DRDB! 23: It's Not Enough Being Pissed But Idle

Men used to be so afraid of women riding bikes, and other ways men are dumb

I’m a stone-cold sucker for catchy riffs and energetic, barn-burnin’ rock. “Six Wave Hold-Down” is my favorite song like that from 2018. It slays.

The lyrics are all surfing jargon repurposed to serve a bigger idea. Genius’s concise summary: “‘Six Wave Hold-Down’ concerns the futility and unsustainability of workaday life.” This thing is expertly engineered to be my jam.

As rock becomes the new jazz (i.e. a once-dominant genre now confined to niche audiences outside “the mainstream”), the knowledge bases and skill levels of rock musicians is greater than ever before. Bands like The Royal They can plunder decades of alt-rock for pieces of their sound, creating a Frankenstein genre all their own. Others like Greta Van Fleet can blow up by leaning so hard into retro soundalikes that critics call them copycats (“Highway Tune” is slick and great, a freaky-good mashup of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith).

All those groups have to work extra-hard for exposure now because the zeitgeist won’t do them any favors, but when they get good enough they get good. The bar is higher. The admissions rate is lower. The audience is more demanding. And performers that “make it” like Hot Snakes (or Spoon or Yo La Tengo or Sleep or Ted Leo…) can create some incredible discographies, if they can afford to keep working. Fingers crossed that they can all keep working. I… I need them.

  1. Fox News Is Desperately Trying to Convince Us Climate Science Isn’t Real (Rolling Stone)

  2. How Bernie Sanders Used Community Health Clinic Funding to Help Pass the ACA (The Intercept)

  3. Well shit, synthetic CDOs are back (BoingBoing)
    Remember those insane financial instruments they tried to explain in The Big Short?

  4. Bicycles: the First Dating App (twitter/ArticleGroup)
    Of course men in the 1890s detested women having the freedom to pedal a bike around and be in public doing things.

  5. The Story of Katie McHugh Leaving the Alt-Right (Buzzfeed News)
    “Her story is about support systems and pipelines. It's about how an angry young conservative with reactionary views got herself involved with a small coterie of ideologues in Washington and prepped for a conservative media career in the crucial years before the rise of Donald Trump, as extremism became more popular on the right and as people could optimize themselves for success through attention on social media. It’s about how the organizations she worked for either turned a blind eye to or were genuinely ignorant of the fact that one of their young stars was leading a double life among hardcore racist activists. And it’s about how the cultlike atmosphere of the so-called alt-right helped people make more and more harmful decisions.”

  6. The Existential Crisis Plaguing Researchers of Online Extremism (Wired)
    “The past decade has been an exercise in dystopian comeuppance to the utopian discourse of the '90s and ‘00s. Consider Gamergate, the Internet Research Agency, fake news, the internet-fueled rise of the so-called alt-right, Pizzagate, QAnon, Elsagate and the ongoing horrors of kids YouTube, Facebook’s role in fanning the flames of genocide, Cambridge Analytica, and so much more.”

  7. "Speeches like these give me the impression that Senator Warren understands the intersection of race and economic inequality more than most candidates." (twitter/TheLoveBel0w)
    With bonus Richard Pryor keeping-it-real content: “When people don’t hate each other, they start talking to each other. When they start talking to each other, they find out who’s the problem.”

  8. You’re Gonna Love “Two Guys Who Hate Each Other” (Vulture)
    These short videos are the only hate I want to see in the world.

  9. Hannah Gadsby's TED Talk (TED, 19 minutes)
    👏 Watch 👏 Nanette 👏 on 👏 Netflix 👏