What's Good: Nov. 26, 2021

Shopping, family, and a little magic.

Hello, good evening, happy Friday. Delayed edition today because, you know, hangover. Last night I did Friendsgiving with very good friends and I made an Aviary cocktail called Jesus Can’t Hit a Curveball and it was a smashing success. You could even say I knocked it out of the park.


Solidarity forever

Wirecutter is a good website and they deserve fair compensation:

In October 2016, Wirecutter, a scrappy website that uses journalism to help people make purchases, was five years old. On a Sunday that month, Brian Lam, the site’s founder, told everyone to clear their Monday for an all-hands meeting.

Usually, in media, that means that you’re all getting fired. Sad! But shortly, the word got out: The company was being acquired by the New York Times.

Nick Guy, Kimber Streams, and Kevin Purdy, three Wirecutter folks in Buffalo, went out that night, all excited, to celebrate.

That excitement has resonated for another five years. Nick, now living in Brooklyn, still has a framed article about the Wirecutter acquisition on the wall of his home office, where he reviews Apple products and accessories for the site. That enthusiasm for Wirecutter is helping, in his capacity as Wirecutter’s unit chair on the NewsGuild of New York executive committee, to facilitate a strike that is scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

The union is asking readers to not shop through Wirecutter during the strike, which is intended to end on Tuesday, spanning some of the peak online shopping days of the year.


Insert state here

Yeah I mean I’m sure this is right, what else could the problem be (/s):

MyPillow chief and 2020 dead-ender Mike Lindell has long promised that he would file an election-fraud complaint with the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning. But now he claims to have missed that goal because he was silenced by Republican National Committee Chairperson Ronna McDaniel.

It was a last-minute pressure campaign orchestrated by the RNC and McDaniel that prevented his case from moving forward and “saving the country,” Lindell now alleges.

“We believe that they have reached out to multiple [attorneys general] and put pressure on them, not to sign the Supreme Court complaint,” Lindell said Monday on his evening livestream, this time from aboard his private plane as he scrambled to lock down the signatures required to file his complaint with the high court.

With a poor WiFi connection marring his live-streamed rant, Lindell blasted McDaniel, alleging she orchestrated a vast Republican conspiracy against him when she finally acknowledged late last week that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.


Home for the holidays

It’s not too late to save your relatives from the death cult:

Katy Garner and her sister grew up in a small town in Arkansas and were always close.

“We both were cheerleaders in school, made pretty good grades, and loved to just hang out with friends and each other. No one has a perfect childhood, but we had each other. We knew that. And that's what made us so close. We even have matching tattoos to remind each other of that,” Garner told VICE News.

They both became nurses, and Garner’s sister married a doctor and had three children.

Then, around the time of the 2020 presidential election, Garner’s sister started looking at some of the conspiracy theories swirling online about how former President Donald Trump lost the vote. Ultimately she found QAnon


Boys’ club

Oh yeah I mean this certainly explains some things:

More than 1,500 Activision Blizzard Inc. employees have signed a petition calling for Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick’s removal, but it’s a group of just 10 people who will ultimately decide the embattled leader’s fate.

Since this week’s bombshell report in the Wall Street Journal that said Kotick was aware of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations at the company for years, didn’t inform the board of some of the reports, and that he himself was a perpetrator of misconduct, the video game industry has reverberated with calls to end his 30-year reign at the top. Shareholders, employees and even other gaming companies have criticized Activision’s lack of action.

Yet the board said in a statement Tuesday that it’s standing by him. In meetings across the company, executives relayed the same message.

Many people have questioned why the board is supporting Kotick when the situation at Activision has become publicly toxic and detrimental to the company’s stock. But this is a loyal group that has stood by the CEO through several massive crises before, such as his 2010 legal battle with the creators of Call of Duty. The board, mostly men, includes five people who have been connected to Activision for at least 18 years.

Two of the seats are occupied by Kotick and his longtime business partner, Brian Kelly, who together purchased their first stake in Activision in 1990. Kelly is the board chairman. Robert Morgado, the lead independent director, is a former CEO of Warner Music Group who was forced to resign after a controversial restructuring plan and has been on Activision’s board since 1997. Robert Corti is a longtime executive of Avon Products Inc. who has held a seat since 2003.

