The Digestif: November 20th
Midterm fallout, my thoughts on Lindsay Lohan, and a great book on Apple.
Hi there! Welcome to the first edition of ‘The Digestif’, my newsletter of the best things you missed this week. I hope you enjoy!
‘Andreessen passed on FTX while venture firm’s early crypto investors are up’ by Reed Albergotti (Semafor). A fascinating look into how A16Z - the VC firm that went hardest into crypto - has stayed in the green, despite crypto prices imploding. They deliberately hedged against price fluctuation, and clearly were less confident crypto’s inevitable rise than they stated in public.
‘In the Ukraine War, Victory Is the Only Option’ by Boris Johnson (WSJ). I quibble with his dismissal of nuclear risk, but otherwise is a great summary of why appeasing Putin is impossible and moral.
‘A Dangerous Game Over Taiwan’ by Dexter Filkens (New Yorker). The decline of China’s economy makes it more dangerous, not less, and Taiwan is the foreign policy story most likely to shape this decade. This is a great intro that. The best chance we have of preventing war is by making an example of Putin.
‘I Was the Head of Trust and Safety at Twitter. This Is What Could Become of It.’ by Yoel Roth (NYT). A smart piece on the difficulties with content moderation and social media free speech from someone respected by Twitter staffers and Musk alike. Hopefully will be tackling this subject myself soon.
‘The Qatar World Cup Exposes Soccer’s Shame’ by Tom McTague (The Atlantic). A scathing piece by one of Britain’s finest working writers.
‘Florida Man Makes Announcement’ (NY Post).
In Wider Culture
Business: Ticketmaster was (somehow) a bigger shit-fire than Twitter, the FTX collapse became less surprising, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers must hate him, Waymo released their self-driving taxi service, and FIFA got what they deserved, having spent $300 billion and 6,500 migrant worker lives on the world cup.
Entertainment: The Menu released in cinemas; GQ unveiled it’s ‘Men of the Year’; and Tarantino announced he’ll be shooting a mystery TV show next year.
Fashion: Alexander McQueen unveiled their spectacular Resort 2023 collection (Sarah Burton has the highest batting average in designer fashion); Nike released their first ‘Chicago’ Jordan 1 since 2015, the ‘Lost and Found’; Tom Ford sold Tom Ford for $2.8B and will likely leave Tom Ford next year; and Banksy encourages shoplifting at Guess.
Sleigh Lindsay! (The Spectator) my celebration of Lindsay Lohan’s Christmas return. Available in the December 2022 Spectator World print edition.
Most Important Story You Missed
Extremely important for the mainstreaming of lab-grown meats, a vital innovation for a green future.
“All of her mugshots belong in the Louvre. Let’s just leave it at that.”
popcultureangel on Lindsay Lohan, for my piece "Sleigh Lindsay" in The Spectator
App: Spark Mail. The only email app with a significant enough improvement over the default Gmail app/interface.
Book: After Steve by Tripp Mickle. A great read from earlier this year recounting how Apple sold its soul and became the most valuable company in the world, and the people - and artists - who made it happen. Incredibly compelling, whether you’re into tech, business history, or just great stories.
Film: X (2022). One of the most playful, stylish, well-made films of 2022, accurately depicting an important period in porn history, and creating a great horror film out of it. Highly, highly recommend.
Music: ‘TM', by Brockhampton. One of two final albums by rap-collective/boy-band, it doesn’t reach the height of their greatness (namely, Iridescence) but it’s a vibe-filled send-off.
Podcast: “Stan Smith Relives His Legendary Sneaker Career” on The Complex Sneakers Podcast. A great conversation with the man behind the shoes.
TV: Tulsa KingJust watched the first episode of Tulsa King; a surprisingly fun, charming show. You forget how charismatic Stallone is
That’s all folks! There should be three articles of mine out next week, so keep an eye out and enjoy your week!