Workin’ for the (Four-Day) Weekend #21: Israeli Interlude, Kmele’s Various Things, and What We’re Thankful for
Also: Some great stuff per usual from our paying subscribers.
Happy Fifthsgiving, friendies! On this fine turkey day, it is truly right and just to proclaim loudly our gratitudes. Including but not limited to: The sight of Moynihan trying to contain himself in the presence of Israeli girls with guns.
Fear not, our Holy Land exploits will probably not extend much further past #382 & M.O. 142, and OK maybe an extra pic or link or three in this post, though with these latest terrorist attacks the subject may recur. But mostly I wanted to come here and thank the nearly 5,000 of you who throw some shekels into our bucket each month, and also—yes!—the 12,000+ of you freeballers, whose ranks have swollen by more than 2,000 the past month alone. Welcome, wilkommen, and bienvenue! Hope you’re enjoying our various weekly bits. Now let me give you a brief peek under the curtain into the front of the plane.
The Fifth Column is thankful for each and every one of you subscribers! The paying ones also get an extra epi per week, and do rad stuff in the comments.
Just the last M.O. comments thread alone produced: Nick Cave telling Roger Waters to get bent over boycotting Israel (h/t our beloved Yael), Thom Yorke doing likewise (Gabrielle G); some thoughtful discussion about a library full o’ various Mideast books, plus more than a dozen fab rock/entertainer memoir-recommendations as well. There’s Tyler Cowen conversatin’ w/ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Michael Cypress); listener & fellow Substacker Connor Smith laying out his harrowing family history of escaping doom in Ukraine, and Bill Burr doing a better/earlier version of my rant about standing up against cancer at World Series games (Percival3D):
That just scratches the surface, but you get the idea. Many such examples! But only paying customers can partake. Speaking of partaking….
The sleepy-eyed gal in the middle at one Tel Aviv’s 40,000 bars is obviously our very own Nancy Rommelmann, who was so shy about chronicling a part of the world that she (like many of us) had never visited, she produced a half-dozen posts about it so far: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5/6. From the latter:
We have been to many places and met many people, including journalist and author Matti Friedman, whose Spies of No Country is currently in my purse and which I highly recommend. Friedman spoke to our journo squad a few nights ago, including about the negative image of Israel projected by many in the media, one that “grows increasingly negative as the ideological landscape of the West becomes more polarized and inflamed, keener to split the world into categories of good and evil, and as too many mainstream journalists abandon old ideals such as objectivity for the idea that journalism is a tool to effect social change,” as he wrote last year in Sapir.
Which reminds me: Friedman’s Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai will almost certainly be my next rock memoir. (Also, before we finally leave the subject, cover-band artist extraordinaire Jesse Singal was also on our trip; here’s his first stab at a post-write.) Onward and upward with the arts!
* Hey look, Kmele did a various thing that WASN’T a Twitter beef! In this case he went inside the belly of the beast—to a (shudder) public radio conference—to take the “Hell nah” side of a debate w/ the talented broadcaster Eric Nuzum on “Is Public Radio Still Relevant?” Listen!
* If you liked ol’ sportsballer/cultural critic Ethan Strauss in #383 (as well as #185 & #333), be sure to check out his recent essay “Sports, Easy Money and the Crypto Collapse,” which begins like this:
Why were sports leagues so quick to accept sponsorships from shady crypto companies? On its face, that part is simple, and is best summed up by Clay Davis: “I'll take any motherfucker' money if he giving it away!”
But why did crypto want into the sports industry? Why were these newfangled companies willing to overpay to such an extent? These answers reveal quite a bit more about sports entertainment customers, a cohort the leagues were only too happy to see squeezed. And why were the leagues happy to see this? Well, we’ll get into that.
* Did someone say sportsball? Let’s enjoy one final pic from Jerusalem:
* And let’s bring the Singal-minded one back one more time to fling poo at the villain of #383, Ben Collins: “It’s Bad To Put Words In The Mouths Of Murder Victims.”
All right, that does it here from TFC HQ. Have a glorious Thanksgiving, and remember: You don’t need to put up those Christmas lights on Black Friday, people! Let the turkey cool!