Don’t worry, though, this is probably going to lead to a securities fraud lawsuit. In fact, I have not looked, but I bet that if I did I would find at least one that has already been filed.


This is the bad place

I hope none of you experience a hell like this:

In 2019, a researcher at Facebook conducted an experiment to see whether the platform really has a tendency to send users down a rabbit hole of extreme and conspiratorial content. The employee set up a pair of fake profiles—for Trump-supporting “Carol Smith” and Bernie-loving “Karen Jones”—and then led each one down the path of least resistance, liking whichever groups and pages Facebook’s recommendation system served up. Not a huge surprise: It took less than a week for Carol to be pushed toward online communities dedicated to QAnon, and for Karen to be swamped by lewd anti-Trump material.

But none of these experiments has that much to say about what might happen to a Facebook user who doesn’t care about politics at all. Let’s say you never gave the platform any hint about your ideology, or how you’ve ever voted, or whether you even have. Let’s say you made yourself as bland and centrist as you possibly could be, and then let the system do its algorithmic work. Would your account get pulled into some other kind of rabbit hole? And if it did, what would be waiting there?


The gang plans for their future

I feel like this is the very definition of suffering from success:

LOS ANGELES — The past year in California has been the driest in a century. But on a recent mid-November afternoon, California was starting to look a lot like … Ireland.

At least it was in the edit bay for “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” where visual effects artists were diligently tweaking the color scheme to better resemble that of the Emerald Isle. Slowly, the parched cliffs of Bodega Bay began to look like the grassy Slieve League cliffs. The golden, dusty hills of Sonoma County took on the verdant, rain-soaked hues of County Donegal. Several episodes of the coming season are set in Ireland, where they were also supposed to be shot before the pandemic intervened. That meant adding a lot of green and gray in post.

Clad in a black T-shirt emblazoned with a raised fist in support of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Rob McElhenney jumped up from the couch, as if yanked by an invisible string. He poked the screen with a decisive finger.


Now where was I? Oh right, wreaking havoc

You should watch Arcane on Netflix:

Arcane boasts a massive world with complex characters you either love to root for or love to hate, a simple yet immersive and layered story, and absolutely gorgeous and groundbreaking animation with a unique visual style. Though it was already starting to crack, this League of Legends adaptation puts the final nail in the coffin of the “video game adaptation curse” by shattering preconceptions of what the animation medium is capable of, delivering a once-in-a-generation masterpiece that is sure to inspire both fans and storytellers alike for years to come. It does all of this all while delivering an exhilarating kick-ass story whether you know the entire history of Runeterra or you're just looking for the next event series.

Based on the lore of League of Legends yet serving as a prequel to many character and story elements from the games, Arcane is set in the city of Piltover and its undercity district of Zaun. Arcane is mostly an upstairs, downstairs story, centering on the brewing tensions and social unrest in Zaun, where people live in harsh conditions and under the constant threat of Piltover's brutal enforcers. From the start, Arcane does a fantastic job of introducing its expansive world full of rich history and lore without bombarding us with exposition by relying on visual storytelling and using easter eggs to hint at a larger world. The mechanical architecture of Zaun, the way a tavern changes its look from one arc to the other, and the statues referring to deities or past warriors all help tell that larger story without the need for many verbal explanations — much in the same way the original Star Wars did.


You deserve some good animal content


Have a good weekend.

Share Matt’s Newsletter


Addendums

Stephen Sondheim, Titan of the American Musical, Is Dead at 91. Return the National Parks to the Tribes. Don McLean Reacts to Taylor Swift For Breaking Half-Century ‘American Pie’ Record. NASA Is Practicing Asteroid Deflection. You Know, Just in Case. Gift ideas for coworkers? For in-laws? Here are some ideas. Trumpist Election Deniers Descend Into High School Drama. Goose Island plays bottle shop politics. Jan. 6 Organizers Used Anonymous Burner Phones to Communicate with White House and Trump Family, Sources Say.

Loading more posts…