
Do you like rock and row?
A post shared by Mike (@catatonicyouths)
Here are some tips for dressing more like a rocker chick.
I leave you with a comic about being in a bad mood. I relate to this corvid who is so fed up with the world, but I am trying not to carry that energy into this week.