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This Week In ‘What Now’: Josh Gondelman, Idiots, and BEES

All that and more in our subscriber-only newsletter!

James Petts/Flickr

Another Friday? And another chance to review the best parts of our subscriber-only newsletter What Now??????? You’re not dreaming, it’s real.

We’ll show off some of the STUNNING contents of this week’s newsletters in a moment, but first, a reminder: What Now is our newsletter that we send out exclusively to our Steward tier members three times a week. It contains:

—Exclusive interviews with good, smart people (like this week’s guest, comedian Josh Gondelman!)

—Our Group Chat mailbag where we answer your questions about whatever you want

—Our take on a lot of news we couldn’t get to on the website

—Rafi’s “Man, What the Hell?” weekly news roundup, which now lives in What Now.

—And more!

You can get all of this if you subscribe to our Steward tier. It’s just $10 a month or $100 a year, and in return, you get What Now in your inbox, plus access to all of the stuff on our website, and the ability to comment on posts, and a link to our private Discord server. WOW!


OK let’s get to it!!!!

On Monday Caitlin interviewed comedian, Desus & Mero writer and iconic sweetie Josh Gondelman:

I wonder if this has been your experience, but I feel like for some reason, during the last couple of months, even as it seems like everyone is feeling a little bit better about the pandemic, Twitter has somehow gotten worse. It doesn’t make sense to me. 

I think people feel extra clawing-at-the-walls lately. We’re so close to the end. And so I think people are just waiting for that release and you can see it. I mean, personally, I think I was in my best groove—what a horrible thing to say—but I was in the most calm and healthful headspace of the whole year when I was like, “This is what it’s going to be like, and I have to adjust to that, and interact with the world as if this is reality until someone tells me it’s not.” And not that I felt it was hopeless, but I was like, it’s not time for hope yet. Now is the time for gritting your teeth and staying inside if possible, and being really careful and advocating for things that are helpful to others. And now the weather’s getting better in New York, and some people are vaccinated, and some people aren’t, and things are opening up a little. Everyone’s just vibrating with this intense sense of like, “We can see the end!” and “When will it be the end?” And personally, every time I see any good news about vaccines, or any good public health outcomes, or any good individual health outcomes, I am so happy and so relieved. And also, again, this is a gross thing to say, but because I don’t have underlying conditions, I’m not an older person, and I don’t work in a field where I definitionally interact with the public, I’m justifiably last in line for the vaccine. And so as big hearted and relieved as I feel for all the little pieces of good news, I do picture myself as like Bart Simpson with a cast on watching a pool party in the neighbor’s yard, which I know is I reference to Rear Window, but I have better access to the specifics of the Simpsons episode.

On Wednesday, Caitlin answered questions from readers about, among other things, dummies:

Triquetra asks: Who is the dumbest person people think is smart?

God this is such a good question, and one I might pitch to my fellow Discourse Bloggers as a potential staff piece because I would love to hear their nominations, and yours. A few high- profile media people definitely come to mind here, as do a few influencers (I’m not saying all influencers are dumb, but a lot of influencers are definitely dumb), but I’m struggling to come up with a single shining example of fraudulent brainpower. Suffice to say however that I think nearly every politician is several grades dumber than their power and influence would suggest. It’s incredible how far charisma, decent oratory skills, and vague promises can get you! And sometimes not even that! Oh, you know what, I take that back: After this question was posed in the Discourse Blog Discord, a user named may said Elon Musk and may is absolutely right. 

And on Friday, Rafi said “Man what the hell?????” about BEES (and more):

[Austin Powers voice] Ohh Bee-HIVE

ITEM via New York Times: “He had just finished grocery shopping, but a New Mexico man got much more than he bargained for when he returned to his car in the store’s parking lot: A swarm of 15,000 honey bees had taken over the back seat. “The man, whose name was not released, had left a window down in a Buick while he made a 10-minute stop at an Albertsons supermarket on Sunday afternoon in Las Cruces, N.M., the authorities said.

10 minutes. 15,000 bees. 1,500 BPM (bees per minute). 25 BPS (bees per second).

This is quite simply too many bees, if you ask me.

That’s it! See you next Friday—or, if you subscribe right now, Monday in your inbox!