Given that this newsletter’s title is a pun on a Rolling Stones track, I couldn’t let the passing of Stones drummer Charlie Watts
pass without mention.
To be honest, I was never that big of a Stones guy. I was born in 1981—and given how big the Steel Wheels and Voodoo Lounge tours were to adults at the time, the Stones seemed ubiquitous. But the new singles didn’t get much radio play, and I didn’t understand how groundbreaking the old stuff had been. Led Zep were so much heavier and ostentatious, The Who so much more cerebral and ambitious. The Stones just sounded like rock music.
Henry David Thoreau, as professor and author Steve Edwards acknowledges in this essay, has been worked over pretty good by online progressives over the last few years.
But the intro, involving an old TED Talk he uses to teach first-year creative writing students to think critically, hits hard. And the tie-in to Thoreau hits harder. And then…look, just read it, okay? It’s brilliant and powerful, humble and important.
I’m sure everyone reading this already saw OnlyFans’ recent announcement they’d be barring sexually explicit content in response to pressure from credit-card companies, who in turn were bowing to pressure from Evangelical activist groups like Exodus Cry.
Though OnlyFans’ quick reversal
is good news for all the creators whose labor made the app and company worth anything to begin with, the whole incident just proved all over again that too many content creators (adult or otherwise) can have their entire livelihood taken away in an instant on the whim of a random tech or VC bro.
Unlike the right-wing groups who attack NSFW creators under the guise of protecting them, or the left-ish folks who feign support but throw them under the bus at the first sign of pressure, Sultan actually let 11 sex workers speak for themselves
about what working on the platform has been like for them, and the harm done when their lives are destabilized.
I didn’t start following soccer until 2010, so my knowledge of years gone by is pretty limited (even for a guy who prides himself on his sports research and nerdery). But while I’ve often complained about the NFL-watching-world’s tendency to pretend its history started five minutes before today’s best players entered the league, I’ve noticed European soccer fans and media also don’t do a great job of telling stories they think everyone already knows.
Karim Benzema has played the most glamorous position (striker) for the most glamorous club in the world (Real Madrid) for the entire decade-plus I’ve been watching soccer—and yet I know practically nothing about him, because he’s practically never talked about.
Not only is officiating going to be an interesting and fun new challenge, it’ll make me a better player, coach, writer, and fan. I also gotta get my cardio up—those kids can run.