Hagan Blount

PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // September 1, 2017

Hagan Blount
PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // September 1, 2017

Happy Labor Day weekend, folks! Hey, um… hey, is this thing on? We couldn’t hear ourselves over the roaring silence in all your office buildings. Well, on the off chance you’re opening your inboxes at all today, herewith: this week’s TableTalk. Discuss amongst yourselves upon whatever beach towel, hammock, maritime vessel, or airplane seat you find your way to this weekend.

We also want to say that our hearts are with the Gulf Coast cities and particularly Houston, a wonderful place where we spent a few days in earlier this year. MMMmmm, crawfish and noodles. Here is a great list of local non-profits that could use donations, if you’re so inclined. Houston Food Bank has our donation.

People aren’t using Facebook the way they intended anymore

It was supposed to be a social network. They wanted you to be the star, not your opinions. It turns out, we’re all guilty of this, but maybe it’s the algorithm’s fault. When you create an app that is built on maximizing average time on site above all else, flame wars win eyeballs. They may have just conditioned us right out of sharing those cat pictures - no one ‘liked’ them anyway.

America’s most coveted Airbnb listings

Don’t know if you use this feature, but we sure do: the Airbnb Wish List. These are pictures and links to the most ‘Wished for’ places in the US. I mean, if this link isn’t our jam, I don’t know what is. By the way, if you add our place in Los Alamos, CA to your wish list, we’ll give you a free wine at the next dinner attend :-) Seriously, though - come visit us! We’ve got a few rooms upstairs that we rent out when we’re there, but if you want a weekend in wine country, you can have the whole thing. The Santa Ynez Valley is a beautiful place!

It’s Time to Kill Communal Tables Once and for All

Oh man, it’s taking the last of our resolve not to just call this guy a monster and move on with our lives. But let’s be neighborly and consider his perspective. Disappointment often occurs when an expectation simply wasn’t met. Was the disappointment warranted, or was the expectation unreasonable? In a huge city, with hugely expensive commercial rents, is it unreasonable to expect acres of room to enjoy an (affordable!) $20 dish made of egg, flour and butter? Perhaps. Is it misguided to hope to avoid all interactions with a neighboring human? Certainly. We think a communal table is a beautiful opportunity for consenting adults to engage with one another and maybe learn a little more about our world through another’s perspective of it. But if the main goal of your public outing is to avoid the public, your expectation seems likely the route of your let down.

Are you ready to consider that capitalism might be the real problem?

You don’t need us to show you the graphs where worker productivity goes up but salaries are stagnant, or the ones where all the wealth gains of the last 40 years are shown pooling up around the top 5%, or the ones that show the vast majority of US political decisions benefitting corporations over people, or the ones of the pattern where about five companies per vertical control the entirety of the process and distribution in each industry. I’m sure you’ve already seen all of those graphs and stats, but this is a fun article!

Let's Go Back To Waiting IN Line For Concert Tickets

This writer could have dug a little deeper on this, it’s definitely a worthwhile issue and tricky to fix. Line waiting can be annoying… and it can be fun. (We may or may not have slept overnight in camping chairs on 48th Street to get SNL tickets...it was Miley!) What’s really annoying is $10,000 Bruce Springsteen tickets on Stubhub. Well, actually we don’t personally mind that so much, but the $600 LCD Soundsystem ones this April did suck. How do you 86 the scalpers from the concert ticket industry? Quit selling online altogether sounds drastic, but it might be the only way.