Let's Have a Party
Venting spleen, girls on the roof, peanut butter cookies
Good morning. The 8am light shining on the red-brick six-stories across the street is Hopperesque, the mourning doves are back on the fire escape roosting in one of the flower boxes, and I am drinking coffee. Blue skies all the time.
Or not. It’s been a funny week, lots of work, including another Opinion piece for Newsweek and several assignments for new outlets on the horizon. As my daughter told me yesterday, “Your two happiest places are working and being in the kitchen cooking, with other people around and basketball playing on the TV.”
True! Also, that there’s a surfeit of the former and a deficit of the latter, but last night I did cook. For you. These pop in the mail this morning. (I pre-apologize if the cookies arrive looking like a bag of sand! Throw them on some ice cream!)
One of the conversations of the week among media-heads, is, well, the conversation we’ve been having for two years. The first time I recall addressing it head-on was at the Comedy Cellar in January 2019. Bari Weiss organized the occasional meet-up there, what she called Thought Criminals dinners, where we’d sit at long tables and eat snacks with our fingers and glug some cocktails and then head downstairs to watch comedy. The owner of the Comedy Cellar, Noam Dworman, was incredibly gracious and generous. On this night, three of the attendees — Jesse Singal, John McWhorter and myself — were, for various reasons, in hot water with the online manufacturers of hot water. And yet, it did not feel dire; it felt like, meh, these campaigns are ridiculous, let’s do some good work. Which is what we’ve done. Still, I remember Bari and Matt Welch and I sitting together that night saying, ha-ha, the temperature’s really getting a little hot, huh? Really need to push back the walls, ha-ha…
How do I explain? It seemed so absurd, that people would willingly misunderstand work, or never read the work but nevertheless refashion it into weapons they used for what they claimed were ideological reasons. Look, you’re all smart here, I need not detail what I am talking about. But in a nutshell:
I know both Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal (you can pre-order his upcoming book!), know the integrity they put into their work. As I have previously posted here, they make brilliant and hilarious work of the online hatred they (and others) receive, on their Blocked and Reported podcast. And I did super-enjoy one of their Patreon episodes earlier in the week, where Katie just ripped. It’s worth your $5 to hear her vent, and as someone said over on the Twitter machine, were we all a 90s band, we would be named Spleen.
I cannot recall which Clubhouse conversation it was earlier in the week, but I made a pretty big pitch to not take one side or the other in any ideological or blah-blah flamer; that instead let’s just keep doing good work and baking good pies and putting on events and being goofballs. Doesn’t that sound more attractive?
In that spirit, a bunch of the journo-girlies are planning to gather on the roof of Paloma Media HQ, dressed in Gucci. Not kidding! I’m-a get someone to bring us the clothes, and pose, with the East Chinatown skyline as our backdrop, we will.
Speaking of Paloma, we’re planning a party next month. We will be dressing up! Though he does not know it yet, Jeff Blehar will be deejaying, heavy on the Beach Boys. The studio will be set up for live-streaming, and speaking of, go subscribe to that feed. Matt and I will be in there tomorrow taping a new episode, and per usual on Mondays at 5pm EST, Liz Wolfe and I — with Karol Markowitz this week! - will be on the Clubhouse machine. This week’s topic: Andrew Cuomo and politics at its slimiest.
Until then, a little preview of the Paloma cocktail party. Sending love and, this morning, a warm cheese Danish, one that fits in the palm of your hand xx