Today in Tabs: The Serious National Conversation

University of California, Santa Barbara students march against sexual violence and hate crimes after a mass shooting there. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

A misogynist 22 year old posted misogynist comments on a viciously misogynist message board and also made videos whining about how much he hates women because they won't have sex with him. Then he wrote a 137 page misogynist manifesto about wanting to kill women, and then made a final video saying he was going out to kill women because he hates them, then he went out with guns and killed women at random, and the American media told us it was finally time to sit down and have a serious national conversation about... mental illness. Also possibly gun control.

Maybe this murderer was mentally ill. It certainly seems possible. And maybe we could have done more to help him, although his rich family was paying for plenty of mental health care for him already. But what we did instead, as a culture, was put a weapon in his hands, and direct his rage at a victim. We let him buy all the guns he wanted, and we told him women were to blame. His loneliness was because women wouldn't give him sex. His anger was because women wouldn't submit to his wishes. He could not possess the prize we told him all deserving men automatically earn the right to: a woman to use, and so he was being deprived of his right, his due, as a man in America.

And how have we confronted that? For some, it's been by pointing out that more men died than women as if that changes anything. For others it's been facile word games. Rap Genius co-sleaze Mahbod Moghadam gleefully annotated the manifesto, demonstrating not only a total lack of self-awareness, but also terrible taste in literature. For that, at least, Moghadam finally got the boot from a company that has long labored to explain away his stale frat pranks. But don't worry, in tech there are always new stale frat pranks aborning.

The tabs will continue to swarm around tragedy, but at least this time we also have Arthur Chu in The Daily Beast writing with unusual honestly about nerd misogyny and entitlement. Anyone who hasn't spent time hanging around sites like Reddit or 4chan may not realize it, but this killer's opinions are not rare or even particularly extreme in the world of the angry internet nerd-boy. These dudes are legion, and the beliefs they embrace and profess openly have also been implanted deep within the rest of us, as Chu makes painfully clear. This is what we've been taught, all our lives. I don't have any good closing to this, it's just all bad. Shut up and start listening to women and work to change it.


The amazing Jennifer Daniel everyone.

The New York Times wrote an opinion page love-letter this weekend to both Tabs and TLDR, although I'm not sure they meant to. "Whenever anyone, anywhere, mentions anything, we must pretend to know about it!" is as good a mission statement for Today in Tabs as I've ever heard, so thank you Karl Taro Greenfeld. What should you pretend to know about that you may not already? Mills Baker's latest post, on utility and empowerment in interfaces, is a great read. Here's an interview with Andre Torrez that gets unexpectedly real. Also he's not that other Andre Torrez. Natalia Cecire on Beyoncé and the spectacle of occluded female labor is so good you don't even have to be a Beyoncé fan to get a lot out of it. This guy draws cartoons on real life. Video game pirates hijacked for bitcoin mining, it's hard not to feel like that was deserved. Also in the NYT, David Carr dropped a flagrant "platisher" into this otherwise well-observed piece on Medium. The short but sloppy-drunk reign of The Phrostie might be over. Schwa Fire is not a new Wolf Parade album. The sharing economy is a parasitic growth on, and because of, the actual crappy economy, says Susie Cagle.

Google went to the Re/Code conference and announced a prototype self-driving car that looks like (:-| and everyone went totally crazy about it even though Google hasn't made anything that doesn't suck since like 2005. Alexis Madrigal is already revising the language, proposing that "driver" will soon refer to the machine instead of the person, the way in our modern language "computer" no longer means "a person who computes" and "horse" no longer means "a person who horses."

Today's Buried Lede: Cheese is a democracy.

Today's Long NYT Profile of Patricia Lockwood: That didn't leave me much to say here in the link did it. I might need to revise my section-titling strats.

Today's Best Way to Write Like an Arcade Game: Arcade Font Writer. That wasn't much better was it.

Today's Song: back on more familiar ground here, it's Sage Francis's entire new album Copper Gone streaming on Spin / Soundcloud

~Sharing a Camembert with friends? (How generous!) Sharing a Camembert? Sharing a friends? How Camembert! Friends. #artoftabs~

Hey it's been a while! I had a productive vacation, and I hope you did too. It's always hard to find a way in to four or five days worth of tabs, so sorry for the disjointed thing that's going on today. Today in Tabs is brought to you by Newsweek and email, and you can follow @rustyk5 if you like nonsense accompanied by a picture of a flower.

Correction: last week I mentioned a new podcast by what I called "NPR's Studio 360." I meant, of course, WNYC/PRI's Studio 360. The error is, by the Universal Person of the passive voice, regretted.

Today in Tabs: The Serious National Conversation | U.S.