Webtacular World Issue # 339, August 16, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! Today is my last day of paternity leave before heading back into this very same chair and desk I am writing to you from now bright and early tomorrow. I was expecting to have a nice relaxing final day off, but because it is the hellscape that is 2020, I didn’t get any sleep, there was lighting, rain, and humidity (???) in the middle of August, and then our power went out for 6 hours. So ya. Everything is fine.

Back to parental leave – why this is not mandatory for new parents is beyond me. The amount of time and effort it takes to properly raise a new person is astronomical, and has only become more apparent in the middle of a pandemic. I’ve been running on 4-6 hours of heavily interrupted sleep a night, and from talking to other parents, that seems GOOD. If anyone had any expectations for me to work at full capacity while doing this, I’d probably laugh and then jab a pair of scissors in their ear. The fact that the US forces most of its workers to get no time off is beyond ridiculous- new babies need to eat every 2-3 hours, so it is absolute nonsense for new mothers, but the fact that we pretend fathers are non-essential for this part (assuming that there is a more than one parent [single parents, I literally have no idea how you do it by yourself]) is criminal. No wonder America is full of sociopaths. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Mailing It In
Why: Because apparently it always has been super easy to beat American democracy – you just have to remove postboxes, dismantle mail sorting machines, raise postage, and rally idiots against voting access.  The House is returning to session early to deal with this nonsense.

What: What Economy?
Why: Because since Congress ran away for summer vacation, they never voted on whether to keep sending a paltry amount of money to people to not become destitute due to the continued presence of COVID 19.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Driven By Employees
Why: Because California deemed drivers for Lyft and Uber to be employees. Up until now, drivers have been classified as contractors, which, sure, I guess. As a result, Lyft and Uber are threatening to cease operation in the state. BTW, if universal healthcare were a thing, this fight most likely would not need to happen. 

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The TikTok Teens’ Reckoning
Why: Because apparently Republicans don’t actually seem to want a limited government or competition, Trump is trying to force the sale of one of the largest communications platforms in the US to a US company.

What: Maybe Colleges Relying So Much On Athletics Was A Bad Idea?
Why: Because schools are super screwed during the pandemic. Not only is their business model of charging students and their families exorbitant amounts to attend idyllic campuses full of amenities not really happening, but many divisions, such as the PAC-12, are (smartly) opting out of holding fall seasons. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if schools literally live and die by how many people attend their football games. Now you would think that this is because sports generate enough revenue to fund themselves and maybe fund other parts of school education, but this is almost hilariously wrong  – even highly successful programs charge students who go to the school additional fees pay for athletics. The real money comes from boosters and donors who get access to athletes, coaches, and who knows what else to make them feel like part of something. With no sports, it is probably likely that many schools will be unable to meet their general funding goals, let alone support the cost bloat that is college sports. To recap – schools charge students fees to prop up massive sports budgets which make a bunch of people (but not students or athletes) billions of dollars to act as advertising for the school, which somehow benefits the broke as fuck students. AMERICA!

What: Seth’s His Own Grandpa
Why: Because An American Pickle tells the very relatable story of a pickle maker (played by Seth Rogan) getting fermented into the future and meeting his great grandchild (also played by Seth Rogan). Hilarity ensues. What does make it interesting is that it is very much about the experiences of Jews in the US, and how the idea of what it means to be a Jewish American has evolved over the last century.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. listen)
What: Wet Ass Pussy
Why: Because even though everyone is pretending that this is a huge revelation for women in rap and pop (you know, because male rappers have been talking about their dicks and fucking forever), women also have been doing the same thing since Lil’ Kim verse, Jr. MAFIA’s “Get Money” in 1995, Khia’s “My, Neck, My Back” from 2002, or any other number of women wanting good sex songs for the last 30 or so years. Also, it’s hilarious that the video’s lyrics are censored, but somehow the words “wet and gushy” are worse.

What: The Fashion Of COVID
Why: Because I haven’t bought anything clotheswise this year, and essentially only wear workout shorts or sweats and T-shirts. I’m pretty sure most of you are the same.

What:Fighting Walled Gardens With More Walls (And Rocket Launchers)
Why: Because Epic, the company behind the behemoth battle royale game Fortnite, where players supposedly are supposed to fight to be the last person standing in a 100 person free for all, but has somehow morphed into a place for live concerts and The Last Jedi backstory reveals, is trying to break apart Google and Apple’s extremely anti-competitive mobile app store models. There are essentially no good guys in this story – this is about access to the billions of dollars we all spend on digital content annually.

What: Grandpa Metal; The Only Streaming Service You Need; Weezer Meets Wyld Stallyns; Star Wars Titles Are Wrong; Alanis And Her Daughter
Why: Because Internet.

What: An easy transition back to work.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™


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