Discover more from Follow Friday
You don't actually have to "escape" your bubble
Plus: Slow pizza, Jar-Jar Binks, and Barbie gets baroque
Welcome to Follow Friday!
I recently watched the latest installment of a beloved action-adventure movie franchise, in which an aging hero finds himself at odds with a rapidly modernizing world questioning the value of people like him. He races around the globe in pursuit of a techno-magical MacGuffin, which is divided into two interlocking pieces, and few people know what it really does. He’s joined by a younger white British woman who looks amazing in vaguely piratical outfits and frequently acts in her own self-interest, and he’s haunted by an enemy from decades in his past who he had believed to be dead. There’s a fight scene on top of a train, a chase through narrow streets in an unlikely vehicle, and a climactic showdown in Italy.
But enough about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The new Mission: Impossible movie is pretty good!
The single best thing I saw online this week: The title and structure of this video are ridiculous, as everyone in the comments is pointing out, because a lot of the time involved in this “350 Hour Pizza” is just resting or fermentation time. But if you can put that aside (and if you’re chill with his hyperactive editing style), it is immensely satisfying to see Joshua Weissman make something as ordinary as a pizza completely from scratch. I am making myself hungry just remembering this video as I write.
The best podcasts I’ve heard recently
As the name of the podcast implies, You’re Wrong About has historically focused on the inaccuracies in certain stories that have permeated mainstream culture. The most recent episode, though is more of a “yes, and,” to what is widely known about Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Yes, Sarah Marshall and Carolyn Kendrick explain, the bandmates were all cheating on each other and doing copious amounts of drugs — but the finer details of how the album got made are more interesting than the salacious headlines.
I was nine years old, the perfect age for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, when it came out, and I remember seeing it over and over again in the theater. But by the time the prequel trilogy concluded six years later, I was a devoted reader of fansites like TheForce.Net and a devoted hater of The Phantom Menace’s most infamous character, Jar-Jar Binks. I am absolutely loving Dylan Marron’s new podcast, The Redemption of Jar-Jar Binks, which looks back at the early days of toxic internet fandom and how it affected people like Binks’ actor Ahmed Best. It’s wild to remember how recently people still believed the internet wasn’t “real life.” It always was.
If you ❤️ 😭 or 😬 at 😂 or have ever wondered why there is both a single paperclip 📎 and double paperclip 🖇 emoji, and a hole 🕳 but no shovel ❓, you should listen 🎧 to Alie Ward’s latest two episodes of Ologies. She enlists 3️⃣ emoji experts — Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge, designer Jennifer Daniel, and emoji translator Keith Bronito — to answer SO MANY questions about the history and meaning of the symbols, and how they decided which ones get added to your phone’s keyboard. It’s a bigger decision than you might think — once an emoji is approved, it’s permanent. ‼️
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Here’s a 🤯 detail from Spider-Verse 2
The best new movie of the year (so far) continues to blow my mind.
The latest from LightningPod
Here’s what I’ve been producing and editing this week
On Grit, Joubin Mirzadegan talked to the co-founder and CEO of Rubrik, Bipul Sinha, about growing up in poverty in India, working his way up to high-paying tech jobs in America, and deciding to pursue your own happiness rather than playing it safe. I was also kind of fascinated by Rubrik’s years-long policy of open board meetings, and I had a lot of sympathy for Bipul’s younger self, whose father made getting his son into IIT a full-time job.
And on Building Better CMOs, Greg Stuart interviewed Canva CMO Zach Kitschke about the 10-year journey from tiny Australian startup to globally beloved design company. Zach also talks about how he has benefited from working with a professional coach, how Canva is reorienting its products to embrace AI, and why you should say yes to opportunities that are outside your comfort zone.
The best thing I’ve read this week
I cringed with recognition at this piece by Parker Malloy because I’m certain I must have said, at some point, something similar to what she’s criticizing. After Meta said it would not “encourage” politics and news on Threads, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote that, “If this just becomes a space where people feel they never have to see anything they don't want to, it isn't going to work.”
Parker traces this “eat your vegetables” line of thinking back to how many liberals responded to the 2016 presidential election:
The narrative in much of the mainstream media was that people must not understand Trump and his supporters; that because he won, everyone who voted for Hillary Clinton, the flawed but undeniably preferable Democratic candidate, needed to “escape their liberal bubbles.”
Of course, many people (myself included) weren’t living in “bubbles,” walling ourselves off from ideas we “disagree” with. Many of us saw the threat Trump posed. We saw his appeals to racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism for what they were. We had no trouble understanding the arguments Trump and his supporters were making; we simply disagreed.
The nuances of her criticism in the full piece are well-observed, and an important reminder for anyone (me) who may feel inclined to judge how someone else uses the internet, or how these social platforms are designed. Read the whole thing here.
Palate cleanser: What if Bach wrote “Barbie Girl?”
You have one week until everything is pink for the rest of the summer.
Trust me and click these:
No one will say why the world’s largest Ferris wheel has stopped turning
And no one wants the world’s tallest flagpole in their backyard
Playing a board game for the first time
A really important longread about the future of “masculinity”
Happy birthday to this giraffe
Retro visions of the kitchen of the future
Semi-related: What happened to messy homes on TV?
And DOG A FAKE HERO