This is your end-of-the-week edition of Is Anyone Listening? I may be screaming into the void, but if you’re reading this it means you’re here too, so thanks!
It’s Sinking In, Alright:
TFW you realize your takeover strategy is verifiably stupid.
After a messy few weeks (days? years? I don’t know anymore) at the helm of Twitter, Elon Musk laid off half the company and then told the rest they either needed to take a loyalty oath and commit to working in an “extremely hardcore” way or take three months severance and bid adieu.
The result? So many said so long (about 1,200 actually) that Elon is now sending company-wide emails asking for “anyone who actually writes software” to meet him in the offices. His incompetence makes me miss the days when billionaires just wasted their money by going to space in penis-shaped rockets. It was a better time.
And BTW: Twitter is actually a crucial resource for a lot of the world who use it to communicate and share news. While to Elon this may be no different than a game of Zoo Tycoon for me, unleashing the lions on the general population isn’t a sound business strategy. And I would know, I used to do that to my virtual zoo guests.
House of the Donkey:
When you play the Game of House Speaker, you either win or you step down amicably.
The GOP officially won control of the House on Wednesday, and on Thursday 82-year-old Rep. Nancy Pelosi – the first female House Speaker – announced she would step down, paving the way for a “new generation.”
Thankfully, the Dems seem to have gotten their shit together and will be avoiding a competitive showdown for the top spot, with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York likely to run for leader unopposed.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Nancy Pelosi exit if she didn’t throw a little shade. More specifically, Nance said she “enjoyed working with three presidents.” Spoiler alert: She worked with four.
Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell was once again elected leader of Senate Republicans and then immediately voted against a bill to codify same-sex and interracial marriage despite being in an interracial marriage himself. Here’s hoping he can find a good divorce lawyer and some less noticeable embalming fluid.
Senate candidate Herschel Walker started courting the vampire vote in Georgia with this strange, rambling anecdote about a movie he watched and if I’m being honest, I would watch hours of this. If only Herschel had a television show where he badly summarized movies, rather than potentially holding the fate of my human rights in his hands. HBO can we get this guy a deal? (Or get me one?)
And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the elephant in the Mar-a-Lago ballroom. That’s right, Donald Trump says he’s taking another shot at the White House in order to “make America great and glorious again.” MAGAGA. Rolls right off the tongue.
Other bits ‘n pieces:
Just a lil’ news snack.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than eleven years in prison for defrauding investors. You go girl! Women really can do anything men can do!
Ticketmaster owner Live Nation Entertainment is being investigated by the Justice Department after the site crashed this week during a Taylor Swift presale. Even worse? Taylor’s next album is going to be about them.
Pete Davidson is off the market once again, this time dating Emily Ratajkowski. The only place he can go next? God herself. His other ex Ariana Grande did say she’s a woman, after all.
The 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup starts this weekend and I know you’re wondering who is going to win…best dressed. You can check out all the kits (jerseys) here. I’m partial to the Netherlands’.
Need a weekend read? Look no further than my friends.
I don’t read books, but my friends do. Here are some of their recommendations:
Megan: If you're looking for a book about love, friendship, grief, and found family that rips your heart out only to put it back together, then check out Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. You do not need to be a gamer to enjoy this one — if anything, not being one made for a much more unique read. (Follow Megan’s bookstagram for more excellent recs.)
Zoe: If you’re looking for a sharp satire set in the world of academia, check out Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou. It’s a brilliant, biting, absurd portrait of power, privilege, and identity that in the same moment will make you laugh and squirm. (Love to laugh? Read Zoe’s latest satire piece on the housing market.)
Anna: Are you a basic mid-30s woman who maybe at one point enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, but now prefers better quality writing? If this is you and you also appreciate the craft of fantasy world building (while not sacrificing the slightly pornographic moments), then A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is for you.
Julia: If you’re looking for a book that feels like watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, check out Rock the Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein. (And donate to Experience Camps here, an amazing cause Julia is super involved with to support grieving kids.)
That’s all I’ve got! Enjoy the fall weekend, drink some hot cocoa, forward this email to your friends and be merry! Love, Alex.
Elon almost certainly learned everything he knows about business from playing Rollercoaster/Zoo/whatever Tycoon games, so your analogy tracks.