Friday Open Thread
December 2, 2022
Welcome back to the greatest Friday open thread on Earth. This is chat for paid subscribers only, with a bit of bonus Kanye content because I am a man with opinions who just can’t help himself.
Per the Pirate Wires standard, I’ve highlighted a few topics for discussion below, but feel free to drop anything interesting — links, thoughts, jokes — in the comments. I’ll be in and out all day.
Tech Civil War. Earlier this week, I wrote about the legendary media meltdown the night Twitter died (it didn't die), Ben Collins: the girl who cried stochastic terrorism, and Apple’s threat of Tech Civil War.
Tl;dr the One Party State is threatened by the prospect of a speech platform beyond its control, and proponents of state authority are doing everything in their power to destroy it. Apple, the latest power tapped into the fight, threatened to remove Twitter from the app store. This would be a nuclear option, and if Apple were to choose this path Elon would absolutely go to war with the company. That war would draw in every other major company in tech, and almost certainly the government.
Since Monday, there have been some signs of de-escalation.
Trash Fire: The Collapse of Philadelphia. About a year ago, Philly-based reporter Nick Russo sent me a note. San Francisco was falling apart, he said, but the attention it received was disproportionate. Because of the city’s uniquely high concentration of influential social media personalities, there was a national consensus it was uniquely broken. It was not. It is still not. And I agree — every city in the country is dying. What I did not realize, however, was how bad it was in places like Philadelphia.
Trash, violence, six-story flaming tire piles in junkyards dotting the city: Nick guests this week for Pirate Wires with an incredible account of incompetence from one of the worst disasters of local politics in America.
Goddamnit, Kanye. What is even left to say. Yesterday, the artist appeared in a ski mask on the Alex Jones show, and tried to have some kind of nuanced conversation about love and Nazis.
In the interview, he didn’t seem entirely clear on who Hitler was, or anything really, at one point breaking into a puppet show with a net and a bottle of YooHoo, at another point arguing the hotep belief that black people are actually indigenous to America.
In the end, Kanye’s performance unfortunately — inevitably — became Elon’s problem, as the artist decided to tweet a star of David merged with the Nazi swastika (borrowed, actually, from Raelism, a UFO religion). Elon characterized the tweet as